Selections from the Blacktooth Spring 2008 line (L to R): Can You Hear Me, Love Kills, Tokyo and Bitches to Riches.
The Background on Blacktooth
Six years ago, when my brother Carey (nickname: Smokey) was still in high school, he decided to start a clothing label called Blacktooth for his senior project. The line started out with a handful of t-shirts that were covered in designs that had been hand collaged (back then, he didn’t have a computer)! He’d sell them to our friends for $10.00 each and then reinvest the money towards a new design.
Since then, Blacktooth Clothing has grown by leaps and bounds with a minimum of two full collections being released each year. Besides being sold directly through its namesake website, Blacktooth has been picked up by boutiques worldwide including The Wasteland in L.A., North Trooper in Toronto, and Hidden Labels in the U.K.
Keep On Keepin’ On, 2008
I may be a bit biased, but my bro is the full package. Besides designing t-shirts, he’s full of ridiculously witty advice.
On the topic of Summer essentials, his recommendations are:
1. Don’t cut your jeans off cause when winter rolls around, you’re gonna freeze. Instead, roll them up.
2. Buy black pants ’cause when they rip, you can Sharpie your skin and no one will know.
3. Ride your bike. It saves money, doesn’t support the oil industry, and you need the exercise anyways from all the burgers you’re gonna be consuming.
Advice on Haters
With success at an early age (24), haters are bound to come out of the cracks. But, my brother is much feistier than I am and takes it all in stride. On the topic of the haters he encounters, he says:
Success causes more problems. I remember one time I did a shirt with a diamond on it way back in the day and this dude was trying to fight me in a parking lot saying I ripped him off ’cause the diamond is his logo and he’s been drawing it since middle school. Well, point and case be, right down the street was a diamond on a jewelry store sign that had been there at least 20 years before he was born. That is the type of stuff I run into. I wish haters would just quit talking and start creating.
Let’s Dance, 2008
Dream Big, Work Hard
Blacktooth Clothing was started by my brother with a few hundred dollars he earned from selling bootleg concert videos. He was 18 year old living in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon with a vision of creating t-shirts his friends and I would want to wear. He works hard, but has fun doing it. Every time I visit him, he’s on his laptop designing and submitting designs. That dedication paid off earlier this year when Urban Outfitters picked up three of his designs for nationwide distribution.
Our design sensibilities are very different, but I admire his dedication to consistently putting out the crafitiest, funniest shirts around.