CASEY, WHAT’S HAPPENING MAN?

Not much, man! Just wrapping up everything for winter, sipping on a Red Bull at 8am. So standard. Haha. We’ve been swamped getting all of these new designs together, while shipping out orders. It’s been absolutely insane, but it’s what keeps us going – so no complaints here!

SO TELL US, WHAT’S YOUR BRAND?

Well, I own Evolve Clothing Co. We’re a brand based out of San Diego, CA that’s all about positivity, and inspiring others to inspire others. There’s a lot of lines out there that lack depth. Personally, I feel that if you have the means to make an impact, you should. Our customers buy our clothes because they feel a connection with us, and I think that’s extremely important. We don’t put gobble goop monsters on shirts because they look cool and we know how to use a tablet and Adobe Illustrator. We want to stay as far away from that as possible, no offense to brands that do though either! The morals we built the line around are what we, as a team collectively, feel have the potential to motivate people to be something more. Break the boundaries, stay true/humble, look at life in a new perspective, etc. “Question everything” was a design we released this Fall, and I feel like those two words really summed up a lot about what we stand for.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST DECIDE YOU WANTED TO START UP A CLOTHING LINE?

Honestly, it was only about a year ago. I worked for another brand, did Warped 2011 with them as their photographer, and worked in-house for a while. When we got back, things started to change, people started leaving, etc. I’ll spare you the details, but basically, it resulted in me moving back home to SD around the holidays with nothing to do. I took a month or so to kinda figure out what I wanted to do. I had done the whole photography/video deal for a few years at that point, and after recent incidents, wanted to stray away from my comfort zone. I needed a new challenge, I guess. So I thought about starting a line, called up a few friends to get their opinions and talk ideas/numbers. A couple meetings later, I decided it was totally possible and that I would give it everything I had.

HOW DID YOU COME WITH EVOLVE? AND WHAT DOES IT STAND FOR?

We wanted a one word name, and Evolve pretty much sums up the morals that surround us. I think it’s perfect – the name says it all. It’s simple, positive, diverse, marketable and easy to remember. That’s crucial in this industry. No awkward spelling or play on words. Our website URL is when we got a real idea of how awesome it was to have something so simple. When we introduce the line to people and hand them a business card, we can say, “THIS is Evolve.” Then our website (www.thisisevolve.com), Twitter handle (@thisisevolve) and Facebook URL, all leave a memorable impact back to the second we introduced our brand to that person.

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IS IT JUST YOURSELF RUNNING THE SHOW? OR DO YOU HAVE A TEAM?

Oh, hell no. Thank baby sword-fighting Jesus. Hahaha! I don’t think I could have done any of this without my team. There’s so many things that come with doing this RIGHT. Legality, permits, licenses, inventory, shipping, web design, social management, profit analysis/books/numbers, taxes, etc. Not to mention the actual designs, the product development and making sure that in the mess of it all – we stay true to why we wanted to do this, and keep the brand up to the standards it was built on. David is my right hand man. He helps me out on a daily basis and keeps me in check. I have a lot of big ideas, and it’s good to have someone to prioritize what’s important NOW, and how/when we should implement my other ideas. Carlos handles all of our books and numbers. He helps us budget out every expense we have coming up and makes sure our manufacturers/other bills get paid on time. That’s a HUGE weight off my shoulders. Walter is our Visual Director, and does all of our photo work (www.dapperstreet.com). Up until recently, that was all me as well. Definitely a huge help to have him around. Amy is a new addition to the company. She’s helping out with product development and was a tremendous help in the planning of our Winter line.

ARE YOU GUYS WIDESPREAD THROUGHOUT SAN DIEGO?

Yeah, a lot of people in SD know who we are. We try to network in the scene as much as we can. It’s a big area though! We have a strong presence at local shows, and a lot of the bands out there support us and wear out shirts on stage. We also have some awesome support from various tattoo artists, models and artists in the area!

WHAT SHORT TERM PLANS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE BRAND?

Short term is getting this new release up and running! We’re looking for a mid-December release. Tentative release date is the 16th!

WHAT LONG TERM PLANS ARE IN STORE?

Hmmm, this is a tough one we get asked a lot. The goals we set for a year from now are happening right now, so it’s tough to keep up! Haha. Ideally, we’d like to be in retail stores worldwide. I’d eventually like to open up a few independent stores of our own as well. Being an “indy-brand” is cool, but I know as soon as we break out of that, we’ll be able to do so much more. Like I said, I have big dreams. But it’s one step at a time, and I’m happy we’ve gotten where we are today without big name retail support.

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DO YOU HAVE ANY ARTIST/BRANDS YOU ADMIRE?

Of course. I’ve always been a fan of Shepard Fairey and his work with Obey. Some people hate him because he was a graphic designer before a “street artist.” But, regardless I think he’s a genius when it comes to designing. I love how he does legal installs too. Johnny Cupcakes is kinda obvious, but he’s a huge inspiration too. Look at his idea! Must have been so hard for the people close to him to understand cupcakes on shirts and “bakeries” for stores. Haha. Also a huge fan of Stheart. Aaron kills it every single line, and the website gets better every week. Drop Dead isn’t my style, but I can appreciate their stuff as well.

YOU’RE OUR FIRST SD FEATURE!

Awesome! We love it brotha! Thanks so much for the feature!

SO TELL ME, BEST BURGER SPOT IN DT?

Screw a burger! If you’re in SD, you need to go to Lolita’s and get a 2n1 BURRITO (and add fries – trust me), dammit. Haha. The one right by Petco Park in downtown has a pretty good selection of beers on tap as well. I think that’s the only one that has a little bar, so go there!

OH FOR SURE! SO ARE THERE ANY PEOPLE YOU’D LIKE TO THANK?

Absolutely! My team, first of all. Like I said – couldn’t do this without them. Our customers are obviously this brand’s livelihood. Without everyone who’s picked up some stuff from us, we couldn’t do this either. I think a lot of companies (clothing or other) take that for granted. I try as hard as I can to express my appreciation, personally, a few times every release. Also, our new friends/supporters at Red Bull who have some awesome plans to help us out and give us product every month that helps us get it done! Chris, our designer (www.iamdvus.com) for always taking my crazy ideas and turning them into sellable gold. Even though he’s a punk sometimes. Hahaha! Love ya, Chris! Our families are super supportive as well. My mom, David’s mom. It’s always good to have the people we love see how important this is to us and truly understand what it means to us. Joe, Jana, and their whole team who handle our production and give us amazing quality prints.

ANY LAST WORDS/THOUGHTS FOR THE FANS?

I’ll leave you with the concept of “Infinite Reality.”

“Reality is a realm defined by no one other than those who live within it. But, if you chase your dreams and eliminate the restrictions placed onto your concept of what is true, shouldn’t we ask ourselves where the line of reality ends, or if it exists at all? Question reality, be a dreamer, be infinite.” http://www.thisisevolve.com/

 All photos by Walter Shochenmaier (www.dapperstreet.com)

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