Regan Smith Clarke X Cavata Clothing Co. Collaboration Tee

In Episode 63 of Co-Tee TV I raved about how I loved Regan Smith Clarke. His brand had a throwback style that was all his own. Since then, RSC has teamed up with fellow Bostonian, Lori Kirk of Cavata Clothing to deliver the first (of hopefully many) RSC X CAVATA Collaboration T-Shirts.

The shirt design is definitely closer in style to Regan Smith Clarke’s line than it is to Cavata. The creme colored American Apparel T-Shirt is very specific, featuring the names of both brands on the front of the tee as well as the date of release (June 2010) and the price of the T-Shirt. It will be interesting  to see how such a specific (but very well designed) shirt does with shoppers that are not hardcore RSC and/or Cavata Clothing fans.

The Regan Smith Clarke X Cavata Clothing Co. Collaboration Tee is available now at both the Regan Smith Clarke and Cavata Clothing online stores for $25. As a bonus, the first 30 orders will receive a free print of the design and free shipping. And if you need even more incentive to buy this tee, 20% of all proceeds will go to support music and art programs in public schools.




Larry Legend

The Boston Celtics has had their share of great players. Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, K.C. Jones, Dave Cowens, Kevin McHale and Paul Pierce. Despite all of these big named players, none compares (to me at least) to Larry Legend, the Hick From French Lick. In 1979, Larry Joe Bird signed a five-year contract with the C’s, becoming the highest paid rookie in the history of basketball. But he took it all in stride, saying, “No matter how good I am, I’m still just a hick from French Lick.” Bird went on to win three NBA championships and three MPV awards. He was also a twelve time All Star and nine time All NBA selection.

Both Larry Legend ($28) and The Hick From French Lick ($15) are available now from Homage Clothing.

Larry Bird

The Hick From French Lick Larry Bird

The Hick From French Lick Larry Bird

Johnny Cupcakes Presents: The Karate Kid

The last time it was Back To The Future, this time around, Johnny Cupcakes will be screening The Karate Kid! If you live in the Boston area then definitely check this out. You can expect not just the movie, but also trivia, games, raffles and of course, limited edition Johnny Cupcakes shirts only available at the screening. Plus, I heard that everyone that attends gets a free Johnny Cupcakes bandana ala The Karate Kid! Check out below for more information.

“Join me on Saturday March 14th at 11:55pm (midnight) to see THE KARATE KID on the big screen for $7.75 @ The Coolidge Corner Theatre on 290 Harvard Street – Brookline, MA. We even got a hold of the original movie reel from back in the day! And… we might even have a special karate expert guest, karate-chop stuff in half before the movie starts! I will have a NEW limited movie themed t-shirt / colorway that is limited and numbered up to 50 or 60. We will release some of these to the public in a different colorway, but the numbered ones will be available only at this event. Also, I have special, exclusive Johnny Cupcakes Karate Kid head bandannas that will be given out to each person for free!” -Johnny Cupcakes

Johnny Cupcakes Karate Kid

Johnny Cupcakes Presents: The Bakers Dozen

Johnny Cupcakes, known for his limited edition ways, has unleashed the first of his Bakers Dozen series of tees. This line of tees will be especially difficult to get since they will be in-store only exclusive – advantage goes to Los Angeles and Boston residents. That means that the rest of us – who live outside of LA and Beantown can only hope one of these guys end up on eBay for a reasonable (I cringe at how much they will go for) price. The Bakers Dozen tees will come in waves of 130, with each of the tees numbered. What do you guys think about these in-store exclusives? 

The Bakers Dozen

Mr. Cupcakes also showed off some other in-store exclusives (non Bakers Dozen):

Johnny Cupcakes Exclusives

Johnny Cupcakes Exclusives

Johnny Cupcakes Presents: Back To The Future

Man, how I wish I could be in Massachusetts come this Saturday! Johnny Cupcakes will be hosting movie night at the Coolidge Corner Theater. Tickets are on sale now for $7.75. It’ll be a midnight (11:55pm to be exact) showing so be sure to get some rest beforehand! Who doesn’t love Back To The Future and vintage Michael J. Fox? Oh, and he promises some limited edition tees – that’s always fun! Here’s the details:

Recently I have teamed up with the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline / Boston. Once a month I will be presenting one of my favorite films from my childhood. Not only will it be a fun, memorable, older movie – but sometimes there will be trivia, raffles, games, contests, prizes, and even some limited edition Johnny Cupcakes movie themed t-shirts. Some of which you can only purchase at the theater during my once a month events. Every showing and its random themes etc, will be different from the next. Join Johnny on Saturday January 24th at 11:55 PM (midnight) to see Back To The Future on the big screen for only  $7.75 We even got a hold of the original movie reel from back in the day!

Johnny Cupcakes Presents

Indie Tee Spotlight #9: Dance Party Massacre

Welcome to Indie Tee Spotlight #9! We’re back after a one-week hiatus (hey we did two of these things two weeks ago!). 

With this week being Halloween week I thought it was fitting to feature a company whose central theme is centered around horror! With inspiration from old horror flicks floating around in his head, Alex Dakoulas created Dance Party Massacre out of his love for horror and dancing. Before DPM, Dakoulas would often hold movie screenings of old horror flicks in his apartment and then follow it up by having a dance party. He explained in a recent Boston Globe interview:

“You go to a dance party, and everyone there is young. You watch slasher films, and they’re all about young people having fun,” Dakoulas explains. “They don’t think they’re doing anything wrong, and then they get killed for it.” – Alex Dakoulas, Boston Globe, July 2008

I had the great fortune to chat it up with Alex about Dance Party Massacre, some of the creative things he has done to promote DPM and how he was able to mesh together his interests to create his brand.

“I mean, first you need to have an awesome product, but then half of selling it is getting it out there.” 

Coty: Tell us a little bit about your brand, Dance Party Massacre, and what it’s all about. How did you come up with the name and what does it mean?

Alex: I’ve loved horror movies since I can remember, and designing t-shirts became a big part of my life once I started “becoming” a graphic designer. It was probably inevitable that the two would come together. There came a point in my life that fighting for your life, from the literal to the metaphorical, really connected with me. Watching horror movies, doing what I wanted, living it up with friends, and not letting things beat me down was such a release.

Dance Party Massacre was a phrase, and an idea, and imagery that kept floating about in my head during that time. At it’s core DPM is about taking the bad and making it good. It’s a fun take on how we all have demons out to get us, but we just have to kill ‘em and move on!

Coty: Dance Party Massacre was launched in Boston just last year. In that short amount of time you’ve created a successful brand that revolves around knives, blood and gore. When you started, did you expect to be embraced by the mainstream so much so that DPM would be available in boutique stores in England, Australia and Canada?

Alex: I launched Dance Party Massacre with the thought that although it’s not mass marketable, perhaps it could catch on in at least some niche-like capacity. I know that the horror movie crowd (although the indie-dance and t-shirt crowds are pretty tight) is intense, so I was hoping some of that aura would latch onto this. What I didn’t expect was this slew of horror-graphics that started to rise about. I think that trend has both helped Dance Party Massacre with getting into stores, but also hurt it because the line might not be perceived as original. Trust me, if you would have told me the whole indie, DIY, t-shirt trend was leaning towards horror I would have never believed you!

Coty: What would you say has been the DPM formula for success?

Alex: Trial and error. I’m just making something I like and and trying to get it out to people. I try something out, and if it doesn’t work I stop. If it does, I continue. For advertising we’ve done dance nights, online advertising, talking with people directly, a street team, guerrilla marketing, and selling in-person at certain events. I mean, first you need to have an awesome product, but then half of selling it is getting it out there.

Design goes the same way. You try out one thing, and it sells, so continue with that idea. If it doesn’t, don’t keep doing it! I keep everything within my vision of this project, but I try to also keep in mind this is a business that needs to make money so I can continue with it.

Coty: You obviously embrace social media, considering that DPM can be found on MySpace and Facebook. How important have these online social media sites been to the success of DPM?

Alex: I think it’s been a big part. Being a really small company there’s no money to have a flagship store. Having recently started there’s not enough exposure to have boutiques coming to us begging to carry DPM. The internet is a great way to cut out the middle-man, and get to customers and fans directly. I think it also makes the customer feel connected more to the brand, and that’s important.

Coty: You already work as a successful designer for a major brand, Converse. Why did you decide to start your own brand?

Well, I had been designing t-shirts for years when I finally decided to start a line with cohesive designs and a strong idea. I interned for Converse right after school, with the idea for DPM developing during that period. When I didn’t land a job directly after the internship I had free time (and some money now) so Dance Party Massacre flourished. It came out of my brain, and it just made sense to me. I launched the line and landed a job at Converse the same month, but that’s just how it worked out.

Coty: What has been the most challenging aspect of marketing DPM? What have been some of the creative things you’ve done to promote DPM?

Alex: Definitely the content. I have friends and family who love to support each other. When I started up a line with knives, and blood most weren’t too keen on wearing it. If you can’t even get your crew to wear your stuff, who will probably like it even if it’s crap, how easy is it going to be to get it onto strangers? There’s been so many times that I’ll sell DPM at events and people look at the designs and kind of laugh or ask me questions, but then they never purchase it. People are intrigued by it, but it takes a certain person to wear our stuff, I guess.

I’ve tried a lot of things to get DPM out there to people, but I’d say the most unique thing we’ve done is start up our “What are U afraid of?” campaign. I really want Dance Party Massacre to not just be a t-shirt line, but a brand with a way of thinking behind it. Being new it’s been really important to push what our concept is about, so that people understand it. “What are U afraid of?”, which simply poses the question to people online ( and in real-life (stickers), has that double entendre of danger and fun that DPM is all about. It gets people involved, and depending on who the person is someone can answer it directly or playfully. It’s a literal question, but also one that could have people question what’s stopping them from doing something in their life.

Coty: DPM has just made a year, and is just about ready to rollout “Season 2″, your newest line of tees. What sets Season 2 apart from Season 1?

Alex: With Season 1 I was so into it. I didn’t have much else to do, but spend nights developing not only the first season of designs, but the whole concept behind the brand. It became very much about the idea behind Dance Party Massacre, and having everything make sense with each other.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure if people really noticed all that underlying stuff. I put so much time into it, that for the second season I just wanted to make awesome stuff. The groundwork was laid out, and now it could be more fun. So for Season 2 I didn’t focus so much about cohesiveness or drawing inspiration from one direct source. And I think that was a good decision. After coming out with a strong statement to grab people’s attention, the line has to grow and get designs from different areas to stay fresh.

Coty: What are your future plans for DPM? Do you aspire to open a themed boutique store similar to fellow indie Boston tee designer turned mainstream t-shirt icon, Johnny Cupcakes? Or do you see DPM as mainly an online only venture?

Alex: I look at the line as a premium brand that I want to continue getting into boutiques around the world. We will continue to have an online presence, too, as we can control that so well, and it’s accessible to everyone. I would be all-for a retail store if the line ever makes enough money to produce that, but right now it’s not in the works. If a store does happen it would probably be some odd mixture of someones basement, a movie theater, dance club, video rental place, candy store, and a haunted house.

Coty: Finally, what bit of advice do you have for aspiring DIY indie tee designers?

Alex: DON’T START ANYTHING WITHOUT THE REALIZATION THAT IT MIGHT FAIL. I think people should be realistic. If you’re gonna start up a “t-shirt line”, everyone and their grandmother and uncle have started one too. It’s not going to be easy to make it succeed. You should just be happy with making it for yourself, and if it doesn’t catch on with others don’t let it ruin your life. Don’t put all your money into it and go bankrupt. Don’t beat yourself down if it doesn’t make you a million bucks. Having your own business, I think you can have it run your life from day to night, but if you just sit back and let things unfold I think you’ll be happier person.

Thanks to Alex for taking the time to talk about Dance Party Massacre! Be sure to check out this goods by going to their online store! If you would like to be featured in the Indie Tee Spotlight then please feel free to contact me!

Nutella and Pretzels

If you live in Hawaii then you most likely have not heard of Nutella. Made by the same company that produces the delectable Ferrero Rocher treats, Nutella is an internationally popular a hazelnut based spread.

I recently had a chance to get my hands on this nutty delight from a buddy (HARYAN) who brought some back for me from Boston. It is often used as a spread on breads but being the bread deprived grad student that I am I had to improvise with what I had available. Utz Organic Pretzels were available so that’s what I decided to use as my Nutella dipping device. To my surprise the combination of the slightly salted pretzel complimented the sweetness of the Nutella.

If you’ve got some Nutella and a few pretzels on hand then I recommend that you give this combination a try! But be careful, the calorie count from the Nutella will be killer!