Describe your Brand As if we were all blind:
Shortypop is a predominately women’s streetwear brand. It’s been my brainchild for quite sometime and in the past 6 months or so has developed in a full fledged clothing line that is ever evolving. It functions as a parody of the most well regarded streetwear brand Supreme. As well Shortypop serves as a juxtaposition of urban America’s misogynistic values found most notably in Hip-Hop with the graphic aesthetics of feminism’s most well known artist Barbara Kruger. Shortypop’s approach pushes overtly sexual and graphic imagery as brand aesthetic of a “sex sells” mentality bordering on pornographic.
When did you realize you wanted to become a designer and what was the first article of clothing you ever designed?
Well I’ve always had an interest in fashion just at base level wearing it. But I think in college when I transferred to an art school (The School of The Art Institute of Chicago) that has a well developed fashion department my interested certainly grew. Personally I find it a small leap to consider myself a legitimate fashion designer when basically I create graphics that are realized on preexistent products that I had no hand in designing. But as the only person being the entire Shortypop world (minus my interns) I’m learning the fashion world first hand.
I think the first graphic I designed that was realized on a t-shirt was for an intramural basketball team I was on in college. The “Rogers Park Jail Blazers”, clearly a direct parody of the Portland TrailBlazer, we were a pretty savage intramural basketball team. (shout out to everyone who was on that team, feels like forever ago.)
How would you define your city’s fashion?
Well I grew most of my life in Minneapolis and up until 3 month ago when I moved to New York, I lived in Chicago for five years, so I don’t know that I particular claim a city as for fashion or have much interest in a particular cities fashion. I don’t make clothing for New York or anywhere else in particular for that matter. I make clothing for contemporary America as I know it. I suppose that’s influenced in someways by the places I’ve lived, but I can’t point out particular parts that point an influence of a particular region beyond, simply urban.
When you started out did you think it would be a serious business?
When I launched the first lookbook. Before then I’m not sure it was a serious business and I think there might be people out there who would argue it still isn’t. But at this point the exposure is growing exponentially and continues to grow to the point I’m doing a number of interviews much like this one and you can google “Shortypop” and find branded images, websites, blogs etc… that all lead back to Shortypop.com.
How is the internet changing your craft?
Shortypop beyond it’s original namesake, Shortypop existed on the internet well before it’s current state as a full fledged clothing line so naturally it hasn’t changed how business is done but certainly the internet is an ever changing medium that has to be adapted to as web based trends shift.
Your concepts are very unique and original is there a pressure to
always maintain that consistency with your new designs?
Well to be matter of fact the designs of product themselves are quite secondary to the creation of a brand aesthetic and identity. By no means does that mean they’re overlooked or unimportant, but for me it seems an incredible miss-step made by the vast majority of streetwear brands. Most seem to simply function around the gross sale of product that has little know meaning to the consumer beyond just aesthetic appeal. High fashion probably most notably is where my branding model is most developed. Where goods are sold at high prices in great deal because of the value marketing builds into them.
Do you consider yourself an artist?
Without doubt, first and foremost I’m an art photographer. My undergraduate degree is actually in photography and graphic design not fashion. I have actually quite little background in fashion beyond just personal interest and a reasonably well developed art/fashion acumen.
Beyond Shortypop, my art hinges around the ideal consumption based identity, how in contemporary America (and I suppose beyond as well) we build a sense of self based on what and how we consume. It’s vastly different than Shortypop as it’s huge 40×50″ photographs made with a large format film camera but by the same token the ideals of one inform the other and visa versa.
Who are some people you want to be interacting with this year?
Wow, there’s an innumerable number people I have and want to work with this year. With the features in the back end of the lookbook and even just Shortypop itself as clothing line there way too many people I would love to work with… I’m open to the options of collaborative’s be that models, designers of all sorts, artists, etc…
Lastly, could you talk about any long-term goals you have in mind?
Well I have little interest in running Shortypop forever, it’s brand that functions around a youthful raw aesthetic and I suppose there is only so far it can be pushed before it becomes literal pornography or just nudity ad nauseam but I feel like at the same time there is quite a bit of life and expansion left in it. I certainly plan for the long term, but giving away all the surprises I have in store makes them longer surprises so everyone (most everyone. lol) will have to wait and see…