Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I was invited to Blog on a few weeks back.
It is now LIVE! Check out. I'll try to provide different content than what you're reading here. Maybe I'll have clues like in Scoobie Doo. In any case. Thanks to Format for letting me blog out. 

Also check the other bloggers on there. Shout out to everyone!

Oldies but Goodies

I was looking through my older files tonight and came across a few graphics that I did either for promo or special release. The ThugLif3 t-shirt was the first produced tee released under the UNDRCRWN name. The NBA wasn't too happy with it.  So only a few were made. These are definitely collectors items. 

Saturday, January 26, 2008


After discussing with the panel, I'd like to announce another player to the ALL-HOOD team. There will be 2 teams chosen for ALL TIME First and Second Team All-Hood.
We already announced Gary Payton
We would like to introduce you to:

Although he wasn't a constant fixture in the news like some of our other nominees, but he may be at the forefront of the most "hood" incident of all time. 


This is a picture of my desk. I got these cool paparazzi figurines watching my every move. 
Look out Tom Brady. 


I thought that term was coined in Seattle. 
First Fat Joe and Lil Wayne then Pacman Jones, now San Diego.
I was in San Diego this past week for the Agenda Tradeshow.
Coming from Philly I thought that I would get some nice mild (aka sunny) weather. It rained. The sun popped out a few times but pretty much was overcast and cold. Oh well.  I did however eat 3 out of 5 meals at the same mexican restaurant. 
Trade show notes:
You've seen one, you've seen them all. 
So on behalf of "Making it Rain" and this weekend in "Sunny California",  I would like to present the newest t-shirt in collaboration with DIME magazine. It's the "real" All-Star Weekend keepsake. These will only be available online. 
I will update you as soon as we relaunch's webstore.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


If you ever want to be super stuntastic (stunning+fantastic for the ebonic deprived). You now can wear every luxury brand at the same time. 
Hucci.... genius.
Props to Sondra for "making it happen". 
Check the article at M.I.S.S.CREW . Scroll to the bottom and see Whitney P.C.(Post-Crack)

Monday, January 21, 2008


Prince Akeem predicts the NFC Championship Outcome.

While we're at it...


I think everyone as a kid did this but for some reason it's still funny.


Peep this story from the New York Post.
NBA pranks are second to none. They need to show that on MTV.


KNICKER BALKER: Leandro Barbosa reportedly was "frantic and near tears" at the prospect of playing in New York.

January 20, 2008 -- Traded to the Knicks? Oh, the horror!
A prank pulled on Phoenix Suns guard Leandro Barbosa last week revealed just how wretched the world's regard for New York's Knicks is - especially among other basketballers in the league.
Talk About It On The Knicks Blog
After receiving a message at his hotel to meet Suns general manager Steve Kerr in the lobby because the team wanted to ship him off to New York, Barbosa saw his career tanking.
The news that he could be en tering hoops hell left the nor mally smiling and upbeat Bar bosa visibly upset, Suns Assistant Coach Dan D'An toni told The Post.
D'Antoni said he ran into the long-faced Barbosa in the lobby of the Beverly Wilshire hotel before Thurs day's game against the Los An geles Lakers.
The "Brazilian Blur" told his mentor about the chilling phone message, saying, "I hear they're trading me."
Even the promise of caipirinha cocktails and grilled churrasco in Midtown's Little Brazil restaurants wasn't enough to put the 6-foot-3 Sao Paulo native at ease after hearing he was headed to basketball purgatory.
"My heart was hurting," Barbosa told the East Valley Tribune in Phoenix. "I went a little crazy."
D'Antoni tried to calm the star, who was described as "frantic and near tears" by the newspaper. "They're not even talking about you," he told him.
But even hours after he was let in on the joke, it was no laughing matter for Barbosa. "That was a terrible thing," he said.
The prank apparently lit a fire under him. Barbosa scored 22 points that night, leading the first-place Suns to a 106-98 win over the Lakers.
A spokeswoman for the cellar-dwelling Knicks declined to comment.
But many in the NBA were chuckling over the hardwood horror story.
"Imagine being traded from the Suns (or anywhere, really), to New York? I could almost feel his stomach drop," wrote a blogger at the Web site
D'Antoni said of the prankster, "I guess they picked out a team that needs him."

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Apply Ice every 20minutes

I'm probably not supposed to post this, but since we're already on to the next co-branded project for Fall08, here you go. Only 1000 pairs made. Maybe less. Look out for an exclusive launch in April.

The inspiration was actually from Gilbert's game with a touch of the hood. I wanted the shoe to be able to be worn on your feet or around your neck. Now thanks to Gil's injury, they can be used on your knee as well. Apply ice every 20-minutes.

See for all the other 20 versions.

Since I'm kind of letting the cat out of the bag, there is a hint of what's to come for the UNDRCRWN SPRING 2008 LOOKBOOK.
It's next level. As the brand creator, I'm really exited for the spring line to drop. Holiday was a huge success bringing in the likes of Prince Paul, King Britt, Green Lantern, Rich Medina and UNDRCRWN family member Neil Armstrong. But we brought in the big names for this one.

The inspiration behind spring 08 is:
What if Fab5 went to University of Hawaii instead of Michigan... imagine that.


Look for the webstore to launch soon.

There will be WEB EXCLUSIVES and oldies but goodies for sale, so stay posted.

Look for the offical UNDRCRWN ALL-STAR 2008 TEE in collaboration with DIME MAGAZINE.


If anyone at the NBA or TNT is reading this. PLease figure out away to invite these guys to New Orleans for ALL-STAR saturday.

THis is why Kobe, Lebron, Vince etc. don't do it anymore. No contest.

Monday, January 14, 2008


With ALL-STAR WEEKEND (aka FREAKNIC) coming up. I noticed that the NBA is starting to pick participants for the dunk contest.
Gone are the days where it matters. No real competition. People are too worried about losing. Nobody really cares. It's terrible to watch and even more terrible when you're there. Here is a free idea for anyone that cares. As soon as UNDRCRWN is in a postion to change it we will.

I say take the best dunkers in the world, NBA or not and put up a million bucks.
Have Jay-Z or Lil Wayne perform and have Dave Chappelle, Kat Williams and Chris Rock do the commentary.

Thursday, January 10, 2008



Sorry Duke fans. It's hard to like DUKE and be a Michael Jordan Fan.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


My brothers and I have been throwing around this First Team All-Hood thing for a while now. So for the next few weeks I'll give you random nominations from the years past.
First up none other than the Glove.
Gary Payton

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Just read this really good article on one of my favorite brnads on from Lemar and Dauley.
Hopefully they're not talking to me, because we do keep it real. "I slap people for fun..." hahah.
Check there stuff out. BROOKLYN STAND UP!

Lemar & Dauley
Dec 2, 2007 – Fashion – by Safra Ducreay

The makers behind Lemar & Dauley: Kareem Blair, Brian Bachelor, and Daniel ‘Manhattan’ Pierre, are a contributing force to the new school of streetwear fashion. It hasn’t been long since these young innovators hit the scene, but they’re equipped with the weaponry of education and like many entrepreneurs of this generation they are on top of their hustle.

The guys behind Lemar and Dauley understand that you cannot afford to be afraid of saturation. You either sink or swim. It’s about your ability to be a leader to the masses and challenge the establishment of conformity. This will be the common denominator in determining your staying power thus making you a legend.

“The biggest misconception about street wear is that it was actually groomed in the streets or that the founders of the brands come from it.”

Format: When the buyer looks at your collection of garments and footwear, there is an infusion of inner city style, the New York ‘Street Art’ scene and strong political messages. What was the initial concept for the line and how did it come into fruition?
Kareem: As young black males from Brooklyn and Manhattan, it was impossible for our influences to not reveal themselves because initially, Lemar & Dauley were clothes we made for ourselves to rock out. Both me and my partners Brian and Manhattan attended [Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts], so artistically we were just applying everything we learned. We then merged our personal backgrounds, experiences and NYC culture, and aligned it with contemporary arts and athletic imagery. Truthfully, L&D was established four years ago, but its vision is easily six years in the making, so its purpose for when we started has evolved considerably since. Initially, it was our outlet to speak for our era.

At the time, streetwear was only addressed by a select few, mostly Japanese or older graff’ heads stuck in there era. No disrespect to either parties because they pioneered and nurtured a niche market that few were aware of. It’s no secret that it was a small community back then. But one of the issues we had with it was that it played up on the same stereotypes, such as [camouflage clothing], graffiti and legends like Biz Markie. This was cool, but one-dimensional. It lacked savvy, jaw dropping graphics, relevant musical icons, and most importantly colour. Union NYC either looked military or black and white tees every weekend. We decide to tell our story and tell it correctly.

Format: If you could collaborate with a legendary graffiti artist or designer, who would it be and why?
Kareem: I’ll have to answer this as one-third of L&D, because my partners may feel different. As for a legendary graffiti artist, there are none that I’m interested in. I’m actually bored with most of them. I know it’s not politically correct to dismiss any of the legendary graffiti artists’, but it always the same five or six working with everybody, delivering the same quality of work. Artistically, I feel only two have made a transition into fine arts with legitimate substance. I’m good, I’ll pass. I’m actually looking for some new artist to work with, preferably young and emerging. If you’re a dope oil, pen, ink, charcoal or watercolorists, get at us. It’s necessary to keep this exciting. As for designers, I’ll say Jeremy Scott. My friends at Fruition Las Vegas just wrapped up a project with him. He’s always avant-garde yet marketable. You’ve got to love the balance. Oh, shout out to Rosa the Jeweler, she’s designing the L&D “China Set” as we speak. Looking forward to wearing that project.

Format: What’s the biggest misconception people have about streetwear?
Kareem: The biggest misconception about streetwear is that it was actually groomed in the streets or that the founders of the brands come from it. First, we’re at Vegas twice a year. I’ve seen these owners. Once you get past their clothes, they expose themselves. They’re not from it, nor is there a legitimate background. Second, most brands that have popped up the last two years are internet brands, so they were not endorsed by the streets or even the community. [There’s] no real resume once you leave the blogs. There are only a few brands left and still relevant that actually have pioneered and/or ignited the direction of this vision. You can tell whom they are just by how they move as a company and in person. Only five or six modern streetwear brands have actually evolved on their style from day one. They’re the leaders. Everybody else has changed their brand direction, design, and marketing almost seasonally, just to keep up. But no need to further expose this culture, I make bread off the culture. It is what it is.

Format: You’re all self-taught graphic designers, marketers and sales promotion managers. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt from trial and error?
Kareem: That the world will work with or without you, so you better learn to understand it’s already built a successful schedule. You learn fast that buyers, media and manufacturers work six to eight months in advance, so until you get on their timetable, you’re always late. This will affect your sales, press, sponsorships, event plans and delivery. There is limited growth until you fix that problem.

Format: Would you say that your collection is an artistic escape from the social factors that be?
Kareem: Nah, other people may say it, but it’s not. We’re artists so we naturally visualize the issues around us, but by no means do we wish to escape or want anyone else to escape. We are actually trying to accomplish the opposite. You’re not supposed to escape. The world and everything in it, good and bad, is created. The decisions we make affect the outcomes. We merely wish to remind people of some of the outcomes individuals have willed to occur, both positive and negative.

Format: Blogs and websites have become a huge part of streetwear culture. As entrepreneurs, how do you stay on top of trends in both fashion and business?
Kareem: Well blogs are a useful indicator, as well as magazines. In the past we utilize both as a means to stay updated, but now we have looked more within ourselves to maintain our own direction. Lemar & Dauley has produced more than 200 designs in four years, so now it’s about digging into your own archives and figuring out what is missing and being overlooked. We’re looking at our childhood photos, our parents’ photos and examining the roots. What captivated us from before? What are we no longer feeling?

It’s emotional. It has to be enchanting yet explosive. This is what guides us, and you have to naturally interact with your environment. Most brands are traveling everywhere. Nah, we’re trying to absorb exactly what makes Lemar & Dauley the ‘Lemar & Dauley’ that has managed to ignite people’s spirits. In a short time, we have inspired people within our generation to seize opportunity and make your mark.

As for business, you can’t half-ass it. You have to read, educate and question everything. Nobody will tell you anything you didn’t request to hear, so you better ask. My father taught me that the worst thing that can happen is they say “no.”

More Info:

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Relocating to Philadelphia was big move for us. In NY it's easy to get lost. So Philly made sense based on the "Big fish, small pond" theory. So thanks to the Philadelphia Inquirer we have been making some waves in Philly. Thanks to Elizabeth for a great article. Enjoy.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer
posted on Thu, Jan. 3, 2008

By Elizabeth Wellington
Inquirer Fashion Writer

For a certain segment of young men, basketball culture goes way beyond the court. It's hip-hop. It's playing late-night video games while eating dry cereal right out of the box. It's the latest retro sneaker.
An apparel company based in Northern Liberties has cleverly entwined hoops with fashion in an attempt to take the sport's biggest fans beyond baggy pants and oversized hoodies.

Undrcrwn - pronounced Under Crown - is available in 150 stores including Made to Order and Pedestrian in Philadelphia, as well as men's clothing salons in New York, Los Angeles, Paris and Japan.

Internet buzz is nuts. The company was launched in 2005, and sales last year topped $1 million. The gear has been spotted on celebrities including international DJ Swizz Beatz, Golden State Warriors player Baron Davis and actors Chi McBride and Mos Def.

"If you like basketball, you will like our brand, but if you don't, you will still like our brand," said Dustin Canalin, Undrcrwn's lead designer. "Our goal is to connect with the 30,000 players in the stands."

Undrcrwn was launched by friends Canalin, Jeremy Castro and Pete Small. Canalin and Small worked for Paoli-based shoe and apparel company And 1.

This is not a performance line. The collection includes Hawaiian-print basketball shorts, puffy quilted jackets, and sweatshirts made to fit. Camouflage hoodies with embedded images of ballplayers and V-neck sweaters with netting graphically threaded through the argyle are hot.

There are sly references to National Basketball Association players. A yellow and purple T-shirt, for example, has a graphic image of a hog on the front with No. 24 on the back - think of a certain Laker who grew up in Lower Merion.

Its designers refer to Undrcrwn as a luxury sportswear line. Prices range from $36 for a T-shirt to $110 for a fleece sweatshirt to $500 for a letter jacket.

It's a niche that has been growing, thanks to lines like Echo Ultd., Lifted Research Group (LRG) and Yohji Yamamoto's Y-3 for Adidas. The clothing typically has an hip-hop aesthetic combined with a sportswear touch: Think hoodies gone upscale.

In December, hip-hop producer Pharell Williams and Japanese fashion designer Nigo opened the two-story Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream Store in Manhattan. Last year, Nigo went into collaboration with Louis Vuitton Fendi.

"These lines are offering something that young men didn't have available five years ago," said Jessica Pallay, young men's market editor for the New York-based menswear magazine DNR. "They are taking into account that this audience is interested in fashion."

Canalin, Castro and Small think of their line as a lifestyle brand with basketball as its core. And with basketball, Canalin says, come the idiosyncracies of basketball's biggest fans: young men.

T-shirts are packaged in cereal boxes. Undrcrwn's sneaker, the Layup, is wrapped in velvet and placed in a wooden shoe box.

"Everything comes from the culture," said Canalin, 30.

Which means hip-hop inspirations, both good and bad.

Fleece sweatshirts, cargo pants and baseball caps in the holiday look book were worn by five DJs that Undrcrwn termed "The Starting Five" Philadelphia-based spinners King Britt and Rich Medina, along with Prince Paul, Neil Armstrong and the Green Lantern.

And in the coming spring collection is a T-shirt with the image of a scantily clad woman draped in leis - a nod to the infamous video babe.

Retailers say this is what makes the brand special.

"That's what's hot about Undrcrwn," said Philip Dupree, a co-owner of Made to Order, a Northern Liberties men's boutique that carries the line.

"They can always take something in hip-hop and spin it on its head and give it a basketball touch. It speaks to our lifestyle."

Undrcrwn has even developed a copy of the Barcalounger made from a synthetic basketball material. It retails online for $1,600.

"It is definitely a piece that combines basketball and design," Canalin said. "We wanted to take something you don't really see as luxurious and make it a luxury item."

The Undrcrwn line started with Canalin, who began thinking about his own label while working as design director for And 1. He named the company Undrcrwn because he thought his potential customers considered themselves kings of the underground.

In May 2005, American Sporting Goods bought And 1 for an undisclosed amount. That summer, with the help of his friends, Canalin launched Undrcrwn with five T-shirts, two of which featured caricatures of rappers Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. Together, the trio invested about $50,000 in the new company.

The next year, the guys used their And 1 skills to introduce their first sneaker, the Layup. Later, Canalin signed a deal with Adidas, which was looking to make more fashion-oriented shoes with NBA personalities Gilbert Arenas, Kevin Garnett, Tracy McGrady, Tim Duncan and Chauncey Billups.

That partnership was a big success, with each shoe selling out. "In the end, Adidas was able to place five basketball shoes that weren't getting any love on the boutique level in hot stores," Canalin said. The deal put Undrcrwn on the map.

This year, Undrcrwn has focused on a menswear line, releasing three collections. The line skews more '50s varsity than '80s preppy, a breath of fresh air from the overly collared and pleated pieces.

The company is constantly hustling. Small lives in China, where the clothes are manufactured and he has his fingertips on the latest in sneaker resources. Castro spends most of his time in Los Angeles, where he is responsible for West Coast sales and trend-spotting.

The three usually met up at trade shows in Los Angeles and Barcelona. This fall, however, they opened a studio in Northern Liberties and added Jeff Shieh, 39, and Setfree Richardson, 37, to their management team.

The company is in full swing now designing the fall 2008 line so it will be ready for shows in Barcelona and Las Vegas. The collection will also include a line of clothes for the National Basketball Hall of Fame, set to debut in the spring.

"We are going to license their brand and use images of players who are in the Hall of Fame," Canalin said. "It's going to be a really nostalgic line."

Still, Canalin promises no tighty-whitey basketball shorts.

"Some things should never come back," he said.

For more information, log on to The company can be reached at 877-843-2796.


With this recent self promotion from Chris Bosh, I hope others see this and take note. I think when you do things yourself the come out unfiltered. Too many big corporate ad campaigns never touch on the personality of these young kids out there.

Most athletes just bow down and collect a check while a bunch of corporate exec's sit there and analyze the hell out of how to market someone. In the end you lose site of what they are trying to do. Make people want to wear what you wear.

Big up to Chris Bosh, Gilbert Arenas, Lebron and Nick Young for not being afraid to show some personality.

This is something that UNDRCRWN prides itself on. A sense of humor. After all it's just a game.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

2007 REVIEW VOL. 3

Mo' people, mo' projects...

2007 REVIEW VOL. 2

As we roll into 2008 a look back to 2007 is a blur. I met a lot of great people, I've been part of a lot of great projects. I look forward to a lot more of the same in 08.

2007 Review Vol.1