Era: The Wonder Years
"I hate putting my own stuff in, to be honest, but I do feel like this one really stood the test of time, which is one of the great markers of a good design; It sort of spans generations. This one definitely did that. I mean we did this in so many colors, so many times, so many variations.
"You know what I love about this is, is the nature of how this design happened. At the time I had a home/design studio/warehouse which is all one thing in the middle of Chinatown on Grand and Lafayette. And across the street from that was a gun shop. The oldest gunshop in New York City called John Jovino. It was operated by this fuckin' crazy motherfucker who constantly toted guns on his belt at all times. He supplied the NYPD with all of their guns so that's why he’s been there the longest. I walked into the shop strictly just because I thought it was really cool and then we started chatting about what I did and he was like. “Oh we need T-shirts, make us some tees.” He’s literally got his gun swinging. He's not hiding them at all, he's like a cowboy. And basically whenever that guy asked for anything, I would have to do it because I was so shook, I was so scared of him.
"I remember after we got into it and we were doing stuff with him, he didn’t understand T-shirt printing realities at all. So I’d walk in and visit and he’s like “Hey Jeff, we need extra large, four more. Can you get it to us?” He doesn’t understand that you can’t just make four extra large shirts. You have to do 144, you know? But with him, I would make sure that it happened like, Okay we're gonna do a run of 144 shirts and let’s just give this motherfucker his four.
"To be honest after I had started this deal, I was looking for a way to exit it because he was so stressful to deal with. But he’s a fuckin' ex-cop, he just kept tracking me down and getting me to do the shirts so this design kept running in and you know we sold it outside of his gun shop as well. That doesn’t happen in any other aspect of the fashion industry other than streetwear. No one's cutting deals on the side with a gun shop owner in any other industry besides streetwear."