Stüssy World Tour
The fall of 1989 was remembered for the first release of the Stussy World Tour t-shirt. Shawn Stussy created what would become an enduring concept in graphic t-shirt designs. The idea and execution were simple: juxtapose two cultures from traditionally different worlds – a style device that had been used in art and music. On the front of the tee, names of cities associated with giants of high-end fashion and glamor are written in a stoic and formal Helvetica type. London, Paris, Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo – these were the cities considered to be the style capitals of the contemporary world. The back of the shirt was printed with names of boroughs where our kind of street culture was actually thriving. Considered dark and underground, these untapped urban areas were about to shake up the world. Scrawled in a hand drawn manuscript, the back of the t-shirt clashed with the front in style, look and meaning. The graffiti was a shout-out to this band of outsiders – Brooklyn, Bronx, Compton, Santa Ana and Venice – that is reppin’ a new vibe, direction and attitude.
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I started drawing as far back as I can remember at John Muir elementary school in Santa Monica copying from books and things that I liked. Then I would copy from magazines like Surfer, Hot Rod and Creepy. I loved Creepy Mag. I started skateboarding with Craig Hollingsworth, his brother Dean and Kevin Kaiser. I rode down the driveways and streets in front of Craig’s house on one of their Hobies with white chalky wheels that left white tracks where we had turned on the driveways. I started body surfing around age 13 and soon got into belly boards. Craig, Dean, Kevin and I started making them at Craig’s garage first and we would draw and paint them like something we saw in a surf mag or movie. We drew stony caricatures we picked up from Zap Comics or an album cover or something like that.
Around 1974, I started making wooden skateboards out of any kind of wood I could find. Some I made out of flexible ply wood: I tied a brick to it to put rocker in it, then fiber glassed both sides of it with sand stuck to the top for grip. The trucks were held in with wood screws and I had Cadillac wheels with loose bearings (this board was a health hazard!). We would skate the local bank, St. Clement’s, everyday and then heard about a bigger bank at a school named Paul Revere. We were told it’s like “Sunset Beach.” Then we heard about some pool (I think Tony Alva told Kevin and I) so we went and checked it out. I was so blown away by pool riding! Watching TA doing upside down burt’s on vert was unreal. I had never seen anything like it and till this day pools are my favorite skating to watch!
I kept making belly boards and skateboards and hooked up with Jim Muir and we started up this little company called Dog Town Skates. We came up with the first wide boards anyone had ever seen: 8”, 9”, 10”, 11” and 12” boards. We would go buy warped planks of hard wood and cut the first concave boards out of them. It seemed like the better board I had, the better I would skate and was always making new boards with new drawings and paintings! In 1979 and 1980, skateboarding went bust and I got into the graphic arts biz, a.k.a. printing. I free-lanced doing art for friends. I did a bunch for Jim Muir and the 80’s DT crew. I did art for Natas Kaupas’s Santa Monica Airlines board and his skate shoe with Etnies. In the 90’s I did art for Burt Lamar’s snowboard company and for many surfboard companies, but missed making my own skates.
In the mid 90’s, Ray Flores came by my house and I showed him a board I had made for him. He flipped, saying that nobody was making old school skates, and wanted me to start making them so he could sell them in his shop. I started Bulldog Skates, designing the boards and doing the art. I hooked up with my business partner Rich Fozmire, who was a collector and wanted to do a high quality product line of boards and wheels and I have some friends riding their models, too. So that is how we got to this point today.
“A few years ago I did a couple of… I guess you could call them sculptures, but they were really, toys. Dangerous toys made out of metal scraps, nails and various junk. I think I need to go there again before my wife kicks me out of the house with all my collections.” Most nights, you can find him hunched over his work on the floor of his kitchen studio or behind the keyboard of his laptop. If you’re curious what he does during the day, he’s been the creative director for the Girl Skateboard Company since it’s inception in 1993. To find out more or see some of his current work and projects, visit his personal web site at bendpress.com or the Art Dump Collective site at theartdump.com or the Girl umbrella site at crailtap.com. Busy man, the Jenkins character.”
• 1991-1994 study of graphic design • 1995 founding LODOWN magazine • 1997 production of the first video for LODOWN called SUPER LO8, all filmed on super 8 material • 1999 co-founding the LODOWN ONLINE project www.lodown.com • 1999 publishing and creating the first LODOWN graphic book, called LODOWN ENGINEERING at ‘die gestalten verlag’ • 2001 publishing and creating the second LODOWN book called SCHIZOPHRENIC- ‘lodown Engineering part 2’ at ‘die gestalten verlag’. • 2001 SCHIZOPHRENIC EXHIBITION @ ffwd gallery – Berlin • 2001 finishing the second LODOWN video ‘SUPER LO8 part 2’ • 2002 ‘m – transforming language’, publication @ ‘die gestalten verlag’ • 2003 casual phrophecies, Marok solo exib.. Berlin • 2004 Marok Gasbook 16 at Gasbook publ… japan • 2005 superstar 35 book • 2006 quitting LODOWN as art director
1955: Introduction: new york city • 1955- 1969 Experience: limited • 1970: Invention: graffiti artist: dawn of a decade • 1971: Nom de plume: futura 2000 • 1972-1973: Education: minimal • 1974-1978: Military: honorable • 1979: Insertion: street art community • 1980: Exposure: subways & galleries: dawn of a decade • 1981: Influence: recognition • 1982: External: cultural exploration / exploitation • 1983: Conclusion: chemical imbalance • 1984: Soviet: moscow metro • 1985: Aftermath: death of a movement • 1986-1989: Employment: messenger • 1990: Computing: extensive: dawn of a decade • 1991: Acceleration: graphic design: painting • 1992: Professional: companies. Kinkos • 1993: Incorporation: tokyo • 1994: Medium: clothing • 1995: Transition: internet • 1996: Crossover: Bathing Ape: Mo Wax • 1997: Retail: reconnaissance • 1998: Extension: Futura Labratories. UNDER COVER • 1999: Production: three dimensional characters • 2000: Millennium: book release: dawn of a century • 2001: Commercial: Levis x Futura • 2002: Experience: advanced aerosol abilities • 2003: Placement: Nike. Medicom. North Face • 2004: Cache memory: toshiba • 2005: Hawaii: Steve Mc Garrett • 2006: Event Horizon: Silly Thing Occupation: battery charger • Conclusion: the futura is written 05.12.2006 Thank you..
From the highest highs to the lowest lows, a New York Thing can be anything, and no one knows this better than Aaron Bondaroff who goes by the moniker A-Ron the Downtown Don, founder of the New York City-based creative collective aNYthing.It’s been an exciting ride for A-Ron since he was a 15 year old high school dropout in 1992. While his first introduction to the streetwear scene was getting caught stealing at the legendary Union boutique, he soon found himself entrenched in a world of downtown kids who would become his extended family and inspiration for the future. In 1994, he captured the attention of James Jebbia, founder of New York’s most exclusive skate label Supreme, and was hired to work in the newly-opened Lafayette Street retail flagship of the insider-y brand. From shop boy to marketing guru, to creative consultant and public face, Bondaroff climbed the ranks quickly and learned the ropes of what could surely be dubbed “organic branding.”
For six years, Bondaroff curated photo shoots, merchandised collections, occasionally modeled and drew upon the talent of creative friends like photographer Ryan McGinley or artist Dan Colen for the benefit of the Supreme brand. In the office or in the shop, Bondaroff naturally made moves that kept Supreme in demand for six years. Networking – that intuitive, enigmatic skill that combines social grace, a charming like ability, an inquisitive nature and underlying love of humanity – comes easily to Bondaroff. His mixed (Puerto Rican and Brooklyn Jewish) background, a liberal and open upbringing and his purely native New Yorker high tolerance for both different strokes and different folks, have granted Bondaroff a healthy does of magnetism coupled with a genuine interest in alternative perspectives. His post at Supreme allowed him easy access to a mixed bag cast of downtown characters – skaters, graff heads, weirdoes, painters, club kids, nerds, lesbians, poets, thugs and everything in between. Their cumulative energy epitomized the oft talked about energy of New York City, and thus became Bondaroff’s passion.
Inspired by the way the city came together as a unified force in the days after the monumental and horrific events that took place on 9/11/01, Bondaroff founded the brand aNYthing – his personal vision for the future distilled from his vast social circle and his love for the big city. It began with T-Shirts, but has become a social contagion. There is the aNYthing line of clothing that is graphically inspired by the iconography of local sports teams, advertisements and other essentially NYC eye candy, the aNYthing retail shop on Hester Street, deep in the bowels of downtown at a symbolic crossroads of ethnic enclaves and the aNYthing record label, made up of diverse talents and rising stars from the city’s underground. Each arm of the aNYthing brand is an expression of a new bohemia, a modern counterculture made up of misfits and dreamers all stamped with approval by A-Ron – the pied piper, the connector, or as he is called, the Downtown Don.