4 West Front Street
Red Bank, NJ
Team Get Fresh was chopping it up with longtime homie, King Perto, of Syndicated Clothing. Here we go…
How long has Syndicated Clothing been established and how did it get started?
Almost 5 years. We first opened in Union on 06/07/08.
You definitely carry a lot of flavor with your gear. Who are some of the designers you carry?
We carry the golden ticket of streetwear. BBC, Rook, 5th column, OFWGKTA, Crooks and Castles, The Hundreds, Obey and much more.
Syndicated Clothing seems to be more than just selling clothes. What else are you about?
We’re about street lifestyle and culture. We’re about punk and hip-hop. We’re about skate and BMX. We’re about putting Jersey back on the map!!!
We heard through the grapevine that you guys are getting involved with the Newark school system. What is that about?
Yeah, we are. But, we can’t really talk about that. It’s still in the works. We just really want to help the kids and keep them focused.
What’s truly unique about Syndicated Clothing?
We’re the bad boys of the industry. We’re not afraid to give the middle finger to all the cookie cutter stores and fake people in the world!!!
Have you thought about or plan to branch your brand out to other cities or states?
Yeah. 2012 is our year!!!
Your store has a truly different layout than most clothing stores. What is the concept you’re aiming for?
The street and everything it’s about. From the kids on the corner to the hard working people trying to make it in life that don’t get the credit they deserve. We wanted to shock people with the guns and pictures but also show them that there’s more to that. There is also love and compassion. There is happiness and laughter… All of that! That’s why our slogan is: “EVERY SUCESS STARTS WITH A CRIME.”
What’s next for Syndicated Clothing?
More branding and more focus on our private label clothing.
Who or what do you contribute the success of Syndicated Clothing?
Our family and friends. Also, hard work and determination!
Yeah. First, my close friend and business partner, Matt Shubitz. Without him, this would just be a dream. My other partner and cousin, Juise, for all the hard work and time he’s spent in the store. He’s definitely the backbone of the store. Dez for keeping me on track and grounded. Also for keeping it real all the time. Ryan for being Ryan and making work fun again!! And last but not least, my friends and family for…
“ SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL HUSTLERS!”
Team Get Fresh stopped by the EAT SLEEP RACE warehouse in NJ and sat down with our long-time homie Brian Mabutas, founder of ESR, to find out about his worldwide brand.
What is EAT SLEEP RACE?
It’s a racing lifestyle apparel company based out of NJ.
What was the inspiration to start the brand?
All of my hobbies and interests growing up just came together. Cars, graphic design, kicks and clothes. Really though, it just worked out.
How’d you get into cars?
Thanks to my brother I grew up loving cars. He was an enthusiast that eventually ended up working in the industry. He worked at Englishtown Raceway Park for a few years, is one of the founders of SpeedLounge.com, and even used to drive the Dunlop Tires rig cross country. He used to drag race his turbo Civic Si and single turbo 94 Supra. When I was in grade school he would bring me with him to the track, street races, car shows and I fell in love with the scene.
Then when I was 16, something I’ll never forget happened and my friend passed away (Rest in peace Leo). He had a hooked up 96 Civic hatch that I always loved and thanks to my parents and the families for working it out, they bought it for me. That’s when I started drag racing and I was the youngest of our group of friends that was hooking up cars. We were known as Alpha Racing and that’s where EAT SLEEP RACE started. I designed some shirts in 2002 for the crew and made a logo inspired by what we did (3-box design of a fork and spoon, a bed, and a civic with a parachute). Pretty much every day we were doing something revolved around cars — hanging out in garages, street races, or going to events. Then I made stickers for the cars and people would always ask where they could get them — but back then I never wanted to sell them and keep the design exclusive to our crew.
Did you go to school for graphic design?
I taught myself everything. I loved looking at graffiti, so I guess it started with sketching during class that led to starting a black book of graf sketches in grade school. Around that time I started designing websites, back when Angelfire just started — I had a Packard Bell and a 56k modem. That led to teaching myself how to use Photoshop and Flash and that eventually led me to designing club flyers then logos then I got into using Adobe Premiere for shooting videos.
What got you into doing clothes then?
Again thanks to my brother, I came up in the era of Polo and The North Face — this was when Tommy Hilfiger and Nautica were the shit. In high school I started collecting and hustling sneakers — that’s how I afforded clothes and car parts (I still have a few hundred) — and around that time is when a lot of today’s streetwear brands were coming up.
So around 2004, that’s when everything just came together. I caught design inspiration from being into clothes and kicks, I had the ability to design, and I was racing. So I made 2 designs — “naturally aspirated” and “booze and boost” — found a screenprinter, packaged the shirts, went to Raceway Park and set up a table next to our pit area and sold the shirts. Made a few bucks, put it back into printing more shirts, then eventually I was able to afford to make a couple more designs.
Then in 2007 my car was stolen from my driveway. That car meant a lot to me for a lot of reasons and I remember 4 hours after I fell asleep my brother woke me up to tell me it was gone. I got close to nothing from insurance, and with the couple bucks I did, I printed more t-shirts. I’m going to build another one…one day.
How has the brand evolved?
Since 2007, it’s gone from 2 t-shirt designs to owning several trademarks with hundreds of SKU’s ranging from t-shirts, to hats, to coffee mugs. I used to store inventory in my parents garage, then my friends basement (thanks Paul), then I rented a garage at a lumber yard, and now we have an office and a warehouse. I never went to school for fashion (I went to college for business Marketing) and I’ve gone from finding local screen printers to sourcing international manufacturers to produce our products. The brand started in New Jersey and now we have dealers across the world promoting and selling the brand. It’s been fun and we still have a long way to go (I still work another full time job).
What’s your favorite part of having such a unique lifestyle brand?
I’m doing what I love and nothing beats the feeling of seeing people support and relate to the brand. There’s dozens of people who have a logo I designed tattoo’ed on themselves! I have people across the world bootlegging my designs — I get flattered and my business partners call our lawyers (laughing). I still get souped when I see someone wearing a shirt or with a sticker on their car. It’s dope coming from being an enthusiast (still one) to being recognized in several industries.
Everyone who’s supported me in the past and present. My business partners (Francis Mabutas and Hugo Han) who are the reason why this brand still exists. My parents, family, and friends. EVERYONE who supports and reps the brand.