RockersNYC is the hot new streetwear line to hit the market. This may sound like a redundant term around these parts, but fresh color palettes and screamingly loud punk designs, give RockersNYC that undeniably staying power.
Marcus Burrowes, is the Creative Director and Sean Reveron, the self-proclaimed â€œCultural Engineerâ€ to the brand. These guys have a knowledge of self and worldly cultivation that clearly shows theyâ€™re not just about a pretty line of t-shirts.
As part of the business process, Sean and Marcus fly across the world to Japan for production so often, itâ€™s like theyâ€™re riding the New York transit. For inspiration, travelling around the world on the regular is a necessity. If this is not considered massive movement, then what really is?
â€œâ€œAs streetwear is becoming saturated with mediocre brands, it is also expanding its influence into all walks of life.â€
Format: What is a “Cultural Engineer”?
SR: Sunsets + skateboarding + open-minded-day-dreaming = Cultural Engineer. Global vision+ Internet nerd + DIY fanatic = Cultural Engineer. Being a team player + connected to the past, present and future = Cultural Engineer.
Format: How is the punk movement relevant to you as individuals and as cultural innovators?
SR: Here are three life equations that should answer this question:
1. 1982+Youth = A group of hardcore 13 yr. olds on the lawn of Lincoln Jr. High glaring at that cover of flexyourhead. We were all like â€˜wow, their scene looks rad.â€™ But we had Godzilla’s.
2. 1983+Hollywood = Cathy De Grand. Now this was my club. I experienced some of the illest shows there like S.T., Stalag 13, and Necros. I worked there (I thought I was some kind of bouncer) that was fun. Tex used to actually flow my 14-year-old scrub-ass beer. One night I tried to pick a fight with the singer of Battalion of Saints. Thank god he just laughed and pushed me away. I can’t forget how they tried to do matinee shows like CBGB’s. They didn’t last long, but Black Flag played one and only about 15 heads showed. They performed balls out one of their best shows! I could go on more but Iâ€™ll stop.
3. 1983+Crass = No to sexism. No to racism. No to apartheid. No to animal torture. Yes to becoming politicized at a young age. Yes to being a vegetarian. Yes to respecting anything crass. All the bands they put out. Yes to wearing all black. Yes to eating at veggie soup kitchens. Yes to realizing I control my destiny. Yes to D.I.Y. action.
Format: Lets talk about misconceptions. A lot of people associate urban with being black. But by definition, urban means inner city. Essentially, hip-hop is a derivative of punk. In your own words, can you talk about the influence that punk culture has had on hip-hop culture, â€œurbanâ€ lifestyles, and just society as a whole?
SR: When hip-hop started in the Bronx, the Zulu Nation was totally DIY. For example, when they needed electricity, they stole it from the electrical poles. When hip-hop needed a home, it went Downtown NYC. Fab Five Freddy was the ambassador, and he introduced it to the downtown art scene and they totally embraced hip-hop. Blondie recorded one of the first hip-hop records, Rapture. On the punk tip, when I was a youth in the 80â€™s LA punk scene, no one would book shows, so the promoters booked at black bikers club houses, the bikers didnâ€™t mind because they saw us as outsiders just like them!
Format: Have you had the opportunity to meet with other black punk revolutionaries like Don Letts?
SR: Yeah, it was pretty epic! While I was living in London, I went to [a book launch] and ran into Don! We share mutual friends. That was an epic night. Our paths have crossed again since then, and to this day we stay in touch. He supports RockersNYC.
Format: Would you define Jay-Z and 50 as punk rock?
SR: Yes, in a weird way Jay-Z is punk rock, in the sense that he started his career from the DIY foundation. When no one would sign him he said â€˜fuck thatâ€™ and did for himself. Now that is punk! As for 50, I wouldnâ€™t associate him with Jay-Z. I like my rappers bullet-free.
MB: I feel that being punk comes with some sort of social responsibility that those guys donâ€™t have.
Format: You said that NYC is a big source of inspiration but you guys are very universal individuals. So, don’t you get inspiration from every facet of the earth? New York is only a sect of the universe.
SR: Yep, yep, yep. The world is our inspiration. Every part of humanity inspires us!
MB: Sure, but different things and different cities inspire you in different ways. You might not be visually inspired by a city, but you find that it motivates you to create.
Format: Does a homeless person inspire you?
MB: Yep. They inspire me to give thanks for what I have and work harder!
Format: You guys went to art school and youâ€™re cultivated about the art world. Is there an art movement that inspires your designs?
MB: I love pop art from the 60â€™s â€“ Warhol and Liechtenstein are my favorites. I also love Rastafari art from the 70â€™s. Artists like Ras Daniel Heartman, and Neville Garrick really inspire me.
Format: I want to talk about blogs because you use this medium a lot. Do you think that blogs take away the educational value of books and newspapers and make people lazy?
SR: To me, blogs are the new intellectual frontier. They have allowed the everyman to be a businessman. They have also allowed people from all corners of the world to communicate. Plus, there are so many different kinds of blogs with epic information. I think blogs can be educational when they choose to be. They encourage people to read other opinions and have an opinion of their own, when they could just be sitting in front of the TV.
Format: Can you tell young entrepreneurs out there something about the apparel industry that they may not even be aware of?
SR: Put your product first, and put the hype second! Look to yourself for inspiration. If your design comes from the heart, and not just from the market, people can tell. It is important to listen to the critics, but donâ€™t let them dictate your aesthetic.
Format: Your line is rich in color. But do you think that may put your design concept in a catch 22? When I say this, I mean, while it is original, because of trends, you may be limited in terms of longevity.
MB: I try not to worry about those kinds of things when I create. I just try to design things that I love and that are honest to me. Colorful art is a part of my culture, so to worry about longevity would just get in the way.
Format: Do you think the streetwear market is becoming saturated?
SR and MB: We try to make products that appeal to more than just the streetwear market. At the same time as streetwear is becoming saturated with mediocre brands, it is also expanding its influence into all walks of life. As one door closes, another one opens. We just want to make rad products with great quality and keep it moving!
More Info: http://www.rockersnyc.com
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