The Atlanta fashion brand Steez Fiendz is breaking down walls with their edgy looks. Gritty yet sleek, their brand is all about being who you are and how you rock it.
The urban clothing line springs from the creative genius of both Erick Gaylord and Ray Anderson Jr.
The pair created something so fresh that the work inspired names for all of their signature lines.
The Wooly Bully is their new wool snap back. Steez Mania focuses on the period when the duo focused on guerrilla marketing.
Salute recently sat down with Erick and Ray about the synergy of what they call Steez the Fiendz University.
Salute: How did you come up with the name Steez Fiendz?
RA: It was 2012 in the summer time. We wanted to start a new company and we were looking for an acronym that was catchy. S.T.F.U. came to mind because people were using it for (Shut The F**k Up).
However, we changed that to Steez the Fiendz University, which is an idealistic place where anybody can go be themselves and show their style–do what they do and indulge. That is where STF.U, Steez the Fiendz University came from.
Salute: If you could describe Steez Fiendz in six words or less, what would those words be and why?
EG: Amazing, innovative, cultivating
RA: We’re going to give you 7! Amazing, innovative, cultivating, creative, original, athletic, electric
Salute: So, how are you innovative?
EG: At the end of the day, a lot of the stuff we do fits a need. We have created hoodies that on the side have a zipper.
I mean, how many times have you had a crew neck or that sweater you’re wearing right now bunch up on you?
Now, at the end of the day, when you got that little innovated piece on the side, it’s going to fit you however you need it to.
RA: Also, to add to the innovative statement – man, like we will take one idea and we will build on it and turn it into our own idea–that’s how we are innovative.
Basically we take the hoodie or the crew neck and sauce it up and turn it into ours. It’s going to look different, be different, that’s innovation.
Salute: How are you creative?
RA: We create man. Honestly, everything we do is creative in order to take zero and turn it into one–that’s what we do.
EG: That’s as creative as it gets. Nothing to something is creative.
RA: Yeah, the creative process. I can go into that if you like.
Salute: Please go into that.
RA: Okay, the creative process. Basically what we do is we plot it up, we start with an idea, we put it on paper — writing might turn into a sketch — and then we turn that sketch into artwork on the computer.
From there, add a few manufacturing steps to the process and we have turned a graphic into an item of clothing–from nothing to something!
Salute: What inspired you to create Steez Fiendz and where do you get the inspirations for the different collections?
EG: Mostly the inspiration just came from wanting to create something for ourselves.
I mean not many people know this, but we started off 2008, like we actually been designing clothes for years and years. But we started selling Jordans and then we were like, “Wow, we might as well make something of our own.”
Not necessarily to be cool or to get rich, but to create something that my son can eventually when I have one. Or my nephew, whick is his son, can one day take over or something. We can leave behind — a legacy — that was the main inspiration in creating Steez Fiendz.
RA: Right, like the inspiration behind the collection basically they are just like telling our morals. We have the Ten Summers collection, which basically tells about how we want to have resilience and stay determined and have longevity.
You know what I mean? We want to be able to work for 10 summers without saying damn this is hard, and just quitting.
To be able to be determined to the point where it’s like, that’s what we are doing — and this is what it is.
We have the O.G. collection, that is something that is never going away.
You know, it’s the original collection.
Steez Mania, that collection came at a crazy point, but it represents a whole lot of Steez Fiendz– it represents a whole lot. We were out there just slapping stickers over everything and we were passing out flyers.
People were like ‘brah, y’all out here going crazy, y’all going hard, y’all turnt!’ We were out there representing what we stand for, you feel me? That’s the history behind Steez Mania.
The other collections we have are our baseball jerseys, our custom jerseys. We are baseball players, we are athletes, so what we do and what we stand behind is like, creating things that we love – so baseball jerseys fall right into that.
I have been wearing baseball jerseys since I was five years old, and same with Erick, but baseball jerseys are right at home.
Everything we do has a meaning to it, even like the three stars you might see on the hat or the hoodie. You might see it on the side of the snap back; you might see them anywhere.
The three stars stand for triple threat, being multi-talented, that’s how we think of ourselves.
Salute: What’s the inspiration for the upcoming fall/winter collection?
RA: Man, just go hard. It’s basically like, bro, with this grind right here–I am not trying to sidetrack this question.
Salute: No, you’re good.
RA: But, this grind right here. You can think that can you do whatever you want, but at this point that we are at right now, we wanted to do whatever we wanted to do. And that’s what happened with this collection.
We wanted to do exactly what you see, that’s what we wanted to do and we made it really happen.
There’s been a lot of times in the past where it was hard to do this.
We were like, “Alright, alright, how are we going to do that or maybe we will wait to do this.” So this year — this fall — we had the idea we are going to take it light, we are going to take it and are going to minimize a tad bit.
But go hard on what we really doing so when you see these new pieces, that’s exactly what we wanted to do. You ain’t going to see like no last year type of stuff on there.
Like the designs, you might see the designs in the pictures, in the videos, when you see them in the interviews and when you see them on the people in the streets, you gonna say, “Whoa, how they do that?”
Basically, we been trying to figure that shit out too and we did and it’s amazing.
Salute: Where do you see yourself in six years?
EG: Really, in six years is to continue to strive on and continuing to innovate from what we did before, continue to better ourselves than we did before, continuing to overcome the challenges we have overcome before, overcome new challenges and continuing to prevail. That’s where I see us in 6 years.
Part two of this interview will debut on Friday January 20th. In addition to plotting out their future, Salute will provide information on a very special upcoming event in February.
In the meantime, visit Steez Fiendz at www.steezfiendz.com. You can find them on Instagram: steezfiendz