April 10, 2009
By Moustapha Camara
We interview Ryan K. of AlrightOK.
TM: What’s with the name AlrightOK?
RK: It’s basically a combination of words people tend to use in succession, how we internally approach daily life, and mostly its really easy to remember. Lots of rappers say it too, listen for it!
TM: So, what’s with the shoe laces all over the site?
RK: Ha, Well it’s basically just branching out from our newest tee ‘budget’ which we collab-ed with photographer Kim Drake on. Taking the phrase ‘shoestring budget’ (something I think anyone living in America right now probably knows about) and creating a visual representation of it.
TM: I love the swords t-shirt design. What’s the idea behind that one?
RK: You know I’ve been asked that before and I’ve really still have no answer to it. Swords are awesome right? and some repeating half toned swords created a great pattern that was asking to be put on a tee. Our ‘Basic’ tees will tend to be less concept heavy and more concerned with just looking good.
TM: What challenges have you faced when running your brand? How have you overcome them?
RK: What haven’t we, heh? Really everything you’d expect a new tee brand to run into from bad screen printers to thinking you’ve just made that next big connection only for it to fall through. We’re learning though and I think we get better with every design and move we make.
TM: “You steal. We Kill. Be easy.”? Really? Woah, I’m scared of you guys! Is “Winners Never Sleep” a phrase that you use for your brand, the parent company, or what? What does that logo represent?
RK: Yeah, it’s basically just our creed that if you want to do things that are opposite of tradition be prepared to bust your ass because it takes time to make people to recognize you.
TM: What is Build AOK?
RK: Basically, those aforementioned problems are something that I wish I had a resource to read about before making encountering them myself. It serves as an outlet for my own love of this craft as well as a chronicle of the AOK brand. The aim is rather then telling people what the right or wrong way is they just listen to how we did it and take it their own way from there.
TM: Where do you see AlrightOK in 3 years?
RK: Well, there’s two things about AOK that are hard to convey easily on our site. 1. We aren’t aiming to release a ton of tees on a season basis, rather letting each series grow organically as the concepts take shape in our heads over time and 2. We love tees (we’re basically tee shirt and jeans dudes) and their ability to convey a message, so our long term goal isn’t to become a full apparel line or anything like that. 3 years from now we just want to be putting out good, clean, smart tees. That doesn’t rule us out of being apart of bigger non-AOK things though, Stay up!