Living in the digital world that we do, one day I cruising through those Instagram streets and immediately noticed a set of hoodies that was customized for the variety of Foamposites and Air Jordan’s. I had a pair of the Slimeposites that had yet to be Un-DS (DS = Dead Stocked or not yet worn for those not in the know) and was intrigued at the possibility of having a custom hoody to rock with them. I reached out via the website and was introduced to the owner Mike who was very helpful throughout the entire process. I was so impressed that I hit him up to see if he would be interested in doing an article on MSO and below are the results of this collaboration, enjoy …
I go by Mike Spits (or EQ Mike) and I was born and raised in the Bronx NY. I started out as a rapper (hence the name) but more recently I’m focussed on producing & engineering. In 2008 I opened up EQ Recording Studios in New Rochelle to branch out and work with new artists. Since then I’ve worked with artists such as Fred The Godson, Cory Gunz and a whole host of others. Although I’m still pursuing a career as a producer I was inspired recently to start a clothing line, which had actually been a dream of mine since I was a kid. So on November 11th 2011 (11.11.11) 2TwentyFore Apparel was born.
1. How did 2TwentyFore come about exactly?
The origins for 2TwentyFore as a clothing company I would say started from back when I was teenager. It was always a dream of mine to have my own my own clothing line. I think it really started with Echo Unltd. (before they changed name to Ecko). I remember the t-shirts they designed with these deep meanings and crazy graffiti. I used to draw and do graffiti a lot too so their stuff always caught my eye, and that made me want to do the same thing. I even had sketches and a name way back then, EMCEENY (stands for MC NY… basically me, a rapper from New York). But that faded away a long time ago… until a little over a year ago when the name 2TwentyFore came to me, by accident actually.
2. 2TwentyFore is an interesting name, how did you choose the name or what does it mean?
I was actually brainstorming thinking of a new name for a production company and I thought “what are the numbers that represent the letters ‘BX’ in the alphabet?” When I came up with 2 & 24 it blew my mind. Those numbers are significant to me because I grew up on E 224th St. I couldn’t believe I grew up on that block and never put that together. I immediately felt like I needed to do something with the name. But I didn’t know what, so at first I just created the Tumblr page and started posting pictures of my block. The pictures made me think about growing up there. Then I started listening to the music from that era (mid 90’s, the “golden” era). Then I came up with the logo, the sneakers hanging from the power lines. That was an image I saw daily coming out of my house as a kid. Add to that the year I kept going back to was 1995, and the Jordan 11 Concords came out that year. We went crazy for those. Finally, I thought “this picture of my block would look dope on a t-shirt.” That’s how 2TwentyFore became 2TwentyFore Apparel.
3. Aside from you as the founder/owner, who is on the 2TwentyFore team?
Well, the team is definitely developing right now. However, my wife Yolanda has always been my right hand. When I wanted to write a book she said I could, and that led to me being a published author of 2 novels. So I always run all of my crazy ideas through her first. Next my homie Illz. He was one of the first people I told about 2TwentyFore that was just ready to jump in with both feet and help me out. Him and my other homie Psychem. Besides that my boy Crack is on the team, my cousin Wise, and my other homie B Stars as well. It’s still growing, and like I said though, it’s developing.
4. If you do have a team, what do each of you bring to 2TwentyFore?
I’m the main designer. Yolanda is CBO (Cheif Branding Officer), her focus is on details, from the overall look of the website, to the packaging, to the washing instructions. Illz brings vision and direction to the table. Crack does online promotion and social media. Wise is in 2TwentyFore headquarters working on production. B Stars’ focus is brick & mortar retail and product placement.
5. How long has 2TwentyFore apparel been available? In the time that the 2TwentyFore has been available, how has the line expanded?
Technically, the company was established 11.11.11. I didn’t put out “The Block” shirt until February 24th of 2012 (2/24). That was a limited edition mainly for the people from my hood tho. It wasn’t until about 6 months ago (when I put out the “A2C’s” tee) that I really started going hard. The line since then has expanded tremendously. The team is continuing to develop and bring 2TwentyFore to new heights. It’s not just my friends from the block supporting anymore. I get orders from Nevada, to Ohio, to Georgia, and even Canada. I just recently got a request from Kenya! That’s how I know we’re doing something.
6. On the other hand, what has been the most difficult aspect for 2TwentyFore while attempting to break ground in the fashion world?
I guess just like any other company you build from the ground up the most difficult part is trying to get exposure. I feel like anybody that sees my designs will like them. I just gotta get them to see them! There are a lot of new brands out right now tho, and the next biggest priority is making sure I’m differentiating 2TwentyFore from ‘XYZ’ company
7. What is the overall vision for 2TwentyFore in your mind? For example, do you hope to walk into a department store one day and see the 2TwentyFore? Or would you prefer to continue utilizing the vast online market?
The overall vision is to remain dope! If I can do that while getting the type of exposure a department store will bring then so be it. I realize that distribution on such large scale tends to water down the product, and that’s the exact opposite of what I want. I started this as a form of artistic expression, not out of greed. So I’ll continue to be motivated not by money, but by just doing dope shit that people like.
8. What are some of the inspirations behind the unique design of your clothing?
Definitely I would have to say my childhood. My block. My friends and family. And of course Hip-Hop.
9. Your line appears to be inspired by some of the hottest sneakers out now a days. Will that continue to be the foundation for the line or do you plan to expand the line into other arenas?
I actually never intended on basing my releases around sneakers at first. That was just something that sort of manifested on its own, albeit stemming from the fact that my own logo is of sneakers hanging from power lines. Once the logo was done, sticking with that theme and just doing different sneakers was a no-brainer. Besides, the original logo I designed has the silhouette of the Jordan 11 Concords (for personal reasons). But they had been out for months already before I did the first hoodie with that graphic on it. I figured people would ask for different sneakers/colors so I was prepared for it. “Spectacular accomplishment is never preceded by less than spectacular preparation.” (I just read that on a fortune cookie while I was typing this. Ha!) But to answer your question tho, yes we’ll naturally expand into other arenas. No details as of yet. As a wise man once said, “Don’t believe me just watch.”
10. With spring/summer quickly approaching, what’s up next for 2TwentyFore?
Right now we’re focused on the “INSPIRED” looks so check that out. The warm weather will definitely be bringing some ice cream tho, that’s all I’ll say about that. Stay tuned.
11. How can the people get their own 2TwentyFore Apparel or obtain updates when new styles are set to release? Twitter, Facebook, IG, etc.
Definitely visit the online shop www.2TWENTYFORE.com, as well as follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr & Facebook (the name for everything is 2TwentyFore). Also, for anyone with questions or ideas for new designs please don’t hesitate to email them us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
12. Any parting words? Shout outs? Etc.
Of course, first off shout out to all of the supporters! (Real supporters too that aren’t just looking for free shit!). And shout out to anyone that ever put someone else on to 2TwentyFore, especially my family that’s always advertising, like my brother Supreme, my sister Rachel, my nephews “the sreet team” Craig and Ace. Last but not least shout out to all my people from my block!