2008: Meeting L’Amour and Prolly, and Starting DART
Mikhail: Prolly was a big fan of the brand, and I remember that he creeped me out because he asked if he could come to my house and exchange something, and I was like, “Uh, no,” because I didn’t know who he was. I don’t even remember how we met him personally. I think he was friends with the Trouble & Bass guys. He was a huge fan of the brand and had this blog PROLLY IS NOT PROBABLY, and it was growing in popularity as this cycling blog. John had this idea to be like, “Well, what if we created this fixed gear team?” because that was getting popular, and we basically let John kind of run with it. [Laughs] I don’t care about it now because I’m not in the scene, but when we introduced the team, we had this lookbook that was almost like a trading card for each team member. It got a lot of flack on cycling blogs. [Laughs] It was just not what you do in the cycling world. I guess people thought it was cheesy. I thought it was kind of funny and cute, you know, like baseball cards. John spearheaded it and did it for a while. We’re still active in the community. A lot of the staff rides fixed gears. I ride my bike and Greg rides his bike, but it officially lost steam when John moved to Austin and his blog really took off.
In addition to that, John was also working as an architect. He offered his services to design our first shop and helped build it out, so that actually came about before DART. That’s really how the relationship started. He helped build out the shop, and because of that, he introduced us to Joel, or L’Amour Supreme, who was also into cycling and was an artist. John brought him in to make some sick designs for our cabinetry. He never did the cabinetry, but we’ve been friends and coworkers ever since that day.
Greg: Meeting John did a few things. It developed DART. At the time, a lot of streetwear was involved in the skate community, and we had always been skate friendly, but we didn’t have a skate team or anything. There was this idea of creating a fixed gear team, Death Adders Road and Track. We sort of allowed it because John was so into it. We really let John roll with it. We knew going into it that it wouldn’t be a big money maker, but we thought it would be interesting and we were working with our friend.