I got asked a question in an interview a while back about what streetwear brands I was into. My answer was that I didn’t really follow any brands and that I like tactical clothing and brands like North Face. Which isn’t entirely true. There are a ton of brands that influenced me as I was growing up some are still in business and some have folded. streetwear is a finicky game with brands coming and going as just as fast as you can fire a couple shirts off of a screen printing press. The t-shirt is a modern day art form and like any other art form it has its history and its influences. For each artist their experience is a little bit different and their influences vary.
Over the next few months I am going to talk about a few of my favorite brands. Some of the brands you may have heard of and others you maybe not. Niche streetwear brands exist in every market and lifestyle you can imagine. These brands are my some of my favorites.
The first streetwear brand I can remember was FUCT and there is a good reason for this. Erik Brunetti (born 1967) the man behind FUCT is credited as being the creator of “subversive streetwear” FUCT was founded in 1990. I was 11 years old.
Around that same time I got my first skateboard. There was this indoor skate park called Out of the Boardwalk that was in the town next to mine. The first shirt I remember seeing when I walked through the door was the FUCT Jaws Tee. The design had everything. It had tits, it had horror and it was the kind of tee shirt that you couldn’t wear to school. Ultimately I would never own that shirt and it would go on to be a classic.
FUCT would go ahead and lay the ground work for everything that was to come. Cutting edge often controversial designs and advertising FUCT crossed boundaries in the early 90’s that most brands today wouldn’t even think of stepping over. Mixing elements of graffiti punk rock and skateboarding culture FUCT was/is everything you could want in a brand. The general vibe being “I do what I want and I don’t give a fuck what you think” FUCT crosses cultural boundaries as well. Twenty and change years later FUCT is still blowing the rest of the game out of the water. Check out their website their latest project “Love Awareness Program” is unreal..