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November 11, 2005

Feature: Garbege - street-inspired luxury brand!!!


garbege™ specializies at linking design innovation, marketing ingenuity and selective retail positioning. Playing off of the words garb, meaning garment and edge, as in cutting edge, garbege™ redefines fashion for the young, intelligent, and sexy. garbege™ infuses fashion with thought-provoking incomparable products for early-adopters who possess refined sensibilities for everything from fashion to politics. Utilizing young men’s and women’s apparel as instruments of expression. garbege™ is a street-inspired luxury label that is not about branding, but rather providing vehicles of self-
transformation for garbege™ collectors worldwide.

This was just a short introduction to garbege™ . Read now the Interview with the 2 founders, check out the pics of their latest collection and head over to Cartel Goods to buy them online.

HS: Hey, guys. How is it going?

(garbege): Peace, all is well.

HS: Who are the founders of garbege and what was the process? Do you have a background in fashion?

(Zak): I have worked with top apparel brands including *ecko unltd, PNB Nation, and Todd Oldham Jeans. However, I got my start in the industry on the sales floor of Dr. Denim in Philadelphia. I later started interning at www.platform.net, one of the first successful hip-hop oriented web sites during the dot com boom. Soon after, I moved onto Todd Oldham Jeans where I honed my skills in Public Relations. In 2001, I served as Specialty Accounts Manager for PNB Nation, managing 150 accounts for the brand and researching market trends. It was at PNB Nation where I met my business partner, garbege President Malcolm Phipps. Later on that same year, I moved onto *ecko unltd. as the Visual Director where I oversaw the visual installation of the *ecko unltd., Zoo York, Femme Arsenal, G-Unit Clothing Company and Complex Media showrooms and offices. That would eventually land me the position as *ecko unltd.’s Director of Retail Marketing, where I implemented and executed initiatives to increase profitability, including the *ecko unltd. Pavilion in Las Vegas during the Magic convention and all merchandising objectives for over thirty Ecko Unlimited stores.

(Malcolm) :I have moved all over the apparel industry as a stylist, model, and brand liaison. I graduated from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology with a focus on Marketing, Renaissance Art, and Textiles. In 2002, I did freelance work for Sean “P.Diddy” Combs’ Sean John as a Marketing Coordinator and Sales Manager for Groovey Styles, the clothing store owned by Comb’s stylist. From 1999 to 2001, I served as the Executive Assistant to the President of PNB Nation where I assisted in everything from planning events to brokering deals between PNB Nation and Pepsi. Again, it was at PNB Nation where I met my business partner and garbege Brand Architect W. “Zak” Hoke. From 2001 to 2004, I worked at *ecko unltd where I would eventually become Marketing Manager. Soon I would handle marketing for the other brands under the Marc Ecko Enterprises umbrella, which including G-Unit Clothing, Zoo York, Femme Arsenal, and Complex Media. As Marketing Manager, I created innovative ways to position the aforementioned brands within the youth culture market through print, television, and feature & independent films. I also brokered a deal between luxury automotive wheel manufacturer Lexani and *ecko unltd. to create the *ecko unltd. car rim. And my placement list is long and includes key celebrities such as Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Ashton Kuchter, The Rock, Monica, Eve, Trina, Alicia Keys, Timbaland and Nas.

(Zak): Having gone to our share of tradeshows domestically and abroad, we found ourselves unhappy with the direction fashion was heading in. In our Hilton hotel room after Magic in Las Vegas, I proceeded to tell Malcolm about my idea to create a line of clothing that appealed to the early adopters in the need of a brand that merges the aesthetics of both streetwear and luxury apparel. It was something that was in the back of my mind for some time and I believed it was now time for it to come into fruition. To me, the line would be a way for individuals to utilize clothing as their canvas for self-expression, something that has been lost from some of the most popular brands’ latest lines. We outlined the brands’ direction and purpose. While the themes of the line would change per season, the brand’s overall purpose would always stay the same: a Street-Inspired Luxury label that is not about branding, but rather provides a vehicle of self-transformation for young consumers impacting the way they think, appear, and understand the world.


HS: What is garbege all about? Is their a clear philosophy or line that you follow when you create new designs/collections?

(Zak): The garbege™ Clothing Company was formed for the purpose of engaging in the Design, Marketing and Sales of clothing for young men and women in the United States and abroad. Our ultimate focus is producing garments of the highest quality and servicing Select Boutiques, Specialty Shops and Better Department Stores in major cities such as, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, London, Tokyo, Berlin and others. With its unique products, garbege™ fulfills the needs of early adopters in between the Street-Wear and Urban-Wear markets. A market niche we have coined as “Street-Chic”.

(Malcolm): garbege T-Shirts are fabricated in 100% ring-spun cotton, made up of 36 single-combed cotton yarn and knitted on a 28-gauge knitting machine. Each conversational top conveys a lightweight feel and texture. Features such as dye-gain / dye-resist screen-printing, heat transfer and metallic printing, along with other technologies emphasize our intended treatment innovation.


HS: Why the name garbege?

(Zak): garbege™ specializes at linking design innovation, marketing ingenuity and selective retail positioning. Playing off of the words garb, meaning garment and edge, as in cutting edge, garbege™ redefines fashion for the young, intelligent, and sexy. garbege™ infuses stylishness with thought-provoking, incomparable products for the early-adopters who possess refined sensibilities for everything from fashion to politics.

HS: garbege is already carried in many hot retail locations. How hard was it to get in there?

(Zak): Visibility is crucial, and garbege™ gains exposure by focusing on consumer Word-of-Mouth, Alliances with Tastemakers, Artist and Celebrities, Tradeshow Appearances, Product Placement, Strategic Ad Buys, and most importantly: Selective Retail Positioning (SRP).

(Malcolm): The hardest part is finding the right partner (store) that matches our merchandising sensibilities. It’s like trying to establish an arranged marriage.


HS: You guys have also already collaborated on a sneaker with Reebok. Tell us how that came about?

(Zak): Collaborations aren’t necessarily a new thing. Car manufacturers have been sharing resources from behind the scenes for a minute now. Two brands appear stronger than one in the eyes of the consumer.

(Malcolm): Collaborations have been born out of a recognition that customer interaction doesn't need to end at the point of sale for one brand. Collabos bring different perspectives and opportunities to your world.

HS: Any future collaborations that you want to mention? Or people whom you would love to work with in the future?

(Malcolm): Future collabos? It all depends on how soon up-and-coming designers can send us their portfolios….

(Zak): In the “Retail World”, garbege would LOVE to build a private selection for: Barney’s (Japan), Fred Segel Fun (LA), Colette (FR), Harvey Nichols (UK), Exhibit A (Can), Louis (Boston), American Classics (UK), Oki-Ni.com, Barney’s Co-Op (NY)… In the “Fashion World” garbege would LOVE to build a collection with: Vivienne Westwood, Diesel Denim Gallery (NY), Diesel, Burton, G-Star, Nike, Jack Spade, Breitling, dpmhi, Gucci, Y-3 (adidas), Dior. The list goes on…


HS: You have already a mens and womens collection. What are the plans/ strategy for garbege in the future?

(Malcolm): Well our plans for the future will be to out do every collection that we put forth & continue growing as creatives…

HS: How do you see the industry and competitors as a whole? What comes to your mind when you think about the words quality and limited editions?

(Zak): For me, a few words come to mind when I think about the words “Quality” and “Limited Editions” as it relates to our space within the market:

• Quality – Missing in our space. There’s a pre-occupation with “Quantity.”
• Limited Editions – Boring, Uninteresting, Repetitive and Mind-numbing.

(Malcolm): We’re very critical dudes. But we also see the industry shifting in terms of a change in the guard.

HS: Now lets get to know you guys better. What music do you listen to?

(Zak): The soundtrack at the garbege gallery (office) consists of B.I.G., ColdPlay, Jay-Z, Lula, A Tribe Called Quest, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Arch Angel, Alicia Keys, Little Brother, N.E.R.D., Amel Larrieux, Jadakiss, The White Stripes, Goapele, John Coltrane, Nas, Nina Simone, Kanye West, Kelis, Sneaker Pimps, Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, Maroon 5, Smif-N-Wessun, The Clash, Gang Starr...


HS: What clothing brands do you dig the most? Admire? Wear?

(Malcolm): We enjoy Burton, G-Star, dpmhi, Pieces Black Label, Harajuku Lovers, And Suns, Nike-White Label, Y-3, Fred Perry/Comme des Garcons-double label, Modern Amusement, Jamhuriwear, we admire all these brands as well & we wear them also.


HS: What websites do you check on a regular basis?

(Malcolm): garbege.com - to check on our stats, Oki-Ni.com, Proteinos.com, CartelGoods.com, WonderWall.com, HighSnobiety.com, TheOutFitSociety.com, WhatsReallyGood.com, HipHopFriendsOnline.com, Schawb.com, NikeTalk.com, http://itpro.rayannpublishers.com

HS: Thanks a lot guys. It was great talking to you. We hope to hear a lot more from you in the near future.

(garbege): You guys keep up the good work! Thanx for the love and support!


You got to see a nice little preview of upcoming products by Garbege. As you can see, these guys are real pro's in the apparel industry. There is a lot to come from them, so watch out.




Anonymous Anonymous said...


11/11/2005 04:38:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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11/11/2005 04:42:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it me, or did all the answers come out of some "cool answers to questions textbook", little bit generic, maybe when you've finished reading your 'business management' textbooks, take a look outside and actually see whats going on!

11/11/2005 06:06:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

those guys listening to maroon5 and like g-star clothing? damn. that's bad taste.

11/11/2005 08:10:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off, they failed when they decided to call their clothing company garbege. Noone wants to wear garbage. Second, these are the products they came up with after working for all those respectable (maybe not) companies? Did they even network with their previous employers? Quit now and start over.

11/11/2005 11:28:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i like how everytime they wrote garbege they put a TM after it... like someone's gonna steal that...

anyhow, this was obviously an email interview, allowing the guys to put down well thought out answers and not sound like gangsta wanna-be's.

BTW, “Street-Chic” is totally queer. no one will EVER want to be refered to that, anymore then being a metrosexual.

lastly, using the term 'minute' to describe a lenght of time over a minute, is fucking stupid. when with this term die?

best of luck guys.

11/12/2005 01:32:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is purely a 'metrosexual/street chic' thing, as no-one in their right minds would wear or buy such generic rubbish.
As was quoted earlier, street chic is for gay people and women who wear pink way too much (nothing against gays, but everything against pink wearing women) this is not the type of brand that readers of this blog would associate themselves with, and to mention them in the same sentence as such quality brands as aNYthing, Irak etc. is sacrilege.

11/12/2005 02:04:00 pm  
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11/14/2005 08:41:00 am  
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11/14/2005 05:48:00 pm  
Anonymous UPDATE said...


11/15/2005 07:34:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

don't listen to these haters guys. keep aspiring. (that board sold for 2 bills!)

11/17/2005 04:05:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They are exactly what they produce. garbage.

11/18/2005 02:57:00 am  
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11/19/2005 12:57:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Garbege Trash the HATERS!!

11/19/2005 06:14:00 pm  
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11/19/2005 09:21:00 pm  
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