Pistols in Paradise x FatKidOnFire - Interview #96

Pistols in Paradise x FatKidOnFire

Interview #96

I’m fully back up to speed with publishing new bits and pieces here on FatKidOnFire this week – and it seems the Facebook page (after having somewhat of a facelift today) is finally picking up the pace as well. If you’re not yet a fan, feel free to head over and make my day!

Whilst I keep hitting refresh to see when the page will hit the big 1,300 fans mark, I figured it’d be quite a good time to drop the next FKOF brand feature as well…

It’s been a while since an American fashion brand featured on these here pages. The last one was Proof, 31 features ago this time last year! It’s good to get back over to the ‘States and support another of the independents that recently caught my eye.

Pistols in Paradise are an intriguing brand based out in Arizona. Brand owner Kevin first contacted me in early September last year – during one of my bouts of inboxitis (where my inbox is so full I miss emails) – and we traded a few emails until I lost one of his replies and things went quiet (sorry dude, my bad). Kevin got back in touch a few weeks back and, this time, I managed to keep on top of things. So here it is! Pistols in Paradise x FatKidOnFire…

Who and what is Pistols in Paradise? Pistols in Paradise is a completely independent and underground streetwear line that was born in Arizona. For those unfamiliar with Arizona’s location, it’s nowhere near a beach so theoretically “Paradise” isn’t easily attainable. Pistols, drugs, street life, gangs, money, hopelessness, frustration, stress, mundane day jobs… All of those were in abundance; just not Paradise! So I took what I know of one life and blended it with where I’d like to eventually end up. It’s a living, breathing come-up tale – every shirt is a footstep towards Paradise.

Can you explain the brand’s “building a bridge between the streets and paradise” ethos? Easy. It’s rooted in the self-made qualities that Pistols In Paradise was founded on. I felt underwhelmed by the path in front of me and decided to make my own. We are products of the pavement, we grew up on city blocks. There were no waves crashing, no white sand – the stuff of dreams. There’s no scenic route and it’s been a gritty grimy growing process (no financial help, no investors). We really have built this out of nothing.

Your product line currently includes 8 designs; can you explain the process that goes into producing each one? What are you plans for the future and extending the brand? All the design ideas come easy to me and are my favorite part. I just think of stuff throughout my everyday life; books I’m reading, things I’m going through etc. First I sketch it up, then send the sketch to my guy who fixes it up real nice. Then we print the shirts in the garage and start hustling them. Bada boom bada bing!

What does or will distinguish Pistols in Paradise from other streetwear brands? It just stands out… Interesting paradoxes – and everything’s well thought out. I think it’s witty but still offers a realness that can’t be contrived or faked.

Who or what influences you in your work? Nobody. I have tunnel vision…

What’s your take on the independent clothing scene in the UK at the moment? How does it compare to what’s coming out of the States? Who are you rating in the UK at the moment? Good question! I don’t really follow other companies too closely at all – both in the States and the UK. I don’t mean that to come off as pretentious though, I’d rather just stay focused and let everything I come out with be 100% original with no outside influence from trends or other lines.

Where do you see Pistols in Paradise being in 5 years time? I hope to be typing my emails with my feet in the sand.

Where can people expect to catch your product, is Pistols in Paradise stocked in any stores here in the UK? For now it’s available for everyone in the UK via the webstore. I package every order myself and don’t charge an arm and a leg for shipping (just 2 toes and a tongue haha)!

If you could say something to your fans, what would it be? Likewise to your haters? Affection for the streets but destined for the beach. It’s a mad, mad world – between huge, big box corporations and snake-like politicians. Life can get discouraging and it’s hard to rise up out the social/ economic class you are born into. But there is a beauty to the struggle. As long as you never succumb and push through it.

Any shoutouts? My mother (she always reads these), my Alyssa, Chris The Crook, E Fre$h, Ian Nems, Tez, my city… Everyone I’m forgetting! Big ups to the U.K. and FatKidOnFire as well for showing love [thanks man].

It’s good to be back where I like being; supporting the small independents – wherever in the world they may be. The fashion side of things here on FatKidOnFire has finally started picking back up and I’m stoked brands are still interested in using FKOF to help get their names out there a bit.

Kevin’s work with Pistols in Paradise might not to be everyone’s taste (but, to be fair, that applies to any of the brands or artists that feature on FatKidOnFire) but I dig it – and I dig what the brand’s doing with its dreams and aspirations. At the end of the day, we all want to end up in paradise; in whatever form it takes. If you’re feeling Pistols in Paradise as much as I am, head over to their website and have a look through their products. You can also follow the brand on Facebook and Twitter.

If you have any thoughts on what Kevin from Pistols in Paradise has had to say, or want to recommend a new brand you’ve discovered or just want a chat about something you’ve seen on FatKidOnFire, drop a comment below or get in touch via emailTwitterFacebook or the FKOF TakesQuestions page.