INTERVIEW: Still Gavin BIG cheese of STILL PROUD CLOTHING!
OK SO LETS GET STARTED WITH WHO YOU ARE AND HOW YOU GOT INTO HARDCORE AND THE STREET WEAR GAME HAHA
My name’s Gavin Otsuka, I’m just an ordinary dude that became entrenched with an idea to start a clothing company a few years back and have been running with the idea ever since. I got into hardcore back in early 2000 while I was in college. The first mention of the music came back in high school where my friend would tell me about all of the shows he went to but at that point I was a big metal head so I didn’t really pay much attention. It wasn’t until I caught my first show with Until the End/ Where Fear and Weapons Meet that it really stuck with me and would come to be a big part of my life. That show really changed my life because there was something about this music that I didn’t see in any other scene which totally blew me away. From that point onward I became a big advocate of the music and sought to build my scene (booking shows and playing in bands). In terms of street wear, I’m not an OG street wear head but I really came into this scene over the last few years of running this company. In many respects it’s a lot like hardcore in terms of exclusiveness and reach which automatically drew me in. At first I didn’t really understand the “lifestyle brand” terminology that you hear a lot about in this circle but after running SP for a minute I totally understand because it’s what I live day in and day out.
HAHA OK RAD SO WHAT BANDS DID YOU GET INTO AT FIRST? AND WHAT BANDS DO YOU REALLY LIKE RIGHT NOW?
At first it was Grade, Until the End, Strife, Shai Hulud and a bunch of metalcore. Nowadays I’ve been listening to a lot of Foundation, Dead End Path, Lionheart, First Blood etc. I’m really diverse in what I listen to as you can see so whether its beatdown or more so punk influenced, I keep an open mind
VERY COOL MAN, SO WHATS THE MEANING BEHIND STILL PROUD? THE BRAND AND THE NAME IN GENERAL?
Still Proud is about not letting the outside world strip away what defines you as an individual. We all find our selves in different ways, for me, it was through music and as we grow up we let “responsibility” and outside influences strip this away from us. We’re no longer individuals. So it’s about keeping that pride alive, shying away from conventional limitations and living life for you. The brand can be summed up in two words: achievement and defiance
THAT’S AWESOME DUDE, I REALLY RESPECT THAT! SO LETS TOUCH ON THE MISCONCEPTION I KNOW EVERYONE HAS THAT STILL PROUD IS A STRAIGHT EDGE CLOTHING LINE
Here she is: Yes, it’s been an ongoing question that I’ve had to address numerous times so hopefully this will be one of the last. When I first started SP I wanted our first line to primarily reach the hardcore community and since the straightedge movement has been a huge part of it, I put out the “American Straightedge” tee. This coupled with our name leads many to believe that it’s an edge company. From the get-go I’ve always had an FAQ on our Myspace/ FB addressing the question but it seems that people don’t look much into who they support ala the question still popping up. For the record, Still Proud is NOT a straightedge line nor am I edge. The brand has a lot of the same principles in common and I absolutely respect the positivity in the straightedge scene but it’s not who we are. With that being said we do have a lot of edge supporters so shouts
to those boys and girls for representing!
OK SO WHATS IN THE WORKS FOR STILL PROUD?
LOTS! In a couple of weeks I’m dropping our Summer line entitled “The Path Least Traveled” which has 4 new t’s, 2 tank tops, our first girls roll out (t’s, v’s and cheer shorts) and our very first SNAP BACK! You can peep some previews here: http://stillproudclothing.com/2011/05/16/the-path-least-traveled-summer-2011-release/. Besides this I’m plotting out our winter drop and planning on hitting up my first trade show (Magic) in August. Even though I started this almost two years ago, the brand has really started to find itself within the last year so believe me when I say that we’re just getting started!
ANY THANKS OR SHOUT OUTS YOU WANT TO THROW OUT THERE?
Big thanks first and foremost to everyone who has supported us in any way shape or form. Without you this doesn’t exist! Shoutouts to all of the SP sponsored artists: Lionheart, Pay No Respect (UK), Knock Em Dead, King Conquer, Thick As Blood, Uplift (Canada), 8 Control (France), Outerspace, Providence (Paris) and Dead Icons. Also a quick thanks to you for the interview, Lafe, John and Cold Cuts merch, Dan from Stick Up Kids and Chris (All Mighty), two dope line’s everyone should check out!
Seriously if your into the street wear scene and LOVE hardcore then this is the company for you hands down so go to the site check it out and support SP and Gavin.
-TJ EDGE // XXX