2005: Our First trip to Magic and Meeting SSUR
Mikhail: Well, for us to get to Magic we had to raise the money because we weren’t generating enough money from selling our line. [Laughs] We were really into vinyl toys at the time. It wasn’t the first Companion [from KAWS] — the one that nobody got — but it was the first major release of Companion that came out. They kind of sold out everywhere, and for some reason, the scene in New York wasn’t that big, so Greg and I just happened to know all the spots that had it. We bought them up for ourselves, but then we just amassed all these other ones. So we were like, “Let’s sell these because they’re going for x-amount of money on eBay, and we could fund our trip to Magic.” It’s funny because we ended up funding our first trip to Magic that way, but it’s also how we started our relationship with Kid Robot. They were starting up as a store, and they were the ones who ended up buying a lot of the Companion toys, and that’s how that relationship got started. We went to L.A. and stayed at Ben Hundreds’ house, and then we drove — all of us together — to Magic for our first show. That was also the first place we met Russ from SSUR. Everyone was in this area at Magic called “the campground.” Things that they couldn’t pigeonhole into the main market, they just kind of put them together in this “campground” area. So we were there, 10.Deep were there, The Hundreds, some brands that no longer exist, and some brands that had nothing to do with streetwear.
Greg: In addition to what Mike said, the tradeshow was a milestone for us because it was our first venture into creating a brand. I had no idea about the fashion world or trade shows. Mike said there’s this thing called Pool where you could sell your stuff, and we applied to Pool, but we weren’t accepted. It’s around this time that I started to become friends with Bobby from The Hundreds.
Mikhail: Yeah, we were all sorts of communicating with each other on this site called Super Future, which at the time was this message board fixated on streetwear and went from streetwear to selvege denim, and then onto, like, Dior Homme and Cloak.
Greg: But yeah, I was talking to Ben Hundreds and he said that there was this bigger show called Magic. They said they had done it once before and suggested we do it, too. So for us, it was our first time really seeing how this world works. It sort of defined us in terms of learning what had to be done to take this brand to the next level.