Do you have a dream vision of what your store will end up being?
Smith: Right now it’s just more of a showroom, but I would love to have embroidery machines, screen printers, Direct To Garment printing machines, stuff like that, where people can come in and make their own designs. I wanna have these old vintage magazines that have a lot of dope graphics that I look at and read myself and get inspiration from and be able to have kids come through and fuckin’ make designs.
A lot of the time people in streetwear make it seem hard. People try to keep it a secret how they started their brand. And really—it’s not that hard. If I can get more kids to feel stoked about having a career in the arts, or something creative, through having them come to the shop and make some designs and get their career started, that would be dope.
You just released your first full collection, which had the three shirts that weren’t bootleg, that said “Tax Evasion,” “Cease and Desist” and “Copyright Infringement.” Did part of you want to move away from doing the straight up bootleg stuff?
Smith: In a way, I do. It’ll always be a certain part of what I do here, but yeah, I wanted to do something a little different and that felt a little more my own without relying on the brand names. Even though I would still consider—even though they’re bootleg—I would consider all these designs original.
But that’s why I did the full season because in context, the “Tax Evasion,” “Cease and Desist” and “Copyright Infringement” designs make a lot more sense when juxtaposing them with these more classically bootlegged ones. I was really into the season because I felt like it gave the work a little more cohesion than it had in the past.
What role has Instagram and social media played in your success?
Smith: Everything. I was and still am just hitting the DMs on people. Like, “What’s up dude, I really fuck with your work. I would love to send you a pack, it would mean a lot, blah blah blah.” Of all those DMs I send, maybe a couple people will respond. And of those people that respond and get a shirt, maybe one or two people will post my shit. But those one or two people really make the difference.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned so far in the year you’ve been doing mega yacht for?
Smith: Just fucking trust the process. Some people, in terms of entrepreneurship, have a grandmaster five year plan—that’s not really what I’m doing. But if I keep going, so long as I have momentum and I keep moving forward, something is going to happen.
You’ve got your store opening coming up soon. What else can we expect from you in the next few months?
Smith: I’ve got a new season coming up. I have a couple things with different artists in the works like promo tees and collaborations that will hopefully come together by the end of the year.
And I’ve got to make pants. I’ve been blowing it on that.