TELL US, WHO IS CRYPTIC APPAREL EXACTLY AND WHERE DID THE NAME COME FROM?
Cryptic Apparel is inspired by the mysteries of the ancient past and how they still have an important and influence on our modern culture today. Cryptic means to have a meaning that is mysterious or obscure. Everything in our brand is represented through symbolism and has deep meaning. We encourage people to conceive their own interpretation of our designs, even though we design everything with a very specific purpose.
HOW DID THE BRAND FORM INTO WHAT IT IS TODAY?
A lot of hard work and grind. No cutting corners. Learning from mistakes. Cutting out negative distractions and focusing on the brand. When building any company, you need to really give your whole life to it. Everyday we wake up and go to sleep thinking “how can I better Cryptic today.” This mentality has gotten us to where we are today and where we will be tomorrow.
WHO’S WHO OVER AT CRYPTIC -THE TEAM?
Kurt Marks – CEO and founder, Graphic Design. I keep provide and maintain the vision and focus for Cryptic.
Nick Raschke – CFO – I handle most of the back ends -financials, tradeshows and events, production and sourcing, retail contracts, website maintenance, etc.
We both handle marketing.
WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED AND WOULD YOU SAY THAT ANY INFLUENCE FROM THE CITY MAKES IT WAY INTO THE APPAREL?
We are located in the heart of Chicago.
If we had to compare Chicago to a fictional city it would be Gotham. It’s dark, cold, gritty, but at the same time it can be a very beautiful and inspiring city. You can find a lot of masonic and occult symbology in the gothic architecture in the city. The overall gothic aesthetic bleeds into the brand heavily.
WHAT’RE THE SHORT TERM GOALS FOR CRYPTIC -LET’S SAY WITHIN THE NEXT YEAR?
Our goals change daily. We have some short term goals we strive for, which include attending more events (tradeshows, Sneakercon, music festivals, local street fests, etc.), retail space, pop up shops, and collabs with other brands. This was actually our first year attending big events like Sneakercon and we are in talks with Restock Chicago for some floor space at their new location in Schaumburg, IL, so we are slowly accomplishing our goals.
We also plan to start a Vlog page showing our day to day hustle and a segment on how to start a successful clothing company. We are constantly meeting other brands that are struggling in areas we thrive in, so we want to try and give back to anyone who wants to start their own clothing brand.
As for 2018, we really want to expand to retail space in the UK and possibly Russia, attended some out of state music events, and launch more limited edition cut and sew products. (Nick Raschke)
WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE BRAND?
We would really like to grow our audience and bring new people to Cryptic Apparel. Brand awareness is always key for growth, and have been planning a lot of new advertising campaigns to help us achieve that as well as collaborating with streetwear influencers.
ANYONE YOU’D LIKE TO THANK THAT’S HELPED GET CRYPTIC TO WHERE IT’S AT TODAY?
Everyone who has supported our brand since 2012. Many of our first customers still purchase our new items, so we are very thankful for them and anyone who recognizes that we are not just another clothing company with a stupid word or saying on their clothes. We always receive a lot of positive energy when people see our designs at events or online, so they also keep us going.
We’d also like to thank the people at Madd Science Print Lab and Deadstock & Co. for taking us under their wing this spring and teaching us even more about expanding our streetwear company. (Nick Raschke)
ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO LET THE READERS KNOW?
Please follow our journey on instagram @CrypticApparel and look out for our YouTube channel launching mid July. Also check out our side project/brand 2Turnt_Kurt on instagram and 2turntshirts.com for all of your 90’s nostalgia.