It's a strange feeling, bridling a beast that has, for so long, been unbroken. When Crisiswear formally appeared on the scene in '99, it's founder, Flux (Matt Deponte) had just stepped off a roller coaster of pride, fear and indecision. His custom clothes--though prized by those in the Chicago Industrial scene--seemed a flimsy foundation on which to stake a business, much less a life. But like the rest of us determined to live something authentic, he did. And 18 years later, the brand, by the grace of some unnatural god, is still with us and stronger than ever.
I found my way here via the usual. A good friend showing up in SF wearing clothing off a rack I had never heard of. "My friend in Chicago made these, you should really check it out." And eventually, after several years of playing the advertising game in San Francisco, I did. What I saw was a company that was raw and unconventional, but at the same time, completely glued to its founding ethos: build your heart into something and people will love it.
And this truth has born out. People who own Crisiswear do have a tendency to love it. Much of this, of course, is the design and craftsmanship. But part of this is also an unconscious reaction to our current consumer landscape, and fast fashion in particular.
Painfully, most of us simply don't know what it's like to be charmed by clothing anymore. Nothing fits, and when it does, it falls apart in six months, requiring a replacement that will gift us with the same kind of disposable experience. And on, and on. But even more frustrating is the sense that we are passive participants in our wardrobe, consigned to wait for the leavings of whatever trend is dictated next. We are as consumers, wholly unheard, wholly unloved and wholly unable to get a fucking pocket on a pair of women's pants.
As Crisiswear's first 50/50 partner, I sometimes find myself scared out of my wits, out of my depth and frantic to find something to hold onto as we make big decisions that rock our brand and the trajectory of our business. But when I handle our clothes, or look over a new design, or put on my own pair of NetRunners, I remember that the thing that moved me from my home in San Francisco to the icy shores of Lake Michigan is the same thing that moved Flux 18 years ago: the belief that the fight to put something honest and authentic into the world is a fight worth the candle. And I'm proud to be here as we set out to give you and all our customers something that is increasingly hard to find in this world: honesty, creativity and quality.