There's a Pittsburgh Pirates Gucci Scarf by Alex Young

If you didn't know by now, the Pittsburgh Pirates Major League Baseball team has a collaboration with Gucci.

You can now buy a black and yellow sided wool Gucci scarf with the classic Pirates P logo as a patch on the scarf.

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The moves come as a credit to the Pirates’ marketing scheme. Past projects with clothing brands like Shop412 and one in the future with designer John Geiger (his Instagram story made us hip to this Gucci piece) make the team favorable in realms of culture beyond the playing field. Pittsburgh pride becomes even cooler with projects like this Gucci x Pirates. Buy the cloth for $450. Check it out here.

Streetwear Update by Alex Young

If you want to get in the game, move to further your product.

In 2011, Jake Sullivan walked into a local Pittsburgh clothing store called Timebomb. He bought powder blue Wiz Khalifa Taylor Gang Bombay Gin Cup shirts and sold them on eBay.

His enjoyment of clothing turned into a budding apparel and media company in 2015 that he operates with Steven Crump.

At the Make Sure You Have Fun Mixed Threads clothing fair in 2017, Crump and Sullivan were selling their own brand Good Sports. Even cooler, the experience came full circle because Ryan Brown, the designer of the Gin Cup shirt that Sullivan had bought years earlier, hosted the local streetwear market.  Another local apparel brand that was at the Mixed Threads market was Reviving Real.

 Owners of Good Sports Jake Sullivan (left) and Steven Crump (right) | photograph by Alex Young

Owners of Good Sports Jake Sullivan (left) and Steven Crump (right) | photograph by Alex Young

[People could have] Pittsburgh clothes for the whole year if you look into it.
— Jake Sullivan of Good Sports

S.O.S.I.M.O. pushes a new T-Shirt concept seemingly every month. The brand drives demand for the product that sells out quickly as designer Ivan Rodriguez of Pittsburgh's east side, known as smoke.myth on Instagram, deals his shirts in person first and then off the Internet second. The gray SOSIMO Sluggers joint sold out in 21 hours. S.O.S. limited product only leaves the community trying to find more of it.

Now, Good Sports, Sports for short, Reviving Real, SOSIMO and more are examples of an emerging streetwear culture in the city.

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To have a brand you have to have people know the feeling. You want to make it have a meaning.
— Steven Crump of Good Sports

I asked if either of the Good Sports partners skates because that’s the feeling I got looking at their collections, like the Exordium run. Turns out, only Crump skates, but the love for culture grew from the two’s fondness of Nike SB sneakers back in seventh grade, P-ROD 2 specifically. That’s how they conceptualized “how everything ties together, the shoes, the clothes, the music,” Crump said.

Black and white monochrome tees with characters like Fidel Castro and Malcolm X's meeting in Harlem or Felix the Cat show the tone S.O.S. The archived culture is serious and familiar. The strongest of celebrated human history survives in the fabric of SOSIMO.

For Mike Caraballo, the founder of Reviving Real, his company succeeds because “a lot of us share a genuine love for what we are pursuing, as well as the culture of the city,” he said.

Sports try to support the culture too with a goal to “get more involved.” The 23-year-old Bethel Park and Wexford natives in Crump and Sullivan conduct an interview series called Pittsburgh Culture showing the energy coming out of the creative scene and “the ones behind it all.” Musician Linwood and thrift store owner and barber Zed have segments.

Caraballo noted clothing brands in Pittsburgh aim to help communities of local artists. They “are doing the most to not only serve the people with quality products but continue to help push the culture and arts here in the city,” he said.

 via  @Shop412  on Instagram

via @Shop412 on Instagram

Aaron and Christian Kinkela, the brothers who operate the legendary Pittsburgh lifestyle label named after the city's 412 area code, said in a 2014 interview with ITR, "A lot of what we do is supporting the local economy with anything whether it's local seamstresses or local printers. A lot of things happen right here. That's another part of giving back and doing what you can to keep the money in this town."

A local online publication and conversation series called Style412 ran an audit on Pittsburgh’s fashion scene throughout 2016 and 2017. Style412 founder Elysia Panda mentioned authenticity attracts customers to a local business.

Consumers of this generation are placing value on immediacy, practicality, authenticity and the ‘small shop’ experience.
— Elysia Panda of Style412

With each clothing collection that Reviving Real releases, a music mixtape with highlights from Steel City hip-hop, other musicians and cover art by a local visual artist accompanies the release. “We like to curate sounds from artist around the city that we see working hard and putting that time and effort into their craft,” Caraballo said. “Vol. 3” of Reviving Real’s music compilation highlights this aspect through songs by My Favorite Color or Sierra Sellers. Reviving Real's latest "Idora" T-Shirt was a collaboration with artist Dalton (@lovedullt) that celebrated the Idora amusement park roller coasters. By branching out, Reviving Real roots itself to other communities. “The artists here can see what everyone else is doing and create connections with fellow artist,” Carabllo said.

 Dalton's design for Reviving Real's "Idora" Tee

Dalton's design for Reviving Real's "Idora" Tee

Additionally, people have been receptive to Sports, obviously, we love our teams, but the Good Sports kind message and general aesthetic promote quality. Crump remembers local rapper Mars Jackson being the first notable person to wear their clothes. Quentin Cuff, a.k.a. InnerviewQ, has also been seen wearing Sports. Musician Benji wears his Doc Ellis T-Shirt that celebrates the Pirates baseball legend.

Part of creating a clothing label is selling a lifestyle and that’s what Good Sports does with their Pittsburgh Culture series and that’s what Reviving Real does with their showcase mixtape. SOSIMO does the same with reverent graphics.

“We are seeing an emergence of online lifestyle brands (versus the traditional boutique), which is definitely something new to our city,” Style412’s Panda said.

Although, vintage thrift shop Senseless in East Liberty creates an atmosphere people want to shop in by curating special experiences. For instance, Senseless, along with the help of craftsman Stew Frick, will release Nike Air Force 1 with the Swoosh donned by repurposed leather from Louis Vuitton handbags on July 6. Three different velcro LV Swoosh and colorful laces come with the sneaker.

Photographs by Tyler Calpin

The Sports’ lifestyle clothing, which is sold online at www.goodsportspgh.com and once at One Up Skate Shop and Shop Zeds in Pittsburgh’s Southside, isn’t trying to be in your face with its simplistic designs.  “A lot of things are just overdone now,” Crump said. He mentioned the We’re Proud long-sleeve shirt comes from looking at old ‘80s and ‘90s Sports Illustrated. Garments like polos and quarter zips highlight the ranges. 

[Make] moves to further the product.
— Shop412 in a 2014 Interview with ITR

With limited quantities in each Sports collection, “we focus on every little detail because they all matter,” Sullivan said. Patience helps them, as the business pays no attention to typical season-by-season collections.

Down the line, Crump and Sullivan hope to grow into a brick and mortar store, much like Shop412's store on the Southside, to build a Pittsburgh foundation.

As more clothes and culture stem from Pittsburgh, especially as native designers like John Geiger, Aris Tatalovich and Makayla Wray put on for the city in big markets like New York City, it just depends on "how it all gets put together," Crump said.


Portions of this article come from an ITR article written about Good Sports on April 4, 2018, to create a more thorough conversation on the streetwear scene in Pittsburgh.

 

Aris Tatalovich Moves To Home Décor by Alex Young

Great design is familiar. Something has to hit. Themes continue from project to project and make a mark. Find the signature.

Since releasing his ROY G BIV duffle bag and Stingray backpack, colorful straps begin to be Aris Tatalovich's hallmark. This time, Tatalovich cuts straps to adorn pillows that resemble fruity Starbursts. He's even got cushions that look like pies. Tatalovich has teased this pillow for some time by posing his face with a Tatalovich sleeping mask on surrounded by square, plush pillows. It's just cozy, and the product makes sense for the designer who could easily transition from fashion accessories to home décor. In a recent Instagram post, Tatalovich said he'd release the pillows at the end of June with a $68 price tag.

Keep your eyes peeled for the Aris Tatalovich pillows and his movements in New York City with style icons like Malachai Spivey. By the way, Tatalovich's pillows aren't the only decorative pillow set from a Steel City native that's got the internet hype.

Schenley High School Memorabilia by Alex Young

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Three years ago, Hannibal Hopson hopped up on the ledge of a construction dumpster and climbed through the broken bathroom window in the first floor of what was his Schenley High School. The facility looked different. There weren't lockers or functioning classrooms with desks. There were no school club flyers on the walls. No students or teachers in sight. Instead, the floors were dusty with wood residue from sawing and sanding. A bulldozer sat in the hallway. Hopson pushed past wires that hung down from the ceiling. Creeks and screech echoed through the hollow building. The basketball court that was home to former Pennsylvania State Champion Spartans had cracks in it. People began picking the wood off the court. Concrete scraps from the deconstruction project were thrown in the empty pool. The construction workers littered their lunch scraps in the showers. They were turning Schenley High School into an apartment complex, effectively displacing inner-city students who called the place their alma mater for 95 years.

Now, the Schenley Apartments mock alumni and the history that came from Schenley High School.

In an attempt to memorialize the legendary school, Hopson and InTheRough partner to offer memorabilia to celebrate what once was. We created a two-page magazine spread in the latest issue of Pittsburgh-based EW Mag publication. The spread features photos from the night Hopson and ITR explored the empty school three years ago. Photos and words begin to comment on the gentrifying aspect that the apartments imposed on the Schenley community. Additionally, authentic Schenley gym shorts pair with the reading material. The Champion mesh shorts feature a "Schenley" font taken from the basketball jerseys of the 2007 Spartans who won the state championship thanks to legends like DeJuan Blair, DeAndre Kane and D.J. Kennedy.

The magazine spread and shorts combine to create the Schenley High School Memorabilia Collection. Available are 10. More shorts will be available only after the combo sells out. The 11 photos from the excursion around abandoned Schenley High School will release at a later date.

Shop the collection here.

[Shorts model Don Bell & photographs by Alex Young]

"For 400 years? That sounds like a choice." - Kanye West, Slavery in Washington D.C. by Maxwell Young

Last week, performance artists Maya Sun and Maps Glover poignantly resurrected images of American slavery on the greens of Dumbarton House in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C.  Completed in 1800, the Federal style landmark is preserved to showcase the lifestyle of the first government officials who took office in the United States' new capital, the District of Columbia.

 Maps Glover and Maya Sun performing ' The Landing ' at the Kennedy Center March 15, 2018.

Maps Glover and Maya Sun performing 'The Landing' at the Kennedy Center March 15, 2018.

Supporting the post-colonial decadence were indentured servants, and while slavery in D.C. wasn't as overt as the textbook cotton-picking, plantation life that is synonymous with the South, slaves were used as chauffeurs, childcare, and to fetch groceries from the market.  In fact, roughly 20 years before the Civil War, Georgetown University sold a number of slaves to settle financial debts.

However, few primary sources of slave life in D.C. remain due to loss and destruction, which is why Maryland-based wood printer Curtis Woods commissioned Sun and Glover to create a moment of tension at Dumbarton House.  Professionals young and old, white and black gathered in the courtyard for wine and cheese, some, noticeably uncomfortable by the two artists' three-part retrospective.

The beginning was lighthearted, though short-lived as they frolicked on the front yard--Glover playing a violin and Sun seemingly care free in a floral dress, braiding Glover's hair.  It was reminiscent of a Sunday on a plantation or after dusk when the master fell asleep, the slaves free to ease the pain and suffering of indentured servitude.  The second part represented a harsher side of reality.  Sun stood on a trading block hooded and chained--livestock--while Glover observed the scene through the reflection of a broken mirror pane as if to recall the original context of why his ancestors and other black bodies were brought to America.  Later, Sun emerged from Dumbarton House dressed in a suit introducing herself as "Professor Sun."  Not only was this a liberating juxtaposition to images of bondage, but it also symbolized the knowledge and power of black people, integral to the education of future souls.

"I felt appreciated by my ancestors.  I was incredibly moved when I was under the hood.  I was definitely in a different space than what was around me," Sun said.

From a macro lens, Sun and Glover's performance piece was perhaps more relevant given Kanye West's comments calling slavery a choice just a couple days prior.  Where Kanye chose to glaze over realities of oppression and control in the matter of a thirty second sound bite, Sun and Glover echoed two different aspects of slave life with a refusal to forget the African American experience.