Introduce yourselves, where you’re are all from, and what you all do?
BRINT: I’m Brint. I’m from Harlem but I live in The Bronx and I do Marketing for CourtsNewYork. I also take pictures sometimes.
ERIC: My name is Eric. I’m from The Bronx too and I’m not really apart of Courts. They just let me wear their stuff.
BRINT: He’s the Creative Director!!!
JENNINGS: And Lead Designer!!! [Laughs] ERIC: No seriously I quit. [Laughs] JENNINGS: I’m Jennings. Born and Raised in The Bronx. I tweet stuff for Courts and I blog.
How did this entire idea for CourtsNewYork manifest?
ERIC: To be honest, we had a brand before this and it wasn’t the most organized. Also, I was going through personal changes about how I carried myself in life like not being lazy and also having a better connection with God. Most of that was found on a basketball court. One day, I was creating a design and I fell in love with writing the word Courts. I approached these two about it and from there it took off on it’s own.
Looking closely at the different designs, some reflect Basketball terminology like the “Stop Reaching” tee however, that phrase can also be a reference to police brutality and officers reaching for their weapon. Speak on that.
JENNINGS: I would say we wanted to get our message across where it can appeal to everybody. I remember when Eric first came to me, he ask if I understood his design immediately or if I had to sit down and think about it. That particular tee doesn’t have to be a Basketball reference. Some people may see the phrase “Stop Reaching” and think of gun violence. I remember one particular person related the phrase “Stop Reaching” to individuals trolling on Twitter. However it pertains to you life, that’s what it means.
What else is on the site besides the “Stop Reaching” tee?
BRINT: We just dropped some new stuff. We have the pink “Dad Hat” that recently sold out. The Khaki “Dad Hat” is still available. Those hats were inspired from an era where people were rocking Polo Hats in New York during the 90s. We wanted to keep the brand New York because that’s where we’re from. The “Planet C” Hat kind of plays on the Ralph logo and is an ode to them. Everything on the site represents who we are as people and where we come from.
How important is it for the brand to represent a New York aesthetic?
ERIC: I think it’s important but that can change in the future. It’s really what we feel in the moment. A lot of us feel within the Street Wear culture, there’s a lot of mimicing going on. If you put certain brands together, you wouldn’t be able to tell who’s who. So it’s important that we go back to the origins of how graphic tees had a message as an ode to how New York used to be. Stylistically we want to do what we’re into.
Reedspace is home of many Street Wear brands. How much of an impact does working at Reedspace have on building CourtsNewYork?
BRINT: In terms of marketing and design, I think if you see a t-shirt that passes through here, of course you’ll be influenced. I’ve seen a lot of dope brands come through the store and I like what they’re doing with their photoshoots and lookbooks. I may want to take bits and pieces of their ideas for Courts however, it’s also important that we stay organic with our brand and not force ideas that don’t work. We can’t do what a 10Deep does or a Staple Pigeon does. We can only do what’s best for Courts.
JENNINGS: I feel a lot of times, when we look at other designs, we may have similar ideas. We don’t want to mimic things like Eric said. We try to be original as possible as far as how we marketing ourselves. We also pay attention to what’s going on not only in pop culture but also in sports. I remember Eric wanted to do a graphic tee of Russell Westbrook with his face held back wearing the green sweater saying “Man what, ya’ll n*ggas crazy.” Stuff like that is what we like. We don’t have to draw inspiration from other brands. We can find inspiration within ourselves which is pretty cool.
What would you say are your favorite pieces on the site right now?
BRINT: The first long sleeve “Ball Never Lies” tee. That’s where it all started from.
ERIC: “Friends and Family Always Good” hat.
JENNINGS: They already said my favorite two but I feel like my favorite piece has yet to be created. Eric has amazing ideas so I’m just waiting for him to bring me to tears with future designs. [Laughs]
Where do you see the brand in five years?
ERIC: In five years, I hope we can make what we’re making right now. If it’s a storefront or us expanding, that would be great. For the most part, only God knows where we’ll be in five years so I can’t really answer that question right now.
ERIC: God is number one. Also, I’m anti-social so I really don’t know what to talk about. Don’t talk to me about fashion.
BRINT: We’re just three brothers coming together trying to put our creativity out into the world. Shoutout to Eric and Jennings. Next semester I’m graduating so it’s lit.
JENNINGS: Whatever blessings we receive, we humbling accept so yeah. Thank You.