As you are reading this interview. Chandler the founder and driving force behind the Shortypop should have vanished from the internet or at least from his promoting of Shortypop. Being privy to this event I decided to conduct an informal interview with him.
To talk about the end of the Shortypop brand, the beginning has to be touched upon. The story is that Shortypop was the NT name of one Latisha Embrey. Chandler decided that her popularity on the NT site could be expanded on so Shortypop blog was made with Tisha being the author of the posts with Chandler being the behind the scenes creative director and pretty much responsible for all the artistic and aesthetic input.
As far as male/female business relationships go .. it basically turns into shit. And thats what happened with them. A falling out had them split ways and Chandler basically took the Shortypop name and turned it into something else all together.
Seeing things through the eyes of an art school student he didn’t have any problem appropriating Supreme themes into his clothing defended by the fact that he was parodying a brand which he felt wasn’t original itself.
As the Shortypop brand grew in popularity, due mostly to the half naked women that were used for the promotion of the lookbooks (www.shortypop.com), which were in turn promotion for the clothing brand that provided money to continue his project.
Ok let’s just get to it. Why end Shortypop? Looking at web site stats, and feedback via twitter and word of mouth it seems to be more popular than it has ever been.
Well I felt like it hit a glass ceiling in a lot of ways. Like for instance, in selling product there’s only so much you can sell via the internet and there’s this huge market out there for physical product in stores, but the fact of the matter is the only places it was ever wholesaled were concept shops in The Netherlands and Japan. In America, stores that sell streetwear run on these hair thin margins and you compete with brands that print in the thousands and even exporting production to the third world and you have to give them a wholesale price and when you print 200 tees it crushes the bottomline. There’s a reason we see brands like Mishka and The Hundreds opening their own stores. Streetwear isn’t a prime business.Then beyond the bottom line of profit which the entire time wasn’t the driving force i got tired of all the bullshit and drama of the internet, people catch feelings over brands, that is trying. The guy from the back of the 04 supreme lookbook that runs teamworks has threatened my life like twice. Do I actually feel threatened? No… But the fact remains theres an endless amount of bullshit and drama with the “streetwear scene” that I’d rather not be part of.
Do you feel that Shortypop was a failure or a success?
Definitely a success, the only reason I’ve done any photo shoots beyond those with a doll are because girls email me almost daily “wanting to do a Shortypop shoot.” You can search twitter and find girls waiting until they turn 18 so they can do American Apparel and Shortypop. Just product wise we’re talking i think a few thousand tees out in the world.
How do you feel about the people that felt that you were portraying women in a negative light?
For me it’s always been they’re willing participants most of whom are pretty stoked to be part of it.
Clearly you can say that in hindsight some might regret it, but if you’ve never done anything you don’t regret, you probably haven’t lived.
How tumblr of u.
Quite honestly I always found my biggest critics to be huge hypocrites and ultimately that speaks volumes on what’s been said.
Why do you think Shortypop with it being a direct take from Supreme has achieved the success that it has? To me I always thought you were sending a message that people will consume anything if pushed out correctly.
Yeah, that was always an undertone, I tried not to push that mentality to harshly because I feel it makes criticism of the people who make Shortypop what it is, at least as far as popularity goes, but certainly I think there’s alot at work. Anything from just appreciating the complex simplicity of how Supreme reigns if you will to sort of branded sexuality in the contemporary world. I haven’t checked twitter since I got home this afternoon but I’m sure some of the trending topics right now speak to that sort embrace of bold super forward sexuality that Shortypop runs parallel with.
How is your relationship with Latisha currently?
I haven’t spoken to her since maybe November or so, but the times we did talk it was pretty civil.
we were actually going to meet but typical shit, didn’t happen.I don’t know if she was a fan but I think she’s gotten over it, atleast as far as I could tell or what she shared with me.
Yeah I get the vibe she is pretty much over it also.
I think we’ve both grown alot since the dot com launched. I think originally she was quite hurt, when things went sour and then when I developed it beyond her as well, but I think it’s so far beyond the scope of what she could have imagined it. It’s not as though she drew the blueprints for Shortypop the highly sexualized streetwear brand. Without doubt beyond just it being her nickname Shortypop wouldn’t be what it is today without having met her.
You do know that due to the recent passing of your mother, people are going to think that is the main reason for the end of Shortypop. Did that happening influence your decision as far as prioritizing different things in your life or was this something that was brewing?
It certainly played a role in the initial idea of ending it, there was a good two weeks I didn’t do anything with the brand at all. I didn’t answer an email. if you talk to people within my circle at the time you’d definitely know there were instances of being sick of various aspects. It’s a small brand but wearing all those hats takes it’s toll. When i was really pushing it I was working 8 hour days 6 days a week just Shortypop.
Enlighten us on some bullshit that goes into putting out Shortypop.
Well the part most people love the most, the half naked girls, while when actually shooting alot of the times is really quite fun, but there is so so much shit, from flaking models who do anything from email with interest and never hear from again to setup shoots and not show without warning to leaving mid shoot…..
Don’t forget pubes in the sink.
I would say for every model you saw there were 2-3 I had extended dialogs with about setting up a shoot probably 1-2 of those actually set up a shoot. So we’re talking about 1 out of every 4 models that you have an email or two and phone conversation with you end up shooting. And yes for every model who gave me a handjob, there was one who’d do something gross like leave tampon uncovered on top of the trash
or shave her vagina in my sink and not wash away the hair.And this wholly aside from the hit or miss of certain models. Certainly some guys like a little more chunky women and i didn’t cast every model thinking she had a flat stomach but there were many a disappointment. There were quite a few girls who had portfolios with pretty mean bodies that showed up with the kangaroo pouch.
It’s like I think the most well known image of the brand predates Shortypop as a brand.
It’s been bounced around a lot in many formats from anything from “shortypop:ichat” which I thought was amazing in even in hindsight or using one model that idealizes the brand perfectly. Various other ideas but I don’t think so.I don’t think Shortypop is dead, it’s just taking a nap. It might never wake up but I’m not ready to kill it.
You know something?
I took some pictures for this interview. You want to see?
I like that girl’s body.
Yeah I know you’re a titty man but I decided to give something a little different.
I’m not huge on all the tats. People love that girl Spanks with all the tats and she’s a nice girl no doubt, but not into tats like that. I think that’s been a huge misconception, I think I always just found titties carry more..
As aesthetic, unless you step it up to full nude even suggested topless is bold it’s way bolder than a thong or cheek. It’s much easier to convey via what i consider like normal convention of photography. In a portrait, you really have to dissect the body to get at the booty or even curves which personally are way more me.
I’m not really into to big anything. Subtly goes a long way.
I’ve learned that a feature on a girl that is pleasing to the taste doesn’t always translate to a photograph
Exactly. Plus you have an audience and in America a titty means ALOT. Clearly lots of girls have flashed, theres like brands of softcore porn built on that that are multibillion dollar industry.
Yeah I was born overseas plus I have nipples too so a girl making a big stink about a nipple showing is kind of comical. Like that one chick you shot while I was over there? Remember? She had her nipples pre taped?
Word. That was horrible.I thought she was bust in general photographically. She was without doubt a cute girl
but model, she had horrific proportions, from head to toe, but not in any particular body part.
she had a super awkward body, personally its a little sexy but photographs ehh… not ones of her naked.
One last question since I know the attention span is on a steady decline. Any parting words you’d like to leave the internet world in your absence?
Getting away from the internet I feel is good and adult. (laughs) But in my attempt to part from it I have a new project www.lettersfrommreasley.tumblr.com I write actual letters daily to companies, government institutions, probably will do some people, basically any where i can actually mail a letter to. I wrote the first one today to my local post office that I hate and I’ve actually written tomorrow’s letter to the whitney already. It’s a freeing experience.
I read the letter to the post office. You might got something there.. Very Analog.
Both in actually writing the letter and sharing it on the internet You’re actually mentioned in tomorrow’s letter.
Other letters planned include: terry richardson, Dov Charney, Larry Gagosian, The Pope, the dominican republic consulate, the MTA and Jay-Z.Plus since i publish my mailing address i hope people i don’t write, will write me. That’d be hot.