streetwear

Sakony Has A New T-shirt for the 'Burgh by Alex Young

 Sakony Burton | Graphic by Alex Young

Sakony Burton | Graphic by Alex Young

“More recently, I’ve been dressing more outwards,” Sakony said. Apparently from the silver drip on the Jumpman from his “Pure Money” Air Jordan four. Sakony Shakur Burton, 22 from Homewood in Pittsburgh, is pent-up printing T-shirts, out-of-sight in the basement, which you have to access through a secret door on the floor of Haus of Vain, a thrift shop on Centre Avenue. The graphic designer busied fulfilling orders for his “Stay Away” collection, tees with barbed wire around a yellow smiley face. It’s very anti, but Sakony says it’s for people who like their alone time. “I only go outside to seek genuine connection and then go home.”

InTheRough: How would you describe the wardrobe of a designer? By that I mean Steve Jobs. He dressed mad simple.

Sakony: Yeah he had a uniform.

ITR: Right, you know what I mean, but it’s either one of two things: basic or eccentric. I see you got a pearl Chanel earring on, bro.

Sakony: [laughs] I would say more recently I’ve been dressing more outwards. Usually it’s all black this all black that. My mans came over earlier and was saying, “I’m trying to be like Steve Jobs. Five turtle necks for the week type shit.” I would want to be like that, but I like too much shit. I opted out of that whole thing with making my own shit. I try not to do the same things too often. I had an angel hoop earring that I lost in Los Angeles. I have a weird affinity for angels. I dress how I dress. I dress like the people I’m around. It’s in the details. “Oh, Sakony got a Chanel earring. That’s hard!”

ITR: That includes your Love bracelet?

Sakony: We’re not gonna talk about that. It was a birthday gift from a brother and we all got one.

ITR: Oh, shit.

Sakony: Don’t even hype it.

I only go outside to seek genuine connection and then go home.
— Sakony

The designer describes his fan base as “people who’ve been following me through the Internet” throughout his youth at C.A.P.A., Pittsburgh’s creative and performing arts magnet school. Sakony was a Tumblr kid and that’s where his graphics first received love from around the globe. “I live for the love. If people continue to love me, nothing is for naught,” he said. The love gives him confidence to sell his work. “You can down play yourself all you want, but you really got that gift,” Sakony said.

Also, seeing the demand for SOSIMO, a streetwear brand by Pittsburgh native Ivan Rodriguez, influences him to produce more products. “We’re just kids doing the thing,” he said. “If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing right now, and to some degree, if it wasn’t for me, he wouldn’t be doing what he’s doing right now.”

The latest creation from Sakony is an ode to regional slang. While one of his friends was walking around Chinatown in New York, he read T-shirts that said “Fuck You You Fucking Fuck,” and sent a picture to Sakony. He liked the arrogant vulgarity from a classic New York accent. “New York got theirs, why can’t we have ours?”

A black tee boasts “Fuck Yinz You Fucking Jagoffs” in white text to get the point across.

 Sakony’s  new T-shirt  is limited to a 44 hour presale now  here .

Sakony’s new T-shirt is limited to a 44 hour presale now here.

InTheRough: That’s very vulgar, but I get swearing is peaceful in a way. Where’d the inspiration for this come from?

Sakony: It’s from a New York tee. “Fuck You, You Fucking Fuck.” It made me think of the “Homewood You Schmuck” T-shirts and The Hill’s “Nephs” tee. It’s a regional tee. I ended up getting one that says “Always You Fucking Fuck” from my boy Mario out in Arizona. I was like I should make one for all of Pittsburgh. I might as well make something for the entire city. This will probably be the only Pittsburgh centric tee that I’ll drop. I'm not going to say I don’t take pride in being from here. It’s definitely one of the key factors of my character, but it doesn’t comprise more than 50% of my being.

ITR: Yeah, Pittsburgh pride varies, but everybody feels a tie to it at some point.

Sakony: I definitely feel the most Pittsburgh when I’m out of Pittsburgh. When I was out in L.A., I was like, damn I’m really a Pittsburgh nigga.

 Sakony’s cover art for  Linwood’s  “Hate Breaking Hearts” single

Sakony’s cover art for Linwood’s “Hate Breaking Hearts” single

Throughout his graphics career, Sakony has garnered an influence that “is not so easily seen,” he said. “Outside of apparel, my design makes you want to cop it. Music artists come to me for cover art because they want my little flavor of things.”

As Sakony continues, he refines more skills, like producing beats, so he can sell to the public that loves his work.

I live for the love. If people continue to love me, nothing is for naught.
— Sakony

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 Newman 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 Newman 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.

 

Good Sports Get Involved by Alex Young

 Jake Sullivan & Steven Crump of Good Sports | Photograph by Alex Young

Jake Sullivan & Steven Crump of Good Sports | Photograph by Alex Young

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.

People could have “Pittsburgh clothes for the [whole] year if you look into it,” Sullivan said.

Now, Good Sports, Sports for short, is an example of an emerging streetwear culture in the city.

To have a brand you have to have people know the feeling. You want to make it have a meaning.
— Steven Crump
 Photograph by Alex Young

Photograph by Alex Young

I asked if either of the partners skates because that’s the feeling I got looking at their collections, like the latest Exordium. 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.

What Sports is trying to do is “get more involved” in the culture. 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.

To that point, people in the city 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. InnerviewQ has also been seen wearing Sports.

 Part of the Exordium Collection | Photograph by Sara Zataweski

Part of the Exordium Collection | Photograph by Sara Zataweski

The apparel side of the label 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 Exordium range. 

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 for a Pittsburgh foundation.

Sports will produce more clothing when they're ready. "Everything is here it's just how it all gets put together," Crump said. 

John Geiger Joins The Burgh Boyz Podcast by Alex Young

 Photo via  @nikgeiger2  Instagram

Photo via @nikgeiger2 Instagram

Shout out to interview maestro Quentin Cuff for asking designer John Geiger the right questions to get him talking game on episode 25 of The Burgh Boyz podcast. Geiger spoke about his work at the Nike campus, living in Miami, trading sneakers with 2 Chainz, and more. Cool tidbits and anecdotes drop throughout the interview session. Of note, Geiger said he and Nike are “working on something for 2018.”

Entertain yourself. Listen to the new The Burgh Boyz episode with Cuff, DJ Motormane, and DJ Spillz featuring DJ Solo Dolo and Geiger (23:14).

Quentin Cuff: I know that you really hoop... and if anyone looks this up on YouTube, there's a crazy video of Geiger fighting somebody in the middle of a game.

John Geiger: Yeah, the [2003] state championship game.

Stillers Post Season 02 by Maxwell Young

 Stillers Post Season 02 printed at Artist Image Resource Inc.

Stillers Post Season 02 printed at Artist Image Resource Inc.

The third Stillers collection, Post Season 02, is now available.

The motivation and anticipation surrounding the Stillers' playoff hunt is palpable as we ready ourselves for number seven.  We're fighting for our football family and brethren this year, playing in the spirit of Mr. Rooney and in the strength of Ryan Shazier.  

Playoff demons stemming all the way back from 2002, and made painstakingly fresh thanks to Week 15's heartbreaker at Heinz Field, will be exorcised in Foxborough, Ma.--20 years since the last time the Stillers were able to knock the Patriots out of championship contention.  We will get seven before they get six.

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'SteelSpeed' is inspired by the change of focus and precision that occurs in January and February.  We're no strangers to playoff football--it is expected--but the pulse of the locker room becomes elevated and the roar of Stillers Nation becomes much louder on the stairway to seven.  We have kicked into hyper-drive.

Post Season 02 is a collection of sweatshirts and sweatpants designed and screen-printed by InTheRough staff.  Green sweats and the re-purposed 'Eye' logo made popular by our 'Enjoy the Goods' t-shirts solidify the collaboration between Stillers and InTheRough, for they are one and the same.  Post Season 02 would not be possible without Quaishawn Whitlock, the technician and artist behind the atelier--Artist Image Resource Inc.  Thank you also to Justin Berk, Lanie Edwards, Alex Hersh, JR Walker, and Alex Young.

Stillers sweats are available for purchase individually or as a set here.  May they bring good fortune in this year's hunt for a seventh Super Bowl title.

Stillers bend, they don't break.