Pyknic Clothing just unleashed upon the world their Winter 2009 line and my oh my what a release it is. Over 25 new products for both men and women. They’ve got standard tees, totes, v-necks, sweaters and baseball tees. It also looks like they are focusing a bit more on branding now, with a bunch of their shirts featuring just the forks and basket logo ala Johnny Cupcakes crossbones and cupcakes logo tees. The one thing that they are doing differently from Mr. Cupcakes is that they have been invading the malls for teen consumption – Pyknic Clothing is available at Pacsun stores nationwide.
Why celebrate going back to school when you can praise the lord for being out of school! That’s right, Pyknic is have a “We’re Out of School” Sale because they feel bad for those who have to go back! From August 5 to 21 you can score 50% off on select Pyknic tees. The best part? No coupon code need! All you need to do is look for the tees that have already been marked down. I’m going to go eat a burger and some fries now!
Day 7 Shirt of Choice:Â American Apparel Poly-Cotton
3/4 Sleeve Raglan Shirt
Day 7 started off with breakfast at the popular Bellagio Buffet. There was a lot of food, a custom omelet bar, and tons of pastries and fruit. But if I am being honest, it was pretty standard breakfast fare.Â
We then headed toward the MGM Grand to purchase tickets to both The Phantom and The Beatles LOVE Cirque Du Soleil. We were able to get tickets to The Phantom but was unable to snag any for LOVE. So we spontaneously decided to buy tickets to a 12 hour guided tour of the the Grand Canyon. Crazy!
Following our ticket buying frenzy we did some further shopping at the Primm Fashion Outlet Mall. We spent about 3 hours there and then we made our way back to the strip to do even more shopping at the Miracle Mile Mall. At this point I was all shopped out and couldn’t wait to get back to the Bellagio to freshen up for The Phantom. Back at the hotel room we had about an hour to spare before making the mad rush through the crowds to the Venetian were The Phantom was playing.
That American Apparel 3/4 Sleeve tee looks good! I want to pick up a couple more now.
The Phantom was defintely an exciting and haunting experience. I was thoroughly impressed by the Phantom theater, which was custom built to house this specific show. If you’ve seen The Phantom of the Opera at another venue, it’s worth checking this one out because of some of the welcome changes. First of all, there is no intermission. Secondly, they’ve added a few extended scenes. And lastly, the falling chandelier is breathtaking. I’d suggest sitting on the balcony, you’ll get a great view of all the action and the ticket prices are not as expensive.Â
That’s me just about ready to enter the theater. Right after we snapped this picture, the usher yelled at us! How dare!
Iron Chef’s Mario Batali’s B&B Ristorante was our pick for dinner on this particular evening. B&B Ristorante had some big shoes to fill since the food at Bobby Flay’s MESA Grill was superb. Unlike the Mesa Grill’s southern infused fare, B&B was more of a traditional Italian eatery. I had the Lobster Spaghettini with Spicy Budding Chives, Sweet Garlic and One Pound Lobster. Michelle had the Grilled Pork Chop with Cipolline, Artichokes and Vin Cotto. I really enjoyed the Spaghettini and the lobster portions were quite generous. However, in the end, we both decided that the food at the MESA Grill was indeed better!
Tomorrow: The Grand Canyon
Day 8 Shirt of Choice:Â Mack Hated Mondays
Our last full day in Las Vegas involved waking up at 5am in the morning! It was Grand Canyon day so getting an early start was imperative. This would be a 12 hour trip to and from the Canyon through Comedy on Deck Tours. We left the Bellagio and headed across the street to Bally’s to catch our shuttle.Â Our tour guide was named Jodie and she was both friendly and welcoming as well as informative!Â Once we hopped on we grabbed a quick breakfast at the Boulder Dam Hotel in Boulder CityÂ en route to the Hoover Dam. What’s interesting about Boulder City is that it was built for the people who had worked on the Hoover Dam. As for the hotel, our tour guide mentioned that it’s ranked as the 4th most haunted hotel in the US. I didn’t see anything! But Dennis McBride, author of Midnight on Arizona Street noted thatÂ “One of the people who owned the hotel in the 1980s used to do night work at the desk, and she said several times she would see a man standing in front of her only from the waist-up. He was gone from the waist down.”Â One famous guest was Howard Hughes, who recuperated here after a plane crash at Lake Mead.
One we left Boulder City we made a quick drive thru and stop at the Hoover Dam and then headed toward our first Grand Canyon stop,Â Eagle Point. The road to Eagle Point was, quite literally, bumpy! 14 miles of unpaved road with just a landscape of Joshua Trees made for an interesting ordeal.
And that’s the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. It’s so impressive in person!
The Grand CanyonÂ isÂ definitely a stunning natural marvel to look at. Its powerful and intimidating landscaping stretches over 18 miles wide and consists of over 277 river miles. We did a tour of the West Rim of the Grand Canyon that consisted of Eagle Point and Guano Point. Eagle Point is known for the recently opened Skywalk which is theÂ first-ever glass bridge and suspends visitors 4,000 feet above the Grand Canyon floor. The views here were spectacular and truly breathtaking. And I got to scratch off yet another item off my Things To Do Before I Die list!
We then had lunch at the Grand Canyon West Ranch, a 1,060 acre working cattle ranch, did some activities and rode a horse wagon around the property. After lunch we made the trip back to Vegas. Spending a day away from the strip and at the Grand Canyon was definitely worth it! If I ever come back, I’ll be sure to hit up the Grand Canyon Caverns. Our wagon driver mentioned that this was a 230 feet drop below ground level that consists of 60 miles of limestone caves. There is no humidity down there and as such he mentioned that anything that stays there is preserved.Â
Once we arrived back on the strip we made a mad rush to The Mirage to see if we could get some last minute tickets to The Beatles LOVE Cirque Du Soleil. It was ourlucky day! We scored two tickets to one of the hottest shows on the Las Vegas strip.Â
But before the show we wanted to eat at one last Food Network star’s restaurant. This time it would be Chef Emeril Lagasi’s New Orleans Fish House at the MGM Grand. Emeril’s probably had the friendliest bunch of waiters of the three big restaurants we dined at while in Las Vegas. There was a constant flow of bread and drinks! We started off with theÂ New Orleans Blue Crabmeat Bake with Baked Blue Crabmeat & Pickled Sweet Piquant Peppers with Herb Crust served with Emeril’s Spiked Crostini and Creole Tomato Glaze. For entrees, I had theÂ Emeril’s Sweet Barbecued Scottish Salmon on Andouille Sausage & Brabant Potatoes with Spicy Onion Crust and Emeril’s Homemade Worcestershire. Michelle had theÂ Herb, Sea Salt & Pepper Crusted Ahi Tuna on Homemade Sopressata Sausage, & Italian Cheese & Spinach Ravioli with Basil Pesto, in Tomato Olive Stew and Balsamic Extraction. The food here was so good! I thoroughly enjoyed the food, the environment and the service! The waiters were quick, efficient and friendly. In the end, though, we decided that Bobby Flay’s MESA grill ruled supreme amongst our tier of culinary challenges during our Las Vegas stay.
If you decide to watch a Cirque Du Soleil Show in Las Vegas, I would highly recommend that you see this one. It was seriously spectacular!
And for the final major spectacle of this epic trip we watchedÂ The Beatles LOVE Cirque Du Soleil at the Mirage. It was a full house and I quickly understood why. The show was spectacular and covered a ton of Beatles hits like Elanor Rigby, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Help!, Blackbird, Hey Jude and All You Need Is Love. In total, the show consisted of 26 Beatles classics.Â The exuberance ofÂ The BeatlesÂ was definitely channeled through the youthful, urban energy of a cast of 60 international artists. The panoramic sound and visuals made for an excellent end to a wonderful trip.
Departure Shirt of Choice: Pyknic Logo Tee
I can honestly say that this was one exhausting trip! We squeezed in a lot of exciting and fun things and for that I have to thank Michelle for planning. What can I say, she’s an excellent planner!
Some great deals can be had for those of you into the After Christmas Shopping craze. The biggest deals here include 50% off all merchandise at Pyknic Clothing (sale ends January 1) and $10 tees at Design by Humans (sale ends January 4)! Also, Karmaloop is having a 60% off sale, but you better hurry it ends tomorrow (December 26)!
Some other random sales (this list is being updated has the sales roll along so check back often):
I kicked off the Indie Tee Spotlight last week by highlighting Eric Terry’s brand, Linty Fresh. Now in my quest to find the next great indie tee maker to spotlight I thought I’d go straight to my mailbox and highlight a company from which I received a freshly purchased tee from.Â
This week Glorious Nonsensities spotlights Indie Tee designers Andrew Marshall and Stephen Thompson ofÂ Pyknic Clothing. Marshall and his business partner, Stephen Thompson, have turned the indie tee design scene upside down since first opening up shop nearly 2 years ago.Â
The Pyknic brand mantra is “Life’s a Pyknic so eat it up!” and it’s fair enough to say that their clothing line more than fits the slogan. With funky and loud t-shirt designs that sport typical things you’d find at picnic, Marshall has found a sweet spot that is as appealing to junior high kids as it is to college students.Â
We were fortunate enough to chat it up with Pyknic duder Stephen Thompson.
Coty: How did you come up with the idea of using typical picnic stuff as the centerpiece of your designs and ultimately your brand?
Pyknic: Well for two years we were geared at the surf-skate-snow market. It is very hard to compete against big brands with great brand recognition on international scales (ie. Billabong, Quicksilver, etc.) with huge budgets. When we took a step back and looked at the overall picture: why would consumers or stores buy our shirt versus one by Billlabong, for instance, with similar designs? It would not matter if ours was better, they had a name to go with theirs.
So one night we went to Red Lobster and that’s when we turned our [picnic] tables. We thought of a new direction we could take the brand that was logical to our name and could create its own niche. Weird or not, people enjoy food as much as they do clothing. The two together would be dessert.
Coty:Â I’ve read that you use “contracted artists.” What percentage of the designs that actually make it to print are your own work as compared to those that are outsourced?Â
Pyknic:Â A lot (if not all) of the shirts are actually concepts that we have created and thought out. We’re very fortunate to work with some great artists that can also see our vision and execute.Â
Coty:Â You’re known in the indie tee world for making it big by actually scoring a deal with Hot Topic. How did that come about? Do you plan on connecting with other retailers? Do you have any plans for international domination?!
Pyknic:Â It was a last minute decision but we decided to attend Bamboozle Left. Upon returning home, I received an email from a Hot Topic buyer who was actually out at the event and loved the shirts. After a few phone call meetings, we got things rolling and eventually started putting merchandise in the stores.
I actually just got back from Magic Tradeshow and Agenda Tradeshow. There were a good amount of stores interested and either placed orders or planned on emailing that over. Right now most of our accounts are international. We have taken Europe, Asia, and Australia by storm. Most recently we distributed our newest line to all of them.Â
Coty:Â Pyknic has turned into a nice venture for you. Do you plan on continuing the brand after college? Where do you see Pyknic in the next 3 to 5 years?Â
Pyknic:Â Next year the Chef and I plan on moving out to California where we will be close to different production sources. Most of our products are sent out there as well so it only makes sense.Â
In the next 3 to 5 years, I see us in more major US outlets with the possibility of our own.
Coty:Â Any words of inspiration for up and coming indie tee designers wanting to make it big?
Pyknic:Â I think the most important thing is to be unique. The last thing anyone wants to do is get lost in the shuffle. Very cliche but practice makes perfect, no one’s a hit overnight.Â
When we started this brand three years ago, we saw ourselves in this position eventually. We knew it took a lot of work to get to this point but we were willing to do whatever it took. “If you can dream it…”
*Special thanks to Stephen for chatting it up with us! Be on the look out for next weeks Indie Tee Spotlight! And if you’re an Indie Tee Designer and would like to be featured here then please feel free to contact me to find out how you can do just that.