We were recently hit up by this NYC clothing company to review some of their shirts, so i finally got around to take some time and check out their new line, website and write ups. I’m gonna start with the website, because right off the bat it gave me trouble starting this article: Their main site is clean, easy to navigate, but a bit unimaginative and bordering on boring. I did want to copy and paste their Brand Statement here, but couldn’t…why ? cause it’s a flash site! Ok here is a quick lesson: when you have a brand, especially a smaller one, you want people to copy and paste things off of your site…text, pics..all of that. It helps your stuff pop up everywhere, and when your site is simple to begin with, why even bother with flash ? Ok so that being said, i quote from their email:
“The Bonafide Icon brand was presented in 2005, based out of NYC. The name “Bonafide Icon” means being recognized and held in honor among the elites. The brand stems from the different elements of the New York lifestyle. Bonafide Icon has adopted the phrase “League Leaders” and uses influences from music, art, movies, sneakers and pop culture and infuses them into graphics with a strong sports emphasis. With this, Bonafide Icon’s hard work results in the mixture of innovative, dynamic concepts and creative graphics.”
Now to say it in a few words: this line is about sports, and sport icons. Basically, if you’re a famous athlete, you’re an icon, and no one can dispute that, and this line appeals to the sport fans who wanna look a bit fresher than simply rockin jerseys or lame fan shop articles.
I was also sent a description of every shirt, but i rarely read them because in my mind, the shirt has to stand on it’s own. It’s like a piece of art: the story behind it should only enhance the impact, not be the meat and the foundation. Especially, because it means something different to everyone and inspiration is the opposite end of result. That being said, this is a line for sports enthusiasts, who like specific sports icons.
When that is clear in the shirt, the shirt ends up working, makes sense and looks dope.
Such as these two tees, which are hommages to the boxing greats as well as clyde frazier:
I do enjoy these tees, because they’re concise and clear. You know what you’re getting, and it’s either for you or it’s not. And the brand message is clearly reflected.
This is exactly what i’m missing from the other designs. I see the connection but the designs themselves seem hastily put together and just don’t look good. The message is unclear, and the design is poorly executed. A few examples….
Pro Stars Tee: I don’t get it. Lame design
Point Gods Tee: Ok a bunch of great point guards. I guess for the hardcore basketball fans ? Designwise, it’s boring.
Showtime Tee: Now this is pretty cool. Definitely ironic, made me smile remembering the movie….but this is a fictional character…how does this relate to honoring the great athletes above ? This does not fit at all! The design makes sense though, cool ironic tee. Would rock it once, but that’d be it. It’s purely for that instant smile, but gets stale pretty quickly. And peoples: the 80′s trend has passed. You still see it out there, but come on. Let’s keep it moving…
There are some logo based tees and a hat, not really worth mentioning (check website links at the end).
I did save the best for last though! Now this design comes in a tee and in sweatshirt, and it’s fucking dope! A nice stab at the overpaid yankees and really nicely put together (maybe i got that wrong, but that’s how i see it! now if i would’ve read the shirt description it might have been something completely different but hey, i don’t see t-shirt descriptions hanging in stores, so i treat the tees as if they were hanging on a rack someplace):
Salary Cap Tee & Sweater:
Those are fresh! Good times. Would totally rock those to the ballpark….The Mets one that is!
All in all it seems like this company is on the right track. They have a goal in mind and appeal to the sports fans amongst the streetwear heads. There aren’t many other companies doing this. I like that they managed to hit the concept dead on with a few shirts, really making icons of their favorite athletes and allowing their clientele to look fresh promoting their love for sports. Everyone has a favorite team and is a boy / girl at heart with the wide eyed amazement we have for what seem like superhuman feats at times. It’s not quite developed yet though and some of the designs are pretty boring (stop making logo based tees! seriously, what is the point ? branding does not work for small timers, be original! especially during these, often hard, times…).
Check out their site and online store:
Definitely keeping Bonafide Icon on the Radar (great name as well!). And so should yoy!