The Power Mitt by Johnny Cupcakes

Johnny Cupcakes continues to pump out new products for the summer. Here are a couple of his latest, including his latest tee, Power Mitts! How many of you remember Nintendo’s Power Glove from the late 80′s? If you do then Power Mitt from Johnny Cupcakes is the tee for you! The shirt sells for $35.99 and is available now for purchase. Check out the video below for an old school Power Glove commercial. 

Power Mitt

Mr. Cupcakes also released a pair of crossbones printed shorts ($64.99) and rolling pin board shorts ($59.99). I dig the casual crossbones shorts but am not sure if I would trust those board shorts. I have had bad experiences with boardshorts not coming from a brand that specializes in water sports. Quiksilver is my brand of choice when it comes to board shorts because of their durability and selection of wacky and fun designs. 

Crossbones Camo Shorts

Crossbones Camo Shorts

Rolling Pin Board Shorts

Oodles of New Johnny Cupcakes Gear

Johnny Cupcakes released some solid new tees (should we expect less?) as well as a few surprise items this past week, including a new polo top and stud earrings. I really need to get my hands on that silver and white crossbones tee. My other favorite from the new releases is the Bake on the First Date tee – love it!

Johnny Cupcakes

Johnny Cupcakes

Johnny Cupcakes

Johnny Cupcakes Demands Apology From Sorority

According to the Daily Orange, T-Shirt entrepreneur Johnny Cupcakes marched up to the Gamma Delta sorority house after one of his signature Johnny Cupcakes lectures at Syracuse University. During the lecture, he had shown examples of designs that had been ripped off by other companies, including Billabong. Apparently, Johnny Earle, the real man behind the Johnny Cipcakes brand, was upset because this particular sorority had used the Johnny Cupcakes skull and bones logo, without permission, on a sorority T-Shirt last year. 

And so Earle and company (a bunch of students) marched up to the sorority house door and demanded an apology. Story goes on to say that Earle got his apology and even an offer for dinner, which he said no to.

“I walked up their stairs and knocked on the door a bunch of times. I was in a good mood, so I told them I’d like an apology. They thought I was pulling out a weapon when I reached for my camera bag. I got many sincere apologies and they offered to cook food for me, as well as raise money for a charity of my choice. I have a list of things they gave to me, that they offered to do to remedy the situation. I told them to never ever wear those t-shirts in public(I might have them send the shirts my way) – and I explained to them that what they did was illegal and looked down upon. I’m sure the higher-ups at Delta Gamma would be disappointed with what this sorority/chapter did. Passing down the positive Delta Gamma legacy is hard to do when one of their chapters is doing something illegal, which is being written about in the school + local newspapers. I now know who they are and where they live. If I decide to take further legal action I just might, but for now we are at peace and they responded immediately in a possitive manner. Thank you everyone for backing me up, literally. That was quite a fun and epic night.” -Johnny Cupcakes

Syracuse Delta Gamma

Syracuse Gamma Delta

One Brand’s Trash, Another Brand’s Treasure

One Brand’s Trash, Another Brand’s Treasure is a guest post written by Blake from You Design It where they offer custom t-shirt printing. He’s a t-shirt fanatic that wants to rid the world of suits, one tee at a time.

How many of you out there have a pulse on your brand?. You know what I’m talking about, you eat, sleep and breathe your brand. If you’re talking, chances are…you’re talking about your apparel line. You know as good as anybody that you have to hustle hard day and night to succeed. T-shirt lines are a dime a dozen and only the cream rises to the top.

In the early stages of your t-shirt line, there is going to be a lot of noise you’ll have to filter through. You’ll have your lovers and haters, your friends and enemies, and plenty of know-it-alls along the way. You’ll be inspired by other brands and repulsed by others. These are all very normal situations and just a standard part of the process.

The next best thing to learning from your OWN mistakes when trying to mature as a brand, is to learn from OTHER’S mistakes before you. With the transparency that the internet now provides, you can follow the successes and failures of the brands you’re trying to emulate. But beware, because it’s a very fine line you’ll have to walk.

Let’s take this full circle and go back to the beginning. Remember the pulse question? This was where we established that you and only you know your brand the best. What works for one brand may not work for another and vice versa. Let me give you an example.

It’s safe to say that both The Hundreds and Johnny Cupcakes have seen enormous success for being different than the norm. They have both danced by the beat of their own drum by maintaining styles that are unlike any other in the retail markets. And although they are extremely different, I stumbled across an instance where they were very much alike.

There was a recent post on The Hundreds blog showing some of the samples that they tried but never put into production. The one that stood out to me the most was the Cobra Kai spoof called “Cool Guys”.

The Hundreds

It immediately reminded me of a recent release by Johnny Cupcakes with their own reference to Karate Kid’s Cobra Kai. In the post by The Hundreds, they made it clear that the samples would never go into production. Yet Johnny Cupcakes, no doubt, is reaping big sales with their version of the artwork.

Johnny Cupcakes

The take-home moral of the story is that one brand’s trash may be another brand’s treasure. The Hundreds knew it wasn’t for them, and Johnny Cupcakes felt it fit like a glove (or maybe I should say oven mitt).

You just have to cut through the noise and go with your gut. At the end of the day, your brand is an extension of you.

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

Pee Wee Herman Prank Calls

I remember growing up and watching the crazy antics of Pee Wee Herman. Too bad he got himself into a messy predicament at the peak of his career! Anyhow, I came across this YouTube video of someone doing Pee Wee Herman prank calls over at the Johnny Cupcakes blog. It was too funny, I had to post it!

And of course, I had to come with a matching tee as well. Unfortunately, this Pee Wee Herman inspired tuxedo tee from Chocosho is sold out and no longer available – but that won’t stop you from taking a peek at its quirky coolness!

Any Pee Wee fans out there?

Pee Wee Tuxedo T-Shirt

 

Pee Wee Tuxedo T-Shirt

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

Indie Tee Spotlight #17: {miles to go}

This weeks Indie Tee Spotlight features one of the major players in the indie clothing and apparel industry. His name is Greg Kerr and he runs {miles to go} clothing, but he has made quite a name for himself producing cotton and clip metal buckle belts popular amongst the indie apparel and band merchandise scene. He has done belts for Johnny Cupcakes, Linty Fresh, Electric Zombie, Glamour Kills, and 410BC to name a few. Some of the bands that he has made belts for include Fall Out Boy, A Wilhelm Scream, Gym Class Heroes and Less Than Jake. He has an impressive list of clients that  you can see here. 

I was fortunate enough to talk a bit with Greg about {miles to go}, how he got started in the apparel business, his thoughts on Johnny Cupcakes and his plans for 2009 and beyond. And when you done reading this interview be sure to check out the {miles to go} online storeuse the code “friends” to get 20% off your order!

Greg Kerr

Coty: How long have you been running {miles to go} and how did you first get started?

Greg: I’ve been doing miles to go about 6 years now, starting with the belts and moving into doing clothing about a year and a half ago. The belts kind of happened in one of those back against the wall moments where I needed to find a way to pay my bills. I was playing keyboards for Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer at the time and when we would go on tour for a month, I still needed to pay my bills. Everyone else in the band lived with family but me, so if we left for a month, I still needed to find a way to pay rent. I had been using the product I use on the belts in my artwork at the time and just brainstormed about how I could use it to make merch for our band. Started off with selling zolof belts, making $50-60 a night and then bands would ask where we got them and it just kind of picked up from there. I was all word of mouth back then and I still am.

Sirens

Coty: Aside from {miles to go}, you clothing brand, you also run Miles To Go Belts, a custom belt making service in which you specializes in making custom heavy duty cotton belts with the classic sliding clip metal buckle. Which is more difficult, running your own clothing brand or providing a paid service?

Greg: At this point with the belts, I have it down so well that the challenges involved have for the most part passed. The merch industry has changed so much over the years and it has become harder to get belts made for bands. Before, I could contact a band, make a sample, they’d order some and we would start the business relationship. Now, its all fulfillment companies who handle a lot of bands and I’m sorry to say put less into looking for new products. Running the clothing line has been a challenge and a good learning experience. I’ve been printing shirts since I was 16 for my old bands and I was familiar enough with the general aspects of it from working in the industry for so long, but it takes a lot of ground work. There are a lot of new clothing companies popping up all of the time and I wish them all the best and hope they want belts too!

Miles To Go Belts

Coty: If you had to choose one, {miles to go} the clothing brand or Miles To Go the custom belt service, which would you stick with and why? Which is more fun for you, designing your own tees and belts or making belts designed by others?

Greg: To be honest, the belts are how I pay my bills and I’ve been fortunate enough to have it be that way for about 3/4 years. The clothing has a little bit more excitement involved with planning designs and concepts, executing it, etc. If one had to go, it would be the clothing, but I dont plan on disappearing anytime soon. I do really enjoy making belts too and seeing the designs. Sometimes people send me great designs that keep me inspired.

Medusa

Coty: One of your major customers in the past was Johnny Cupcakes. Johnny has been noted as saying: “Miletogobelts; Great guy, awesome business man, has helped me out tons over the years! I decided to part ways because I’m working on a bunch of custom belts overseas. There’s too many clothing lines doing those belts. It is def awesome for Greg, however – I want people to look at my products and be like, “How the heck did he get that made?!” But that’s just me & I’m a weirdo. I’m even losing money because I decided not to make any/many more of those type of belts! I gotta stick with my gut instinct though, it’s what got me to where I am today.” What are your thoughts on losing a major customer because of your increased popularity?

Greg: Johnny is a great guy and it’s one of those situations where the ride has to end at some point. He was getting belts from me for at least 4 years and to carry an accessory for that long is really rare. I was fortunate enough to be along for the ride as he grew into the monster he is today. There were no hard feelings and it wasnt anything that caught me off guard by any means. When your company is evolving, you need to keep moving forward with new products. I forget how I met Johnny. It was maybe either through Vinnie/Less ThanJake or he found me then Vinnie. It’s been a while. It was great to see the progression in his company. The first order I did was I think for 12 each of 3 designs and when we ended it was sometimes a few hundred of each of 6/7 designs. When companies email me saying they want 10 belts, I treat them the same I do as a company who gets 500. We all start somewhere. I have a small company myself, have been on tour sleeping in shady places, broke and I have a ton of respect for people just starting up.

[Read more...]

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 #15: Prestigious Clothing

In this weeks Indie Tee Spotlight I highlight an indie brand, Prestigious Clothing, from West Springfield, Massachusetts. I had the opportunity to chat a little with William Matte, Jr., the founder of Prestigious Clothing. William has been running his own line for some time now and has built up an impressive catalog of tees within the past year. He has definitely focused on branding and has made his brands name a focal point of many of his tees. 

Prestigious Clothing is gearing up to release a brand new fall line of tees which William has been promoting heavily and which has got the tee community excited. William talks a little about his upcoming line, some of his thoughts behind the Prestigious brand, as well as how music has influenced his design style!

“The identity, personality and collective attributes of my brand are nothing short of what time, frugality, devotion and hard work can produce. Prestigious means the world to me.” William Matte, Jr. 

William of Prestigious Clothing

Coty: The name Prestigious Clothing sounds pretty grand – how did you come up with it and what does Prestigious mean to you? How would you describe the identity of Prestigious Clothing?

William: Prestigious is more of a description than a name. The primary reason for the choice was the overall timing of my brand’s inception coupled with the limitless path it produced ahead of me. The opportunity for me to start a line of my own was almost like a dream come true. So many amazing artists and the brands they own/design for inspired feelings of hope and willingness to start something of my own. I was busy as it was- school, my old job, my relationships and related commitments- “Prestigious” was an escape and an outlet. It’s become such a huge part of my life, and I devote every resource I can possibly tap into this project. It’s such an amazing and beautiful thing to be at the helm of a boundless and opportunistic endeavor. The identity, personality and collective attributes of my brand are nothing short of what time, frugality, devotion and hard work can produce. Prestigious means the world to me.

Prestigious Clothing

2. How would you define the target audience of Prestigious Clothing?

William: The target audience of my brand is something that I recently discovered, as typical as that sounds from a company owner’s point of view; it takes some time to figure out who you want to market to and why on earth they’d want to spend money your product. My target audience is not one that can be pigeon holed or summed up in a nutshell, but overall my customers are members of what one could simply call an “indie” culture- I promote my Vegan ethics openly and my customers appreciate that. The integration of my growth as the owner of a young brand along with the happenings of my brand’s development substantiate the reality that fans, followers and otherwise potential customers like an involved and personable owner; a face to go with a name. This year, Prestigious will take on more of an activist feel in terms of charitable contribution and communal involvement, setting the stage for what will come.

Coty: The indie T-Shirt scene is increasingly becoming a crowded space. What are you doing to make sure Prestigious stands out amongst the crowd? What things have you done differently?

William: It is far too easy to fall into the anonymous void of a crowed or oversaturated market. The most important aspect of staying afloat is maintaining and preaching the mission of your brand. Customer service, unique and gracious offerings with every packed order, a personable experience that will last longer than the shirt material itself; these are a few things that brands should strive for. In terms of product identity, it’s been said time and time again- offer something that can’t be found anywhere else. This is one of the hardest things to do- offering new products that aren’t like any other line requires discovering who you’re marketing your product to in the first place; once you’ve done this, start planning on ways of supplying the demand that is out there.

Prestigious Clothing

Coty: You’re preparing to release a new line of tees. What about the new line has got you excited? Did you collaborate with any artists on any of the designs? When should we expect to see the new line and why are they not available for presale?

William: Ah yes, the long awaited early February release! This has got me extremely excited and anxious at the same time. This will be a three-design release, and it is largely significant because it marks the first “line” ever released by Prestigious- prior to now, new designs would come out one at a time, sporadically and without notice. This has been promoted and has the community excited and wanting to see what’s coming- but only a handful of people very close to me have seen it- myself and the designer/printer included. Jimmy Heartcore, of Heartcore Clothing and printmytees.com fame, designed this line and will be performing the printing of each piece. This line will be for sale in bundle and individual design form (the bundle, or course, will provide substantial savings). By the 10th of February, this design will be unveiled in full form, all for sale and ready to ship. I decided against a preorder for a number of reasons, one of which was that I did not want to sneak peak the line publicly until the day of the release- it is somewhat of an experiment since I’ve done preorders in the past. I want to see how this line takes to everyone since after ordering; each customer will actually have his or her merchandise within 3 business days in hand. Preorders are not history for Prestigious, but this line will not be available for preorder sale whatsoever.

Prestigious Clothing

[Read more...]