As always, SoJones.com is proud to introduce up-and-coming American brands every Friday, and from the streetwear front, we have Check Your Six this week. The Minneapolis-based brand shows what it means to have passion and how the passion is now wearable to you. SoJones talked to Matt from Check Your Six. [Also participate in our other giveaway with Acropolis]
Introduce yourself and describe how your brand was started?
My name is Matt McManus, I am the co-Founder of Check Your Six, a Minneapolis-based streetwear brand founded in 2009. My brother James and I started the brand with no money, no connections, and no understanding of the streetwear industry. We were printing t-shirts in the basement of our parents’ house, doing our best to sell our products to local shops in Minneapolis.
With no strategy and no investment, my brother and I worked day in and day out to build the brand from the ground up. Today, our brand is stocked by select retailers around the country, online by some of the industry’s largest distributors, and has enjoyed exposure on some of the most influential media outlets in streetwear. None of these accomplishments would have been possible without a continued effort to push our brand and develop our image.
For a small, independent brand based out of the Midwest, what keeps our young brand growing is one thing: Our supporters. Without our customers, there would simply be no Check Your Six. In a lot of ways, I think that people see themselves in Check Your Six. A brand that was built, truly, from the ground up, by two brothers who have a passion for what they do. No cheap shots, and no smoke and mirrors. Just a good, old-fashioned American clothing company.
Describe this season’s theme for your line. Include any sources of inspiration (examples: 80’s punk, muses like Amber Rose, 70’s disco bands, Kanye, etc)
The latest collection, which was entitled “Young Americans”, incorporated basic American imagery in some of the pieces. We wanted to do a Lookbook that matched this “Young Americans” idea, so we went into the woods and did a good, old-fashioned shoot. The Young Americans idea was actually influenced by an old David Bowie single with the same name, but the shoot itself was motivated by something entirely different.
We really feel like in the last 5 – 7 years, for a number of reasons, you don’t hear much about patriotism. Aside from country music & the occasional July 4th celebration, it seems that a lot of people nowadays wouldn’t necessarily claim they are “proud to be Americans”. We put a lot of American imagery on some of the pieces, shot out in the woods, and said “You know what…we’re proud to be Americans. And always will be”.
Any product placements on celebs to keep an eye out for (examples: publicity photos, magazines, movies, music videos etc)
Last year, Check Your Six was seen in a few shows on the back of Wiz Khalifa. We also had support from producer Nima Fadavi and an up and coming Minneapolis-based artist Mally. Our products have been given a lot of love in the past by the UK-based FRONT magazine, something that has helped immensely in us building our following overseas.
What has been a surprise fashion hit over the last year? (a particular piece, a look or even another brand)
I might be a little late on trends, but I have been happy to see a more subtle look coming back into the spotlight. It seems that flannels and snap-backs are becoming more popular with each passing day. While Check Your Six has not quite jumped into the cut & sew industry, rest assured that when we do make that transition, basic flannels will be a staple of the brand. Growing up in a state where the temperature is below 25 degrees for 3 months, and below 5 degrees for 1 month, a warm, basic flannel is a wardrobe essential. The classic Paul Bunyan lumberjack look isn’t a style for us Northerners…it is a necessity.
What current fashion trend would you like to see thrown overboard?
Are smart phones a fashion trend?? Haha I’m kidding, but man…those things are going to be the death of me! I know that most people nowadays live and die by the iPhone and Android, but after spending the last five years with a Razor (I know, ridiculous), a smart phone goes right over my head. And I feel like every single girl in the city of Madison is better friends with their cell phone than they are with their actual friends. If I had my way, everybody would go back to the classic 90’s cell phone that is too big to fit comfortably in the front pocket! Ok…maybe not everybody.
TuPac or Biggie?
Biggie. Always been a huge Biggie fan, it was actually some of the first rap music I ever listened to. I remember back in middle school some of my go-to songs were Ten Crack Commandments, 1970 Something, and the deep cut The What – Which was off of a great album called Wu-Chronicles.
CHECK YOUR SIX CLOTHING GIVEAWAY!
Check Your Six is giving away 3 (THREE) shirts from the brand’s most recent collection and a surprise gift -maybe an unreleased t-shirt from the past? We don’t know. What we know is, the brand is giving the package to only 1 (ONE) super lucky SoJones.com reader!
Here’s how it works:
- Answer the following question: What’s the name of the streetwear brand featured in this Streetwear Spotlight article?
- You can give your answer between November 4th – November 18th, 2011. Make sure that when you comment you provide a link of where we can contact you (like your SoJones account, your facebook, etc.). It makes life easier to be able to contact you should you win.
- Drawing for ONE WINNER will be held on November 21st, 2011. The winner will be announced on this page and on the forums page (http://www.sojones.com/forums/).
Article Comments Lottery Rules
- One package per winner
- Previous winners must wait 30 days before entering this contest
- Duplicate comments will not count, like posting “I love this forum” or “hi” 50 times.
- Garbage or nonsensical pounding-on-the-keyboard comments will not count, like “awr#$ASFasdfkl”
- Comments hating on other people will definitely NOT count.
- U.S. residents only
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Get more Check Your Six images right here on our gallery: