7.17.19 More Than A Shirt NYC
I was actually shopping to buy Dapper Dan’s memoir, but a cookie recommendation from Amazon suggested I would also be interested in Bobby Hundred’s book. I thought that the book had been out sometime, but it turned out it just released. The timing could have not been better. I purchased the books together on a Sunday night. I found out that Bobby was having a book tour and he would be in New York City on Wednesday.
I always want my readers to have a positive takeaway from my content. As the late great Prodigy said, “you have to mix medicine with the food.” I have been proactively going to a of these free events in NYC for higher learning. If someone is speaking and there will be a Q and A, you best believe I will take full advantage of it, to better myself and I hope you as well.
Before I start, I want to say that I was never a Hundreds fan from day one. I knew the brand because of their iconic logo Adam Bomb and all the NikeTalk heads that posted all their Hundreds pieces at the threads that showcased what you rocked for the day. I did not partake in it, because at the time, I felt that isn’t really what street wear is about and it was suppose to be not even shown off in that matter. It felt more to me that people were rocking things to out do each other. My immature and judgmental ways were so strong, since I was insecure.
Fast forward to the last five years, I remember a childhood friend of mine, Lim knew I was going through some personal turmoil within my own life of what made me happy and what direction I was going. All he told me was “look I know you going through shit, but you should read this dude Bobby’s story about The Hundreds.” I thought why not? Lim never really tells me anything very serious. This was one of the few times in my life he had this stern voice where his laughter and playfulness ensues with the ending of his sentences, was no where to be found. I took his word for it and clicked on this blog post (12.21.11). From that day forward, I owed an apology to Bobby, Ben their fans, and brand.
The doors for Housing Works Bookstore Cafe & Bar opened at 7 p.m., for the event. I got there at 6:15 and there was already a line that was nearing the end of the block. Luckily no one was left out and we all got to be part of the tour. When you entered, you had the choice of lining up to get your book with the complimentary tour shirt or securing a seat. My fortune of timing has been great this year and I was able to do both. There are no photos of the actual event since the few taken were the camera on it’s last leg. When life gives you lemons you will just have to make organic lemonade. Bobby’s book Q and A was with Noor Tagouri. Lucky for you all, I was there to take notes and share the experience of what I learned with the motifs found throughout the event and in the book. The notes below are from the words of the man himself that I summarized.
There is always a sense of the buyer is not buying for you, but they are buying something that has meaning to them at that point in time. This appreciation is what collectively forms communities with like minded individuals.
-Treating numbers as people
There should always be a curiosity about people. What is any culture without people? There is something with connecting with an individual on a one on one basis. It is more intimate and you can get to know someone better. If you really love your brand and care for something greater than profit, you will understand.
The essence of street wear is the underground. It performs best in the shadow. People that do find success, do it with no acknowledgement and will make so much fucking noise until they are found. You will have to have a constant mindset of fighting like an underdog, but you are a champion
-Value In Time
Life is about timing. Something can happen in 15 years or in 15 seconds. Can their value be the same? If something does not work out, how dedicated are you to chipping away? Measure life in thriving and surviving.
-The Essence of Street Wear
The essence of street wear is the t-shirt. It speaks with a direct message. If I put my art on tees, can I get conversation around my art?
-Advice To Everyone
Do not just look at brands as a profit, but as a community. We are misaligned. People are speaking into a void of comments and likes. We are all just shouting. Platforms should be built for those that do not have a voice and we should be helping each other. Brands go out of style, but people never do.
It’s very crucial that we support brands by us people of color that have integrity, character, and have a strong sense of community. This Q & A was really an eye opening experience for me and it has been invaluable. It made me realize things with what I am doing at Yellow Vino and revitalized my love for what it means to own fashion pieces that have story and history, which is what we will segue to my next story.
Bobby touched on the importance of representation. It is one thing to be the face of a brand, but to own it is something different. We need more diversity with decision makers at the top if we truly want change. Please check out and support these two black owned brands. Bricks & Wood and Joe Fresh Goods. They embody what we should collectively support as to what it means to be a fashion brand.
Peace & love,