Born X Raised is more than a beloved Los Angeles streetwear brand. It's Chris "Spanto" Printup's life story told through T-shirts.
A culture journalist who is passionate about reporting on graffiti, streetwear, New York City, and hip-hop culture. I'm currently a Staff Writer in Complex Magazine's style section.
I've written original feature stories and short news posts for magazines and websites such as New York Magazine, XXL, Mass Appeal, Grailed, Complex and 12ozProphet since 2015.
I'm a 2018 graduate of the Journalism and History program at Stony Brook University.
Born X Raised is more than a beloved Los Angeles streetwear brand. It's Chris "Spanto" Printup's life story told through T-shirts.
Will Supreme live on to become a heritage streetwear brand? Or will its acquisition by VF Corp. serve as a cautionary tale for other streetwear brands looking to grow?
We spoke to the Japanese label's mysterious founder, Prot, about the custom Boro garments designed for celebrities like ASAP Rocky, Travis Scott, 21 Savage, and more.
Louis Vuitton may have delivered the world's biggest surprise on Valentine's Day when the French luxury house unveiled that Pharrell Williams would become Louis Vuitton's new creative director of menswear. It was another bolt of lightning sent down by a label known for making creative decisions that have produced both shock and awe within the fashion industry.
Igor Zakharov has been selling secondhand clothing full time for more than a decade. His business, Hodkotom, has made nearly 20,000 transactions collectively on Grailed and eBay since 2016, which works out to selling something every 27 minutes. He has buyers who source clothing on payroll, and he analyzes his sales data to forecast new trends in the vintage market.
On Monday, the British streetwear label Corteiz posted a pair of Black Nike Air Max 95 sneakers with pink accents lying on top of a bodega counter with a simple call to action on Instagram: "BE @ WEST 34TH ST. & 7TH AVE. TOMORROW AT 12:05PM EST. LOCATION REVEALED HERE.
The late Vivienne Westwood is known as a fashion designer who represented the best of British culture. But the queen of punk truly shaped street style forever.
On Instagram, there are thousands of accounts dedicated to wearing Yeezy apparel by Kanye West. Why haven't these influencers cancelled Ye?
By the time Kanye's first Yeezy Gap pop-up in Times Square opened at 10 a.m. on Thursday, a line of approximately 100 shoppers had already snaked around the corner of 45th Street and Broadway. Naturally, Yeezy fans, like Peter Signley, a 37-year-old man from Uptown Manhattan, were aptly dressed.
From wearing pink Polo tops to Balenciaga Croc boots, for close to two decades, Kanye West has changed how we all approach fashion and get dressed. Here's how.
This fall in Chicago and New York, groups of leather jacket enthusiasts came together to celebrate "Pelle Pelle Day." East Harlem native Miguel Rodriguez organized the events. He's a collector who runs an Instagram account with just over 2,500 followers called @PellePelleLeather-an archive page dedicated to documenting the history of the American leather jacket label Pelle Pelle by Marc Buchanan.
After working for months on creative projects for clients like Virgil Abloh and Chris Gibbs, Reginald Jolley, better known as Reggieknow, is barely getting any sleep these days. When I dialed into Reggieknow's world via Zoom, he spoke to me from a dimly lit office in his Los Angeles duplex.
This year, designers from London gathered some of the fashion industry's biggest accolades. In April, the North East London designer Saul Nash won the International Woolmark Prize. Steven Stokey-Daley of S.S. Daley was declared winner of this year's prestigious LVMH Prize in June.
The first time Clarence "Coodie" Simmons ever picked up a camera, it was to film a fight for Channel Zero, a Chicago public access television show that covered the city's rap scene. The show's name is familiar to any Kanye West fan who has stumbled upon archival footage of the rapper's younger years.
Tremaine Emory's appointment as Supreme's creative director marks one of the brand's biggest moves since being acquired by VF Corporation in 2020. Brendon Babenzien and Angelo Baque served as brand directors at the streetwear brand, but this is the first time Supreme has publicly confirmed an external creative director hire.
The merch tent at NRG Field in Houston, where Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival took place, signaled the first signs of chaos that led to nine festival attendees dying and many injured. Viral videos show hundreds of people hopping over metal barricades to mob a tent filled with exclusive Astroworld Festival merch.
Colm Dillane's studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is a dimly lit space that's smaller than your average bodega. It's located directly underneath elevated subway tracks-you can hear the rumble of the J train every 15 minutes-and packed with hundreds of clothing samples that complement Dillane's bright paintings hanging on the walls.
Any teenager or rap enthusiast growing up in the early 2010s remembers the moment they saw the cover for Live. Love. ASAP. You might have first peeped it while your homie was playing "Peso" on their iPhone 4. Or maybe you stumbled on it when someone sent you a DatPiff link through BlackBerry Messenger, urging you to download the tape immediately.
An hour before Supreme's store-opening party in San Francisco took place last Wednesday, a Korean college student named Thai-who is wearing a black Supreme Creeper T-shirt released last season-is asking anyone, and everyone, within the vicinity of the store if they're on the list to get in.
"I remember sitting in Alife's office and talking about how the concert would be, how to pull it off, and who we should invite. They were really dedicated, uncompromising, and focused," says John Mayer on the phone. Mayer lived in SoHo at the time and found escapism by shopping at stores like Alife during a burgeoning era for streetwear in New York.
On a chilly Thanksgiving afternoon, a group of 40 men in their 20s trooped through New York's Times Square wearing hooded Gore-Tex winter jackets in so many different colors they looked like brand reps for the M&M World store nearby.
Having a major clothing brand was never something James Jebbia, Supreme's founder, envisioned. When he opened Supreme's doors in April of 1994 it was one of the only skateboard shops in SoHo, and he wanted to create a clubhouse for New York's budding skateboard scene downtown.
When freeskier Scot Schmidt pitched The North Face his own line of skiwear in the late '80s, he faced some harsh critics. Schmidt arrived at The North Face's headquarters with pieces of skiwear heavily reinforced with materials like Cordura, a fabric seldom used for ski apparel.
The first hoodie to ever grace Dior's runway arrived on Thursday evening at the Spring 2023 show, which took place in Venice Beach, California, right under the Venice sign. The catwalk was designed to resemble the barrel of a wave that washed Windward Avenue in a hue of ocean blue and swept through Venice's iconic colonnades.
When a newly divorced Donda West purchased a 1,600-square-foot home on South Shore Drive for $40,000 in 1981, the Chicago State University English professor did so out of sheer necessity. While raising a young Kanye West in a small apartment in the Roseland area of Chicago, she embarked on a nine week research-trip in India and let her boyfriend, Ulysses "Bucky" Blakeley, stay at her apartment.
When Virgil Abloh opened Off-White's first brick and mortar store seven years ago in Causeway Bay, one of Hong Kong's most popular shopping districts, he worked with Family New York, an architecture office run by Oana Stănescu and Dong-Ping Wong. As a group, they designed a store that went against every notion of traditional brick and mortar retail.
Weeks before Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered all non-essential businesses in New York state to shut down on March 20th due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Brooklyn screenprinter Rich DiBernardo already knew something was awry within the T-shirt industry.
After Futura made his first public statement last week on the trademark infringement lawsuit he filed against The North Face earlier this year, the outdoor clothing brand has decided to phase out and discontinue the use of its Futurelight logo.
One of the best stores to be in during New York Fashion Week was Dover Street Market in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan. Although several events were held throughout the week, there was nothing like the crowd that gathered inside the shop's T-shirt space last Saturday.
Boris Tellegen, a 51-year-old Dutch graffiti pioneer better known as Delta, says he was aware of Supreme when they reached out several months ago to work on their Fall/Winter 2019 collection. However, he wasn't fully aware of how popular the brand was until he told his son that Supreme just called him.
Although it was nearly impossible to checkout of Supreme's website last week due to the release of its bandana box logo T-shirts, one of the best products from Supreme's Fall/Winter 2019 drop was the "Bridge Tee." The T-shirt features a black and white photo of the Manhattan Tower of the Brooklyn Bridge painted with graffiti that reads "Sane" and "Smith."
"This is the antithesis of what getting outdoors stands for," one commenter said when The North Face revealed its collaboration with Gucci via Instagram. Like other fashion collaborations announced through The North Face's socials, outdoorsmen threw their hands up in the comments section.
How has Ralph Lauren influenced fashion? That's what Susan Lacy attempts to explore in Very Ralph, a new 108-minute HBO documentary that premiered last month. It's the first authorized documentary on Ralph Lauren. In an interview with Vogue, Lauren said "It's not easy having someone write about you, or seeing a film about you," and revealed that he previously declined documentary offers over the years.
On July 20, LVMH, which owns Louis Vuitton, Dior, and many more luxury brands, unveiled that it acquired a majority stake in Virgil Abloh's Off-White. The deal gives LVMH 60 percent interest in the Off-White trademark while Abloh will retain a 40 percent interest and continue as the brand's creative director.
When New Guards Group founder Marcelo Burlon approached Virgil Abloh about an opportunity to take his clothing to a higher level, the Pyrex Vision designer told the Business of Fashion he was hesitant.
This past Monday VF Corporation acquired Supreme for $2.1 billion and the reactions have been mixed. The comments under Complex Style's IG post about the news range from "It's gonna be a win for the industry, but an L for resellers," to "Yea, they over with for sure."
At Paris Men's Fashion Week this year, inside an underground shopping mall, Westside Gunn's raspy voice suddenly faded into the speakers to serenade the models walking in Off-White's Fall 2020 runway show. If that song, "Perfect Plex," was a canvas, it would be worthy enough to be exhibited in the Louvre museum, which was just a short walk away.
According to Quavo, we can thank Atlanta's lack of snow for encouraging the Migos to bring out the ice. "I think we lead the game, other than Houston, when it comes to diamonds and jewelry," Quavo tells Complex over the phone. "We love bright colors because we always get a lot of sun out here and not much snow.
From Run-DMC's thick-rimmed Cazals to Quavo's iced-out Cartiers, rappers have always been drawn to the finest pieces of eyewear. And within this last decade, Julian Emani-better known as Vintage Julz-has built a reputation as one of hip-hop's largest purveyors of rare vintage eyewear.
Ever since Tyler, the Creator dropped his debut studio album Goblin in 2011, the Los Angeles-based rapper has been a fan of dropping alternate album covers. Many of these covers feature the work of Tyler's favorite artists. For example, when T dropped Wolf, the deluxe edition featured special art made by the pop surrealist painter Mark Ryden.
Four years ago, before Mihailo Andic designed album covers for the likes of Lil Yachty, Lil Baby, and Quavo, he was a 22-year-old college graduate who just landed his first job as a junior art director in an advertising agency in Toronto. However, running social media accounts for beer companies wasn't really the Oakville, Ontario native's dream gig.
When I was in high school, I loved all his movies. Superbad, Juno, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World...I was always compared to him by the people I was around and I always took that as a compliment. So I started modeling myself after him by looking at his clothes.
It's very clear that Kyle Ng, Brain Dead's co-founder, is a huge cinephile. A self-proclaimed horror movie buff, he cites Ridley Scott's Alien as one of his all-time favorite films and name drops directors like Paul Verhoeven and Dario Argento as two of his favorite filmmakers.
Last summer, a London-based graphic designer named Simon Brown received an email from the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and book publisher Prestel. He thought it read more like spam from a suspicious dating site. It stated, "I've got this client called Virgil, we're making a book for him.
Nicholas Williams is unsure exactly how his bespoke clothing brand, Small Talk Studio, caught the eye of Virgil Abloh, who recently commissioned the artist to draw and embroider images on his clothes. But it's clear that the 30-year-old artist lets his garments, which are really mixed-media paintings, speak for themselves.
When Cassius was 14 he painted his first pair of AF1s as a Father's Day gift for his dad, acclaimed artist Damien Hirst. Prior to this, Cassius only wore skate shoes and had no interest in the sneaker, but after his father, an avid Air Force 1 lover, gave him an old pair of his Uptowns, he was swayed.
Last week, ASAP Rocky released ads for Yams Day 2021 where he's seen running up to random New Yorkers and humorously interviewing them on the street along with other members of the ASAP Mob.
DIY and customization is intrinsic to streetwear. Whether it was Dapper Dan making something completely new out of designer textiles or Ari Forman constructing the Menthol 10 sneakers, repurposing logos, creating bootlegs, and producing something out of nothing is a streetwear pillar that's no longer an underground phenomenon-just go to pop star Billie Eilish's IG page.
What a time to be a new brand? There's something exciting about the early stages of starting anything new, but it can also be terrifying-with or without a global pandemic happening. "The first week I literally cried all week. I'm like, 'What the fuck?'
We take our brick and mortar streetwear stores for granted today. In an age where hundreds of online retailers exist, customers seldomly visit an actual shop. Instead, they discover new brands on Instagram and purchase by hitting a checkout button on an e-commerce platform.
Streetwear will always be tied into a culture of over-consumption. With product drops every week and constant trends to follow on Instagram, it's difficult for anyone to stop buying and think about the impact of their spending habits.
For Americans like David Rhee, this past week has been brutal. On top of the fact that he's self-quarantined at his home in Whittier, California, the 26-year-old SoCal native was unfortunately one of the thousands of Americans who have recently been laid off due to Coronavirus or the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced many businesses to close.
My first feature story for New York Magazine was a piece explaining the popularity of The North Face within 1990s New York City street culture. This was one of the first stories to reveal the relationship between graffiti writers, rappers, and shoplifters with one of America's most successful outdoor clothing brands.
An interview with graphic designer Richard "Dick" Tahsin, the artist who created the art for Polo Ralph Lauren's most coveted pieces.
Lei Takanashi speaks with the New York rapper about the long process of finishing album projects and the allure of hookah. If we weren't writers, we'd eviscerate the battle rap scene. Please support Passion of the Weiss by subscribing to our Patreon.
Interviewed Online Ceramics and Places+Faces for Complex.
There is no bringing New York back-at least not in the sense of the catchphrase that's staled over the past decade (and has never quite come to fruition). Thanks to the internet, hip-hop is more democratized than ever. Scenes these days tend to be more dictated by sonics than geography.
A profile on the ex-Chinatown gangster China Mac, a formerly incarcerated Chinese American rapper who is making a buzz in New York.
An opinion piece focused on the resurgence of vintage Polo Ralph Lauren and how it could benefit the company.
Apart of Mass Appeal's 'New Classics' Album Reviews.
Student Journalism Work
Gentriffiti How Street Art Changed Bushwick By Lei Takanashi As a native Brooklyn graffiti writer, AC2 has noticed how the canvasses in his neighborhood have changed over the years. In the 1990s, he painted the walls of the industrial section of Bushwick illegally.
Executive Editor of Stony Brook University's school magazine, The Stony Brook Press. Led a team of editors and designed the print magazine.
Published various amounts of online content for 12ozProphet. Put together galleries, managed weekly posts, shared new music.