1.15.2009

Mishka's Obama Black Bart : A Bad Look.

Mishka is a great brand - from their tees, to their collaborations, to their cut and sew stuff: it's all solid; That's why this tee upset me quite a bit: The first and most prominent being that, who I consider to be, Mishka's rival brand, IRAK new york, has been doing the colored bart thing for a while: originally it started out with a black bart painting their logoand it more recently evolved to a middle eastern bart doing the promo thing:For those who don't know - the beef between these two brands runs pretty deep. The second reason for the Halfway Crooks thumbs down on this tee is because although I understand where Mishka, a brand who definitely supports president-elect Obama's upcoming inauguration, was coming from with the Jeezy reference, my president is black, my lambo is blue, and I'll be god dammed if my rims aint too, the off flag colors and the 'making it rain' cliche come off a bit racist: a Russian named brand, run by white dudes in ultra-hip Williamsburg, BK, release this tee? I don't know man, I don't know.

3 Comments:

Blogger MISHKA said...

Hey dude, we've been making Black Bart tees since Spring of 2004. This is actually our 4th one.

I really appreciate your concerns behind the shirt. But some of things you viewed as borderline racist were very much in line with the tradition of the early 90s bootleg Black Bart tee designs.

We made this shirt as a social commentary to the ridiculous and rabid idolatry going on. That and to draw attention to the fact that, change is great, but politics are politics.

Were we successful? I think so. But you obviously do not feel that way and I appreciate you saying so.

Our Blog (http://www.mishkanyc.com/bloglin) tomorrow is actually going to have a full rundown of all of our Black Bart tees. Including ones that got shelved. As well as our personal history of growing up with the Black Bart phenomenon.

9:50 PM  
Blogger frankie5.0 said...

I absolutely respect the statement and when you lay it out like that, there is no question that you guys were in fact successful in proving that point but that’s quite an ideological punch packed into one graphic, a graphic on a tee that 80% of the kids who see it / buy it aren't going to pick up on. I didn't pick up on it and I consider myself an average shithead consumer. In one respect, you got me pegged - I know nothing about the Black Bart phenomenon; maybe I should have done some more homework on the subject pre-post. I appreciate you guys not getting aggressive and I also respect a major brand taking the time to defend one tee on one blog; it says a lot about you guys. In the tradition of stubborn journalism, I'm not correcting my now observably brash entry but I hope my record proves that I’m a fan of the brand, just not of this tee; I stand by that.

4:13 AM  
Blogger Julius said...

I was just about to comment when I saw the MISHKA comment. Frankie, you make good points, white dudes/russian name/black bart/colors don't seem to be too PC. The insightful part was the Russian Mishka with the (what I interpret it as) blackface Bart Simpson. That kind of made me lol, anyway.

You also pointed out that some peeps may not catch the reference to the 90s bootleg, but in the same respect, not a lot of normal peeps will catch the "white guys from brookyln" Russian named brand thing.

I get what you're saying, but the shirt is actually a sweet combination of those bootlegs with something relevant to today. The Simpsonized Obama is pretty awesome, you have to admit. It also fits their theme of throwback designs. But coming from a company that puts naked chicks on tshirts, I think it fits right in with their motif. Not that your point isn't valid, and I wouldn't wear the shirt either. But conceptually I thought it was pretty badass.

10:11 AM  

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