UndrCrwn Adds LeBron James Tee to Obama, De La Soul, Bruce Lee Catalog

Nostalgia, as it relates to sports apparel, has always been a tricky subject. Remember when throwback jerseys were all the rage? Wearing one now would get you more side-eyes than having "Chippy D" in your Google search history. (Seriously, don't look that up.)

But if you're looking to be sporty without looking like a relic, UndrCrwn quite literally has you covered. Supplying the public with freshness since 2005, UndrCrwn has built a strong catalog with shirts featuring a multitude of caricatures and sports-themed witticisms to pair with their other creatively designed garments. The line is NY-based, but they just came out with a signature LeBron shirt.

We chatted with the imprint's founder and creative director, Dustin Canalin, and discussed the brand's history, his favorite designs, and the sudden nationwide surplus of Miami Heat hate.

UndrCrwn Adds LeBron James Tee to Obama, De La Soul, Bruce Lee Catalog

New Times: How did the company get started?
Dustin Canalin: UndrCrwn was an outlet for me to create products that

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didn't fit into the normal basketball company box. Working for larger

companies, I was part of a machine. It was more about putting things in a

box rather than a vehicle for creativity. I wanted to blur the line

between fashion and sport. This was at a time when other companies

didn't focus on it. Now there are hundreds of sport culture based

clothing lines. I consider Undrcrwn a trailblazer in this market.


What would you say is the overall design philosophy of UndrCrwn clothing?

UndrCrwn's overall design philosophy is creativity. We pride ourselves

on our distinct eye and point of view on sports culture and fashion.

Which shirts are your bestsellers?

From the signature caricature-style tees (De La Soul, Bruce Lee, Donovan

McNabb) to the "Encore" line which is a series of re-introduced vintage

styles. Commercially, our  "Obama" and "Your Swagger Sucks" tee would

have to be amongst the most popular.

UndrCrwn Adds LeBron James Tee to Obama, De La Soul, Bruce Lee Catalog

Undrcrwn shirts have made references to sports, music, and even politics. What, if anything, dictates where you draw ideas from?
Everyday culture sparks conversations, ideas, T-shirts. There is no set

formula. A lot of references come from us trying to re-create the

nostalgia that we grew up on in the '80s and '90s. Today's marketplace

is a lot different. Everything is strategic and readily available, so to

try and create what happened in the past is a lot harder than it was as

it was actually happening. We have to be extra creative when creating

things that are based on memories of the past.

The NBA is a prevalent theme in your clothing. What are your thoughts on being a basketball fan in this era?
It's tough to be a fan these days. Too much business and marketing, and

less game. There are too many teams and too much marketing behind

players that don't deserve it. Maybe I'm old and cranky, but it's not

the same as it was growing up. I will say this, with the recent

LeBrondamanium, I will be watching Miami's every move. I like that

people are hating on Miami. It makes me want them to win even more. Go

Heat! Go Warriors!

Which Undrcrwn item is your favorite?
The caricature tees. I've pitched that idea to a few companies, and they

didn't bite. Before we came out with the Biggie and Tupac caricature

tees, the caricature tee was extinct. These caricature style tees with

athletes were everywhere in the '80s and '90s. Everyone thought they

were too juvenile, and they eventually stopped producing them. Now I see

them everywhere again. I feel like we injected life back into the

concept.

What companies have you collaborated with? Any dream partnerships?
Adidas, Nooka, Mos Def, and Jazzy Jeff to name a few. Of course we'd

love to collaborate with Apple. And a real dope collab would be with

NASA.

 
You can find UndrCrwn gear locally at Shoe Gallery (244 NE First Ave., Miami). Follow @UndrCrwn on Twitter and visit undrcrwn.com.

--Marques Brantley



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