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Posts Tagged ‘american apparel’


Sun. Fun. California. Well, what more to expect from California-based clothing line Crawl Apparel, than colorful T-shirts, fun designs and big prints? Founded back in 2009. Crawl Apparel quickly became well known in the local area, having their fan base ever-growing (4.000+ likes on Facebook is more than respectable number). Recently we had a privilege to try on and review one of their great-looking shirts, appropriately called “Beerscape 2.0”.

I must be completely honest and admit I’m not a big fan of big prints and screechy colors. Besides – when Crawl package arrived at my place I didn’t know which shirt they’ve chosen to submit for a review. And when I tore up the envelope I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed one of my favorite colors: blue. Other than that – the print looked very decent, having in mind their latest line was all about graffiti-alike colors. Plus – there is a special feature to this tee, so continue reading.

Beerscape 2.0 T-shirt by Crawl Apparel

Beerscape 2.0 T-shirt by Crawl Apparel

  • Overall feeling

This shirt is of greatest quality. You will notice it on the first look. Both the fabric and print look and feel great. By now I can easily tell it’s an American Apparel brand which Crawl Apparel uses, even though the neck tag is cut off. It’s very soft and a bit thinner, but not that much. It feels great when dressed on and looks really appealing, with many additional prints / details, so all main points are there. In other words – Crawl Apparel means business.

  • T-shirt design

Perhaps you wonder why this design is called “Beerscape 2.0”. Well if you look carefully – there are few beer bottles and cans inserted into cityscape, looking like those big buildings whose lights are never turned off. Add a full moon and a slogan “this city never sleeps” – and you have a perfect tee for going out with style! You might also think it’s just white and black colors used in printing of this design, however there is also dark purple (somehow I wasn’t able to catch it with my camera, but believe me – it’s there in cityscape… ummm, I mean – beerscape).

Beerscape 2.0 T-shirt by Crawl Apparel / details

Beerscape 2.0 T-shirt by Crawl Apparel / details

  • Special feature

And just when you thought it’s all there – Crawl surprises you with a special feature to this shirt, which I usually find annoying. However, here it serves it’s purpose; when in blacklight this design glows in the dark. Still wondering what to wear to the next coed party? I must admit I didn’t try it already, although I wore this shirt a couple of times, but only during the daylight. I’m sure there are plenty of people who dig this effect to their shirts, so Crawl people knew what were they doing with this tee.

  • Additional prints

One thing everyone will notice is Crawl Apparel logo on the back of a tee, just below the neck, which is a nice way to introduce others to this brand (since you’re already wearing a shirt that catches everyone’s attention why shouldn’t they know where you bought it). I’ve already stated that American Apparel neck tag is cut off, so Crawl printed another logo on the inside. Looks cool, besides being practical for complete branding of your line. Me likes. Oh, and by the way – Crawl has a new logo (look on the picture at the top of this post), however I like their older logo a little better.

Beerscape 2.0 T-shirt by Crawl Apparel / detail

Beerscape 2.0 T-shirt by Crawl Apparel / detail

Beerscape 2.0 T-shirt by Crawl Apparel / detail

Beerscape 2.0 T-shirt by Crawl Apparel / detail

  • Printing method & maintenance

Crawl Apparel used screen-printing with this tee, as I am sure they are using for all of their products. If you didn’t know – it’s the most common way of printing because it ensures a years-long durability of applied colors (unlike heat transfers or direct-to-garment printers). As presumed, they’ve also used special glow-in-the-dark colors – don’t worry, they won’t wash away or melt while washing the shirt. Speaking of which – this tee is to be washed in warm water with alike colors and it’s not to be ironed over the design. If you stick to this you’ll have a shirt of highest quality that will last for years.

  • Conclusion

In conclusion – Crawl Apparel outdid my expectations with this T-shirt. Not that I expected less – it’s just I didn’t expect this much. Highest quality tee and a very nice, fun design printed with special inks and additional prints for more than affordable price (this tee is only $15.00). Plus – if you order from them I’m sure they’ll throw some additional promo items in the envelope (for example I’ve got two ping pong balls with Crawl logo printed on it, along with some stickers). And if you really like Crawl Apparel – you can find some of their stuff also at 14th Street Clothing.

Sticking to their goal of creating nice, colorful and fun designs Crawl isn’t crawling slowly to the top of Cali-based indie clothing brands – they are taking real big steps! Make sure you also check out their other products if you don’t know what to wear for going out or just going to the beach.

Did you like this T-shirt? What did you think of rest of Crawl Apparel products? I’d love to know, so don’t hesitate to leave your comment below! Thanks!

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When searching online for your next favorite piece of clothes you should consider Toronto’s / Canada independent clothing brand Dream Gold. Started back in 2007. with an intention of creating clothing that will make you feel like a royalty if you wore it – Dream Gold shortly shaped their designs with a touch of exclusivity and premiumness, paying attention to details as their trade mark. Huge, often bold (and gold) prints and limited pressings are not the only reasons why you should check their nice looking and informative website, so make sure you do! And – of course – read what Dream Gold founding members had to say about their line in this exclusive interview.

Okay, could you guys introduce yourselves to Teezine readers – who is that loving couple we can see pictures of on Dream Gold’s website and what are your basic stands and principles in life?

Hi everyone, we’re Serji and Taira, and we are the creators of Dream Gold. We believe that everyone should be treated with respect and equality, no matter what your stance in life is. It’s our objective to treat every customer like royalty. We want to spread the gold, and make their experience with our brand unforgettable.

How did you decide to create a clothing brand and what were your guiding thoughts regarding it’s appearance?

We basically wanted to create something we could call our own, and creating a clothing brand just seemed to be the perfect idea considering Serji had a gift for graphic design. We knew we wanted to create something different and better than the rest, which was hard. Dream Gold slowly evolved into what it is today through countless hours of research and experimentation.

What motto stands behind a name Dream Gold and how did you choose that name in the first place?

See it, Feel it, Be it. Taira actually came up with that on a whim, and we just thought it was perfect for Dream Gold and what we stand for. To break it down, it’s basically a 3-step process to achieving your greatest goldest dreams.

How would you describe Dream Gold designs to a blind person?

All things royal with a pinch of perfection. Something you’d feel good wearing, due to our positive message.

Who creates your designs and which is the one you’re most proud of?

We both are the brains behind our designs and Serji is the executor. We’re proud of all of our designs. With each release we strive to top the preceding designs.

Your shirts seem to be done very well, with much details, like logo hem tags and such interesting stuff.  What is the usual process when producing your new line?

Thank you, we try our best to produce the best! We feel the little details add a lot more value and character to our products. When people see how much you care about the little things, it makes them appreciate you and your brand that much more, which is what we strive for.

What kind of printing method do you use with your designs and which brand of shirts showed as the best for you guys?

We use a hybrid mix of discharge and thinned down plastisol inks for maximum comfort and durability. We promise you that you will never feel like you are wearing a plastic shield on your chest. For now, we prefer to print our designs on American Apparel products for the best quality.

Which kind of promotional activities (besides social networks) do you use for spreading the word about Dream Gold? Are there any events you guys are throwing?

For our latest release we prepared a launch party, since we haven’t really tapped into our local market. We’re currently looking out for any indie shows that we could be a part of so we can meet, greet and treat the locals. We’re also going to try and find some retailers that would be interested in carrying Dream Gold. Little things such as giving out business cards and simply talking about our brand to others helps as well.

Who are your most loyal buyers? Did you do any researches yet in that sense and – if so – what were the results?

We haven’t done any research or polls for that, but we’ve noticed that even though we’re based in Canada, the Americans seem to love us quite a bit!

What was the most unusual reaction to your shirt(s) you’ve ever experienced? Any funny stories perhaps?

During our launch party, a random, intoxicated, self-proclaimed rapper, passing by on the street, freestyled about our brand. It was quite a performance! We regret not taking any pictures or videos of it.

What is your advice for the new / starting indie brands? What are the traps they might fall into?

Instead of giving the same ol’ advice and tips that every other brand gives, we will give some pointers on things you should NOT do when starting a brand.

  • Ride on trends
  • Expect to become successful overnight
  • Rip off other brands
  • Be inconsistent
  • Be closed minded
  • Expect everyone to love your ideas and/or brand
  • Overprice your products
  • Be afraid of inputting / losing a lot of money for the first few years
  • Be cheap (settle for nothing but the best)
  • Fake or cheat your success

How’s the future looking like for Dream Gold? Where do you see your brand in next 3-4 years?

Dream Gold’s future is as bright as ever. We’re just getting started and there’s no stopping us now! Be on the lookout for collaborations, more quality releases, and all of that good stuff.

Dream Gold website
Follow Dream Gold @ Twitter
Like Dream Gold on Facebook

Hope you enjoyed reading this interview. Here is a 3-part video on producing Dream Gold summer 2011 line – it’s very interesting, so make sure you take a look at it! 

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Ever wanted to start your own clothing brand, but didn’t know where to start from? Worry no more! Ryan Kovach, one of the founders of freshly-brewed clothing company Beau is giving excellent tips to all of you beginners, so this article is enriched by their own experience.

Without change, the world would do nothing but sit still. Change is important and, in order to create a powerful brand that you and your customers are proud of, change is essential.

Beau tee by BeauIf creating your very own brand is something you want to do, a change must occur. You have to stop playing Nazi Zombies and Super Smash Brothers and finally start learning towards creating your own line. Don’t get too scared though, you will still have a little time to kill a few zombies because Beau is here to help organize some of the load. Last summer, I was in the same boat and I came up with a massive list of things to accomplish in order for Beau to launch. I broke up everything I needed to accomplish and learn into 3 sections: brand, website, and legal. Each one of these sections also had subsections, and most of the subsections had subsections. To put it simply, there was a lot I needed to learn. Now I am here to help break each of these sections down.

Brand

Assuming that you are making your own brand, you probably have an idea of what your brand is going to be about. It is key that your brand fills a niche, or offers something that is not already offered. I broke down what I needed to do regarding my brand into a few different components: logo, planning, and shirts.

Bunch of Beau stickersLogo – when making a logo, you want to create something that depicts your brand, but also incorporates what your brand is about. With Beau, our logo was created to show our minimalists designs and the simplicity behind it all. A logo is a key part, it’s what people recognize and what they tell their friends. By having a memorable logo, your brand will stay fresh in the consumer’s mind;

Planning – for Beau and most indie start-up lines, the finances behind everything are limited. Personally, Beau was brought to life by the two of us working all summer long. A sacrifice has to be made. Currently we are college students and are making ends meet financially out of our own pockets. We put all of our funds towards bringing our fans and customers the best possible product we can. Don’t let it scare you though, it’s a very rewarding feeling to have somebody enjoying what you put a lot of hard work and time into. The key is to create a plan, like I am drawing out here, with your finances. Microsoft Excel is a great tool to keep track of everything. The best tip I can give you is to be as organized as possible;

Little Birdie Told Me T-shirt by Beau

Little Birdie Told Me T-shirt by Beau

Shirts – you may want to have people loving something you made but, without being able to put your brand goals into designs, it is going to be pretty hard to achieve that with clothing. Neither of us at Beau are Picasso; hell, we can barely color inside the lines. But that doesn’t have to stop you. There are countless resources available to help put your ideas into .psd’s ha ha… We were lucky enough to have a buddy of ours, Cameron Hagedon, aka one hell of an artist and designer, help us. Places like mintees.com (successor of now defunct emptees.com) are places where you can find talented artists. If you don’t know any artists personally, they can help you create your clothing’s art. Just remember that there are always resources out there to utilize;

Printingdo your research, our biggest tool was google. We lived on sites like bandwagonmerch, and t-shirtforums just asking questions and gathering information. Prior to Beau, I knew nothing about plastisol inks. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Email anybody and everybody whom you think would have valuable information. God knows how many emails I wrote just acquiring information on what material went best with what inks and what tagging sizes were recommended for each size of shirt. One tip for everybody: American Apparel. It is just gold made of fabrics. Everybody loves it and, frankly, if you are selling to somebody who doesn’t know much outside of Gildans and Hanes, they will put your shirt on and fall in love. Most likely, they will never take it off;

Numbers T-shirt by Beau

Numbers T-shirt by Beau

Shipping – if you plan on shipping out shirts, which most indie’s do, packaging is the last chance to make a positive impression. If financially possible, make something amazing and memorable. However, for most cases, including Beau, that is hard to accomplish. Just remember, with every penny you earn, put that penny back into your brand. Including packaging. But, until then, make sure your shipping does not hurt your image. Make sure it’s secure, doesn’t fold, and makes it there quickly. Uline.com provides a lot of products for packing, folding, and shipping your shirts nice and neatly.

Website

The first thing a consumer will see is the quality of the site. Bigcartel.com and Storeveny.com provide a great template and a cart. If you know web design at all, you know that building a fully functional cart is kind of a hassle. For Beau, we were forced to pick up a CSS book and learn from scratch in order to make our site stick out from the cookie cutter bigcartels of the world. Jquery is no fun, but there are plenty of tutorials online that help teach. Sohatonaka.com is one of my personally favorites. Soh is a genius and very helpful as well. As for CSS, check out this site; again a lifesavior. If possible, we advise that you leave it to the professional and shell out the dough.

Domain – as far as domain names go, try and purchase one that is unique and memorable. If that happens to be your brand name, perfect. For Beau, we went with thebeautee.com as a little play on words to create the ”beauty” in a sense. And if you do decide to use a bigcartel, the folks over at indielabs are very helpful at providing setup to link your new domain name.

Legal

At first we thought this would be one of the most difficult parts, it turns out it was the opposite. Make sure to get a hold of people who know something about business law. Local/family accountant, lawyer or, in our case, your business professor ha ha…

Third Times The Charm T-shirt by Beaue

Third Times The Charm T-shirt by Beau

You can figure out a lot of the basics via google and forums, but legalities are not something you want to mess up on. It would be the biggest buzz kill to have to shut down everything you have worked so hard for just because you didn’t fill out the right paperwork. From our experiences we have learned a little. You should be alright with just a DBA, but you’re much better off filing for a Limited Liability Corp. (LLC). But again, check with a pro.

The biggest thing to take out of all of this is to sit on your computer and do hours upon hours of research. Become an expert in your niche and field. We are not saying we are, but we are striving to be. And another thing, there are tons of people willing to help you. When you tell anybody in your community that you’re going on this adventure, they will do almost anything to help along the way. Don’t waste that help, it’s a life saver. Never be afraid to email and ask questions!

Ryan Kovach,
Beau

Did you like what Ryan had to say here? Have your own experience? Don’t hesitate to inform us by leaving your comment below. Thank you!

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Interesting and unique designs are excellent for starting your clothing line, but they are not everything. In order to give a really different and personal touch to your line – why not invest into simple and relatively cheap things, such as packaging? With a little imagination you could turn the eyes on you not just because of the various items in your online shop, but also because of the unique style of packing ’em up. Seems like people @ The Booth Society understood this while starting their brand, inspired by the hip hop music & culture, packing their shirts into cardboard boxes, looking like 12″ vinyl record sleeves.

Not only the packaging is so different and cool; The Booth Society also creates really nice and memorable tee designs, which shows they carefuly choose their colors while designing. Being printed onto high-quality American Apparel shirts, The Booth Society designs aren’t screaming the stereotyped phrases all over the place. However, they are still overweening, just like the hip hop lifestyle is. “You won’t find our products plastered with our logo turning you into a walking billboard”, says The Society, bolding the names of their products such as “Untouchable. Uncrushable.”, “Believe The Hype” and “The East Coast Hip Hop Legends”.

It would be more accurate to say The Booth Society is much more than just a clothing line, since their mission is to connect the musicians, DJs, producers and artists. With such a direct approach and already profiled apparel – who knows where it could lead them? “We know that our clothing, with its creativity and comfort speaks for itself”, states The Society, “we want you to wear it for the same reason we want to wear it, we love it”. Nothing more to add.

The Booth Society items are available for around $32.00 at their online shop.

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There was a big explosion in the sky. All cities, countries and continents were destoroyed. What’s left was flooded by water. And when water dried, there were new continents. From holes deep in the ground came half people – half dead men, also known as zombies. Zombies were dominated by the population of robots, which destroyed the Earth as we knew it in the first place.

Joust_FlyerNow, I know this may sound as some kind of a B-thrash horror movie plot, but if it was true, I guess those zombies wold wear Robit Studios tees. This small, but already very profiled American T-shirt company, guided by Steve Orlando and his partner Jeffrey D. Gerzseny, creates some interesting, mostly retro designs, which (one can predict) look really cool on their shirts (all shirts are American Apparel, just to be mentioned, so you know you may expect 100 percent cotton). When I was asked to choose among many of Robit Studios tees the one which will be reviewed on this site, I immediately chose “Joust” (frankly, I wanted to choose the one with an old school Converse All Star shoe, but it was too plain for a review in my opinion, because there was only a photograph of a shoe on a grey shirt, with the company’s logo). “Joust” looked rather cool, so I’ve researched it a little bit.

ROBIT 002I am by no means what you might call a gamer (expect some experience on Commodore 64 or ZX Spectrum back in the eighties), but I found out that “Joust” is the name of an arcade game from the eighties. According to wikipedia, “the player controls a knight armed with a lance, mounted on either an ostrich (player 1) or a stork (player 2), who battles waves of computer-controlled enemy knights mounted on giant buzzards”. Now, if this isn’t cool for both the game plot and the T-shirt design, I really don’t know what is… Few weeks later shirt arrived and I must admit it looked even better in reality, then at the Robit Studios nice online shop.

ROBIT 004Nervous to try it on, I’ve noticed it had a Robit Studios cool cardboard logo attached to the neck label, which says: “Robit says buy!”. After trying the shirt on, I’ve decided I really need to loose some pounds. I mean, I normally wear size M, and this one is in that size, but I guess American Apparel shirts are made to go along your body line without much air, so it’s maybe better to order it one size bigger, if you like your body to breathe. I don’t want to say that this is a problem for me, I just like it a bit more comfortable.

ROBIT 003On the back of the shirt – which, as you may see, comes in brown color – there are small wings, along with the word “flap” written below. There is also a reason for it – Wikipedia says: “A joystick moves left and right, and a “Flap” button flaps the mount’s wings once. Pressing “Flap” in rapid succession will produce a gain in altitude until simulated gravity drags the mount downward”. I wouldn’t know, because I haven’t tried it, but I can tell you this detail adds much to the overall impression on a tee, and I’m the man of details for sure!

What I like about Robit is that these guys seem to have fun, without printing so-called “funny” designs and slogans onto shirts. They rather choose simple, sometimes ironic way of speaking their minds when it comes to such things in life, as politics, movies / popular culture, or some good old nostalgy. Most of their shirts are around $20, and some of them are on sale right now (for $16). Shirts are printed by hand (means: silk screened), with water-based, environment-friendly colors. You also may buy some stickers from Robit, and I really appreciate that they’ve sent me a bunch of their great “most of you are average” stickers! As they said it themselves: “We gear our product toward anyone that appreciates the small businesses and creative minds, or the efforts of individuals against careless corporations that pander to the lowest common denominator”. When it comes to small, indie and good (read: honest), Robit Studios should be your choice.

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Printing your own shirts became something much more than a side-hobby nowadays. It became a REAL business, with all it’s components (branding, marketing, whatnot…) Having that in mind, it is certainly hard for a starting underground tee label to make a name for itself. Designs HAVE to be unique, recognizable, and look appealing to many. Florida based IronSpider Clothing started in 2007 and from what can be seen on their website, they seem to make some really eye-catching designs, often transferred onto tees as big prints, which you’d really like to wear. I especially like the “less is more” concept, so don’t expect to find like dozens of designs when shopping at IronSpider.com. Rather expect many styles, such as longsleeves, hoodies and dresses. Since I really liked what I saw (plus, I’ve recognized their honest approach to me as a tee blogger), I thought why not asking them a couple of questions, in order to present them to you. Hope you’ll enjoy what follows!

owl-dijon-menCould you introduce yourself and tell what you do at Iron Spider Art?
We are IronSpider Clothing – a small indie label from US. We are basically a team of two people and we do everything ourselves, from creating t-shirt designs  and websites, to printing and marketing.

What is the concept behind your company? What was the motivation for starting a tee / clothing company in the first place?
The concept in the beginning was to create designs which are different from the mainstream, from what you usually find in the malls, and of course  more artistic. We are still working on that and there is really no final point on this road. We are trying to improve our style with different printing techniques and design ideas. The motivation behind starting a clothing line was to have t-shirts which we would like to wear and hopefully people will like them too.

How long have you been in business, and can you tell me what did you learn so far from it? What are the good sides, and what are the downfalls of having an indie tee label?
We exist since 2007. Pretty short time for so many things:) I don’t think I can mention everything we’ve learned so far, but some of the major things are – printing on t-shirts, using different inks, creating artworks (halftones and vectors),creating websites, communicating with all kinds of people and institutions, making mistakes, working hard and never give up :). The knowledge in this field is endless so we never stop learning. The good sides of having small label is that you are the company the company is what you do and it is kind of adventure every day. For the downfalls – we think that these days they are too many clothing/t-shirt companies out there and the market is overflowed.

alien-women3What can you tell me about your designs? Who design them, what they represent mostly…? Any special stories behind some of them?

Our designs are created entirely by us. Creating design and transferring it on a shirt is s a long process of trial and error. We are perfectionists and quality freaks, which also is something that the big companies are missing sometimes because it is time consuming, but for us it is the part of the process. Our designs represent mostly our inner expressions that’s why we are not profiled in one direction. Sometimes we are funny, some times mystic and dark.

What is the method you’re using when printing your designs onto fabrics? Which fabrics do you use? Which inks?
All of our designs are hand screen printed on the garments, there is no automation in the process. We use manual press. Doing it by hand is our policy and it is part of the uniqueness of the whole process. We use only 100% cotton fabrics from American Apparel – made in US which are really high quality and pleasure to work with. For now we use plastisol, discharge and water based inks.

ruins-black-men-lonslvYou ship internationally, right? What is the strangest country you’ve ever had an order from?
Yes, we ship internationally. So far we haven’t had any strange countries in our list, but it will be great to have some. It is always exiting to know that someone on the other end of the world likes our designs.

When purchasing your product, what is it an eventual customer is really buying?
When purchasing from us, a customer is getting our work with a signature of high quality garment and print,original design and a little bit of us.

Is it hard to specialize in the tee business, being a small underground label as you seem to be, with so much companies out there? What methods of marketing do you use?
Yes, it is not that easy being small limited company these days, but this is our passion and we really believe that working hard is the answer. Creating different designs with quality also will help. For now, we are using mostly online sources of marketing – blogs, websites, submission sites etc.

creative-power-women-hood3How do you look upon T-shirts themselves, do you think they’re just clothing objects, or they’re somehow became a media for sharing certain kind of messages? What attracts you to that media?
The t-shirt for us is like canvas where we can share our visions and expose them to the public. The main reason why we chose that media is that the t-shirt is very affordable, everyone wears one and actually they are the most wearable and simple part of the fashion world.

What is your opinion on (even indie) labels that are obviously overpricing their tees?

Overpricing any product is not really nice thing to do. I can only guess that some people are just greedy and with appetites only for money. Personally, I think this kind of companies are mostly with short existence and they are doomed.

Is there any specific label or a company you look up to? Any labels you’d like to mention, too? Or artists, maybe?
We are really influenced by artists from the industrial , dark , ambient , punk music movements, movie makers like J. Svankmajer and W. Herzog, painters like H. Bosh and A. Durer and etc…

IronSpider.com is having a sale for some of their designs at the moment, so make sure you check their site out!

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Since everybody’s into tee business nowadays, it’s nice to see that some companies focus around specific topic, which – along with a good marketing strategy – can lead to popularity and success in a short time. And what a better idea for a tee company, than to build up their designs around past USA presidential election campaigns (not only presidential…)? Retrocampaigns.com is a small tee company based in LA, and yes – they do have Kennedy, Reagan, Carter, even the independent hopeful Ross Perot (from 1992 elections) designs. Here are some of my picks off their website (which doesn’t mean I naturally agree with associated politics of some of the candidates) :

ready-for-teddy-menclean-for-gene-womenkennedy-students-men

Nice thing is they now have kids’ styles, you can check it out at their cool looking website. All tees are printed on American Apparel brand, which you already know is of finest quality (although not necesserilly 100% cotton), and prices are $19.99 for bothe men and women styles, plus sizes are from X-S to double L. If you dig retro shirts, I guess Retrocampaigns.com could become one of your favorite  destination for online shopping. I am kinda sucker for all things retro, especially those New Kids On The Block hair-tails, I guess those would look great on shirts, too…

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