The first show
While David was at work, he overheard his boss speaking to a gentleman about an upcoming fashion show he was putting together.
The show was called Bourgeoisie and Proletariat.
He explains lained something where Marx acknowledged the bourgeois industriousness that created wealth, but criticised the moral hypocrisy
of the bourgeoisie when they ignored the alleged origins of their wealth: the exploitation of the proletariat, the urban and rural workers…. and how he created a theme like that.
He had several high end clothing lines, but needed an urband/rural brand. Without asking permission, I told the man I was part of a brand that sounded like what he was looking for.
The gentleman asked if we could deliver a full linve, two 20 foot murals, and several framed pieces of artwork. The issue was, he needed it done in a week.
I knew this was a big chance for us, so I committed without consulting the team. When I had the chance to call jon, he couldnt be more excited.
Knowing this was a chance at our first fashion and art show, he was honestly thrilled. Until I told him we had a week. Then he told me to go f&$@ myself.
I asked what it would take to get done, and if was even possible. He told me it was, if he had $400. Thats when I hung up and called my financial advisor, Lisa Roddy (my mom). Knowing how much it meant to us, and how much she believed in us, she overnighted him a check.
Jon then proceeded to graffiti two twenty foot murals, paint several skateboards, grabbed 10 pieces of art, got on a plane, and made from Miami to DC on the day of the event. When he arrived, we all scrambled to frame the artwork, and get setup at the event. Thank God the people there were actually professionals, and had done this before.
Our role at the event, was to be the street brand. We had a corner table setup with shirts, decks, art, and some business cards. I remember vividly how many people came up and complimented us. One in particular did something that would give us our big break.
I noticed Jon talking to a man for quite some time. Ironically, this man went the same high school as us, and was a model at the event. It was a fashion show afterall, with several reputable georgetown boutiques. The man asked if we wanted him to model our shirts. This is something the gentleman told is specifically not to do. Luckily, we had an in.
In my eues, this was the moment where things became real for us. Although a lot of people had walked over to see Jon’s art, this was a chance for everyone to see it on a walkway. The man who grabbed the shirts from us managed to get a few other models to wear our shirts. They were simple white tee’s, but they had jon’s original artwork hand printed like our first line.
Honest to God, the crowds reaction made it clear we were rhe favorite in the room. We were all standing next to eachother realizing what was happening. We were going to be a real clothing company.
From that point, we had our niche. We were a brand bringing fine artists together. Traveling up and down the east coast, we put together events from Miami to New York. To put some numbers to it, one event in North Carolina, we sold over 100 tee shirts at a coffee shop. If you havent tried, it’s hard to sell tee shirts at a coffee shop…
I’m not lying when I tell you that people loved Jon’s artwork, and I was no different. We were all blow away at how talented he was, especially in such a short time. I kid you not, while he was studying art at Miami University, everything he painted was for Relish Ink. Not only was he talented, but he was incredibly dedicated.