STAYCOOLNYC is a brand that has probably already crossed your radar at some point if you are into fashion, and one that you’ll be hearing a lot more of in the future. Founded by Amin Adjmi in 2015, what started as a college passion project where he was a young student selling products out of the trunk of his car, has since developed into a burgeoning fashion line that’s become the source for all things retro-futuristic chillwear. What is “chillwear” you ask? It’s a specific category of clothing developed and expanded by Adjmi that combines surf, skate, and streetwear all into one. Honing in on effortless timeless pieces that can be worn while lounging around at the crib, running casual errands, or just simply “rollin’ with the homies.”
STAYCOOLNYC, The Brand That Pioneered Chillwear, Is Entering a New Chapter
We chatted with founder Amin Adjmi to learn more
Inspired by retro style and culture, STAYCOOLNYC is built on positivity and nostalgia that’s inspired by retro style and culture. Their goal? To produce products and content that are meant to evoke the feeling of being a kid again. In addition to their fashion endeavors, STAYCOOL has also expanded into the realm of hospitality, transportation, interior design, and plenty more. We chatted with Adjmi to learn more about where the brand is headed in the future.
I wanted to build the company enough in school to where I could go and work on it full-time without having to get job.
- Amin Adjmi
"I started STAYCOOLNYC in 2015," Adjmi tells ONE37pm as he dives into the brand's early origins. "I was a sophomore in college at Boston University, and first started designing t-shirts on a website called Custom Ink as a hobby, just making some shirts for myself." In the process, Adjmi realized he'd always had a passion for style and decided to ask his friends if they were interested in buying his t-shirts—which they were. "The first design I ever made had a design that said 'staycool people' on the back with retro characters on it," he explains, continuing: "I was always interested in retro nostalgic aesthetic from the 80s/90s, so I decided to stick with the name STAYCOOL, and kept working on the brand while I was in college at Boston—growing it, expanding my network, and learning how to run a clothing company."
Noting that this was before streetwear style really started booming some years later, Adjmi was able to get a "head start" before streetwear brands started being created left and right. The initial success of STAYCOOL led to Adjmi making the decision to work on the brand full-time after graduating college. "I wanted to build the company enough in school to where I could go and work on it full-time without having to get job," he recalls. Upon graduating, Adjmi did indeed start working on the brand full-time, building a small team where he says everybody has to "wear a lot of hats," and learning the ropes of starting a streetwear brand from scratch.
I try to be a breath of fresh air in the industry, and offer people something fresh colorful, and exciting.
- Amin Adjmi
The learning curve was one Adjmi says was "difficult," but credits his father (who's been in the garment wholesale industry for roughly forty years) as being somebody he could go to for consistent advice. "I had him to help direct and advise me with what I really needed," he adds. One of the things that separates STAYCOOL from other streetwear brands is their emphasis on "chillwear"—a category that they innovated. "Chillwear is something that I coined/made my own due to the fact that I didn't want the brand labeled as streetwear—streetwear is a term that people kind of throw around a lot, and I wanted to be in my own lane. Chillwear encompasses skate, surf, and streetwear into one, and we really wanted to make products that you can throw on very casually and comfortably."
"You see people wearing our stuff when they are walking, hanging out, sleeping, going to the movies etc.—and our clothes are casual products that have colorful, nostalgic, and positive feelings to them. I try to be a breath of fresh air in the industry, and offer people something fresh colorful, and exciting. A lot of our products have nostalgic/vintage references to it, and we make many different types of products ranging from clothing, accessories, rugs, keychains, and more."
In addition their website, STAYCOOL can also be found amongst numerous retailers including Zumiez, Urban Outfitters, Revolve, Culture Kings, Simons, Jack's Surfboards, and plenty of other retailers among the United States. "I initially reached out to many different retailers over the course of many years—I used to call retailers when I was in my dorm room—over time we developed how to work with retailers," says Adjmi. He continues: "It was really just a matter of being persistent, and we do have an in-house salesman that helps us get into more stores."
Over the years, STAYCOOLNYC has also developed a celebrity fan base along the lines of Pete Davidson, Justin Bieber, Hailey Bieber, SZA, Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell, Steph Curry, and Lil Dickie, which Adjmi says he's "really proud of" as it shows that the brand is doing something different. Pete Davidson, in particular, really helped take things to the next level by wearing a STAYCOOLNYC hoodie on SNL.
Anytime an NBA player wears our stuff, it's also a big moment. Jayson Tatum wore one of our sweatsuits on the sidelines about a year or two ago.
- Amin Adjmi
"From a 'moment's' perspective, Pete Davidson really helped us," he tells me, adding: "He wore our stuff on Saturday Night Live, and we ended up getting a flood of traffic on our website. He also wore our sweatpants last year at the New Years Eve Countdown Show with Miley Cyrus—that was a big moment for us there." NBA players have additionally helped with increasing the notoriety of the brand. "Anytime an NBA player wears our stuff, it's also a big moment. Jayson Tatum wore one of our sweatsuits on the sidelines about a year or two ago, and the Boston Celtics commentary announcers talked about it, so that helped us as well. It's always cool to see celebrities wearing the brand."
Ahead in the immediate future is a slight change in the direction for STAYCOOLNYC, in-addition to continued growth and expansion. "I'm on this new vibe where I'm developing our aesthetic to be more retro/fresh, and I'm getting inspired by the 1980s beach/surf aesthetic," Adjmi notes you can get a glimpse of it on their website, before continuing: "That's the lane and vibe we're transitioning towards from a branding POV. We've changed our logo, updated our website, and we're slowly entering a new realm for the brand."
"We're also really focused on doing more collaborations—it's something we want to tap into more, and we want to continue growing our retailer relationships. We want to expand our social media and take things to the next level as always, and that's the immediate future. Down the line, I have aspirations to take the brand into the hospitality space, because I studied hospitality at Boston University. I want to put the STAYCOOLNYC aesthetic into that world. You see a lot of brands that are doing retail/cafe and those types of concepts right now, so I would like to get into that—be it a STAYCOOLNYC diner or candy shop—whatever that might look like. It's all about putting that fresh aesthetic into physical locations. You can go on our website and see what our office looks like—I just want to put that into physical locations."
Anything in-store as it pertains to the brand would follow that concept as well. "It would have to be a concept with hospitality that's more than clothes on our rack. I would want to combine a clothing retail location with something that could be more exciting and put our mark on more than just clothing. We're just trying to position ourselves as a breath fresh air. If you go to our website and see what we're doing with props, graphics, and things like that—it's very diverse. You'll have a food graphic with fruits on it, then you'll have a wilderness scene that looks like an 80s vintage sweatshirt—it's not just one lane. When we drop a collection, you never know what you're going to get."
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