Goldzilla! Inspired by video games, cartoons, and toys, Gold Coin breaks away from swanky streetwear attitudes, creating graphics aimed at encouraging lighthearted laughs rather catty, female-like stare downs. Maintaining exclusivity with their products and promoting the brand through original marketing initiatives, Gold Coin is quickly developing a fan base of consumers looking for clothing that is humorous and entertaining as well as aesthetically appealing. Format catches up with Gold Coin owner, and designer, Three, to discuss the development of the brand.
â€œa lot of the designs are cartoon, yes, but they still have that edge that most conventional cartoons donâ€™t.â€
Format: Gold Coin was created by a â€œgroup of long time DJs, graf writers, sneaker heads, and toy fiends.â€ How many people are involved in the creation Gold Coin? Who are they?
Three: Gold Coin was creatively birthed last August. I basically have always been an artist of some sort or another and was tired of wearing everyone elseâ€™s gear. I had been making my own custom gear for years and decided to give starting a line a try. At first I had invited a few of the homies along for the ride but they ended up not being into it like I was and they backed out. At this point itâ€™s basically me handling all the creative work with a little help from the fams with some of the administrative tasks. The line revolves around the shit that gets me creatively excited. Iâ€™ve always been into graffiti, OG video games, and cutty collectable toys. Iâ€™m a huge toy collector. So naturally these interests folded over into Gold Coin.
Format: Gold Coin seeks to represent the streets in a humorous way. Why do you feel the streets have embraced cartoon style graphics, not just within the Gold Coin collection, but in general?
Three: I personally have always loved that cartoon style, whether it was some comics, anime, or graffiti. I just really love that style of bright simple art. I try to keep Gold Coin street while still having fun. So a lot of the designs are cartoon, yes, but they still have that edge that most conventional cartons donâ€™t. Cartoons were the stuff we all grew up on. When people see this kind of stuff it brings them back. Some people are still down to wear some shit that just makes them laugh or smile. I think thatâ€™s why these cartoon styled images have made such a big impact on our culture.
Format: How do you respond to people that label the Gold Coin graphic style corny?
Three: Some call it dope, some call it corny. Either way I still love it. I just really have big respect for an artist that can create something as simply as possible but still have it come out top notch. I didnâ€™t create Gold Coin for those who donâ€™t like it, I created it for those that do. And as long as there is still some folks out there that dig it Iâ€™m going to keep movinâ€™.
Format: Gold Coinâ€™s mission is to help people not take life so seriously. To what degree do you think this can be accomplished through clothing alone?
Three: Well, it kinda goes back to the image of the brand. Itâ€™s all cartoony, funny stuff that reminds us of when we were younger. Iâ€™m hoping people will like it and it might help let them relax a bit. This rat race we are all in is getting a little crazy and most people need to just slow down. Mad folks are hyped up on life and Iâ€™m just trying to help everyone remember that we only live it once and we all need to stop every once in a while and have some fun, laugh, and relax a bit. I think if people can get over it enough to wear some cartoony gear they might be able to get over it enough to say â€œfuck the raceâ€ every once in a while.
Format: Gold Coinâ€™s clothing is all limited edition, with most of the general releases ranging from 300-500 pieces. How did you decide on this number specifically?
Three: The whole limited release thing comes from my love of collecting toys. The dopest joints are always the most limited and I liked that idea. At this point we basically make the same limited amounts of items every season. For instance this season all our tees are set at 300. But as we go along Iâ€™d like to have certain items be more limited than others and priced accordingly. Like certain colorways and special releases. In the future Iâ€™d like to have the things that I feel are the strongest be the most limited.
Format: Most limited edition products have a higher price point. Gold Coinâ€™s clothing is limited, but still priced reasonably. How do you turn a profit?
Three: I have always liked limited quality goods. But at the same time I very often hate the huge price tag they are associated with. Iâ€™m trying to meet somewhere in the middle. Since things are very limited I can only go so low but I still like making things affordable. Basically I go as low as I can go, depending on the quantity, while still surviving and making the product as quality as possible.
Format: The Super Ultra 2.0 tee is a light-hearted jab at limited edition production. The inspiration for the shirt is obvious, but was there a catalyst for the development of this design?
Three: This design goes back to the taking life to seriously bit. Tons of kids these days have taken this whole â€œstreetwearâ€ and collection stuff to a very serious level. You know Iâ€™m down with collecting the stuff that you find, but sleepinâ€™ outside and buying shit thatâ€™s 10x its regular price on eBay is a little nuts in my opinion. I just made this tee to kinda poke fun at this kind of stuff.
Format: Gold Coin, like most brands, encourages brand loyalty and seeks to be â€œsought after and collected.â€ You chose to make this explicit, rather than leave it to the consumer to figure it out for themselves. How come?
Three: All brands encourage brand loyalty one way or another. These days when people like something a lot they stay loyal. When they stay loyal they keep collecting and buying the newest stuff. Whether itâ€™s Gold Coin or another brand people these days have this collective personality. The only reason we put it out there directly is that with Gold Coin we give back. We have our 1Up program in which if you buy a certain amount of goods and collect enough coins you can then redeem them for certain free limited release items. These limited releases are always released in way lower quantities than our other regular items and you can only get them buy turning in coins, theyâ€™re never for sale.
Format: The Gold Coin tag idea is a unique marketing idea. How did you come up with it? What are the special bonus items, and how many gold coins does someone need to get them?
Three: The idea came when I was first making custom hoodies. I wanted a really cool tag that wasnâ€™t just a tag. So I made these clear sleeves with these little gold coins in them that I had found at a party supply store. They stood out on the garments and people seemed to like them. From that I had gotten the idea that it would be pretty cool if you could get a 1Up like in Super Mario. You know, turn in your coins and get something for em. So when I officially started the line I made sure that this idea was included. We no longer have the little coins in the clear sleeves but the 1Up still remains. At this point we have been putting out one special release item every season. So far each season it has been a tee and anyone who collects 10 coins is eligible to grab this item. In the future Gold Coin will have a whole catalog of special release items with different coin costs. At that point the coin cost will go with the size and quality of the item. The full catalog should be coming next spring.