Methods Clothing NYC
So i’ve been following this company for a long time. Basically since the beginning. The concept is pretty cool, a company from Brooklyn (the owners are not from NYC at all, just fyi) which prints the work of artists from North America and Europe on T-Shirts. That is pretty much the premise. This has never really been a streetwear company per se, and has not really done anything besides print T-Shirts. More on this later.
They just dropped their spring line, which is rather meek: 6 t-shirts. They do come in three color ways each but it’s still only 6 t-shirts, being dropped at almost the beginning of May, but let’s say it’s hard economic times and everyone has to cut back. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. What i do have to criticize is that after what i believe is 5 years of being in business (somewhere close to that), this company has released nothing but printed t-shirts (feels like Gildan 2000, i.e. they are NOT custom), with 1 hat in three different colors and a few hoodies (with the logo and a collab with Konkrete Jungle). Just last year they released 1 more hat, which i actually thought was dope, and i might have missed every single item they ever released by my point remains: after half a decade they are still only printing t-shirts of various artists’ design. Not one piece of cut-n-sew and no stitching whatsoever on the t-shirts, which most streetwear companies do (the stitching) or at least it has become a lot more common.
This is a bit disappointing i believe. I think after all this time there has to be some progression as to not be pigeon holed, yet i think that ship has sailed.
So now let’s check out this “Spring Line”. There are two shirts that struck my eye. One right away, the other after looking at it a few times. The first one is the Keymaster:
They have had the artist SUPERBLAST do various designs for them in the past and i personally think he’s fantastic, and even if i didn’t love everything he did for them, i still think his designs have ranked amongst the best ones for Methods. I like the interesting, distinctive style, the clean approach and the almost tribal feel of his work. Which leaves one asking: “is this really a Methods shirt, or a Superblast shirt ?” My point is that Methods has trouble defining their stuff as distinctly Methods Signature. Even if you release a different line every season, at least create cohesion within that line, but they say they come up with a theme (last season “Dreams and Nightmares”, this season “Pressure”), yet the designs are so greatly different from each other.
The 2nd shirt i liked is called Under Pressure:
Ok i have to stop for a second, because Methods has been doing this for a while: printing what looks like comic book sketches / designs on T-shirts. I have never liked this approach and it has become a staple for them. The designs look like heat transfers, unfinished, just something printed on a shirt without thinking about the shirt itself as a medium. Maybe i’m being unclear, but i just don’t think it works. Check out these designs:
The designs look like anything that could be done by ecko or tribal or even something more generic. There is no flavor to them, they’re just colorful and / or b&w sketches. I just don’t think they work, and in comparison to the keymaster design up above, they are so starkly different, no relation whatsoever. The only exception is the Under Pressure shirt, where i think that this approach works, where the design makes sense in a sketched fashion in my opinion. And what is up with the consistent back prints ? In general methods just prints everything center chest and center upper back. No variety whatsoever.
Now last but not least, two things. One the worst design out of those six (in such a limited run, all shirts should be above average in my opinion but i know we all have different taste), is the Rescue1:
I don’t think i have to add anything to this. it’s just a terrible design and a bad look. i do not see anybody rocking this, not even for brand loyalty. I have to admit i do like the idea behind it, making a design out of a swiss alp rescue team logo, that’s kinda cool, and i think maybe as a dope jacket or nice sweatshirt, this could have been pulled off nicely with some patches and nice stitch work….but this print is just awful.
Second, here is the one item they have put out (last year) that has nice stitching, a dope idea (making the logo into revolvers) and trying to create something cohesive in relation to the garment. It’s unique (not the gun but the way it was incorporated) and does not necessarily need any other garment to match up with within the line but stands out on it’s own:
Just wanted to end on a positive note with my critique.
In my prediction, this company will remain a t-shirt printing company, with very litte custom stuff, and lines that may have a theme but will always be them printing random artists’ stuff, which, if the artist decided to print it themselves, could easily do so, but why, when they can just use Methods as a promotional vehicle. It has not evolved in 5 years, why should the next 5 (if that) be that much different.
I will not get into details on the pointless events (in my opinion) that they attach themselves to (all within NYC and often with musical styles and artists that are very underground, but that is not how you grow, you’re only burying yourself in the underground), you can just follow it all on:
and form your own opinion. I wish them all the best as we do with most companies, but i don’t see them ever being a big label, mostly due to obstacles and walls they put up themselves.