Interview with Angelo Baque
Interview by Thomas Bradley
Produced by Liquidrice
Your iconography is a broad scope jam-packed with references to all sorts of cultural symbols. What is it about you that makes such seemingly disconnected substance come together in a cohesive line known as Absurd?
Well each graphic that I use somehow is a reflection of my upbringingmy life is what keeps the brand cohesiveabsurd is a extension of my different moods and personalitiesfor those who know me , they know Im funny, sarcastic, and full of useless knowledgejust another kid that grew up in NYC.
How big of a role does NYC play in Absurds personality as a brand?
Absurd is NYC, NYC is Absurdyou dont necessarily have to be from NYC to get the brand though..what defines AbsurdIs a generation of fucking great art and great musicI was eight years old in 1988from that point on I have never looked backVideo Music Box was my after school babysitterRalph Mcdaniels and the VidKid where the educatorsBig Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, Eric B. and Rakim where the guest speakerswhat more could you ask forgraffiti on the trains was on its last legs but RIS crew was still doin it real bigI dont expect everyone to understand me..but if you have respect and appreciation for that time frame you can relate to Absurd.
Most designers look to their youth for inspiration and in finding that inspiration influence a whole new generation of kids. When you put out the Jean-Michel x Warhol tee there might have been some kids whove never heard about either of those guys but now theyve been exposed to your inspirations. What is it like to have such power as a creator?
Having influence is a heavy responsibility...because when you start a t-shirt line..the last thing on your mind is educating the youthwhen I first put that design outit was Fall 02That was 4 years agothe game has changed since then and so have II wasnt so conscious to the influence aspect as I am nowfor instance Ill reference my spring line to make an example of the message Im trying to put out there the killed for kicks tee is a message to all the kids out there that shit used to be real back in the day and this culture is to be respectedback then it was nothing to see a kid get slashed for his starter jacket and punched in the face for his jordansyou really had to be built like that or have the clout to be rocking expensive shitI didnt put the graphic out there just cause...there was a gun and jordans..its deeper that that..
What thoughts have you been having lately regarding the surplus of independt brands that are making their way onto the stage and how do you decide what product is good and whats not so good?
The whole influx of all these brands is really hurtin the game..a lot of kids are putting stuff out there without really thinking about itno originality..dont get me wrong competition is good. only when you competitor is as good as you if not betterits the same attitude as a graffiti writer, b-boy, djits what pushes you as a designer to as my man Clark Kent would say Keep it Funkythe positive side of this is that now its reaching a broader marketbecause all these brands are popping up not just from NYC and LA but new cities that were never really known for design or fashion
With your experience as a buyer, store manager, and designer would you say it is important to think of your audience or your own personal tastes when creating a line?
You have to learn how to balance the twothere are things that I have purchased for NDG that are not necessarily my style but its moved and on the flipside theres garments that I have bought that I thought were the shit and I couldnt give it away at the endYou have to stay intuned or else your on the outs with your audience
Summer 06, NYC is about to boil, whats going to blow the lid off this scene in the coming months as far as the clothing game is considered?
Nothingits going to take awhile before theres change
What is to be expected from Absurd in the near future?
Consistancykeep putting out the best product that we can