Indie Tee Spotlight #26: i/denti/tee

i/denti/tee is a brand based out of New York that I stumbled upon while working on the Tee-Junction Teedirectory and I was instantly intrigued by their very unique product. If you enjoy T-Shirts and are a music lover (like myself) then you owe it to yourself to check out i/denti/tee. They pay special attention to the details, from packaging (each shirt comes in a vintage vinyl sleeve) to the tags (each i/denti/tee t-shirt has a “copyright” patch sewn onto the back, to showcase its authenticity). And just in case you’re wondering, every lyric they print is licensed for use. 

The i/denti/tee brand was founded by Carl Johnson, Michael Guido, Dave Quirke, and Evan Vogel out of their passion for music. I had the awesome opportunity to chat with i/denti/tee brand director Hugo Murray who was intimately involved in the development and launch of the brand. 

Hugo Murray

Coty: I’ve covered a lot of niche T-Shirt brands, but, I have to admit that i/denti/tee is one of the most well executed. How did the idea for i/denti/tee come about?

Hugo: The idea came from our love for music that has turned innocent comments into full-on debates around all things music. Dave Quirke, one of the founding partners, was debating music with a friend of his over a few pints of Guinness in a Dublin bar. Who is the greatest music artist of all time? Stones or the Beatles? What is the greatest album of all time? Zeppelin IV or OK Computer? What is the greatest song of all time? 99 Problems or Hotel California? After another 4 or 5 pints, they debated “the best lyrics of all time”. Months later in New York, Dave was reminded of this debate as he overheard two young guys in a bar debating who is the best urban artist of all time… Biggie or Tupac? Although Dave doesn’t even listen to Hip-Hop, he realized that all music lovers debate music. So many music tees feature band logo’s or artist photos – but it’s the lyrics that are at the heart of music.

Coldplay

Coty: While many indie tee brands have adopted American Apparel as the shirt blank of choice, i/denti/tee uses EDUN LIVE blanks. What was the deciding factor when choosing the EDUN LIVE blanks over other brands?

Hugo: We admire the work that Edun Live do. Each one is ‘grow-to-sew’ African – from the cotton they source, through the spinning and knitting stages, all the way to the final logo print on the inside of every music tee – the benefit of each goes back to the people working on the product in sub-Saharan Africa. So when Dave Quirke came up with the idea for i/denti/tee – he immediately asked his good friend Bono and wife, Ali Hewson, if they wanted to be involved and they jumped at the chance to get on board as a strategic partner and supplier.

Identitee

Coty: Explain a little why all of the lyrics seen on the i/denti/tee shirts begin with the letter “I”. Will future i/denti/tee shirts continue this with this trend?

Hugo: The reason why all our lyrics begin with the letter ‘i’ is that these are the most expressive kind – so it makes a statement about the wearer… “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”, “I wanna dance with somebody”, “I love rock n roll” etc. Self-expression is at the heart of our brand, so we will always print lyrics that begin with ‘i’.

Identitee

Identitee

Above: Franke Rodriguez (i/denti/tee brand director) being honored at the PIFF Awards last Thursday. i/denti/tee was honored with the “Pay it Fashion Forward” award from Fashion Delivers for being a cause-driven t-shirt company.

Coty: i/denti/tee shirts are all packaged in a vintage vinyl style sleeve. With the ever growing popularity and proliferation of digital music, do you still purchase and listen to vinyl records?

Hugo: We certainly blow a lot of money buying music on iTunes, but a few of our team still buy vinyl too. Whether people still buy vinyl or not these days – the sight of a 12″ record sleeve brings up feelings of nostalgia in any music lover – that’s why we package our tees in them.

Identitee

Coty: And finally, I’ve got to ask you, what are your 5 favorite songs of all time? How about your de facto favorite album?

Hugo: My personal top 5 songs?!?! Wow, I could spend hours on that one… (1) “15 Step” by Radiohead (2) “Over the hills and far away” by Led Zepplin (3) “Holy roller Novocaine” by The Kings of Leon (4) “Lady don’t tek no” by Latyrx (5) “Close to me” by The Cure. Favorite de facto album: Vampire Weekend (self titled) – life is always better listening to those guys – it should be prescribed listening for people with depression.

Coty: Just in case you guys are wondering about my favorite album of all time, I’d have to say it’s The Beach Boys’ 1967 release, Pet Sounds. I can listen to that album endlessly on any given day. 

Identitee

i/denti/tee will be giving away 500 downloads from the iTunes Music Store  and all you need to do to enter the drawing is either follow them on Twitter, be their fan on Facebook or register on the i/denti/tee website. They will be announcing the winner of the 500 iTunes downloads on July 3 so be sure to get in on that. They will be having more giveaways in July, including: concert tickets, tees autographed by the artist, etc. so be sure to be on the lookout for that! Finally, thanks to Hugo for taking the time to chat with me! Now everyone: go listen to some awesome music!

Robot Week at RIPT Apparel

Are you a fan of robots? If so then you’re in luck because RIPT Apparel has got you covered all week long! They are celebrating Robot Week at RIPT Apparel so everyday this week they’ll be offering a unique robot tee for just 24 hours. After that, it’ll be gone forever! Each shirt is priced at just 10 bucks so be sure to pick one up for yourself or a friend.

Robot Week at RIPT Apparel

Robot Week at RIPT Apparel

Robot Week at RIPT Apparel

Custom Wallets by Beetnik Aesthetics

That guy named Loren, from Beetnik Aesthetics, recently unveiled the newest item to his line – Wallets! These bi-fold wallets constructed of full-color cardstock between durable transparent vinyl features the slogan Love Your Mother. The wallet also features some earth-friendly drawings, which I think adds a nice touch! You can pick one up from Beetnik Aesthetics today for just $12.

This Beetnik Aesthetics wallet features:

  • large money pocket
  • 3 card pockets
  • convenient ID pocket 
  • durable vinyl & heavy duty stitching 
  • crosshatch texture for added security in money pocket

Love Your Mother Wallet by Beetnik Aesthetics

Love Your Mother Wallet by Beetnik Aesthetics

Love Your Mother Wallet by Beetnik Aesthetics

Hello My Name Is Inigo Montoya

One of my favorite movies growing up, hands down, has got to be The Princess Bride, starring Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin and Andre the Giant. This classic story has everything you need to make a great flick: an evil prince, a giant, swordplay and of course a princess.  

OK, that’s enough reminiscing. The reason for these childhood flashbacks is due to two shirts that I spotted on different websites that were very similar to each other. The two tees were from Loiter Ink ($17) and endangeredwear.com ($22.95) and both shirts featured the (at least in my eyes) most famous line from The Princess Bride: “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” Such a classic line! And then I spotted a third shirt from ThinkGeek.com ($17.99) that was very similar to the Loiter Ink version. Between the three, though, I think I’d go with the Think Geek version – it’s the most simple and it gets straight to the point. 

Inigo Montoya

You Killed My FatherHello My Name Is Inigo Montoya

And finally, here’s the fanciest of the bunch and it’s from Amazon. It’s the, you guessed it, It’s the Princess Bride Inigo Montoya You Killed My Father Prepare to Die Mens T-Shirt available for $16.95.

inigno_amazon

Now if you haven’t seen this movie then I highly recommend you get a hold of it ASAP! You can find The Princess Bride (20th Anniversary Edition) on Amazon, as well as the The Princess Bride [Blu-ray].

4 New Tees From Loiter Ink

Loiter Ink released 4 new tees over the weekend, all of which were designed by freelance illustrator and graphic designer, Tom Burns. All 4 shirts are priced at $17 and feature simple single color prints. Strangely, I like that insanely bright yellow Hitchhiking tee. It made me think about what the Web 2.0 equiivalent of Hitchhiking is. I would have to say that adding random people that you really know nothing about to your Facebook inner circle is the closets thing to hitchhiking in the web 2.0 age. What do you think? 

Hitchhiking

Smooth Operator

Karate

Ski Trips

I Believe In The Loch Ness Monster

I seriously flipped out when I spotted this shirt over at the French tee blog, Grafitee. Simple typography plus a mention of The Loch Ness Monster got me excited. I Believe In The Loch Ness Monster is a product of Excessisok (Eio) Clothing, a cult streetwear brand inspired by music and art. The shirt itself is made from premium quality ultra soft esmeril cotton and features raw edged sleeves. The shirts are produced in Portugal and hand printed in the U.K. It’s available for purchase from £ 24.95 ($40 US). 

I Believe In The Loch Ness Monster


Star Trek Interactive Tribbles for sale!

Yes, I’m On Google Maps

I’m no doubt a fan of Google Maps and so when I saw this tee over at Shirtcity I knew had I had to share it with the masses. If you’ve purchased this shirt you should definitely try and get yourself picked up by one of the Google satellites with this shirt on. How amazing would that be! This shirt is available now, and customizable, at Shirtcity for $22.95. 

Google Maps

Ultimate Summer T-Shirt from ShirtFight

God, I envy that camel. Nice black shades for eye protection (very important) and a cold orange creamsicle on a hot day. What cold be better! I think this camel just inspired me to go to the beach over the weekend (the perks of living in Hawaii). 

Congratulations to tobiasfonseca for submitting the Ultimate Summer T-Shirt and winning last weeks ShirtFight. If you dig this 2 color super duper soft Plastisol Ink on creme American Apparel Tee ten pick one up not for the sale price of $13. 

Summer

Summer

Cannibal by Glennz Tees

When I first saw Cannibal while perusing my RSS Reader, I literally laughed-out-loud. The newest tee from Glennz Tees surely delivers when it comes to invoking laugher. This tee is kind of like those weird Santa Clause slasher movies, mixing two extremely different holidays into one incredible mashup. Cannibal is printed on an asphalt American Apparel tee and is available for purchase now from Glennz Tees for just $19.95.

Cannibal by Glennz Tees

Cannibal by Glennz Tees