FIVE MACHINES AND A TABLE
True Clothing introduced street wear to the upper Haight in 1996. 20 years strong, the shop remains a fixture in a city going through an unflinching state of flux. There’s something so San Francisco about it; something that, when talking to the natives, one gets a clear sense of what the city is losing. The culture is on a time limit. As big business and tech creeps its way in, it routinely forces small business out and at the pulsating heart of San Francisco lies small business, entrepreneurship, a DIY mentality, and an inherent need to look out for our own. Brands that gained popularity both nationally and internationally claim their beginnings at True and when one gets to know the shop and the now booming street wear culture orbiting around it, a sense of family and community is clear. So when San Francisco native and Project Runway contestant Jenni Riccetti proposed an in-store pop up, we gladly opened our doors.
“Brands that gained popularity both nationally and internationally claim their beginnings at True and when one gets to know the shop and the now booming street wear culture orbiting around it, a sense of family and community is clear.”
“Cozy and Clean,” was the first of many titles for this interview we cheekily spitballed. It’s what she describes her line as. Throughout the course of the interview she sewed fabric live via a sewing machine set up in the shop window. The machine whirred every so often, further illustrating the picture her words painted. Her finished product hung up on a rack by the entrance. Running one’s hands through each piece, it is clear why she described them the way she did. She grew up in the Mission, which may be why her line is so fabric-specific. “Everything is soft”, she mentioned with a deliberate tone; yet another title for this interview which was, too, being sewn together in real time. The Mission is one of the major neighborhoods in the city undergoing a cultural gutting. I brought up its fabric stores, which one could only assume left some sort of impression on her growing up. The neighborhood is also characterized by its murals and graffiti, which explains why her logo is styled like a throwie. It is clear she’s a product of her environment. Her grandfather used to custom-make Italian suits. She describes her childhood as one where she was oblivious as to why her clothes were so original and tailor-made to her fit; ironically enough going on to describe how she had a hard time fitting in socially. She wears herself on her sleeve these days and it is clear her misfit-ness is something she perfected with time.
“The neighborhood is also characterized by its murals and graffiti, which explains why her logo is styled like a throwie.”
She carries herself with a certain confidence; a genuine immunity to adversity. When talking about how she doesn’t mesh with the fashion-corporate industry of SF she decisively stated “that doesn’t mean I’m not good, that means I’m not them.” A Bay girl at heart, she listed off Mac Dre, The Jacka, Andre Nickatina, and Too $hort among the sounds one would hear coming from her workspace. There’s something about the Bay that insists on being itself. It refuses to compromise for the masses, instead makes the masses conform to it, and I suppose she’s just following tradition. “Not everyone understands a creative mind,” she threw out, suggesting it took time for her weirdness to be seen as uniqueness. Fresh off of her Project Runway appearance and onto her first in-store pop up, Too $hort’s early hustle of selling tapes out of his trunk came to mind when she described her space as just “five machines and a table;” the perfect description of this young woman making big moves with her own two.
“A Bay girl at heart, she listed off Mac Dre, The Jacka, Andre Nickatina, and Too $hort among the sounds one would hear coming from her workspace.”
Interview and words by Temba Kamara
Check out more from Jenni Riccetti @ www.riccetticlothing.com
RICCETTI CLOTHING POP-UP SHOP THIS SATURDAY AT OUR HAIGHT STREET STORE IN SF.
CHECK OUT MORE AT…
…TO SEE WHAT’S IN STORE!
Legendary Harputs, both SF and Oakland commercials from back in the day…
Here’s a throwback article from Complex back in 2012 that mentions both them and TRUE in their 50 best sneaker stores of all time list…
Have you checked out some of our GET FADED collection yet!?!
It’s available on our website and at our Haight Street store.
Check out some goodies below!
Chapter 11 will be releasing their summer collection which will include a coaches jacket, button up, t-shirts, hats and a tote bag. To celebrate our summer release we will be having a party at TRUE SF from 3-7 pm, this Saturday, June 27.
@BVSEDGODDESS will be djing along with our friend @thefinesseusa. @drewfioo, another good friend of ours, will be dropping an exclusive mix that day as well, which will be posted on our soundcloud. Hope you can join us!
Twitter, Instagram & Soundcloud: @chapter11sf
We are currently hosting an Adapt Clothing pop-up shop at the TRUE annex on Haight Street. We sat down with their head honcho Evan Lessler to talk briefly about the history of Adapt, their musical inspirations, what it means to rep the Bay, and more. Read on…
When was Adapt established and did you ever envision its current success?
Adapt was established as a brand in 2002, so it’s been around quite a bit longer than people may think. I don’t think I could have guessed at where we would be today, and it’s certainly important that we don’t take anything for granted.
Please explain where the name Adapt came from and a brief story behind its inspiration.
The name Adapt was conceived of in a High School physics class, during a typical doodling session. It’s a bit hard to picture, but the original logo was a combination of lines and triangles, whereby each letter was represented by a different formation of one line and one triangle. Adapt was the only decent word I could form from these shapes. From a seemingly random inception, it is interesting how much Adapt has come to be a quintessential representation of what we stand for.
What does it mean to be a Bay Area clothing company these days, and how do you aim to make yourself stand out from the pack?
I don’t think there is any one representation of a Bay Area clothing company, when I really look at the what all is out there in the marketplace. We very much identify as a Bay Area brand, and we try to make it a point to do something different and that is unique to our experiences and sensibilities. I think local brands (and brands in general) can be quick to attempt to replicate what they see, and in the sense of longevity and staying power, if they cannot present a consistent message and product that is all their own, they will not last.
Name some music artists that are key inspirations behind Adapt and the musical vibe you aim to convey with your releases.
Adapt has a history of incorporating music into our products, with an emphasis on local talent. Musical collaborators over the years have included E-40, Hieroglyphics & Souls of Mischief, Quannum Projects, Del the Funky Homosapien, DJ Amen, Zion I, Hopsin & Funk Volume, Equipto, and Hopie Spitshard. With the collaborations we try to capture something that represents Adapt while showcasing something unique about each artist. Outside of the collaborations, we do reference music in many ways as well, if not quite so direct.
Do the clothes make the man, or vice versa?
I view clothes as an important way for people to outwardly represent who they are as individuals, and what they stand for and want to express openly. I found much of my identity in the types of products that I would seek out and purchase, especially up through my College years, and in interacting with our customers, I think we have created an identity for many in the new generation. This is really what keeps us going as a brand, and keeps me inspired to do what I do. All that being said, at the end of the day I think clothes are just clothes and shouldn’t be taken all that seriously in a world chock full of more serious issues.
Plans for the future? Upcoming projects/collaborations?
We are always planning for the future, even if I don’t know what exactly that future looks like yet. Definitely more collaborations and fun stuff, and much of what we do is driven by what our customers tell us they would like to see.
Shout outs/thank you’s?
Thanks to you DJ Platurn, as well as the whole Family at TRUE. We are grateful for the relationship we have been able to build with you guys over the years (TRUE was I believe our second or third legitimate retailer). Thanks to the supporters of what we do. PEACE.
Stay up on Adapt Clothing via the following links, and support indy rag slangers!