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IF YOU ASK ME.

IF YOU ASK ME.

By Bobby Hundreds

I love t-shirts. Considering I’ve gotten this far without having to wear a collar, tie, or suit, to work, I’m convinced I’m gonna wear t-shirts every day for the rest of my life.

What I love about t-shirts are the accompanying graphics that tell a story. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against a blank, or a simple logo t-shirt. I think brand identification through a tee is a cultural mainstay. But I’m more into conceptual graphics that can provoke a good conversation. T-shirts are wearable art, and give artists/designers the means to showcase their work in a different, more accessible medium.

My taste in tees hasn’t really evolved since I was 10 years old. Back then, I was all about the classic California surf vibe of T&C Surf, Stussy, B.A., Maui & Sons, and Mossimo. Then, my teens were consumed by either blank AAA tees from the swap meet or skate and rave-based t-shirts from the likes of Acme, Hook-Ups, Underworld, GAT, Clobber, and Blur. It was really about bold colors, cartoons and graffiti character-laden illustrations. And of course not long after, I was enamored by Japanese and New York-based streetwear.

If you think our t-shirts reflect those generations of smart t-shirt aesthetic, then I’ll take that as a compliment. A lot goes into a great tee graphic: a statement, branding, composition, workable colors… we make hundreds of different graphics every year, and each one of them is meticulously thought through. It is important that all of our t-shirts have a reason, substance, and a story. Even with our most rudimentary logo shirts, there’s got to be an interesting take or a sensible color combination in the least. We pride ourselves in, what we humbly consider, to be the best t-shirts on the market. I mean it.

These are my personal favorite The Hundreds t-shirts that have released thus far in 2010. And I’ll tell you why.

REFRESCOS

Johnny Sampson is one of the finest illustrator/artists in the t-shirt game, and we’ve been very fortunate to have him work with us on a few pieces over the past year. This is one of my favorite projects together. The idea was to mimic the classic pre-cinema advertisements for concessions, except with a Mexican snack twist. A caricaturized ice-cold Horchata, flan, a churro,.. Sampson was able to execute the idea perfectly in a stylized form. The soft combination of colors is the bow.

SHEEP

The popular saying goes “Wolf in sheep’s clothing,” but I thought it would be interesting to flip it. “Sheep in wolf’s clothing.” It was a fitting analogy for a scene filled with coolguys and rebels who all disguise themselves as being independent, unique, trendsetting even. When in reality, they are all just doing the same thing, followers, rather than leaders.

FIRE

I’m sure this one went over most all our customer’s heads. This one’s a parody of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” the popular 1989 song narrating the historic events throughout the late 20th Century, except re-appropriated to admit we did the dirty deed. As we’ve told you time and again, The Hundreds Bridgeburners, The Hundreds Firestarters!

MINORITY

The next few are from the recent Rosewood Collection, and can only be picked up at The Hundreds LA or The Hundreds SF. I’ve had this one brewing for years, literally sitting in my concepts folder since our 3rd or 4th season. I just never could find the right way to configure the idea, and for a while it just never quite fit in with the surrounding season. The point is to obviate the transition from what was once the minority to the now majority, through the likeness of spellings. Take it as you may, political, ethnic identity, the independent vs. the corporate giant.. this one’s for the underdog.

LESS

Take it as you wish, but my reason for this graphic was to highlight the discrepancy between a nation that identifies predominantly as Christian (3/4 of Americans identify themselves as such) and whether their behavior reflects the presence of God. Politically, Socially, Ideologically. God Bless America? Or is it a Godless America?

RYE

This is the back of ourCatcher in the Rye-inspired t-shirt, a tribute to the late, great J.D. Salinger. The reclusive author was intensely secretive throughout his life, his privacy spawned all kinds of rumors concerning personal relationships and unpublished literary works. Anyways, in the second-to-the-last line of Catcher, Holden Caufield declares, “Don’t ever tell anybody anything.” How apropos:

by bobbyhundreds

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