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Coup Street 2013 Recap

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As another year comes to an end, we often reflect on what took place, where we’re at, and where we want to be. This was a big year for us. Not necessarily in terms of sales, because we honestly donated more money than we actually made, but because we challenged ourselves and tried new things. We explored our market. In this game you have to figure out how to stand out from the rest. What exactly is it that makes you different from every other brand claiming to be apart of the same lifestyle? So as we learned more about ourselves (which for us generally comes from figuring out who we don’t want to be), we began molding ourselves into that puzzle piece that fits within the niche. And of course during this process you lose some followers who aren’t as interested in who you’re becoming, but you gain plenty who are down for the movement. By no means is our puzzle piece complete, but we’re chiseling away, reshaping it everyday. We have so much we want to accomplish and stand for, that finding a balance can be difficult. We want to stand for the hungry hustler out there chasing their dreams. We want to be a symbol for empowerment and education within the community. And we want to accomplish this, through art. As artists, we recognize the power that lies within the medium and we want to use it as a tool to educate and inspire. To wake people up and raise awareness of issues affecting our society. With that said, here are a few highlights of things we accomplished this year.

We started off the year doing Full Circle. We met Diego and Wale at the DTLA Artwalk, and they invited us to be apart of their event called Full Circle in the South Bay. There we met a lot of cool people and connected with other brands and artists that we have since built good relationships with. We met Dvious of Dvious Clothing from the 818. He’s been on his grind selling led light bulbs for home once with his gear and building his brand. We also met Erwin Recinos who is a dope L.A. photographer. He does coverage for several brands and blogs and covers a lot of L.A. street culture.  Full Circle, Erwin Recinos, Dvious ClothingThere we also met Fatkid Clothing and Rola Mvmt. Fatkid is another L.A. based clothing brand with a bunch of talented artists working with them. One of their members Michael Serpas painted at our first For L.A. by L.A. event. Rola Movement aka Reaching Out Los Angeles is a clothing brand that also does a lot for the community. We recently participated in their annual Blanket Drive for the homeless, where we drove around the streets of skid row and passed out blankets, food and clothing.Fatkid Clothing and Rola MovementWe did the Beat Swap Meet Los Angeles all three times this year. It is goes down about every 3 months in Chinatown. It’s one of our favorite events. It really manages to capture the essence of real Hip Hop and brings out a lot of creative, artistic, and passionate people. The audience there really likes our designs and it’s always a great feeling when people like what we’re putting out.

Beat Swap MeetBeat Swap MeetBeat Swap MeetThis year one of the biggest things we’re grateful for is the relationship we’ve built with McLogan. At the beginning of the year we brought out our good friend and talented, Danny ‘Cels’ Mateo to do a Coup Street production in the back of their store near the alley. After many weekends and spray cans later, Danny put up a nice Coup Street mural with some pigeons and the city of Los Angeles in the background. Unfortunately, sometimes business gets in the way of great things, and a few months later, an unexpected storage bin was placed in front of the mural, blocking it forever.

McLogan Wall McLogan Wall

But it wasn’t all for nothing, because by then we had established a good relationship with McLogan and they saw the quality of our work and what we’re trying to do. They gave us the opportunity to throw our first art show in their parking lot and from there, For L.A. by L.A. was born.

For L.A. by L.A. Flyer

When life gave us lemons, we made For L.A. by L.A. Last year we did the artwalk every month for almost a year until the city cracked down on it, and it became somewhat of a police state that was no longer fun. The Alexandria hotel that we used to sell our clothing at closed, along with a few other locations, and by March, the artwalk was a ghost town that wasn’t worth our time or money. But after attending many events and establishing relationships with other vendors, we decided to throw our own event, the way we envisioned an art show. McLogan had been wanting to do something for a while, so all the pieces just fell into place. On May 18th, we threw our very first event that was a big success. We had 25 vendors selling clothing, jewelry, painting nails, cutting hair, selling art, surrounded by 10 artists painting live on a 100 foot wall. We had the Jarritos truck giving away free drinks and providing the sound for 4 L.A. DJ’s. We also had live screen printing by McLogan of limited edition designs, and one hell of a great vibe. To top it off, we raised $1000, and 300 cans of food for the Los Angeles Mission that fed 500 homeless skid row residents. Like stated above, one of our goals is to use art as a tool to raise awareness of issues in the community. We’ve attended many art shows and events, where hundreds of people show up, but always felt there was something lacking. We believe that when you get that many people in one place that share something in common, it’s a good chance to educate and raise awareness. So that is why at our For L.A. by L.A. events there will always be an aspect of learning that will also benefit a cause in the community.

For L.A. by L.A. McLogan For L.A. by L.A. McLogan For L.A. by L.A. McLogan

This event really helped us show people what we’re all about. Bringing the community together through art. We established some great relationships with other brands, artists, DJ’s and began building a solid name for ourselves. Soul Siderz, Unincorporated, Unify Through Art, Fatkid, Jose Dare, JHK T-shirts, Local Clothing, DJ Pelau, DJ Nate Day are all new people we met from this event. We also established relationships with the artists that participated like Annie Preece, Max Neutra, Vyal, Man One, Sano, Aise, White Buffalo, Michael Serpas, Getoe and Sal, who all put it down for the city and left an amazing wall that has been getting a lot of fame ever since.

McLogan Wall For LA by LA

The following month we provided an Adopt-A-Meal at the Los Angeles Mission with the money we made at For L.A. by L.A. Our friend Josue Zeta Rojas had a Skid Row project he was working on that we intertwined with the dinner, providing a photo gallery in the cafeteria. With 8 volunteers we helped prep the food, serve it, and provided dinner for nearly 500 people.

LA MissionLA MissionLA MissionLA MissionLA Mission

This year we also released our limited edition Fight For Your Farms shirt (still available online). It is a collaboration we did with DweebKid to show our stance on the fight against Monsanto and GMO crops. As stated, one of our goals as a brand is to educate our demographic, but with flavor. It’s cool to dress fly and be on your hustle, but know what’s going on around you. Don’t be a sheep.

Fight For Your Farms - Collectors EditionIn July, we joined a few thousand people Marching Against Monsanto in downtown L.A.

March Against MonsantoMarch Against Monsanto March Against MonsantoMarch Against MonsantoMarch Against Monsanto

As a brand we are passionate about healthy living. Treating your body right so that you can be 100% at all times and ready to take on what lies ahead. Exercising and eating right is directly related to feeling good and confident. This year, one of our biggest inspirations was seeing Ron Finley on Ted Talk. If you haven’t seen it, you really have to check it out. What Ron Finley envisions is the exact type of mission that we want to be apart of.

“Igniting a (horti)cultural revolution! Ron envisions a world where gardening is gangsta, where cool kids know their nutrition and where communities embrace the act of growing, knowing and sharing the best of the earth’s fresh-grown food.”
 

We decided that our next For L.A. by L.A. event would be to raise money for an organization that Ron Finley works with to build community gardens in Los Angeles. We also wanted to tie it in with GMO awareness. So that brought on For L.A. by L.A. – The GMO Show.

For L.A. by L.A. The GMO Show

For this show L.A. artsits painted the other McLogan wall. We wanted to leave up the artwork from the previous event. We will be alternating walls every show. We had another 25 vendor booths, an organic juice truck, an organic food truck, 4 L.A. DJ’s, and 5 dope L.A. artists painting live. We had LabelGMOs.org there educating our audience, and spreading the word on the importance of labeling our food supply and knowing what we’re eating. The turn out wasn’t as big as the first show, but we still raised another $1,000 that we donated to the Los Angeles Community Garden Council that will help to build more community gardens in Los Angeles.

For LA by LA GMO ShowFor L.A. by L.A. The GMO ShowFor L.A. by L.A. The GMO ShowFor L.A. by L.A. The GMO Show

For L.A. by L.A. The GMO ShowFor L.A. by L.A. The GMO ShowFor L.A. by L.A. The GMO ShowFor L.A. by L.A. The GMO ShowFor L.A. by L.A. The GMO ShowFor L.A. by L.A. The GMO Show

The money that we raised went to the Los Angeles Community Garden Council. The following month we helped out one of their partners, the St. Johns Well-Child & Family clinic with a community ‘Dig-in’. We brought out 6 volunteers to help plant garden beds for families in the South L.A. community.

Coup Street Dig-In with St. Johns Well Child and Family CenterCoup Street Dig-In with St. Johns Well Child and Family CenterCoup Street Dig-In with St. Johns Well Child and Family CenterCoup Street Dig-In with St. Johns Well Child and Family Center

This year we also got our first look at Agenda. We didn’t participate in it, but we checked it out and “put a face to the name” so to speak. It was definitely inspiring to see all the leaders of the game in one place. But honestly as far as the style level, we weren’t too impressed. Everybody seems to copy each other. I wonder if they send out a memo and say “this is what’s going to be cool this season,” and then everybody hops on the wagon. We promise to always be original and put out what we want. If everyone is making floral patterned hats, that doesn’t mean we are going to start copying everyone in the industry just because something is trending. If we feel like dropping some hoodies in the summer time, we’re gonna do that. The best part of Agenda was the recently added Agenda Emerge. It’s a panel of established brand owners speaking to the audience about what they’ve learned and how they approach the game. It was full of valuable information and very inspiring. We got to listen to Johnny Cupcakes, Jeff Staple, Bobby Hundreds and Marc Ecko speak.

Agenda Emerge Johnny Cupcakes

Agenda EmergeThis year we also released our first batch of Coup Street hats. Which are available online.

Coup Street HatsCoup Street HatCoup Street Hat

So those are the main highlights of 2013. There’s definitely a lot of work to be done in 2014. New ideas to explore and plenty of room to grow. We are going to start experimenting with cut & sew and do a lot more collaborations and video interviews. So stay tuned. We truly appreciate everyone’s support, our new followers and fans, and look forward to a new year! Below is a quick collage we made of all the artists, DJ’s, supporters and people we met this year that helped make 2013 special.

Coup Street 2013

Seventh Letter Grand Opening

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This weekend we went to the grand opening of the Seventh Letter flagship store on Fairfax. For anyone that was there, you already know how crazy and packed it was. Ridiculous! A bunch of people didn’t get in and pretty much spent their night waiting outside in that cold ass weather. Luckily the guard on the opposite side of the line wasn’t really watching his post and we snuck right in. Anybody that got there before 10:00pm, hopefully you did the same before they blocked the entrance with some benches.

For me, the best part was seeing so many people there to support. Of course Seventh Letter and it’s affiliates are some of the top dogs of the graff game, so a big turn out is expected, but it really showed how strong the community is. I saw a glimpse of what could be if we all put our efforts together. Hundreds of graff heads under one roof, supporting each other, on a positive art tip? I love it! That’s the kind of audience we hope to have one day at our For L.A. by L.A. shows.

I really hope the Seventh Letter take things to an even higher level. It’s hard enough to find a way of making money at what you love to do, but you can’t stop there. With the type of following and support they had at their show, I think they have a real chance to start a movement. To each his own, but personally I believe that when you have that big of a following and influence over the masses, at that point you’re obligated to stand up for the voiceless. They have a chance to educate, because they have the public’s ear.  I know it was just a celebration of their opening, and I’m happy for their success, but I hope they realize how much power they have right now. Whatever they do, people will follow. It could be the beginning of something great. We’ll have to wait and see.

Seventh Letter Grand OpeningSeventh Letter Grand OpeningSeventh Letter Grand Opening

New Coup Street x Danny Mateo Collaboration

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We’re back with another Coup Street x Danny Mateo collaboration. This one is called “Paletero” aka “Ice Cream Man”. It was inspired by a photo I took at one of my local pigeons spots I like to go to. While I was shooting the pigeons, a Paletero walked up with his cart and pulled out a bag of seed and fed the pigeons. I snapped away getting the whole experience documented. When he left I started thinking. Paletero’s are some of the hardest working people out there. They go out every day with their cart, and make a living. It may not be the most glamorous job, but they work hard to provide a better life for themselves and their families. Pigeons are also some of the hardest workers I have ever seen and that’s one of the reasons why we chose to theme our brand after them. For me, feeding pigeons can be therapeutic. After this experience with the Paletero and the pigeons, I had this vision that he does that every day and gets a lot of joy from it. Even though he may not have a lot of money, he still shares with those who have even less. I hit up my boy Danny Mateo and told him my idea. He’s a fan of the Paleteros himself and their hard work ethic. I showed him the photos I took and he came up with what you see here. We will be releasing 60 of these prints. 30 will be on a grey shirt, like you see here, and the other thirty will be on a teal colored shirt. Support your hungry hustlers, and local artists and cop one of these dope “Paletero” t-shirts.

New Coup Street and Danny Mateo CollaborationThe Paletero Man feeding the Pigeons

The Paletero Man feeding the Pigeons

The Paletero Man feeding the Pigeons

The Paletero Man feeding the Pigeons

Cale One K2S at ES Studios in Boyle Heights

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After the Mear One show at the Cave Gallery in Venice, we hit up Cale One‘s first solo show, “Creation: An Evolution” at ES Studios in Boyle Heights. ES Studios is right next door to Soul Skating LA which is the store we first got our shirts into. Cale One is from the talented Los Angeles crew K2S and has some serious skills with a spray can. His blends and bold colors create some amazing realistic and vibrant portraits and characters. Definitely be on the look out for what Cale is gonna bring in the future. Check out his website www.illfeelin.com or follow him on instagram @cale_one_k2s. Cale One K2S ES Studios in Boyle HeightsCale One K2S ES Studios in Boyle Heights

Mear One at the CAVE Gallery

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We went to go check out the opening of Mear One‘s exhibit at the Cave gallery. It was a collection of Mear’s live art pieces from 2003-2012. In my opinion, Mear is one of the illest artists around today. I’m a big fan of when artists bring a graffiti flavor to fine art.  Not only do his sick style and trademark techniques stand out, but for me, the messages and images in his work have a big impact. Art is one of the best ways to get a message across. When you have the ability to say something without speaking and communicate to the viewer using images that evoke emotion and inspiration, you know you’ve reached a level of artistry that is hard to achieve. In the same way that Bob Marley believed the world could be changed through music, I believe it can be changed through art too.

Mear One art at the Cave GalleryMear One art at the Cave GalleryMear One art at the Cave Gallery

Not only was it a great show, but guess who showed up? Ron Finley! If you don’t know about Ron Finley, you really have to read up on what he’s doing for the community of South L.A. and all over the world. He is one of our main inspirations for donating to the Los Angeles Community Garden Council at our last For L.A. by L.A. – The GMO Show.

Ron Finley the Guerilla Gardener

Seeing Ron Finley at the Mear show really made me think. When you’ve got someone as powerful with words as Ron Finley, and you bring him together with someone as equally powerful with a paint brush like Mear, you have something special and a great opportunity to tap into the minds of the public and get them inspired on some real necessary changes that need to take place in our society. I’m envisioning a show with Mear painting live and Ron Finley speaking. Let’s do it!

Check out this video of Ron speaking on Ted TV a while back. Get inspired!

 

 

Coup Street Digs in with St. Johns

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In October, at our For L.A. by L.A. – The GMO Show, we raised $1000 for the Los Angeles Community Garden Council. LACGC is an organization that helps build community gardens all throughout Los Angeles. One of the organizations they work with is the St. John’s Well Child and Family Center on 58th and Hoover in South L.A. This past weekend Coup Street and cloud storage reviews a few of our friends volunteered at their “Dig-In” to plant raised bed gardens in the parkways around the clinic. Now the residents of the area have access to healthier food instead of the wide selection of fast food restaurants that surround the area.

We planted spinach, green beans, peppers, cabbage, and lettuce in front of 16 homes. Not only is the goal for people to start eating healthier, but to build a stronger community. The neighbors can trade food with one another, and help each other with gardening tips which creates communication and friendships develop.

As Coup Street, we strive to represent more than a clothing company. As we grow, and build our brand, hopefully our logo will view more encapsulate all that we stand for. We had a great day at our first dig and we’d like to thank our friends that joined us (Bette Shapiro, Divina Sevilla, Slot One, Alo) and all the volunteers that participated. For more info go to www.luxtime.su.

Coup Street Dig-In with St. Johns Well Child and Family CenterCoup Street Dig-In with St. Johns Well Child and Family CenterCoup Street Dig-In with St. Johns Well Child and Family CenterCoup Street Dig-In with St. Johns Well Child and Family Center

Coup Street’s For L.A. by L.A. – The GMO Show

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After a lot of hard work, another For L.A. by L.A. is in the books. This one was called, The GMO Show, with hopes to raise awareness of GMO foods. We had over 25 vendor booths, organic iherb coupon 2014 food , a juice truck, live screen printing, 5 L.A. DJ’s, and 5 of the dopest artists in L.A. painting live under the Cali sun. Tewsr, Mice of Millions, Thanks, Joe Ded, and ZLA put it down for the cause. At the end of the day we raised $1,000 for the Los Angeles Community Garden Council. This money will be able to help them as they continue to provide the streets and communities of Los Angeles with organic produce grown right here in Los Angeles.

We’d like to send a big shout out to McLogan and everyone that came out to support what we’re doing.  As you can tell, we are a heavily art based clothing brand, that likes to work with local artists and the community. Artists are some of the most passionate and outspoken individuals, with a gift of being able to express their message though different mediums. Our goal is to not only create places of passion and inspiration at these shows, but to provide an element of education and giving back. Whether you realize it or not, we all have something in common, and Coup Street’s goal at these shows is to bridge the gap between us as a community. Hopefully you all learned something about GMO’s that you’ll be able to pass on, and maybe even some of you will change your eating habits. The bottom line is, we all have a right to know what we’re eating. If it weren’t for all of you, we couldn’t have raised $1,000 that we will be donating to the Los Angeles Community Garden Council. One of the best ways to fight against GMO’s is to grow your own food. Not only is it the only true way of knowing exactly what you’re eating, but it’s also way of saying, “We don’t need you!” to all the companies and corporations that support it. Thanks again, and we hope to see you at the next show.

Shout out to Paul Alvarez Jr. for the dope photos. You can see the rest of them on our facebook page.

Coup Street's For L.A. by L.A. - The GMO ShowCoup Street's For L.A. by L.A. - The GMO Show

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Coup Street Feeds Skid Row at L.A. Mission

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Coup Street L.A. Mission Adopt A Meal

Last night, Coup Street and some volunteers fed the homeless during our Adopt-A-Meal donation with the money raised at For L.A. by L.A. First and foremost I’d like to thank everyone that volunteered and helped make it a special night. It was my first time doing something like that, and it definitely wont be the last.

Coup Street L.A. Mission Adopt A MealWe made it an extra special night, by teaming up with our boy Josue Zeta Rojas aka Zeta Photography and displayed photographs from his project, “Skid Row Quotes: Portraits of Hope.” The project is a series of black and white portraits of residents of the Skid Row community.  This was the first time anyone had really seen them, and who better to see them, than the community he took them of? A lot of the faces were recognized by some of the people that ate with us last night.

Coup Street L.A. Mission Adopt A Meal

Tommy and his daughter Mia showed up, along with Billie, Jillian, and David. We started prepping in the kitchen and later on we served Sloppy Joes and potato wedges.

Coup Street L.A. Mission Adopt A MealCoup Street L.A. Mission Adopt A MealCoup Street L.A. Mission Adopt A MealCoup Street L.A. Mission Adopt A MealCoup Street L.A. Mission Adopt A Meal

We got a chance to talk with a few of the people that work there, hear their stories, and desires to change their lives around. One of the people I was intrigued by was a man named Ivery. He was very down to earth, and had a good understanding of where he’d been, and the path he’s on now. He said he used to be a tap dancer, and that every now and then, they have a talent show at the mission that he participates in. I’d really like to check it out.

Photos by Josue Zeta Rojas

Coup Street at Agenda

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Agenda EmergeThis past week, we went to go check out the Agenda trade show in Long Beach. The only way to get access to it, is either with a press pass, being a buyer, or if you got hoked up with tickets somehow. But this year they had the first “Agenda Emerge,” that was a panel/seminar featuring 4 CEO’s of the top street wear brands out there, Jeff Staple, Johnny Cupcakes, Bobby Hundreds, and Marc Ecko. So if you purchased a ticket to Emerge, you’d gain access to see the trade show. I really wanted to see where the level of competition was, and how high the bar is on what is considered the leading brand. As I walked the floor, I saw a lot of very clean stuff. But to be honest, design wise, I wasn’t too impressed. I wasn’t awe struck, and thinking to myself, wow this is way above my level. I thought to myself, “Damn I can’t wait till we get to this level, because we’re about to kill shit!” Perhaps those are delusions of grandeur, but at least I’m inspired, and ready to prove it. Some of the clothing was WAY over the top. All that swag nonsense, but even more ridiculous, like on some ADHD type of swag. To be honest though, I can’t really say what the top brands were up to, because I wasn’t even allowed into the booth because at that level you had to have an appointment, and be a buyer to see their clothing. But from what I could see, I think 10 DEEP is the most creative and unique so far. I used to like ROOK, but I wasn’t really feeling where they’re going with the brand this season. All in all, walking the trade show floor, was a great experience. All I have to do now is put my money where my mouth is.

As far as Agenda Emerge, that is what really made me leave inspired and really want to take things to the next level. Hearing words of wisdom from those four guys was priceless. I really liked what Jeff Staple said, and Johnny Cupcakes. Ironically, Coup Street and Staple both share a similar love for the pigeon and both of our logos are a pigeon, but they are both for different reasons. One of the best and most important things I took from it was, ya right I’m not gonna tell you. I paid good money to hear that shit. Go buy a ticket next time. Hahaha!

Stay Hungry

Coup Street

Agenda Emerge Johnny Cupcakes

Live Screen Printing at Live Large

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LA Canvas threw an event with Hollywood and Highland called Live Large and asked us to do some live screen printing. We did the Carnivale event with them last year, and our designs were a big hit. This time around, we connected with a few more artists, to screen print some of their designs, and help get their printer kopen and art out to the public. We reached out to Darel C, the creator of LiHai clothing, Jennifer Korsen, and of course our boy Danny Mateo. The larger portion of the event was to showcase art that was made by several artists and their interpretation of the Highlands Elephant. All in all, it was a great night, and a lot of fun. Thanks again to Danny Mateo, Jennifer Korsen and Darel Carey for My Personalised Clothing designs and McLogan for the sponsorship!

Living Large LA CanvasDarel C LiHai ArtDanny Mateo Jennifer Korsen

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