How Small Companies Have Their Finger Firmly Only The Button

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By Gerry Cramer

There are a number of little, make that miniscule, streetwear companies that ends up pointing the way forward for the entire fashion industry. It is often the renegades that come up with the best ideas, the best graphics and the freshest designs. If any "designer fashion" label has its finger on the heart beat of today, its sometimes the ones that can truly feel the direction the street is going in, know the people well and what they think. Some massive firms have this feeling but more often than not it will the the littler lesser known ones that truly know what the people want.

These companies can at times be founded by punks desiring to go in their own direction and answer to nobody. These people are not your typical business entrepreneurs. They didn't sit down and analyze the market, hire some graffiti artists off the street, get along with a crack publicist and NY advertising executive and set out to make some cookie cutter clothing company and call it "streetwear."

Real streetwear comes from the streets and that's where some of the most respected brands of today come from like Rebel 8, Diamond Supply Corp, Stussy, Famous Stars and Straps and Rogue Status as well as a number of others like them too. Many of those little businesses start off on crazy tight budgets as an example the founders of Rebel eight, Joshie D and Mike Giant got together and with a starting budget of five hundred bucks made a load of shirts that Josh then took to the streets and sold out of a bike messenger bag.

We are going to be sticking with Rebel 8 for the present so that you can get some insight into what goes on in the background at an underground brand. Josh is a San Francisco native who constructed a solid name for himself with his graffiti website before teaming with Giant to launch their new brand. Mike Giant dropped out of university just one semester before finishing his architecture degree to work full time as a graphic artist for a legendary San Fran skate company. His artwork has gained world recognition and he's had exhibitions in NY, Paris, Tokyo and London, simply to name a few of the major art capitals of the world that have shown his work. He's especially famous for wonderfully detailed drawings of hot girls with tattoos wearing Victorian lace with a few skulls chucked in for good measure.

The label that these two street punks have created adhered to a tough policy of quality. This isn't of premium significance to just this company in particular but all underground brands that desire their creations to hit customers hard and make them take note. The graphics are all hand-illustrated, a marked departure from most gigantic company clothing graphics, which digitize original design into a vector format. Mike's graphic art illustrated apparel features exact reproductions of his original design and so can be truthfully said to be "wearable art." That could be a refreshing change from the mass produced "streetwear" you see everywhere today.

Brands like Rebel eight, Rogue Status, DTA and Dimaond Supply Company are simply a couple of a garment brands, street wear or alternatively, that may lodge a claim to authenticity. That is because the founders aren't interested in starting a major mass distributed over popular label - they are interested in making stuff that is cutting edge and totally original. Apart from the tees and other stuff that feature awesome graphics, they have got some great shirts, jackets and crews, too.

If you are someone that is uninterested in all the lame big name streetwear labels, then take a look at an underground brand such as the ones listed in this article as well as a number of others that are out there. They are all fairly easy to find online with the right search. These are the type of streetwear brands that make streetwear for the people of the street and not the mall.

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