Feature: Fresh n Fierce

www.epidemikcoalition.com

NN: Epidemik Coalition- Who, What, Where, How long have you been around?

EC:We’re a design company who focuses on graphic tees. We believe the tee is the ultimate canvas for experimentation and expression. The process of designing a graphic tee allows us to freely experiment with concepts and techniques while achieving a produced result at the end of every exploration. We’ve been around for almost 3 years and we got our start screen-printing after hours in the basement of our design school, Portfolio Center, in ATL. We basically took over a photography studio and dirtied it up with our inks. Now that we’ve graduated from design school, we’ve been grinding hard to get our design company off the ground. We love doing logos and other branding identities but we also have a lot of people who come to us to design graphic tees as well. Some of our friends/partners sites you should check out:


MeganHuntz.com
Demuns.com


We’re currently working on a new clothing line to hit boutiques nationally/internationally in the Spring of 2009. The line is called PROCESS. You can check out our teaser site at:


ProcessClothing.com or follow the journey of getting a line off the ground at EpidemikCoalition.com


The new line has been 3 years in the making! I’m excited to show the world what we’re all about! The influences come from Hitchcock, punk rock, electro, typography of Herb Lubalin, and of course, Atlanta. I’ve sent along a section of our mood board with some of the new designs blurred out. But at least you can see where we’re drawing our influences from.


NN: This is a first, featuring a graphic/fashion designer here at NN but we’re always open to new things!…Did the fashion design come naturally since you are graphic designers first…

EC: My business partner/best friend, Georgios, and I grew up fascinated with graphic tees. We met on the first day of design school and decided we were going to teach ourselves how to screen-print. As soon as we learned the techniques, we started pushing the limits of the medium as our own design skills improved with each quarter of design school going by.

NN: How do to the two worlds differ from each other and what are the similarities?

EC:Its funny you ask this because there are also a lot of people who don’t consider tees as part of the fashion world and it probably has something to do with all the tee designers out there who either have no design skills or training or want to make idiotic statements with their tees.

NN:My favorite EC Tee is the Anglerfish Tee, explain the concept and the inspiration?

EC:Georgios designed it, so I’m gonna have him jump in here to explain it:


If you are familiar with our brand you can tell we love marine animals, especially weird ones. We try to relate these mysterious sea creatures to our brand and what we are going through at the time. I designed this tee earlier this year and at that time, we were really struggling to reel in clients to get work. It became really frustrating when potential clients would never contact you back when we thought we had the job locked down, especially when you know you got to pay the rent. This tee was born out of this struggle and represents our constant drive to attract more work

NN: For as long as I can remember folks have been hating on the South HARD in all aspects…but these days there is a massive influx of talent rising from below specifically the A-TOWN!!! How do you feel about that?

EC: We love the ATL and we’re happy that the Dirty South is getting more recognition these days. I think a lot of it has to do with the rise of hip-hop in popular culture, especially southern friend hip-hop/crunk. Many people come to Atlanta to get started and then they move away the first chance they get. It’s a very transient city. I think these days more and more influential people who care about doing good work are sticking around and starting a movement. That’s what it’s all about. Check out ATLCreatives.com for some examples of what I’m talking about.

NN: What are a few stereotypes about graphic designers that bug you out?

EC:I know people jokingly stereotype us by saying graphic designers wear black emo glasses, black Chuck Taylors, black on black designer tees, and black slacks…it’s funny, but it’s not totally true.

NN: You recently teamed up with Atlantian artist Demun Jones on a line of tees…How did that come about and is there any certain criteria for the clients you choose to work with?

EC:We’ve been designing promotional pieces for the band, Rehab, for awhile and we’ve been dealing mainly with Demun Jones who has been handling their promos and merch for a long time. He always wears our tees when he performs on stage, but Rehab & Demun Jones ended up playing way more shows than we had tees. We started grabbing dinner with him at our favorite steakhouse/sushi place in Atlanta, Prime (which represents the ATL hard because you can get sushi and cheese grits at the same time), and the collaboration was born naturally out of that. Why not give Demun (the hardest working man in the music industry) his own tees to rep?


As for choosing clients, we enjoy clients who don’t know exactly what they want yet. They’re the best ones. Our job is to visually communicate and idea or series of ideas. Clients who just want to use us because they think we can lay out whatever they already have pictured in their heads are very difficult to work for because we can’t read minds…at least not all the time.

NN: Any dream collabos that you would LUV to do?

EC:Working with any client should be a collaborative process. So, in a way, we love working with clients who enjoy the process as much as we do. But since you ask, these are people/companies that we’d love to work with: Nike, Jordan Brand, Alexander McQueen, Gorillaz, Kid Robot, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Futura, Apple, Married to the Mob NYC, SOMA Magazine, Neutral Milk Hotel, & Lebron James.


Can we make any of those happen?

Thanks for the interview!

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Feature: Fresh n Fierce

www.myspace.com/rojasboutique

NN: Can you give us a little background on the Rojas designer/s and brand?

AH: Freddie Rojas launched the “Rojas” brand in 1995, but ran his business under other names with other business partners until 2002. That is when he relaunched “Rojas” all by himself. He has had his store on Melrose since 1993! I (Alejandra Hernandez) was hired at the end of 2003 to co-design and expand his women’s collection. He told me “I’m going to teach you EVERYTHING!!” I’ve been here ever since, and now the Rojas women’s collection can be found at a little over 250 retailers across the world! He has been amazing mentor.

NN: One thing that I have noticed about Rojas year after year is the ability to preserve the constant individuality and uniqueness of the line! How do you maintain those qualities amongst such a copycat industry?

AH: Copycat industry is right! We get knocked off all the time, and the funniest thing about it is that it takes a while for the piece to get knocked off. For example, our babydoll sweatshirt dress had been in stores for over a year before Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, Juicy, and even Roxy knocked it off! Now it’s everywhere, even three years later you can still go to the alleys and see it in some cheapy store. even the different versions we did afterwards! It is hilarious! After that experience we stepped up our game. We now print our own fabric with our own artwork and really source out better trims. We want our clothes to look like something you can’t purchase at H&M. I look at some of the clothing companies that are considered our competition and think to myself “ wow….another silky dress that retails at $170! home girl could buy an almost exact version of at Forever 21…..” I just don’t get it. I pretty much sweat and bleed for better fabric so that our girls feel different in our piece. I think that’s what makes Rojas stand out now. I think that’s what makes it unique. That and the fact that we don’t really design our collections around trend but rather a lifestyle. That makes us a little “forward” too.

NN: I definitely believe that you guys were some of the first pioneers in the street wear circuit..What are your views on the street wear scene today?

AH:Overall, I think street wear is over saturated. Too much of it, and it all looks the same. I have always been inspired by street wear, but I was never “that” girl. My boyfriends would wear sneakers and I always wore heels. You know? I love what 10 Deep is doing. I would love to design a women’s collection for them. I believe it is the only street wear collection that tells a clever story, it’s really designed beautifully. It does exactly what every collection should, street wear or non street wear.

NN: Who are some indie designers that you feel are currently on point with their design aesthetic?

AH:I really love Alexandre Herchcovitch and Jean Charles De Castelbajac! Hands down!!! Absolutely amazing designers. They are definitely established designers, but most people don’t know who they are. Out of LA, I really love the boys at Anzevino and Florence, they are true visionaries and very young. They inspire me!

NN: I know that trend forecasting is a MAJOR component of keeping ones designs ahead of the rest of them :)…Name 3 trends/styles that you are over and 3 trends/styles that you foresee popping up this spring/summer!

AH: 3 trends I love right now:

1. Mini skirts, all day every day. High waisted and super tight! Show off those legs!

2. Super wide leg pants…. The wider the better. Very Parisian!

3. Neon undergarments/nails/sandals/EVERYTHING. Let a neon bra peek through a sheer white tee shirt or tank top and I will fall in love with you. don’t over do it, let the neon be a little pop to your plain outfit! TRUST ME!

3 trends I’m so over:

1. Over accessorizing. Don’t look like you are wearing a costume ever!!! I cant handle when you look like the accessory counter at wasteland through up on you! Save it for Halloween!

2. Tights or boots in the summer. Fall and winter have left so move on girls!. Do yourself a favor and wear a dress without the tights when it’s 80 degrees outside.

3. Bright eye makeup. Never ok.

NN: LA OR New York right now, and why?

AH:They are both equal to me, but very different. I cant choose. A lot coming out of both cities, but I do LOVE my LA. New york has less rules, but in LA you have more freedom. If that makes any sense.

NN: What can we look forward to from ROJAS for the Fall?

AH:Fall is very black and full of different textures. It is very chic, like a cleaned up Debbie harry look. We always make fall and holiday a little more “night time”. Definitely a lot of pieces you would wear to a party.

THINGS I luv

www.beklina.com/

If you haven’t checked out Beklina, your missing out! One of my favorite spots to discover fresh independent fashion. And to top it off they’re a green boutique, that’s right if you haven’t already jump on the wagon…Eco-fashion is as popular as ever these days and its great to see that designers are conscious…I fell in luv with these dresses from Finnish designer Ivana Helsinki, I luv the bold prints and bright colors…Take a moment and visit Beklina, there’s no doubt you’ll be in luv too!

Nuvany Ni’ce x Ferociter Giveaway

Congrats to Michelle from Cali…More goodies coming so don’t forget to join the mailing list and check back frequently!!!

ferociter.etsy.com

Time for another giveaway sponsored by Ferociter…Check out the Fresh N Fierce feature we did on Ferociter…Designer Aimie Dukes has an extensive background in design which is evident in each and every one of her visually stimulating creations…This Super Cute Nautical Charm Necklace is from the Nautica Collection which consists of only 3 designs…Wanna win it, all you have to do is sign up for our Notify List on the bottom left hand side of the site(if you’ve already signed up please do so again, to be sure your in)…Also, I’m working on a new and improved site design, I would really luv to know what your interested in seeing here at Nuvany Ni’ce(not required for contest entry)…So just leave a comment with your suggestion/s…One winner will be picked at random on April 27, 2008! Oh forgot to mention I have a vintage bauble ring from Ferociter, I actually did a post about it a while back,its one of my favorites to wear!

THINGS I luv

www.anthemmagazine.com

I know its been a while, i’ve been slacking on the posts…But i’ve been madddd busy…The older my kids get the more and more I realize its never gonna end, being a parent and its all good its just no joke and lots of work…From classes for myself to shuffling them to all of their activities and just the everyday things that you have to do in life, its been like a huge ramble…So i’m def. working on some new things for the site, going on a big shopping trip to a vintage warehouse at the end of this month, so look out for some new stuff, working on getting a new site design(I know it loads slow and its kinda confusing so i’m def. working on that) and lots lots more…Thanks for hangin in there with me, its been an adventurous ride and Nuvany Ni’ce will slowly but surely develop and grow daily!!! So i’m in a rush as usual but I just luv this pic. above of Miss Santogold(if you don’t know about her, where you been???) The most random things inspire me and excite me, I’m luvin her hair and her vintage-esque top it just works…So simple, I luv it…So check her out in the newest issue Anthem Mag…Hope your having a wonderful and productive day! OH AND I HAVEN’T FORGOTTEN ABOUT THE STREET STYLE PICS., KAI BROKE MY NEW CAMERA ALREADY, I KNOW I KNOW…ITS MY FAULT BUT I’VE SENT IT IN TO GET FIXED AND IT SHOULD BE BACK SOON!

THINGS I luv



www.myspace.com/gemmadegara

Gemma Degarma is a fashion designer from Barcelona, Spain…I came across her myspace page a while back and have been meaning to post…I luv to see fashion from intl. designers, drastically different than us designers for sure…Its nice that the model conveys the way the clothes feel and look with her wet look, she looks refreshed and clean…Definitely something that you can wear in hot weather, baggy and draped yet breathable….And pink is my color for this spring/summer, always looks good paired with grey!

GO COP SOME REBEL CHIC EARRINGS!!!

www.rebelchic.bigcartel.com

I just got a Fed Ex package delivered and guess what was inside…Yip, yip some REBEL CHIC earrings that are beyond fierce! Remember we recently did a Fresh N Fierce feature on Ms. Tisha Brown, check it out if you haven’t already…These earrings are beautiful and they are so huge, I luv em…Thanks to Ms. Tisha for sponsoring the giveaway as well as blessing me with a pair…So please take the time today and show Tisha some luv by copping a pair or two, you will not be disappointed!