Posts Tagged ‘hardcore’

To tell you the truth – I was attracted to this London clothing line because of their name. The term “death before dishonour” can be often heard here and there and you mustadmit it sounds fatalistic. Just like Samurai. The “harakiri” thing these guys had – when they would kill themselves if they felt they’ve betrayed their family or country – is just one of the motives for Death Before Dishonour Clothing designs. Their latest offer was inspired by Buddhism, which is also very important for the Samurai philosophy.

Now, before you conclude something else, I must tell you guys behind Death Before Dishonour are driven by the irony of “blood and guts” approach, “throwing it straight back at anyone foolish enough to embrace thuggery”. Mr. Chris Manning, the designer, says: “this is a play on Sleeping Samurais lose their eyes. The eye of wakefulness is a Samurais greatest protection”.

“The eye shining above the bones signifies that the true state of wakefulness (enlightenment) is beyond the mortal structure of man… i.e. bones & sinew”, adds Manning. By the way – the word “kanji” in Japanese writing says “samurai”, and the title of the design is “Eyeball”. Browsing DBD website, I particulary liked this “Sleeping Samurai” design.

The design is inspired by the classic works of Miyamoto Musashi, one of the greatest Samurai warriors of all times, famed for his duels and distinctive style. He also wrote “The Book Of Five Rings”  – a book on strategy, tactics, and philosophy that is still studied today. As you can see, the tee is also available in women style and is screen printed, containing part of the Samurai code inside the garment.  Apart from tees, DBD Clothing offers swatshirts, too, and here’s the one I really liked.

This one features another famous Japanese warrior – Ninja! Quicker than shadow and more quiet than the summer wind, Ninja Skeleton creeps out of the darkness and is about to assassinate you! I really liked the graphic novel Noir style inspired design with dynamic and highlighted shadowing. This sweat is of heavyweight high quality combed cotton. Just like this DBD Clothing logo hoodie, which is among their sale items now.

Apart from the very nice designs and the broadness of their apparel, I’ll make one annotation to DBD Clothing; they should perhaps redesign their website. I don’t wanna say it’s not easy to navigate, but this version makes a slight unjustice to such fine looking items.

And so, all of you tee Samurais, before you go and sacrifice your life for some higher purpose, please make sure to check Death Before Dishonour online shop. And please off yourself after your order arrives.

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In the sudden rise of big, bold and often fluorescent T-shirt designs these past few years it’s obviously hard to make a name for yourself, either if you’re a designer, or a newly established tee company. Well, Jordan Abidour – the man behind Arkaik Clothing – managed to go far with his line in practically no time. Based on ancient and scary imagery his big, bold and flourescent tee designs paved their path in the manner of archaic predators to mostly younger fans of emo / metal / hardcore music. No wonder Arkaik stands were to be found in the latest edition of a travelling circus known as the Warped Tour, where it went more then well. And why limit yourself only to shirts? Arkaik now offers such items as sunglasses, too, collaborating with 12 artists altogether, packing the orders from Germany, Brazil, Singapore and New Zealand. The company also stays too to it’s roots, sponsoring 20 bands with their stuff, with Epitaph’s From First To Last being one of them. All this was a more than enough to talk to Mr. Abidour himself.

How come you decided to run your own tee company in the first place?

Ever since I was young I looked for entrepreneurial activities, as it was something to do that interested me. When I was 16, I was super into clothing lines like Shipshape, Rockett and others. At the same time, I really wanted to have tees of my own, designs that I created on super high quality material.

What’s your main inspiration with Arkaik Designs?

I’ve always been really interested in ancient cultures/creatures/ideas/monsters/anything, and I’ve used it as one of the main inspirations behind most of the Arkaik designs, just different cultures and designs inspired by them. At least- thats the goal :]

What’s the marketing strategy you’re using? Is it just viral marketing (social sites and all that), or something else perhaps?

For the past 6 months (since we embarked on Warped Tour) we’ve put alot of time and effort into building a generously sized social marketing following. I usually spend 4-5 hours daily working on Arkaik’s Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc…, spreading the word and hustling.

Are there any stores that carry your stuff?

We are currently only sold in Fowlers Boutique, in Solana Beach, California, but we have plans in the upcoming months to start working with a few major international online retailers.

You produce not only tees, but a lot of accessories, too. How come?

Diversity. Limiting your company and yourself to only t-shirts, while it can be fun, and generate a nice amount of income, is too little for most customers. I feel that by having such a wide diversity of products and designs that people will be likely to find something on our site that they like, and want to purchase. In a recession, it’s really important :]

What’s the process of making a new Arkaik design? Do you design it yourself, or are there some other people involved, too?

I have a team of about 6 artists that I work with on every line, I know their styles really well, so I generally conceptualize a design and pitch it to them. Each design is usually sketched, then I discuss with the artist color schemes etc. to make the design unique

What are the methods or printing you’re using? What kind of garments / cloths?

90% of Arkaik merchandise is printed on American Apparel tees, tanks and hoodies. On Warped Tour, we started using Anvil tees since they were lighter weight and more comfortable than American Apparel (in my opinion, and a majority of Arkaik customers) so we’ve slowly been working with our printer to get more colors stocked in the new Anvil blank (which, I assure you, is amazing), to keep the Arkaik theme going.

What is the usual profile of your customers / people who buy and wear Arkaik?

That’s hard to pin point, however, we did really well on Warped Tour.

Who (person or a label) is your biggest inspiration?

Rockett, Electric Zombie and (of course) Johnny Cupcakes.

Since it’s obviously a trend, do you expect big (fluorescent) prints will come out of fashion? If so, are you prepared / willing to adjust your company profile to new market needs?

I started in Fluorescent prints, and slowly I’ve been moving away from them. I feel like brightly colored prints are popular once in awhile, but most people, on a daily basis would rather have a badass looking shirt that doesn’t draw a TON of attention. Don’t get me wrong though, my favorite Arkaik shirts are the brightly colored Megaladon, Rawrkaik and Mummy, but I feel like a whole line shouldn’t consist of that.

What can we expect in future from Arkaik?

Cut and Sew Hoodies, Fitted Caps, Beanies, amongst other things, we’re planning quite a bit over at Arkaik 😉

Arkaik Clothing

Arkaik on Facebook

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Among thousands of new T-shirt companies out there nowadays, not many stick out from the bunch. However, I believe that Montreal based Akumu Ink is very good choice if you happen to like big prints on your tees and graphics inspired by rock scene (hardcore in particular). It surprised me that these folks only started in February this year, cause they already made a lot f really nice and cool designs (they decided to come out with two new designs each month). Now, they also make fine tote bags too, so here are some of their fresh designs (they are called “Impaled”, “Shattered” and “When A Cat Smiles”).

impaled by akumu inkshattered by akumu inkwhen a cat smiles by akumu ink

Akumu (which stands for nightmare in Japanese) is totally do-it-yourself tee company, which means they print their stuff themselves and only when someone order from them. Tees are printed on American Apparel 100% cotton shirts, and prices range from $21 – $25 (totes from $8 – $11), which I think is more than fair, having in mind the prints are BIG. They also ship worldwide, and the shipping price is only $4,50 per item. I’m sure you’ll find yourself something nice there on their website, and I’m looking forward for two new Akumu June designs!

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