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"TWO HUNDRED" Collection by farESH Brand Praises Pixburgh History by Alex Young

Pittsburgh celebrates its rich history achieved by all of the people who have called the city home. Regarding the arts, government or sports, anything in Pittsburgh has prideful supporters. For 200 years, the city's natives and transplants remain a part of a community simply by residing in The 'Burgh.

Proving to be a valued member of the community, local lifestyle label farESH Brand champions the city with a new clothing collection. Titled "TWO HUNDRED," farESH's fall range for 2016 commemorates the bicentennial of Pittsburgh.

Specifically, "TWO HUNDRED" combs the figurative archives and keys in on past and present cultural influences. In particular, farESH Brand recognizes Revolutionary War soldier Ebenezer Denny as a Pittsburgh hero for being the city's first mayor. Black and gray baseball jerseys feature in the new collection with Denny's last name stitched on the back with bicentennial patches on the front left chest.

Nicknames are important here, too. They reference the culture of the city which is affected by its geographic location, production, or slang. "The Paris of Appalachia" adorns the front of a white fleece jacket and Pittsburgh's seal hits on the back. The phrase "comes from the fact that Pittsburgh is the largest metropolitan city that is part of the Appalachian Mountains," Ryan Brown, creative director of farESH, says. Also, in current and previous work from farESH, the brand successfully applies "Pixburgh" to their movement to represent a united and unique bunch. The term is "a play on the city's accent... Growing up, that's how we stylized the name," Jimmy Schaffer, a local photographer enlisted to shoot the collection's lookbook, says.

Back of The Paris of Appalachia fleece Jacket

Back of The Paris of Appalachia fleece Jacket

"farESH Brand has always embraced the variety of culture, music, and art that the city has to offer," Schaffer continues.

To that end, the "TWO HUNDRED" lookbook features those who participate in Pixburgh's creative community along with Schaffer. For instance, hip-hop artist Tucker Pillsbury, a.k.a. Dillis, models the streetwear, like hats and T-shirts that praise the city's "152XX" zipcode. Creative phenom, artist Mathias Rushin models the clothing with Dillis, and locals Brendyn Irvin, Greg Scelp, and Gabe Searles assist in the visuals and styling of the lookbook.

While farESH utilizes a cast who advocate for creativity in Pixburgh, the city is "very collaborative. It seems like people are working to build the city as a mass, not individuals," Dillis says.

Fundamentally, farESH Brand's "TWO HUNDRED" collection has the respect for the 200 years the city has thrived. "Pittsburgh has grown to be a more diverse and forward thinking city... It would be amazing to look back even in 10 years and see where the city heads and to see the work that my peers and myself put in to make the city better," RB says.

"TWO HUNDRED" is a reflection of Pixburgh's progress, which farESH Brand makes tangible in the form of wearables. For those interested, shop the collection here and use the code "ITR" upon your purchase for 10% off your bill.

View the full lookbook below.

ENERGY by Alex Young

farESH Brand at Energy part of Style Week Pittsburgh courtesy of  Xavier Thomas  a.k.a. ArtLikeUs

farESH Brand at Energy part of Style Week Pittsburgh courtesy of Xavier Thomas a.k.a. ArtLikeUs

When people foreign to Pittsburgh think of the city, they think of the gloomy, smog-filled town built on the foundation of industrial steel, the Robber Baron's of the early twentieth century--like Andrew Carnegie and the Mellon family--and of course, the great Pittsburgh Steelers. They do not think about the low-cost of living and increased purchasing power residents in The Steel City have compared to larger, more populated metro centers, such as Washington, D.C. or New York. Hosting Google and Apple satellite offices, as well as 100 self-driving Uber SUVs roaming more than 90 neighborhoods, the city is Silicon Valley on the East coast. People do not think about that either.

However, Pittsburgh is consistently rated as one of America's most liveable cities due to its low crime rates, expanding yet affordable residential and commercial areas, and investment in educational and technological resources. Simply put, those who often left Pittsburgh looking for professional opportunities elsewhere now stay home, and those who are fleeing gentrified city-centers and expensive cost of living now move to Pittsburgh. As the city's identity has changed from and industrial economy to one of the leading cities for innovation and research, its ancillary scenes have begun to flourish as well.

Previously, on Saturday, August 20, as part of Style Week Pittsburgh, Ryan Brown of farESH Brand, Straightforward Consulting, and Tara Fay curated live music and pop-up shops for the event called Energy. Held at Ace Hotel in East Liberty, clothing brands like Astronaut Kartel Clothing, Daily BreadDragon Sup Design Company, Frost Finery, Tacky Tique Men's Vintage, and more set up tables in the old gymnasium turned event space. Music from Courtesy & The People, DJ Bamboo, DJ Jx4, and others completed the ambiance of a curated trade show for Pittsburgh style and culture.

The artful and creative surge in Pittsburgh currently happens because "people want to feel personally connected to what they do," local artist phenom Justin Emmanuel says.

While the lane for ambitious creativity has always been present in The 'Burgh, people of the past trusted the reliable and industrial sources of income. At the moment, the wave is doing for yourself to make your own dreams come true.

During Energy part of Style Week, Brown, Fay, and Straightforward Consulting offered an opportunity for local businesses to sell and advertise in front of an audience akin to their target markets. While listening to music originating from The 'Burgh, young people of many backgrounds explored each table browsing jewelry, high-end streetwear like Supreme, and vintage products, especially those celebrating Pittsburgh.

Courtesy & The People photographed by Xavier Thomas

Courtesy & The People photographed by Xavier Thomas

Those at the event saw the progressive nature the city possesses. Aidan Wallace, a Pittsburgh native who has been away in New York and abroad in Europe for the greater part of five years said, "Pittsburgh is changing, and it makes me want to move back and contribute to the city that raised me."

Opportunities to express ambitions and creativity continue to emerge in the city due to self-motivation and Pittsburgh pride. Catch a chance to experience the movement on Thursday, August 25 and Saturday, August 27 at Spirit, a bar venue in Lawrenceville where attendees will hear the 2000s and contemporary hip-hop breathe. These events are also put together by Brown of farESH Brand along with Natalie Coccia.

 

 

Far From Fresh by Alex Young

RB photographed by Alex Young

RB photographed by Alex Young

A red bandana hangs from Ryan Brown's adidas Tiro sweatpants. He carries the fabric almost always for multiple reasons: to pay respect to his brother who was heavily entrenched in Pittsburgh's street culture, red is his favorite color, Woody from one of his favorite movies "Toy Story" wears a similar bandana, and it is a handy tool to wipe his brow or to give to a lady.

The cloth, which essentially doubles as Brown's handkerchief, is a symbol that represents important characteristics in his personality and his work.

Nicknamed RB for short, the Pittsburgh native and Lawrenceville resident understands the heritage and the pride people value from where they come from.

Born in the East Hills area of The 'Burgh and later moved to Stanton Heights, RB's appreciation for culture and the arts stems from his mother and manifests itself now in numerous ways.

"Pop culture kept me busy," he says. His mom wanted to keep him away from the life his older brother was living in the streets, so she sidetracked him with entertainment, shows like "Dragon Ball Z" and video game consoles like Sega Genesis.

A "Dragon Ball Z" DVD set, Power Rangers action figures, Toy Story figurines, such as Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, and Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots adorn RB's mantle piece in his living room. A Sega, silver Playstation 2, and black Playstation 4 machines connect to his large, flatscreen television. Many paintings and photographs hang on his walls in neat frames. Three of Pittsburgh visual artist Cody Baker's NINELIVES portraits occupy a nook.

"I'm real into visual stimulation. Most of what you see comes from my interest. I try not to be closed off," RB says.

RB in his living room

RB in his living room

RB offers me a cup of water and places my red, Solo Cup, and his own, on a Prince, "Purple Rain" coaster. Migos' "3 Way," the Atlanta rap trio's new extended play, hums through AppleTV while we talk. "I didn't get into hip-hop until 2000. My mom played gospel in the house," RB says. "WWF Aggression," the soundtrack album featuring entrance music of WWE superstars, re-recorded by hip-hop icons like Snoop Dogg, Redman, and Ice-T, was the kick start to his rap enthusiasm. His wardrobe keys in on his enjoyment for the music genre too. A vintage wear connoisseur, RB has "The Slim Shady LP" T-shirt and merchandise from Kanye West's "808s and Heartbreak" album. He wears a tee commemorating the 1994 Major League Baseball All-Star Game hosted in Pittsburgh during our meeting.

Officially, RB made his appreciation for popular culture and his hometown his life's work in 2004 when he attended Schenley High School. He and his friends considered themselves "far from fresh," a wave that influenced how they carried themselves and how they spoke. On New Year's, RB threw a house party where he gave away shirts, the first product of farESH Brand.

Now 28-years-old, RB strives to bring different people of different backgrounds together. Through hosting events and creating apparel RB and farESH Brand achieve this.

"Pittsburgh needs to grow, develop, and ask questions," he says.

In the past, farESH brought together different tastes of music from many artists in Pittsburgh. Rapper Mars Jackson paired with Northern pop act badboxes on a song called "Sacrifice." The company blended sounds of electronic, hip-hop, and jazz from an all-Pittsburgh cast on the mixtape "Bridges," mixed by DJ Bamboo.

This year, FarESH Brand held a mini music festival with mixed genres called "The City" to showcase many of the talented acts in Pittsburgh. Blues, hip-hop, and rock were on display at Spirit Lodge, a bar in Lawrenceville. The event and the musical lineup joined the district community and the black community under one roof for a common enjoyment.

Forthcoming is more of the same mission, uniting people of many interests and backgrounds. RB holds an event called "Finesse" on July 23 at Spirit Lodge where DJ EYEJAY and illustrator-DJ Paizley Mind will play hip-hop, jersey club, and trap music. Then on July 28 at Spirit RB will host another event called "Tall Tees," which celebrates hip-hop and 2000s with DJ Pete Butta. Lastly, a beach themed roller derby will take place at Belvederes Ultra-Dive on July 30. DJ Jx4 and DJ Bamboo will assist on the beach disco tunes.

These events are necessary because they provide a contemporary music outlet, an atmosphere that is hard to find in The Steel City. RB and the musicians work hard to present a catalog of music appropriate for the mainstream, but also extremely exciting for those that pay attention to all the new artists and hot tracks that come out daily.

Paizley, RB, and myself were hitting it to "Money Counter" by Deezlee in the living room. Paizley and RB are best friends and roommates. EYEJAY is quick to say she'll deliver a better DJ set than her partner Paizley. RB and I nodded our heads crazy when he played "no no" by Monte Booker, a song EYEJAY sent him as a reference point for the 23rd.

Occasionally, RB will even host barbecues and pregame parties at his house, The Palace, and in his yard, The Garden. It is a meeting place for many of the actors in Pittsburgh's creative community to interact and meet new faces.

RB of FarESH Brand

RB of FarESH Brand

Additionally, the apparel RB and farESH offer hits on the public's love for their city. Currently, you will see hats, T-shirts, and coach jackets branded with "Pixburgh" and "152XX" text paying homage to inner-city slang and the first three numbers to every zip code in the western Pennsylvania city.

Future collections will build on civic pride, and specifically the 200th anniversary of Pittsburgh. farESH crafts a gray baseball jersey with "152XX" on the chest, the city's flag on the right sleeve, and a bicentennial patch on the upper left chest of the garment. The back of the jersey features the number 1 and "Denny" writing across the shoulders, an ode to Pittsburgh's first appointed mayor, Ebenezer Denny (who is buried in Lawrenceville) in 1816.

Positioned as farESH Brand's Creative Director and owner, RB utilizes culture that many Pittsburghers can identify with, and he adds diverse opportunities for people to enjoy shared experiences.