It’s another bizarre, mostly virtual New York Fashion Week made even weirder by the guys at Pizzaslime. The pop culture-obsessed merch and marketing brand, led by Nick Santiago and Matthew Hwang, has made its official start of Fashion Week Tuesday with a bizarre animated presentation featuring graphic logo-embellished T-shirts and ironic nods to the current zeitgeist.
Their entry into the fashion world may be a headache for many, but not more than for the founders of Pizzaslime themselves.
“The fact that we just did an official NYFW show is hilarious for us personally because it’s so unexpected and no one probably even thought it was a possibility for a brand like us (including ourselves),” they told NYLON in an email.
While Santiago and Hwang admit that they never approached their brand from a fashion perspective, their infiltration into the industry is undeniable. From the first launch of unofficial Erewhon merch, worn by everyone from Sophie Turner and Jonah Hill to a phone case in collaboration with Wildflower, cool girl’s favorite, Pizzaslime is fashion. Even if it’s just ironically.
Ahead, Santiago and Hwang sat down with NYLON after their inaugural Fashion Week presentation to discuss the experience and future of the official brand of New York Fashion Week.
Why did you decide to put on a show for NYFW?
NS and NW: This opportunity honestly fell on our knees and we had to seize it. The fact that we just did an official NYFW show is hilarious for us personally because it’s so unexpected and probably no one even thought it was a possibility for a brand like us (including ourselves). We really never thought something like this would happen and the fact that it was all mostly broadcast gave us a real opportunity to participate in our own way. If there had ever been a time and a place to immerse ourselves in NYFW and the world of fashion in general, this is it. We hope we can do it again because now we have a million other different types of ideas to present our work.
How did you decide what to present during the show?
First of all, we don’t do standard traditional ‘fashion’, so we don’t think in a fashion brand / world mindset. We literally never developed a collection with a theme or purpose. It was a fun challenge. It was all new to us. We weren’t sure where to start, but the concept grew out of a conversation with the super talented animator and director we worked with, Cole kush and Dan quarrel. We kind of thought of a show concept together and then worked backwards. We figured out what we meant with the presentation and then we started designing shirts around that concept.
The “got glory?” is a reflection of our obsession with celebrity obsessed society reaching unprecedented heights and the craziness of the celebrity news cycle in our world. No one is immune to these celebrity obsessions (including ourselves). Celebrity news sources like TMZ and Us weekly are the new religion that is shaping worldviews and how people see themselves more than ever inside and out. Through the collection, we also talk about the effect of canceling culture on our relationship with art and how it can even paradoxically help build careers instead of ending them. “We live in a society” LOL.
There are certainly meanings and deeper layers to everything in the collection, but this is for the viewer to figure out and many clues can be found in the visual presentation of the collection. Either way, what we’ve done is art, so it’s up to the viewer and the wearer to figure out how they relate to the things we’ve made.
What do you think of the growing popularity of fashion merchandising?
From our point of view, fashion has always been about attention. Whether it’s through bright colors, progressive silhouettes or a global message. Attention today is measured by clicks and social engagement, which has enabled the person who wears a t-shirt (or whatever people think of as merch) to gain the same attention as wear something expensive and pretentious. Of course, everything is needed in moderation to maintain the taste, as well as a real personal style. Similar to how crypto allows the retail consumer to value whatever they want (without having to involve the old guard), Pizzaslime offers the everyday consumer the opportunity to get the same value of attention. than a cut and sewn item at $ 400. with a simple $ 33 T-shirt.
What do you think of the current fashion industry? How do you see Pizzaslime fitting into this?
Honestly, we don’t think about it. I think this is the industry’s problem. It’s just. Everything that is new is different but the same. It feels like everyone is still trying to ‘be trendy’.
We’re not sure we can adapt to fashion, but we could open a pit there (like in a mosh pit) and create our own space. We think fashion is funny and we don’t take it seriously. We don’t want to be “trendy”. The fact that we’re even talking about it right now is funny to us.
What’s next for the official New York Fashion Week brand Pizzaslime?
Later this year an animated series we sold to Amazon that portrays a comedic perspective on streetwear culture is coming out and we’re also developing some new sick show concepts now with some pretty big people in the TV / streamer world. . We also have a label called Pizzaslime Records with Diplo, so we’re going to keep releasing new music.
Additionally, we are consulting and working on radical new projects as a boutique design / marketing agency for Crocs. As a brand we want to keep doing what we do and also start thinking about collections like we did for NYFW. We are sitting on a Sopranos bootleg collection which is super awesome and left field. It would be fun to do more of that kind of NYFW stuff and we know we could follow and continue to disrupt the space with our own approach. … ARE YOU WAITING, DO YOU REALLY WANT TO COME THE FOLLOWING FASHION?
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