It’s still winter and we have a lot of cold days left before the flowers start to blossom in the Spring. This record from Locke Kaushal is still one of my favorites to this day. So enjoy!
New crew neck sweat shirts, check. New AOI buttons, check. AOI press kit, check. A couple of Biggie albums queued on the iPod as we roll up, check that as well.
It had been a long time coming but after months of preparation we were finally on the road to New York to make our debut at The Ultimate Trunk Show, a collection of emerging designers and boutiques from all over the country. We’ve done countless events since the inception of ArtOfficial but this trip felt just a little different, a little bigger. For us, the Trunk Show felt like more of a proving ground than any other event we’ve ever done before. Yes, we’ve sold things, but almost never exclusively to people who had no idea who we were or had any affiliation with any of our supporters. For the first time, we would be testing ourselves on a larger stage to see if our brand strength was real and if AOI could make it in the big city.
And make it we did. After setting up shop, we quickly realized the strength of our brand and theme as several onlookers stopped to snap pictures, check out our clothes, and ask a few questions to see how everything we had on display fit together. A few hours into show and we began to move some of the product that people were just looking at before as traffic at our display area picked up, and at one moment, almost became too much to handle. Everyone was engaged in a discussion with someone, and things were flying off the racks.
We also took the time to talk to some other brands who were very successful at things that we had yet to make a push into. And in that sense, the show also served as an eye opening experience for us and provided us with a plethora of projects for 2013. If the trunk show was any indication of how well we would be received if we expanded into other markets, we’ll have no problem making AOI a household name. And for that, the first (and long overdue) AOI road trip to New York was a success.
I know, I know, we seem to go through this once or twice a year. We put out something new, throw an event, start blogging again, and then the silence happens. Press rewind, hit play, and watch it happen all over again. And unfortunately, it’s been that way since the inception of ArtOfficial. Four members, four lives, and four different sets of Murphy’s Law that combine to make for challenging times for an upstart like ours. To add to that, we all care so much about the quality of our products, so some things take a little longer to get out of the gate than others. And the difference in being a brand that is hot for the moment vs. becoming a sustainable one that stands the test of time is hard work. So, what have we been doing since the summer time? Work! *Cue the French Montana*
Why “Greatness”? Well, we would be lying if we said the Greatest Homecoming on Earth didn’t serve as some sort of inspiration for us. Using that as our starting point, we wanted to capture something that would last longer than just one weekend. So we took a pit stop at printing “Greatest” on the beanies, and ultimately decided that “Greatness” better represented what we wanted to accomplish. A&T colors were the sure thing, and the Redskin color beanie was inspired by none other than RGIII. The impact that he alone has had over the city is nothing short of amazing. After a disappointing finish by the Nationals, RGIII swept all of that disappointment under the rug with an amazing start to the season. So, you don’t have to be an A&T alum or Redskin fan to wear it, just simply believe that Greatness is achievable in everything that you do.
Let Matt G tell it, and this is a project three years overdue. Right, you did the math right, our original site debuted in 2009. But, it’s been a thorn in our side (at least four in Matt’s) ever since roll out. Glitches galore, hard to update, and close to impossible to customize. So, for a creative like Matt, this new website is like finally taking the cuffs off and letting him roam. So, we hope you’re excited as we are about the possibilities. You should definitely start to see more updates (no more stale/outdated banners we promise), more interaction, and cooler things with our new site. If it’s easier for us to update and faster for us to update products, we all hope that this translates into a better user experience. Enjoy, because we definitely will.
We have been shipping out more orders recently. Thank you guys for keeping up with us and supporting what we do. We are in the lab coming up with some more “GREATNESS” for you all in the coming weeks. Mostly comprised of our new winter items as well as a couple accessories. We are also prepping for the Ultimate Trunk show this December in New York. If your in NYC December 8th then be sure to stop by and check us out.
I just wanted to officially announce the new ArtOfficialshop.com website. We’ve been working and planning on this website for the past couple of months and its finally up and running. It’s pretty much a more clean, simple, and organized website. There are a lot of new features so be sure to click around and see everything. I especially wanted to highlight the new visuals page where you can find look book images from our past releases as well as in-depth explanations behind each release. We have a lot planned so make sure you come back frequently for new updates.
Apparently the sun got the memo that we were headed to the beach. As we unfolded shirts, laid out look books, and constructed “Gone to the Beach” boxes, the sun spent that time leaning over our shoulders, pushing temperatures close to the 100 degree mark. But not to worry, people still came out to show their support, staying cool at the tiki bar, and doing their best to stay within range of one of the 3 water spraying fans that they NY Ave. Beach Bar had going. For those that weren’t as lucky to hold down that prime real estate, a few games of corn hole, a volley ball game, and mini-water gun fights were more than enough to keep their minds off of the heat. For the AOI folks, we just enjoyed all of the support we received. From those that put in work for our checkout process, to those that modeled in the look book, and those who came together to make the event possible, it all payed off in the end.
We had an amazing turn out and the venue was a hit. While the boxes added a nice touch to the event, the framed vintage beach posters that Matt put together truly set the setting for the afternoon. Before the event was even half way through, we already sold out of many of the girl sizes and the male versions were well on their way right behind them. With DJ Blaze spinning tunes, and CMyrick filling in to pitch hit once he wrapped up, we couldn’t have asked for a better way to finish off our Sunday afternoon.
Photography by Mike Duncan
We printed custom boxes specifically for this event.
S/O to Camille for all of her hard work before and during the event.
Me and Boone getting hype while setting up for the event.
Find your beach…well…we did.
Summer ’12 Lookbooks were on hand. Make sure you check it out here.
DJ Blaze on the 1′s and 2′s. @DJBlaze
S/O to the Demeanr folks for coming thru and showing some love. Support your local brands.
Had to break down the brand to some folks that came out.
AJ and Candiace holding us down behind the register.
Taylor (@coolestnerd) came out after being our go to model in almost every photoshoot.
Terry (@commenturry) showing proper form while playing corn hole.
Boone with the serious hops. I dont even know what they are doing, but looks fun.
This guy…Pierre. Make sure yall go grab his mixtape vnecks and electronic checks.
The people that made this event happen. (MIA – Dor and Beas)
All of the hard workers. Thanks AJ, Candiace, Camille, and Taylor.
Me and Boone finally kicking back.
Well…you know we had to wild out atleast once.
Thank you everyone that came out to support us as well as the people that couldn’t make it out that wanted too.
A wise person once said; a person should never bring sand to the beach. Well, I’m pretty sure that person didn’t have the foresight to suggest to never bring sand to a busy New York Avenue street in the heart of Washington DC, but the folks at the recently opened NY Ave. Beach Bar decided to do just that.
Nestled in between two buildings on the aforementioned New York Avenue, the beach bar brings uniqueness to an otherwise ordinary DC street. Throw in three full tiki bars serving up cold drinks along with a brand-new food truck from SUNdeVICH, and the 70 tons of sand carted in from Ocean City feel right at home.
The beach ambiance, coupled with our recent Miseducation of DC release and the official debut of our summer tanks, means that the only thing missing is a pineapple and an umbrella straw to sip your frozen drink out of. But at the rate that NY Ave. Beach Bar creator Tom Brown is going, they just might have those by the time you arrive.
When: Sunday, July 1, 2012
Where: NY Ave. Beach Bar – 645 New York Ave. NW, Washington DC 20001
What: AOI Showcase Event of our new “Miseducation of DC” clothing release and the debut of our summer tanks
When you think of New York, fashion, Broadway, Times Square, and Wall Street all come rushing to mind. When Chicago is mentioned, you may dream about deep dish pizza from Giordano’s, Harold’s Chicken, or the Taste of Chicago. Miami has its beaches and Los Angeles has Hollywood, but when it comes to DC, it’s a little more difficult to identify anything in particular that our city is known for.
Overlooked and under hyped, the power that resonates on the streets of DC isn’t something that is immediately realized when you think of the Nation’s Capitol. Yea, so the president lives here and Capital Hill is where decisions get made but as DC metro area residents, we often fail to notice just how significant this is. A place where million man marches are formed, ideas for change are set into motion, and hope is restored, this aspect of the city can not be forgotten.
Something else that also goes unnoticed is the culture and the arts that live here in the city. A natural mixing bowl of many different races, colors, and creeds, DC offers a taste of many different parts of the world all in one place. The result, a vibrant city scene that may offer some of the best experiences in the country. Although the music and arts industries in our city have yet to take off, one has to think that with the recent emergence of local talent that it won’t be long before people are flocking to DC to find the next big thing.
We may not have a true food staple like Philadelphia cheese steaks, a Houston-like skyline to welcome you into the city, or rappers that grow on trees like the city of New York, but what we have to offer may supersede all of those. It may be time to rethink your image of DC.