Questions answered by Shepard Fairey, Mike Ternosky, and the marketing team at OBEY Clothing.
LULA: When and where was OBEY Clothing born?
OBEY: OBEY Clothing was officially created in 2000 with partners Shepard Fairey, Don Juncal, Chris Broders, and Mike Ternosky. Shepard Fairey had approached Don and Chris to help him print tees for his OBEY brand. Chris and Don knew it was more than just tees because of Shepard’s fame and his ability to constantly come up with creative ideas beyond just art. They saw it as an opportunity to build a brand and a full fashion collection around Shepard. Since much of the clothing industry and sourcing happens in Southern California, OBEY Clothing was headquartered in the heart of Santa Ana, California.
OBEY Clothing is now a global brand distributed in over 17 countries. It truely began very small when Shepard screenprinted his own stickers and tees by hand, that inception of the brand goes back to 1989. It has only been a full clothing collection since year 2000 when Shepard meet up with the talents of Mike Ternosky, through Don and Chris. Mike was a young designer just graduating from the University of Textile design in Philladelphia.
LULA: How was OBEY brand created? Who is the creater of OBEY Clothing/brand? Tell us about it.
OBEY: OBEY was created by Shepard Fairey in 1989, while he was going to Rhode Island School of Design. He was very involved in skateboarding, and influenced by Punk Rock and Hip Hop music. Many of his art influences came from album covers, skateboard graphics, and pop culture.
The infamous Andre the Giant sticker was created while Shepard was teaching his roomate how to make stencils to spray paint. Shepard picked a picture of Andre the Giant out a newspaper and started cutting the image to make a stencil. Shepard liked the image of Andre because it was so unusual. Shepard decided to use the Andre image to make stickers and added his own words “Andre the Giant has a posse.” He stickered the whole city of Providence, Rhode Island. People did not know what the sticker was about, they either thought it was a band or a gang, and began questioning why it was all over the city. From there, Shepard began to formulate his manifesto and started to create philisophical ideas behind his experiment in“Phenomonology.”
The term OBEY was later added by referencing of the movie “They Live”. Shepard stylized the previous Andre image to the more graphic and iconic OBEY Giant Face.
Shepard and Mike Ternosky (or Mike T. as he is known in the industry) work closely together to have the new Shepard graphics match with the clothing styles and labeling of product. They design four collections a year and always try to design original product and do not look at other brands for infleunce. Because of the originality and success of the OBEY Clothing brand over the last 9 years, the brand has become very popular with other designers and image stores around the world.
LULA: OBEY seems to have a continuous series of designs in each season. Tell us about it.
OBEY: As a design company we feel a need to just keep putting out new imagery and ideas that are important to us, and hopefully resonate with the market. There are a lot of influences that Shepard and Mike use to reference before designing for a particular season, these influences may be political subjects, global issues, or changes in music or youth culture.
As citizens of the United States, we want to express these images and ideas to the world as fast as possible at the same time keeping them relevant. We feel we are never done articulating our messages and there are always new messages to address. Fortunately for OBEY there seems to be a global demand for new product from us, and the stores are always interested in what the OBEY crew will come up with next.
LULA: What is the brand concept of OBEY Clothing?
OBEY: We consider ourselves to be a socially conscious, art driven, streetwear brand.
LULA: What are the main design directions of OBEY Clothing?
OBEY: To offer graphic images that are thought provoking or philosophical on apparel and posters. We then use this graphic base to influence and design clean, functional, timeless sportswear.
LULA: What is the symbolic spirit of OBEY brand?
OBEY: The symbolic spirit of OBEY Clothing is that we’re “the Peoples” brand. We try to offer many different looks and styles. Especially Shepard and Mike have experienced so many different things in life, and that gives them a wide variety of influences. We want to do our own thing and not try to be like other brands. If people like our product than great, and we thank you, if it is not for them we understand.
LULA: What is the most representative work of OBEY Clothing?
OBEY: The most representive work to date is definitely the Obama tees, which was inspired by Shepard’s poster for Obama. Shepard did this image to help promote Barrack Obama to be president of the United Sates. The poster was so popular that the president thanked Shepard for his art and developing the poster, and the art is now one of the official images of President Obama in National Archives. OBEY Clothing did not want to make a tee out of the poster image but there was such a demand by our stores worldwide to sell the image on a tee that we printed them. We decided to print the image on tees and use the profits to promote Obama for president. We have decided not to print anymore since the election is over, but we sold over 150,000 Obama tees worldwide.
LULA: What is Shepard’s favorite work?
OBEY: It’s really tough for him to answer that… but if it had to come down to one piece of work that he feels the most accomplished would be the OBAMA image and how much it was regarded an integral piece for the 2008 elections. He felt that it was one thing that he didn’t have to run from or it being so illegal, he couldn’t be around to enjoy it. He feels that the OBAMA tee took him to another level unimagined in the past.
Thank you for your support for OBEY,
Shepard, Mike T. and the crew at OBEY
OBEY專訪 以下問題是由Shepard Fairey, Mike Ternosky和OBEY營銷團隊回覆
OBEY: OBEY服裝公司是由Shepard Fairey, Don Juncal, Chris Broders和 Mike Ternosky合夥在2000年正式創立. Shepard Fairey請Don和Chris幫他的OBEY品牌印T-shirt, 在此合作印T-shirt的機緣, Chris和Don認為Shepard有能力持續地發揮除了藝術以外的創意, 他們看到建立起一個服飾品牌的商機. 由於很多服飾工業和資源都在南加州, OBEY Clothing便將總公司設在加州橙縣(Orange County)的聖塔安娜市 (Santa Ana). OBEY服裝現在是一個擁有超過17個國家代理的全球性品牌. OBEY, 它實際上一開始是從Shepard在1989年自己手印貼紙和T-shirt的小生意做起. OBEY成為一個全面性的服飾品牌, 起緣於2000年, Shepard透過Don和Chris的介紹認識了多才多藝的Mike Ternosky. 當時Mike只是一個剛從費城大學服裝設計系畢業的年輕設計師.
OBEY: OBEY是Shepard Fairey在1989年當他在羅德島設計學校(Rhode Island School of Design)學設計時創立的. 他熱中於滑板, 深受龐客搖滾和嘻哈音樂影響. 很多他的藝術創作靈感來自於唱片封面, 滑板圖案以及流行文化. 那個臭名昭張的Andre the Giant貼紙是在教他的室友如何做鋼板噴漆時創作出來的. Shepard從報紙剪了一個Andre的圖片然後開始做鋼板噴畫他很喜歡這個很特別的Andre圖案. 於是他決定加上這些文字”Andre the Giant has a posse” (Andre the Giant一族), 然後做貼紙. Shepard開始將這個圖案的貼紙貼滿羅德島Providence市的每個角落. 人們不知道那貼紙是幹嘛的, 有的人認為那代表一個樂團, 有的人認為是幫派, 然後大家都在問怎麼那張貼紙整個城市到處都是. 從那時候開始, Shepard開始將他的宣言公式化,他開始將一些具有哲學性的想法的藝術創作融入他的”現象學”( Phenomonology)實驗. OBEY這個名稱是參考一部1988年的電影”They Live”. Shepard將Andre the Giant的臉改造成比較圖像化和偶像化的臉. Shepard和Mike Ternosky (或Mike T, 在服裝界大家都這麼稱呼他) 緊密的合作以發展出一些新的Shepard圖案和其他OBEY服裝水乳交融. 他們不受其他品牌影響, 一年四季他們可以推出四系列最原汁原味的設計. 也因為設計品的原始性和在市場的亮麗表現, OBEY服裝在過去九年來深受全球其他設計師和零售店的歡迎.
OBEY: 身為一個設計公司, 我們深感持續地創作新的圖案和想法是很重要的, 我們也希望這些新的設計能引起市場的共鳴. 在發表每一季的設計品之前, Shepard和Mike參考來自他們生活各方面的影響力做為他們的設計靈感. 那些影響力可以是政治話題, 全球性的問題或是音樂和青少年文件的變化. 身為美國公民, 我們要盡快地, 盡可能有關連性地將我們的想法傳達給全世界. 我們覺得我們還沒有將消息明確地表達給大眾, 但總是有源源不絕的新訊息需要被傳達. 很幸運地, 人們持續地對OBEY的新產品有強烈的需求, 各地的零售店總是引頸期盼OBEY的新產品.
OBEY: 我們自認是一個有社會使命, 受藝術駕馭的街服品牌.
OBEY: 我們提供帶有令人深思或哲學性的圖像的服飾和海報. 以這些圖像概念為基礎, 我們設計出乾淨俐落, 多功能性, 跨越時間與空間的服飾.
OBEY: OBEY服裝所象徵的精神是 – 我們是一個人性的(眾人的)品牌. 我們試著為各種不同的人提供各種不同樣式的衣服. 特別是Shepard和Mike有那麼多不同的生活經驗, 因為那些經驗為他們帶來廣泛的靈感. 我們希望有別於其他品牌. 我們只做我們自己的設計. 如果人們喜歡我們的產品, 很好, 我們感謝你們的支持. 如果有人不喜歡我們的產品, 我們也能理解.
OBEY: OBEY最具代表性的作品當然是OBAMA T-shirt, 也就是來自於ShepardMingLiU;” lang=”ZH-TW”>的歐巴馬海報的靈感. Shpard設計這款圖像幫Barrak Obama在美國總統選戰中宣傳. 這款海報受歡迎的程度大到美國總統親自致謝. 這款圖像也因此被收錄為美國國家檔案中歐巴馬的正式圖像之一. 當初OBEY服裝並不想印這款T-shirt, 但應全球零售店的強烈需求, 我們決定印這款T-shirt, 並將所得利潤捐贈給歐巴馬競選總統. 現選戰已結束, 我們也不再追印這款T-shirt, 但估計我們已經在全球販賣超過150,000件歐巴馬T-shirt.
OBEY: Shepard覺得他本身很難回答這個問題, 但如果一定要他說的話, 他認為讓他最有成就感的作品首推OBAMA圖案, 因這個圖案被視為2008年總統選舉一個不可或缺的成功因素. 他覺得他再也不必畫了就跑或覺的做了不法的事, 或他沒辦法好好地在原地欣賞他自己的作品. Shepard覺得OBAMA T-Shirt將他帶領到另一個他過去從沒想像過的境界.
Shepard, Mike T以及OBEY團隊敬上