FIT TO A ‘T’: Pool Tradeshow is T-shirt heaven. There are kitschy, classic, colorful, cute and downright crass Ts from brands the likes of Solid Threads, Ames Bros., Choke Shirt Co., Hips and Hair, Neoclassics, Curbside and American Apparel, which spotlighted Ts of the cropped variety for spring. Of all of the T-shirt purveyors at Pool, Curbside had one of the most crowded booths, but creative director and owner Adam Hogan set aside a few minutes to talk to WWD about his brand and passion for the iconic style staple.
WWD: Tell me about Curbside. Adam Hogan: We are based out of Omaha. I started the company myself about five years ago. Eventually, we opened a little retail boutique and started our own print shop collaborating with eight other artists around Omaha. All of the artists including myself do fine art and street art. One is a tattoo artist, and we do everything from comic book art to sculpture, anything you can think of. Curbside is a way of taking all that art and bringing it together to put it on clothing for the public.
WWD: Why make T-shirts in particular? A.H.: Honestly, I’m a T-shirt guy myself. I spent a lot of time traveling around the world developing these concepts that I ended up putting on T-shirts. When I left for that trip, I had a backpack with 19 T-shirts, five pairs of jeans and that’s it. Over that period of time, I became obsessed with wearing a T-shirt every day. The idea is that you can put the art on a T-shirt, and it can move anywhere. It can go all around the world. Your art is traveling with the people who are wearing it. WWD: Is there a T-shirt that you loved growing up? A.H.: I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but I was obsessed with Obey for the longest time. I’m a big fan of Shepard Fairey, his work and everything he’s done. Those are the T-shirts that I was traveling with, actually, and eventually I wanted to put my own designs on them, express myself and do it my own way.
WWD: Is there a trick to art that works for T-shirts? A.H.: There is. A lot of times we will have a piece of art that I think will be amazing on a T-shirt, mock it up on a computer and because of the scaling — if it is really wide — it doesn’t show well on a T-shirt. Tall and narrow is always the best and, basically, if you can read it from about 10 feet away, that’s the answer. If you have to get up close to see what the design is, you might lose people and the understanding of what’s on the shirt. WWD: What are people interested in at Pool? A.H.: They seem to be interested in all the art. It’s one of the more creative places at MAGIC, as far as I’m concerned. You have a lot of young professionals, a lot of young artists that are trying to make it and a lot of do-it-yourselfers. A lot of the people here don’t hire big companies to build their booths. For example, we built our booth by hand. We had never done it before. We just figured it out and made it happen. WWD: Has T-shirt pricing changed a lot in the five years you’ve been in this business? A.H.: A few years ago, I saw T-shirts retailing in the $30 range. I thought that was a little bit expensive. I was still willing to pay the price because of the soft shirts. I think prices have fallen a little bit because there is so much competition out there. For example, ours is at a $24 price point. We think that’s a good sweet spot. Not too expensive, but you are still able to stay in business. WWD: What is the T-shirt that shoppers should be getting from Curbside this spring? A.H.: I would say the Awake style from Gerard Pefung. It’s a huge elephant, multicolored. It looks like he is coming out of the darkness. I would also say Femme Fatale, which has a seductive-looking lady smoking a fancy cigarette. It kind of looks like old flapper style from the 1920s.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion