Looking to expand our reach, swidlife will now be covering emerging streetwear brands. The underground music scene and streetwear somewhat go hand-in-hand. Oftentimes, clothing brands will connect with artists and do cross promotion. You might see these dope threads in music videos or interviews.
We wanted to kick things off by introducing you to a Chicago streetwear brand who’s been on the up and up. Hooligan is one of those brands that have a unique identity and is bringing forth a new wave in streetwear. We recently had time to chat with the brand founder, Rico and get a little bit more insight about him and how the brand came together.
What was the first step you took when launching HOOLIGAN?
I was up all night learning how to use Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator so I could leave a group brand which I was a part of before.
How would you describe your personal style?
Laid-back. I like Japanese or raw denim with a pair of dope/rare sneakers and a dope tee, hoodie, or jacket.
Describe your creative process?
Usually listening to 90s hip-hop; Mobb, Jay, Biggie, Pac, AZ, Nas or watching old black sitcoms. How do you stay organized when you are provided with multiple design assets, files, and ideas?
I do everything by themes or inspirations and from that, I choose which idea needs to fit the season.
What are some of your favorite brands? And where do you draw some of your inspiration from?
Menace LA fucking cold! Then it’s BAPE, KITH and BBC. Inspiration comes from the music, black culture, and different eras.
How would you describe your brand?
Streetwear. None of this blurred lines high fashion, Yeezy distressed knocks or random cut and sewn fabric brands. Streetwear like the OGs Stussy, Leaders 1354, BAPE, SUPREME, 10Deep. Those brands that really have been producing for years.
Do you try to keep up with what’s hot right now, or do you create pieces that you feel express you in a certain way?
Honestly, I never want to do what’s hot at the moment. Been lucky to always be right in front of the curve or nowhere near it. I create to give true streetwear dope stories and rips.
Doing everything yourself, how do you deal with the stress that comes with playing every role?
I have a passion for this. Love doing this and it’s my art so I don’t see the stress, it’s all fun for me.
What do you know about your target audience, and how do you relate to it?
We all want the next hot item that’s not to the hype yet, comes with quality, and is dope but everyone can’t get it.
What skills do you believe are important for a successful career in fashion design and merchandising?
Marketing and reading books have to be the key to this. Also, traveling and research has helped me.
What advice would you give other emerging designers?
Know your craft, and when you start learning, know there is always more to learn.
What would I find in your refrigerator right now?
Everything. Keep a stocked fridge. I’m not heavy on eating fast food, love cooked meals though.