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ALIFE

Discussion in 'Style' started by The Hipster, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. The Hipster

    The Hipster 12oz Member

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    ALIFE

    Discussion started by The Hipster - Dec 12, 2004

    nothing really as hip as the alife team so lets have a thread on them...

    "alife for your life"...the freshest store in the entire city. clever merchandising display, great product mix and selection. regular edgy exhibitions too

    products: shoes, bikes, skateboards, clothes, toys, games, all sorts of weird domestic essentials.

    clientele: the new lower east sider

    service: really friendly...if one of the owners isn't by the counter then they're usually hanging around upstairs in the 'office'

    interior: plywood floor, mint green steel, glass+ply display cases. totally utilitarian. metal halide lighting. high ceiling. blobby happy graphics. a visible second-floor office and design space. spray cans everywhere + vintage ghetto blaster.


    Alife

    Alife are a design / art collective based in New York City.
    The Alife crew have worked with Adidas on footwear projects as well as collaborating on art installations with the likes of Mark Gonzales, David Kinsey, RoStarr and Geoff McFetridge to name a few


    Fall 04 collection
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  2. The Hipster

    The Hipster 12oz Member

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    The Hipster - Replied Dec 12, 2004

    [​IMG]
    Alist tee - produced by, "Married to the Mob" exclusively for alife.
    Alife is proud to introduce the first and only female brand into the, "Retail Mafia" line up.
    These ladies of leisure are infamous for their mob wife lifestyle; sleeping late, brunching
    and boozing, talking shit and Most Official Bitch behavior.
    www.marriedtothemobnyc.com

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    THIS KIT INCLUDES:

    * Issue 17 of Frank151 magazine featuring
    alife, Wu, Nov York, Krink, So High Society.
    Livingroom Johnston, ReelTeen, State Your Name and more...
    * "The Next Chamber" hosted by the RZA and mixed by Allah Mathematics.
    featuring unreleased freestyles with rare old and new tracks.
    * alife/Wu/Frank exclusive tee
    * Dutch Masters blunt

    250 PIECES WORLDWIDE

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    Parkview/ Alife Crewneck - Workwear created for the Master Plumbers of
    Parkview Plumbing. NYC & Westchester Local Unions #1 & #21. Parkview
    Plumbing when quality of work and professional pride is what you need. Lay
    that pipe dogs.
     
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  3. The Hipster

    The Hipster 12oz Member

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    The Hipster - Replied Dec 12, 2004

    Right in time for the warmer season, alife are ready to release their new range of RTFT footwear. As before, they won't settle for anything ordinary. Or, let's phrase it this way, at a first glance the shapes of these new models might appear familiar, however, when you let the first impressions pass and dwell upon the appearance for just a little longer, you will reconsider your initial thoughts.

    The Everybody is a shoe that follows in the line of alife's now characteristic canvas models. While before they were remixing/enhancing all time classics like the Vans slip-ons or Converse Chucks, the new RTFT are heading more towards the style of one the sneaker industry's giant's most popular retro shoes to date. Just when this shoe (or better shape) seemed to be loosing its appeal to some folks, alife are bringing it back with a new approach towards materials and colors. To us, the Everybody is like the aforesaid model's younger brother - the one who spends most of his time at the beach or in the park.

    Now, the Kennedy is something different alltogether. We've shown you the first colorway a little while ago and here are the follow ups. We would need more space to get into detail with this shoe - maybe there's a magazine that will give us a few lines...? - for now we say: yes. Yes, we like the concept. Yes, we like the colors. Yes, we like to have a sneaker alternative.
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    from www.beinghunted.com
     
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  4. The Hipster

    The Hipster 12oz Member

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    The Hipster - Replied Dec 12, 2004

    ALIFE LEVI'S 501
    178 Orchard Street (Btwn Houston Street and Stanton Street)

    After some 'renovating', ALIFE reopened this Friday, Sept 10th with a private-by-invitation-only party and to the public Saturday, Sept 11th, 2004 as ALIFE LEVI'S 501. The store will be open for one month, Sept 11th to Oct 10th. The store will feature a special collaboration between ALIFE and Levi's to produce the classic Levi's 501 jeans. There are a number of tee shirts to commemorate the collaboration. Please make sure to make a trip to the mecca of the Lower East Side as this could be the last time you can visit the ALIFE store.

    Visit also the Alife Rivington Club while you are in the neighborhood. 158 Rivington Street (Between Suffolk St and Clinton St)

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  5. The Hipster

    The Hipster 12oz Member

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    The Hipster - Replied Dec 12, 2004

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    What’s Alife all about?
    We’re more of a creative agency, company, whatever you want to fucking call it and these two stores are only part of what we do. We created these like faces for the company. Orchard Street is a little bit more of a roundabout of I guess who we are and Alife Rivington Club is like a segment from that. We’re all down with sneakers, I think everybody around our age grew up on this shit…

    Yesterday when I came in it was quiet but today there was 20 kids in there going crazy and I could smell the excitement.
    I know, so it’s fun to see that but I mean we really, I’ll be honest, we had the other store first and Nike came in. We were basically more of a casual shoe type of store. But we started seeing the trend a couple of years ago that it was more towards the hardcore sneaker more than the casual shoe. Kids were wearing sneakers with suits, you know. Nike came by our shop and they basically wanted to use us more as like their, I guess the word they used was a ‘probe’ account but it was pretty much like…

    Does that mean they bend you over and…
    Nah, it’s more like a trial shop and at that point they were trying to launch the Air Woven and we were pretty much the first store in the U.S. to have that and we saw the craziness that went on, I mean we couldn’t believe it. There were kids waiting out, we opened up at 12 and there were kids at like 8 in the morning and that’s when I got there. God knows how long they were there for and it was like a concert, you know. We were basically selling out in 15 minutes, every time we got a new colour. As soon as we saw that we knew we gotta do this, there’s something that… you know, something that’s gonna start up again and we opened Alife Rivington in 2001 and we’ve just gotten a lot of love from everybody in the area ever since.

    Rivington is in a big sneaker area isn't it?
    Yeah, now you’re seeing a lot of more specialty sneaker shops popping up, especially this year, there’s been like 3 or 4 of them. When we came into the scene, we were the only one here pretty much in New York and our business hasn’t really changed because of all the new shops. I guess we have a clientele that wants to actually come here for the atmosphere as much as the special shoes, you know.

    It seems like some of these kids have endless supplies of money as well, doesn't it…
    You know, we really can’t pinpoint our customers, sometimes we have limo’s and shit coming from the upper east and west sides, we’ve also got people from the neighborhood, you know the guy that deals shit on the corner and then we got like celebrities like from Missy Elliot to Fat Joe, people like that, Robin Williams, you know, so it’s like…

    What did Robin Williams buy? I bet he’s into Rifts and Reebok!
    I’m actually not sure, I know that he always comes into the other shop and I know he always comes here too coz once in a while I see him with a bag from here but I never really actually saw…

    I wouldn’t have pictured him as a sneakerhead.
    I tell ya, he is a mad collector of everything. He goes around, from Supreme to Stussy to Alife to 360 Toys and it’s crazy. I never expected any of the shit. He’s a real mad customer.

    I suppose everyone’s kind of trying to predict when the bubble’s going to pop but no-one can see it coming. Is it going to wind down or what…
    I don’t know man. I mean I’ll be honest with you, this whole retro thing, I mean it’s still cool and everything but I feel like people are starting to exhaust their back history you know and…

    Nike still has a ton of stuff in the vault though I guess?
    Well, I mean so does adidas, they actually have an even bigger history, you know they probably have even more to grab but I think the real test is going to be to see who starts bringing out the new shits, you know. Changing up colour ways, changing up leathers, changing up whatever materials, that’s the easy part. The test is gonna be when it’s time to move on…
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    How many collaborations did you do with adidas?
    We did three. One pair I’m wearing right now, these are the Top Tens. We did ‘em in kangaroo skin and silver leather inside and all that, you know.

    It gives you a bit of credibility doesn’t it?
    Yeah, I mean they’re great to work with it was like a no-brainer for us. You know, we approached them, they totally went for it and they were excited to do it and we got mad press on it. It worked out for both of us, it was an easy, stress free experience. Puma has also given us some special stuff where they actually, if you could see in there we had a couple of hi-tops, suedes, a bunch of stuff...

    Were they exclusive to you guys?
    They’re gonna be I think out to everybody soon but they gave it to us just a little bit beforehand and they stitched the Rivington ribbons inside so we got a special lot exclusive to our store. A lot of people have really been coming forward and we’ve been holding back, you know, just coz we wanna do it the right way. We figured if we sit around and think about it a little bit we’ll figure it out, you know, but we don’t wanna just jump into anything, but adidas was an easy thing to do.

    New York does seem to be a town obsessed with the AF1, I know it’s almost a cliche but it’s my favorite shoe. I’ve never seen a town just so dominated by one shoe alone.
    And Dunks, man, it’s crazy. I mean, that shit’s like, it’s like a drug. People will come in here every other day just to see if we have anything new. We get stuff so randomly and we sometimes showcase a cool collection, like there’s a lot of really avid collectors here in New York City. I’m learning a lot just by having a shop like this, you know… just the extent that people will go to keep up with their collections. From having separate storage areas just for their sneakers so that they can keep the boxes so they can have everything in mint condition.

    New York’s probably not far behind Tokyo in terms of lack of space. Where do people put this all this shit?
    That’s right, that’s what I’m saying, I mean everybody’s got their thing. Some people come in here and they automatically don’t want the boxes coz I guess it’s easier and they don’t have much space. They’re more fanatics I think than collectors, coz most collectors wanna keep the boxes. These people who don’t want the boxes are rare and everything but they buy mad shoes, like they’ll come on a Friday and ask us to put everything in size 12 aside. They’ll call before they come and it’s pretty incredible.

    And, what was the blackout like? You know the next question I’m going to ask… I know you got robbed.
    We had a problem with that. We were probably the one store that really got hit the worst in all New York City. I think there was a couple of other stores that got hit or were attempted to get hit but not to the extent that we were. They actually had a little more time in our store because they were able to break through through our landlord’s door and once they were in the building they were able to come though a side door so they didn’t actually break through from the street. Once they were in the building they were able to sit there and work on our big metal door and once they were in there they were out of the public eye. So they were in our store and it looked like it was still closed, you know. Once I found out it was being looted, I ran over here, we were near the other store on Orchard Street, I came over with like whoever was with me, it was one employee and his girlfriend and my girlfriend and another one of our friends...

    Far out, you must have been freaking ?
    We just came here, we saw everything was already wrecked and there were people outside trying to get in while we were here and, I mean that’s how the whole shit went down, we ended up getting into fights with all these kids… yeah, local kids but you couldn’t really tell, I mean everything was pitch black, all you saw was shadows and I mean pretty much, long story short, my girlfriend ended up getting 16 staples in her head, one of my boys ended up getting a bottle smashed across his face and a whole bunch of stitches on his face and lacerations and we had problems with the police, they didn’t want to help us. It was just a nightmare man. We are just trying to get over it, forget about it and move on. Business as usual, you know.

    It’s business but it’s also your heart and soul isn’t it?
    It just sucks because it’s I’ve always got that feeling, especially when you walk around the neighborhood, you’re looking at everybody’s fucking feet wondering if those are your kicks or not.

    I shouldn’t laugh but I guess you’ve gotta...
    I gotta laugh about it too, otherwise I’ll fucking... I’ll get too fucking upset, you
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    What about the future, like you got anything juicy you can tell…
    In Alife style you don’t talk about shit, you know, so as far as juicy I’m probably not gonna give you what you want to hear, but we’re definitely back in business. We’re getting a lot of support from the sneaker companies, from Nike, Puma, adidas just to name the top three right now but they’re sending us really great products ahead of time to help us get back on our feet. So we’re gonna have a lot of product that no-one else is gonna have in the world. I can’t say thank you enough to everybody, from the people that work for me to the sneaker companies, to our customers. Everybody’s coming through. I’ve gotten calls from everybody and just as an example, Stash from Nort, he wants to donate part of his earnings you know while we were closed coz he thought that he was picking up a lot of our customers that we were losing and he was just basically offering to give us a percentage of what he was earning .

    Is it hard when everyone wants something that no-one else has got? That’s kind of the crux of the whole thing isn’t it, I mean how do you…oh, I don’t even know what my question is.
    Something else that we’re actually working on and you have to see, we just finished doing our whole new Spring 2004 Alife NYC line. It was Rightfoot now we’re switching it to Alife NYC. We’re bringing back part of that Argyle stuff that sold out and that was crazy when we first launched it, when we first started our own shoes. I don’t know if you ever saw the slip-on Argyle ones that we that we got sued by Vans for.

    I never heard that!
    Yeah, that was a whole big fucking fiasco…

    You never hear about anyone getting sued for copyright infringement which is surprising I guess because there’s so much plagiarism in the industry.
    Well, you know what it is, when Vans sued us, it wasn’t for the actual shoe, coz I mean a slip-on is a slip-on. They got that shit from keds, you know what I’m saying. They weren’t suing us for that, they were suing us for the pattern which they were saying they had a patent on checkerboard. We were doing Argyle so I don’t even see where the connection was. A long story short they were just trying to put us out of business coz they felt that there was a threat coz they saw that when we launched those Argyle slip ons it was like a craze throughout the world, I mean, we didn’t have enough pairs to sell. Then we had to stop it because of this whole legal bullshit so we were never able to capitalise on that. So now, we’re not bringing that particular style back not exactly but we are bringing back the Argyle pattern but we’ll make it a bit different.

    Those original ones must be kind of collectors items now…
    Yeah, we have a couple of pairs left in storage but we don’t know exactly what we’re gonna do with them yet coz the sizing is a little bit irregular. Anyway, we are launching some really great styles coming up beginning of next year so keep definitely a lookout for that.

    I will, thanks Tony, good luck with your slip-ons.
     
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  6. The Hipster

    The Hipster 12oz Member

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    The Hipster - Replied Dec 12, 2004

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    The Surprise Pack project launched earlier this year. What is the idea behind it?

    The Surprise Pack© is pretty much a test project for alife. Number one was to see the repercussions that arose from people knowing that alife was collaborating with Ecko. Ecko, in the states, is not our target market. So for us to collab together specific rules had to be put in place. One rule is that “The Surprise Pack©” will not be available to any retailers in the USA, except for Ecko flagship stores. At the moment, they have 20 stores across the US and no-one even knows. So the distribution of this project is another test at moving product through a new venue, not targeted at the people that usually consume the alife brand. It is going to be offered for sale on thesurprisepack.com as well. Overall, alife is an independent entity, Ecko is a corporate entity, and we’ll see what comes out of our collaboration.

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    When I first heard about it and checked the link that took you to the alife Paypal account asking for money in exchange for a surprise I was more than intrigued. Did you have many takers?

    The “BUY” button that we had put on our website was another test. We were just curious to see how far people would go with buying product over the Internet. The buyers had no idea what they were going to receive. No information was given to anyone. Basically, we had a set number of products set aside for this BUY button. Within three days we sold out of a nice amount of product. This will be an ongoing venue for us to explore.

    The Egg (is that what you call it?) was a collaboration between alife, Echo and 360 Toy Group right? What part did each company play in the product from concept to being an item on the shelf?

    alife is bringing the concept.

    Ecko is bringing the Funds.

    360

    manufactured the product.

    That’s pretty much how shit is going down.

    Collaborations are something that has characterised the movement I have been documenting on my site for a while now. How do you find them?

    We usually try to create them. We will approach specific entities and try to get things popping. Also, entities will approach us with ideas as well.

    How did the BAPE collab a while back happen?

    very randomly

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    What about those Kid America x alife toys....did you have any hand in those?

    We were approached by Sony to work with them on a specific project that they had already begun. We asked if they would be interested in doing a series of alife produced products. This is where the collaboration with them began. Kid America and the crew were just part of the nightlife scene that’s going on in NYC. It was an idea that came out of just knowing what these guys are all about and believing in it. These toys took almost a year to finish, so by the time they dropped, Kid A was already pretty blown up on the underground circuit. Sony had no idea about who the fuck Kid America was, and if they really did, maybe that shit wouldn’t have happened, due to the content of the show. Basically we produced the set, Fatboy from Kid A crew designed the characters and Sony manufactured

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    have read elsewhere you are in favour of artists working on products. How do you find the process of converting your artistic inspirations into commercially accessible (albeit - often not very easily!) products?

    We are just down with working with people that we feel are true to their game, whatever they do. A lot of the things that we produce are not money making endeavours. They are more of promotional objects that you have the opportunity to buy. Again, we are basically producing things that we like, most of them have little demand to the average person, so our products are usually consumed by people that are looking for something a little different.

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    Do you get involved much with the production of goods you have been involved with (eg visiting factories etc)?

    We manufacture a line of footwear named, “RTFT”. For this we are involved in the process from the sketches on paper to the factories that produce, to the distribution. This is pretty much how it goes for anything that is alife goods,(clothing,toys,etc...) Because we are so small, we are forced to be hands on with anything that we get involved with.

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    How do you and the alife crew view the company - as a fashion house? design studio etc?

    We pretty much look at our operation as a creative platform that is at the disposal of anyone that wants to get down, as long as they are on stepping to us with some substance.

    And finally, what can we expect from you guys in the near future?

    Be prepared for the big upset in the near future...

    Thanks for your time.

    SHOUT OUTS:

    SSUR-THE DIRTY DON-KID A and BANDY-10th street-BATHS-KR-ESPO-IRIZZAK-REAS-XBOX LIVE-RTHQ-SAM SPITZER-NY NIGHTLIFE-RETAIL MAFIA-MIKE TYSON-WU TANG-FRANK 151-CHRONIC BONG HITS-JAPANAMA-RUSTOLEUM-AND ALL THE SAGITTARIUS OUT THERE....

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    from: RTHQ.com
     
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  7. The Hipster

    The Hipster 12oz Member

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    The Hipster - Replied Dec 12, 2004

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    If you want to get inspired, visit the Alife headquarters on New York's Orchard Street. What looks like a shoe store is also the realization of the late-night plan that so many talk about, fewer attempt, and even fewer achieve. Rob Cristofaro, Arnaud De Le Colle, Tony Arcabascio, and Tammy Brainard (from left) met five years ago, saved and invested the same amount, and became equal partners in the venture that does what it likes, including art direction, curating (with artists like Shepard Fairey), book publishing (of Ryan McGuinness), a maiden shoe line called Rite Foot (to be carried at Colette in Paris and Los Angeles' KBond), and a lot of other stuff that there isn't room to mention. And they're all 30. "Yeah, shit's fucking off the rocker," says Cristofaro. "It's about getting older, getting a little bit smarter, and taking on these dreams of people's and making them happen. It's pretty good."
    Mark Jacobs

    from:
    www.papermag.com
     
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  8. The Hipster

    The Hipster 12oz Member

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    The Hipster - Replied Dec 12, 2004

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  9. The Hipster

    The Hipster 12oz Member

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    The Hipster - Replied Dec 12, 2004

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    You can visit the Alife store in the Lower East Side of Manhattan - or see their 'Rivington Club' store on Rivington Street. Expect lots of visual stimulation, plenty of cool collectables and a multitude of creative people milling around.
    Crooked Tongues is the exclusive online spot to pick up the Alife footwear - and we don't expect the shoes to stay around for too long... Pick 'em up ritenow!


    One of the main contributors to the Alife way of doing things is a guy named Jest. Taking his solid foundations in the graffiti scene and applying the methods and techniques to regular objects has made him one of the most inspiring people in the modern New York design scene.
    His stickers and layout styles are only surpassed by his enthusiasm and original ideas - and the chances are that you've more than likely seen his cloth figures before


    The first range of shoes on the 'Ritefoot' Alife label break all rules. Mixing up the expectations with plenty of Alife characteristics, the attention to detail is superb. Small tags add style to the side panels, whilsts the rear 'bumper logo' keeps things in tune with the style of the shoe.
    Fastenings range from traditional lacing methods through to straps and buckles - but the most talked-about detail so far is probably the addition of the lace guard (a feature not seen in sports footwear since the skate shoes of the late 1980's).

    www.crookedtongues.com
     
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  10. The Hipster

    The Hipster 12oz Member

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    The Hipster - Replied Dec 12, 2004

    alife have teamed up with Cone Denim to produce a book - which will not go on sale - of photographs by Kai Regan featuring a cross-section of New York City personalities and the life they are leading.

    Part I: The Cast - a blank studio, one man with a camera, 28 people. These straightforward studio portraits present the characters in this tale of city life. The stark white background allows each person’s individual style to be prominently displayed.

    Part II: The Feature - following in the footsteps of the cast, these photographs capture a split second in the life of each character. We see Ricky Powell on the lookout, A-ron buzzing around the streets, Drea De Matteo chilling in a favourite hang-out.

    Probably the only way to even try to get a copy of this great book is to attend the launch party March 1st, 7:30 to 10 at BLVD (199 Bowery) in NYC.

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  11. The Hipster

    The Hipster 12oz Member

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    The Hipster - Replied Dec 12, 2004

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  12. misteraven

    misteraven Administrator

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    misteraven - Replied Dec 12, 2004

    pretty fuckin thorough. another good post.
     
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  13. Can you sign my book???

    Can you sign my book??? 12oz Member

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    Can you sign my book??? - Replied Dec 12, 2004

    I remember when they first opened...Coolest fuckin guys around...I walk in with a sparypaint covered jacket, Jest and I start talkin graffiti...Next thing I know hes tryin to hook me up with illustration work...I was, and still am a nobody...But damn Jest and Tony are just regular guys, doing a great job in creating all kinds of things...Two guys who i respect big time in that god forsaken city...They really tried lookin out for an art student tryin to get his career on...Much respect....
     
    Can you sign my book??? - Rank: 12oz Member - Messages:
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  14. The Hipster

    The Hipster 12oz Member

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    872

    The Hipster - Replied Dec 13, 2004

    The last time I was in NY i made a call for the shop, as I hadn’t been there before. It took me a while to find it as I could no see a sing anywhere. So I resorted to ask a shop over the road. Where a woman pointed me in the right direction, the only problem was the shutter was half down and the lights where off. But as I was leavening the next morning so thought fuck it. And ducked underneath them and in to the shop. it suddenly dawned on me that this might not be a good idea and being a brit generally thing yanks are a bit gun ho. I was a little worried some one would walk thought the door and think I was trying to rob it. After calling for a bit I adventurly a guy came down from the office and agreed to let me a buy a t-shirt if I was quick.


    a pointless story
     
    The Hipster - Rank: 12oz Member - Messages:
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  15. foulphil

    foulphil New Jack

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    foulphil - Replied Dec 14, 2004

    why havent they been open for the fall?
     
    foulphil - Rank: New Jack - Messages:
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