Parish Clothing | Parish Nation Clothing

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Tony Shellman, founder of Parish.
Tony Shellman, founder of Parish.

Parish Nation, a contemporary menswear clothing line with a retro 1980’s style – complete with rocker hoodies, crazy patterns and vivid colors, is the newest venture of fashion mogul Tony Shellman, founder of popular hip hop brands Mecca and ENYCE.

Shellman, together with former ENYCE clothing executives Evan Davis, Pericles Papayannis, Chaka Wilson, and Ashod Spendjan, thought of bringing a fashion forward, “Post Modern Streetwear” line to the table, akin to the vibe of the 1980’s. The clothes, which transcend their message of “Health, Wealth, and Wisdom” is widely famous for its fresh aesthetic it incorporates to sportswear. The Parish clothing line, which was launched in November 2006 at the hip hop capital of New York, has been making waves ever since.

The christening of the line was sponsored by Smirnoff Vodka, and was celebrated in full retro fashion, with its 80’s inspired venue and theme. Some of the hip hop honchos who graced the event were Big Daddy Kane, Marly Marl, Clark Kent, Sky Nellor, Q-Tip, and the Retro Kids.

History in the Making

Before Parish’s clothing line had it’s phenomenal rise to the top, Shellman took a great risk by starting the line with no additional financial backing. “We’re about action,” Shellman, who revolutionized the face of hip hop fashion by creating Mecca and ENYCE, said in his interview in Clutch Mag Online.

Shellman loved the fact of making another brand and not knowing what lies ahead of him. After he and his partners left ENYCE, the decided to start a new brand to breed more creativity into its clothing.

Although others would rattle at the thought of creating a new brand, Shellman always felt excited to venture out into new territory. “Everything about it is exciting because it’s always fresh, and you never know what’s going to happen,” he said.

His drive to fulfill his dreams stems from his supportive adoptive parents, Lenzie and Betty Shellman, who adopted him in 1968 and raised him as their own in Seattle’s Central District and Rainer Valley. His nurturing upbringing, in fact, is reflected in his philanthropic pursuits. He is currently spokesperson for Casey Family Programs and the National Foster Care month. He also founded “Operation Head 2 Toe,” an apprentice type of program for hardworking youth entrepreneurs.

In fact, the struggles and diversity in his life gave birth to his love for “mending cultures and interconnecting lifestyles,” which give him the concepts and ideas for his fresh and funky fashion brands.

Stand out in these colorful Parish hoodies.
Stand out in these colorful Parish Clothing hoodies.

Unlike other designers who see forming a labor force taxing, he loved recruiting new employees suited for every step of the way – from designing to marketing. This of course, came naturally from the marketing and product development alum of Parson’s school for design, whose humble beginnings started from his employee days in Nordstrom and his life as a struggling model in New York.

After careful planning, Shellman and his associates founded Parish Nation Clothing, an invigorating clothing line which takes inspiration from politics, religion, Comics, TV, and Hip Hop iconography. His ideas can range “from Salvador Dali to Van Gogh to Batiste and, of course, Jacob Lawrence,” he told ColorsNW.com. He added that he wanted to “create fashion art that is rooted in multicultural influences, artistic reverence, the healing power of music and the influence of imagination.”

The clothing line’s aesthetic is mostly based on rocker style hoodies as well as camouflage and army inspired clothes, ones which stylish guys from the ages 14-25 would love to wear.

Busta Rhymes in his colorful Parish shirt.
Busta Rhymes in his colorful Parish Clothing shirt.

Taking from their slogan of “spawning a new attitude in fashion,” Parish Clothing focuses on building brand loyalty and not trends because they “come and go.” Most importantly, the line is all about creating apparel which makes the wearer feel nice and confident.

Unfortunately, Parish Clothing took off during the pre-economic recession and did not skyrocket like expected. “We thought that Parish Clothing would take off quick,” Shellman told ColorsNW.com. Fortunately like his other labels, Mecca and ENYCE, which are still doing well in the market, Parish remains to be a strong brand – still in business – and still adjusting to the ever-changing market.

Even with the worldwide economic problem, Shellman believes that his lines would continue to flourish because of the fact that his apparels and garments are buyable despite the bad shape of the economy. After all, hip hop fashion stems from boroughs in where people did not have much money to buy high-end clothes.

Despite the economic turmoil, Shellman and his associates are planning on launching a women’s clothing line, just like what he did with Mecca and ENYCE. Although there are talks about producing these additional lines, we have to wait patiently for Shellman’s new creations.

Parish Nation Clothing

“Health, Wealth and Wisdom.” This is the vision of Parish Nation Clothing, the clothing line that captures men’s wear market through its innovative and functional designs. This clothing line specializes in both street wear and urban wear. With the drive of bringing fresh and multidimensional designs, Parish Nation quickly gained popularity.

Doing Your Own Thing

Founded in November 2006 by Chaka Wilson, Ashod Spendjan, Periclese Papayannis, Tony Shellman and Evan Davis, the group comes up with the most exciting designs today. Breaking with the tradition is the reason for the success of
Parish Nation. It moved away from dictations from the corporate world and became free to explore and free from dictates from retailers.

Unlike other brands that aim to please the mainstream, Parish Nation Clothing knows their niche and is an expert at it. Quality and comfort are not sacrificed as well. It has become successful in inspiring innovation but still generating appreciation from the consumers.

Exciting Clothes Just for You

Consumers are now finding clothes that are fashion forward and have great styles. Parish Nation has created an original and fresh idea of introducing new color waves, vibrant colors, and unique designs to the market of contemporary sportswear. It has been dubbed as the “Post-Modern Street Wear.”

Most designs and styles from the collection have graphic prints, retro mixes, graffiti and other hip hop elements. Thus, it resulted to an excellent transformation of classic pieces to fresh and innovative fashion statements. The founders also consider their key element to their success is that their design team is composed of artists contrary to designers. Their designers are coming up with designs or concepts, which have sense of art and culture.

It is no surprise that Parish Nation Clothing has really become popular and influential in street wear fashion. The clothing line has also expanded its distribution into Asian, Puerto Rican and Canadian markets. The company will surely continue to provide us with innovative designs that show creativity and passion.

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