03/20/2011 The Up-Turn Presents: A Conversation With Philip Post
For our first interview (of many to come) I talked to Philip Post, the brains behind dertbag.design. Phil is a 16 year old who is quickly making a name for himself through his brand. He has recently garnered the support of a bunch of members of Odd Future, youtube video skate filmer extraordinaire, TJ Gaskill, and rising online magazine The Madbury Club. He is about to do some big things, so we thought now would be a good time to catch up with him. Hit the jump for the full interview…
TC: I’m going to start out by asking the most cliché question I can think of; How did you get started out designing clothing etc.?
Phil: Both of my parents are artists. My mom is a writer, she use to write for soap operas and my dad is a mural artist and he does cartoons on the side. Along with that my eldest sister has a dramatic writing degree from NYU and my other sister is currently finishing up her last year at SCAD for fashion. So to answer your question I’ve been drawing forever, but I’ve been seriously designing when I was around 13 years old and now I’m 16 still doing it!
TC: And you are probably one of the most successful 16 year old’s doing it right now. Has the response to your recent releases been overwhelming at all?
Phil: Appreciate that. It really has, don’t get me wrong I did get orders before, but I never sold out within an hour or minutes. I went to see OF the day I put up the first Unicorn shirts and went from having like 70 followers to 275 followers in hours. Needless to say my blackberry was blowing up and I was so hyped and excited. The day I put them up I was scared that no one was going to buy them, that’s my main fear, failure. I’m really grateful for all the support I got and all the new costumers I got. I just don’t want to be known as the company who made OF “merch”, someone asked me that on Tumblr the other day and I was not even aware that I was making merch, like I saw it as though as I was making designs I wanted to wear it just so happened that they were OF influenced. So yeah, mid-April new Dertbag stuff out all original designs.
TC: I saw one of your skate videos on facebook about two years back and have been following your brand since. Those vacuum tie dyes are some of my favorite shirts of all time. Do you think the recent recognition is going to allow you to have more freedom with your original designs like that?
Phil: That’s sick, yeah those are going to be yearly I think, at least I’m going to try to make them yearly. I’m confused by the question. You got to understand I care to some extent to what people think, but I’ll make apparel that I would like to wear regardless if a person likes it or not. At the end of the day I like to produce shirts that I would wear, if people like what they see they can support me and buy a shirt or two. So to answer your question yes I will because I’m trying to please myself before anyone else. That and my not giving a fuck outweighs my giving a fuck, if that makes sense. And to all the people who want more OF reprints of the tyler/earl shirts stop liking my brand and start wearing TISA.
TC: By that question I meant to ask if making a name for yourself is going to allow you to invest more into developing the line and expanding past tees and hoodies to other types of clothing, but I think everything you said is pretty relevant and important to make sure people know.
Phil: Oh yeah I mean this started as side project, I wanted to go all out on films. I have so many songs in my itunes that I wanted to edit to, but now since this has taken off I am filming less and designing and organizing more I suppose. I mean expanding is going to be so dope when the opportunity comes. Right now I developed a straight-slim jean with http://easterislandesign.com/ and it’s going to be floral’d out. I want to get into making hats and button downs. It will all come in time, I’m not really worried.
TC: That’s the nice thing about being young, there’s no rush for any of us. Its just more proof that we will rule the world in a few years. Your designs are pretty unique compared to other brands which makes it hard to pin down specific influences of yours. What would you say are your biggest influences? Not just clothing brands; movies, music, books; anything is fair game.
Phil: Yeah I totally agree with that, like I truly do think that all the “streetwear” brands are going to die out and this generation will take over the game! Well I’d first like to point out that no one should be influenced by the same type of sub-category. That is why Tyler is so successful, he doesn’t really listen to other rappers. He listens to jazz and other stuff which makes him unique and new when he raps. So for me I don’t really look at streetwear unless it’s Supreme or FUCT. I mainly look at well established brands known for quality and their clean cuts, like J. Crew for example. Once you start looking at people in the same sub-category you will start to imitate and no one likes an imitator. As far as influences for Dertbag I really like the movie Kids, Whackness, the first Matrix, the skateboard film Minuit. I like to read about philosophers and how things work, a lot of non-fiction. Music is usually a lot of DIPSET and Odd Future, some Toro y Moi, Michelle Blades, Blu, Flocka, old Cudi, old Kanye, old Wiz, Salem, and last but not least Michael Uzowuru … I don’t know music doesn’t really influence me it just puts me in a good mood. OH and I really like handwritten font, big butts, really really cute girls, the ocean, and Norwalk aka Gnarwalk. Norwalk is the place I grew up, it’s an hour away from the city and is close to the water. The best thing about Norwalk is that on one end of Norwalk you have people going to country clubs and then on the other end you have projects, it’s really diverse and shaped me somewhat into the person I am today.
TC: Any final shout outs or things you want to promote?
Phil: Shout outs to the Up-Turn, Easter Island, The Brand With No Name, Originality Kills, MRWILSON, Odd Future, Uzi, Mike Knapps, Julian Berman, The Divinites, Brick Stowell, Tie Dye, Antilogy, Rattle Libre, Reverie Seattle, Rough Trade East, Radd Lounge, all the Gnarwalk Natives, all the supporters, cute girls who know how to dress, and who ever has supported me through the years or who I support and forgot!
Oh, and who ever is in the tri-state area I’m hosting an art show and pop up shop on April 15 through the weekend. Try and come out and support us. http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=189133657790980 The art show is first then we’re walking down the street to the pop-up shop which will go out till 10 and will have clothes by Dertbag, Deja Vu Lifestyle, and Easter Island.
TC: And thanks alot for doing the interview. You and Dertbag’s success is an inspiration to all of us young’uns trying to make things happen for ourselves without any type of official training.