GRAILS: PHOTOSHOOT FEATURING @YMANI BARBEE AND ADORE.EU WEARING BAPE X DAIWA AND TRIUMVIR.

BOYLE HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CALIFORNIA

Ymani and Natalie looking fine in streetwear grails by BAPE and Triumvir.  Ymani is wearing a T shirt from the BAPE x Daiwa, “A Fishing Ape” collection released in 2010.  The shirt is a picture of an actual crank bait, from the collection, hand painted, in BAPE camo.  Like Supreme, BAPE has a long history of odd collaborations, which include accessories such as chairs, Pepsi cans, and even lap tops.  Simple, but strong, this shirt is a stylish homage to the Japanese obsession with fishing.

Natalie is wearing a legendary streetwear design from (unfortunately) defunct streetwear legends, Triumvir.  While the stormtrooper camo T-shirt has been copied and recycled many times, Triumvir was the first (and still the best).  It was this shirt, in a BAPE-like, rainbow camo, which I saw in a shop on Melrose Ave. (before Fairfax was even a thing) sometime in the late 90’s that first turned me onto streetwear.

This colorway was an exclusive friends and family colorway I was able to purchase, at Triumvir’s sample sale years ago.  I showed up to their headquarters in Santa Ana, with my six month old daughter, not thinking that there would be a line of heads around the block waiting to get in.  One of the owners saw me walking back toward my car with my daughter and invited me to come in and meet the owners and designers.  He showed me around, introduced me to everyone, and gave me a grip of T-shirts at a crazy discount, including this one.  All class.

I wore another version of this shirt in red and black camo on a black shirt when I took my nephews to see Star Wars Episode 3.  After the movie, we went into EB Games, next to the theater.  The teller looked at the shirt in awe, saluted, and hummed / sang the “Imperial March /Darth Vader’s Theme” in its entirety without stopping.  He never said another word.  So creepy and so powerful.  I tell that story every time I wear this shirt.

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