12 November 2007

panda head interviews...

will and cole sharp are brothers; will and cole sharp are DURKL. DURKL is one of the city's strongest independently owned clothing lines; DURKL is t-shirts, hoodies, DENIM and more. neon brights and 80s skaters and 90s color schemes and wicked patterns and it's-not-ironic-it's-just-awesome all play a part in DURKL's designs, and you should totally get into it. literally. also figuratively.

how and when did DURKL begin?
DURKL (the entity): DURKL literally started on a Brooklyn side street in 2047, when my buddy said the word “DURKL”. A year or so later, I started printing tees in DC with a friend and emailed my buddy asking him if I could use that word “DURKL” as my company name. Love that word. Makes me want to tear open a Zima with my teeth.
how would you describe your personal styles, and to what extent is that reflected in your designs?
Will: My style is such a disgusting mish mash of everything, and it drastically changes every once in a while. I like what I like, is how I like to put it. Sometimes I’m real loud, and other days I’m in all black. Hahaha, actually I spent over a full year of my life wearing only all white. No clue why, I just loved it. That was only a year ago too!
I think our personal styles mixed together make up the look of the DURKL brand. We are the brand…we live it, so it makes sense. I’m the guy that tries a lot harder and doesn’t quite pull it off, and Cole is the guy who doesn’t try hard and pulls anything off.
Cole: When I am wearing clothes? Hmmm. For me what I put on depends almost completely on my mood. People say we wear a lot of color, which is true, but not always. The days when I look like Roy G Biv I am in a good mood. When blacks/whites and other basics are mixed in it usually means I have work I need to get done. Mondays you just got to rock full body sweats. I think everybody is at least a little bit like this though.
I think there is something for all moods in our designs. Most of it falls into the happy/excited category/, but I guess luckily that’s the way we are most of the time. The addition of sweats in this line made the spectrum complete!
what's your favorite DURKL design?
Will: MAZE! Shirt is amazing. It’s just a maze, but it looks Aztec almost…then I put it in a WWF colorway. Hahaha, that was way too much for some folks, but I eat it for breakfast.
Cole: I like our logo tees. We put out a different variation on the same design every line and it’s always my favorite. I like my clothes to be simple, yet complex, which is a great way to describe our logo tees.
how is this collection different from ones prior?
I wouldn’t say it is that much different. It has evolved for sure. It's strange going from season to season, because you want to keep your brand's flavor there, but be fresh, original, and new at the same time.
The most notable change - well, more of an addition - is the introduction of our cut & sew denim and hoodies. That stuff is looking amazing.
how does your design process work?
DURKL: The design process is pretty unfortunate! I wish I had a lot more time to spend on each season, but I don’t. A new season’s designs start the day after the newest season has gone in for sampling. After a season is in for sampling I’ll take the next 2 weeks to “rest” and periodically go back and see what I had done that didn’t make the previous line and see how I can change it, rework it, or kill it! Fortunately after a bunch of seasons I have a pretty good stockpile of stuff that comes out when the time is right.
We spend so much of our day “running the business” that except for seconds here and there, it’s hard to find the time to design, so I’m mostly designing late at night or in the early morning. When this is happening I’m typically jacked on Mate, in complete darkness so the colors pop on my screen, and blasting music. During these times I’ll dream up designs, shape a season, and sort through ideas I have and tweak them to look better and so on. Just like anyone else though, I get a lot of my ideas in my sleep, walking down the street, from an old song, whatever…who knows where they come from! I have a horrible memory too, so I have ideas written or sketched all over the place.
We started out doing 2 seasons a year…all graphics on tees, and now we are working up to 4 seasons with a cut & sew part of the line…I've been drinking a hell of a lot of Mate in the dark! I love it.
who or what inspires you, style-wise?
Will: I’m all over the place here too! I think the most inspiring thing stye-wise is someone who wears what they want/like and don’t give a damn what anyone thinks. Confidence is king.
Oh, and jetpacks
Cole: I agree with Will on this one. It may sound trite, but people who wear what they like, not just what makes them fit in, or not just what makes them stand out are inspiring. I feel like all people when they were kids and didn’t know any better, had some ridiculous gear that they loved and rocked with pride. Then you get older and what you like takes a back seat to whatever everyone else around you is wearing. I go to certain parts of this city and see everyone wearing almost exactly the same thing like it’s a uniform. It’s ridiculous. I like old styles with a new spin. I guess I am a sucker for my childhood so anything that takes me back, and still looks good today is what I prefer.
where do you like to shop in and around DC? and elsewhere?
DURKL: We give Palace 5ive a shout out wherever we go…not only because it’s the only store in DC we sell to, but mostly because the dudes that own and run it are amazing. They run the best shop in town hands down. Greg, the owner, opened his first skate/street shop [Elite] in VA [three] years ago and has killed it ever since. He also loves Bud and Cherry Coke, so we get along...well!
We thrift a lot too, and the best places are the ones no one knows about so I'll keep my mouth shut…even though people really aren’t digging for the stuff we are looking for! We were in the best place in the area the other day and one dude there saw us and raced ahead of us to get all the “good” stuff. He grabbed some silly vintage tees and some track jackets thinking that’s what we’d be after, but little did he know we had our eyes on the Kings Dominion painter hat and the full-zip iridescent Armani ski suit.
And last but not least, Benetton. What the hell, did everyone forget how amazing their clothes are?
you guys grew up here - what do you appreciate about being in DC? any advantages to being here (as opposed to any other city, perhaps one more known for style)?
Will: We travel quite a bit, so coming home to DC is always a treat. I’m like the middle bear, I like a city that’s not too big, but not too small. Coming back from a place like LA you really learn to appreciate the architecture and sites of this city, as well as the people here who are just fucking real...pardon me.
Growing up here you realize that no one stays, everyone abandons DC...and is quick to knock it too. We are on a small mission to help bring this town up, and I think more and more people here are thinking this way. Let's make this city rad!
Cole: DC is home. This city has changed so much since I can remember, and it’s the only place that I am actually able to experience that change. It has its ups and downs though - driving by the old mom and pop liquor store that would sell me 40s when I was 16 and seeing a Starbucks isn’t always the greatest feeling, but you have to take the bad with the good. In terms of what we are doing though, DC is just about the hardest place to do it. But just because it's harder here doesn’t mean we are going to jump on the bandwagon and move to LA or NYC. We are from DC and we want to represent this as our home. And the Redskins.
what's your take on DC style, in general?
Will: DC style is pretty limited for the most part, which isn’t a bad thing. Personally I’d like to see more of it here, but I don’t lose sleep over it. One thing that does get to me is that even though everyone downtown wears a suit to work, none of them have one that fits...except my oldest bother...now that dude is stylish, and he has to wear a suit every day.
Cole: There isn’t one.

interview: morgan. all photos from DURKL.com, which is an excellent place to learn more about DURKL. THEY BLOG. you may also enjoy visiting them on myspace.


Anonymous chung said...

i want to marry durkl. or just drink malt liquor with them til my head explodes.

7:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the clothing is terrible. these are little rich kids from kensington with nothing else to do.

11:38 AM  

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