As the third annual edition of Discogs and Grimy! Presents Crate Diggers PDX draws near (August 27th, 2016), we caught up with one of the sponsors of the Crate Diggers series, 101 Apparel. 101 creates one of the freshest groove music-inspired clothing lines out there, and collaborates with top notch DJs and musicians on the regular. The founder, owner, and creative director, Eric Crandell, hipped us to 101’s history, mission, and outlook.
Please give us some background on your company. How did the idea for 101 Apparel come about?
I started 101 back in 2006 after several years working as art director at Ubiquity Records. At first it was just an outlet for me to put out some of my designs as limited edition tees. Right off the bat the response was great and basically picked up from there and eventually started doing this full time.
Who or what are some of the inspirations for 101, both from musical and visual standpoints?
Musically, 101 Apparel derives inspiration from a global palette of sonic vibrations - from Afrobeat to Disco, Brazilian Samba, Bossa Nova and tropicalia, to the vast universe of Electronic music, Hip-Hop, Funk, Soul, Reggae, Jazz and beyond. The reverent appreciation of not only these sounds, but also the artists and their craft are the driving forces behind the 101 aesthetic.
Visually, we gain insight and inspiration from the renowned works of visionary designers such as Alexander Girard, Milton Glaser, Reid Miles, Ray Eames, and more. After years of absorbing the music and design aesthetics of anything from old, dusty, Latin Funk 45s, to European Soundtracks or early 12-inch dance classics, these diverse influences undoubtedly create something, vital, unique and enduring.
In addition to apparel collections and accessories, 101 also produces an Artist collaboration series. Please tell us a bit more about that.
101 has collaborated with a choice selection of DJs, artists and producers to fuse the music and designs into a unique artistic document. The 101 Apparel Artists Series features a custom shirt, designed in conjunction with the artist, along with an exclusive mix CD of hand curated cuts. To further expand the reach of these sounds, every apparel piece in the line includes a custom hang tag featuring a unique access code to download one of these special mixes. Current collaborations include producers and DJs such as Nightmares On Wax, Kon & Amir, Quantic, Dam-Funk, Tony Allen & Rich Medina, Chico Mann, Jeedo aka Waajeed, Spinna, Marc Mac, Sofrito, Danny Krivit, Lefto & Kutmah, Kenny Dope, Osunlade, J Rocc, Onra, Mark De Clive-Lowe and GB! Coming soon we have special projects lined up with Ras G and Ge-ology! 101 Apparel is honored to support these great talents and many others, so stay tuned for more special projects on the horizon.
How do you decide which artists that you would like to collaborate with?
We work with artists we are into and listen to on a daily basis. Its an honor to work with these artists that we look up to.
101 also does production for other companies (including Discogs and Crate Diggers). Your production house page lists a wide range of services. You guys must keep busy! How large is the 101 operation?
We started out screen printing only our 101 collection, limited samples, etc. Little by little we started printing for other friends/brands & labels. Now we have grown to a full production house and recently just added another automatic press, upgraded equipment, etc. We work with orders as small as 36 pieces for a small business and 10,000+ pieces for a retail bulk orders. We have a passion for printing only the highest quality, from t-shirt printing, tote bags, fabric and accessories and more. We offer a full range of services including discharge and water based ink as well as finishing services such as customs tags, folding and bagging.
Yes, definitely still actively digging, mainly records. Anything from old disco, Brazilian Samba, Bossa Nova, Jazz, Funk, etc. Also really into new Cosmic stuff, Re-edits, Beats, Bass music etc.
Crate Diggers PDX takes place on Saturday, August 27th, 2016 at the White Owl Social Club and will feature a record fair from noon to 6, followed by an after party featuring DJs Danny Krivit, Ron Trent, and Zernell.