Ymani and Natalie looking fine in ODB inspired, streetwear grails by X-Large / Grand Royal and Rocksmith.  Ymani is wearing an absolute grail from the ’90s.  This shirt was initially sold only through mail order from the Beastie Boy’s legendary magazine, Grand Royal and was later sold on an very limited run through X-large stores.  Designed by future streetwear icon and seminal artist, Geoff McFetridge (who was the art editor of Grand Royal Magazine at the time and would go on to design his own Nike Vandals, Simpsons’ Vans, and other iconic work), this simple but bold shirt in Iron Maiden font, was everything that streetwear was and should be: humorous, though provoking, and awesome.

Natalie is wearing another banger: Rocksmith’s tribute to ODB and Warhol in lime green.

ODB was and will always be a legend.  I was at an early a Wu Tang Clan show at the House of Blues on Sunset Strip in the ’90’s.  ODB was on parole and was rumored to have escaped from a rehab facility in Pasadena, in an attempt to join the Wu for the show.  Unfortunately, he never showed up, and I missed my only chance to see him live, as he passed away a few months later.

Ymani and Natalie ruled this shoot in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles. Gorgeous and down to earth, we couldn’t have asked for two better individuals to represent Awesome Totally Awesome (“ATA”) in our first model shoot.  Find out more about them in Spotlight On, here.

Just a few hours before we arrived at the location for the shoot, we were informed by the owner of the location that an LAPD Officer had been shot and killed early that morning, and that LAPD were conducting (involuntary) voluntary searches of all vehicles coming into the area.  Needless to say, the LAPD and the tension surrounding the area were the least of our problems.

Absolutely unprepared, we had some warm Cokes in our photographer’s car, but that was it for amenities.  We had no water, no snacks, no real changing room, no fan, no toilet paper in the bathroom, and assistants who went MIA for three and a half hours (on a Chinese food, snack, ginger ale–most likely crack and stripper run).  Ymani and Natalie dealt with it like the rock stars they are, and are the primary reason this shoot was lit.

Add to that, Todd Stockham’s genius eye, and some grailed T-shirts from OG Streetwear brands, Supreme, Undefeated, BAPE, X-Large / Grand Royal, Diamond Supply Co. x Collabo NY, Rocksmith, Manik Skateboards, Rebel 8, Technics x Marvel, Triumvir and (more recently) Alphonso Rawls Iconic–Everybody Skates, (with some other iconic shit scattered in the background), and we have ATA’s first photo shoot.  Enjoy friends.

Steve Kitagawa