Looking to dress up your wall with some fresh new artwork? If so, check out the latest release from our friends at Dance Party Massacre. They’ve just released silkscreened versions of some of their best-selling designs. They are silkscreened on 100lb, acid-free, archival paper. They’re perfect for framing in your office, man den, or new dorm room. The posters are available now from the Dance Party Massacre online shop and they range in price from $9.95 to $16.95.
Dance Party Massacre recently released their Summer 2010 line featuring a slew of T-Shirts and tank tops ready made for the summer heat. Alex Dakoulas, founder of Dance Party Massacre, decided to take a more art director approach and invited a few guest designers to collaborate with on the summer line, including Matt Skiff, Joe Kelly, and Mario Jalbert.
The line features the Dance Party Massacre elements that we have come accustomed to, including gore mixed in with a little light fun. You’ll also notice this line in particular features a more retro era feel reminiscent of 50’s black and white movies and biker gangs. Pieces from the new line, including tees, tanks and v-necks, range in price from $19.95 to $23.95 but be sure to use the coupon code “COTYG” at checkout for an additional 10% off your entire order! Go and buy some DPM gear now!
The Dance Party Massacre crew put together a neat little video documenting some behind the scenes action involving the summer 2010 line, specifically the product photoshoot. Take a peek at it below!
If you’re a regular reader of this blog then by now you must be familiar with Alex Dakoulas and his brand, Dance Party Massacre. I’ve featured DPM in the past for bothÂ Indie Tee Spotlight #9 and Co-Tee TV Episode #11. Basically, I love Dance Party Massacre! And so I was happy to hear that DPM had recently released 3 new tees and 2 new colorways of DPM classics.
Both Fear Nothing and Fresh 2 Death both represent the DPM look that we know and love. The other new tee, All Work and No Play (white) is a bit of a departure from the typical DPM style and I like it! What better way to get up close and personal with mere strangers then having them read tiny text on your t-shirt. The new Dance Party Massacre gear is available now for purchase and range in price from $21.95 to $27.95. And in case you’re looking to accesorize, they’ve got some new bandanasÂ and a fancy Steel Necklace for sale.Â
In this episode I wear A Birth Day by Jean-sÃ©bastien DeheegerÂ and review a shirt designed by Dance Party Massacre, a concept-driven graphic apparel line that takes inspiration from horror elements and combines them with a fun edge. I also talk about our new sponsors ShirtFight.com. As always, enjoy with tea and a comfy tee!
Wolves Vs. WerewolvesÂ by Dance Party Massacre. Good: Brings back the acid wash look, super soft feel, screenprinted label and tagless for itch free comfort, fun design, lots of amenities added to every order. Bad: High price point, but, it is a high quality product. Price: $27.95.
A Birth DayÂ by Jean-sÃ©bastien Deheeger and available at Threadless.Â Love the confusion in the chick and the cow, it makes this design great! It’s Spring Cleaning time at Threadless! And even though you can no longer get this great tee you can pick up a bunch of other similarly awesome shirts!Â Price: $18.00 but no longer available for sale.
If you want to sent me a product to review, please feel free to do so. You can find my information in the contact menu above. Thanks!
A couple of weeks ago, Dance Party Massacre gave us a sneak peek of their upcoming 2009 winter line. Well, if those tees peeked your interest then you’ll be happy to know that the winter line is now on sale for purchase! You can get them now at Dance Party Massacre’s online shop. What’s even better is that they’re now offering free shipping for all domestic orders and have a sale going on for their ladies tees!
DPM also went out of their way to produce a little short to promote their new line. Alex Dakoulas, of DPM, hooked up with Ryan Gibeau of Rock*It Films, who helped him to produce the short. It’s definitely worth a watch if you’re a horror fan. It looks like they had a great time making the video and it is such a breathe of fresh air to see brands try different things to promote their goods.Â
If you want even more Dance Party Massacre, then be sure to check out Indie Tee Spotlight #9, I got to interview Alex about DPM – it’s a good read!
Dance Party MassacreÂ posted a sneak peeks of a couple of their new products recently on the DPM blog. They previewed three new items, one of which is the first ever DPM sweater. They’ve also got Something’s After Us in a new colorway and a design with a gnarly gangsta wolf printed on an acid wash tee.Â
The items are not available for sale just yet, but they will be on the site once DPM wraps up their photo and video shoot for the new products.Â
What do you guys think of the new DPM products? To check out their current line go here.Â
Welcome to Indie Tee Spotlight #9! We’re back after a one-week hiatus (hey we did two of these things two weeks ago!).Â
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.”Â
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 (whatareuafraidof.com) 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!