We met with Stereotype co-founder Noodlez in Manhattan, New York to talk about the brand and his newly launched holiday line. Stereotype is one of the many brands featured on Colabination that I wanted to work with because I love their polished-meets-urban vibe. They have mastered how to walk the line between modern upscale and street style. While their apparel and accessories are strong in their own right, their positive messaging and mantra drive the brand home.
Gennifer Rose (GR): What inspired you to start your own line?
Noodlez (N): The Stereotype line was born out of love for music. I am a former rap artist and we started over 7 years ago making tees for the crew when we went to concerts. I learned to screen print at Ad Hoc Art Gallery in Brooklyn. We started selling out of the trunk of the car and it has grown so much from word of mouth. We are from Staten Island and we are a big part of the community. We get it poppin over here. People know us and gravitate to our positive messaging and style.
GR: What is the meaning behind the name Stereotype?
N: We like to take words and ideas that are usually associated with negativity and flip it around to give it a positive connotation. Usually when something is stereotyped it has a negative meaning, but we have chosen to show it in a positive light. Our slogan “Don’t Stop Dreaming” is a play on words turning dismissive words into an encouraging credo. Our symbol is the stereo which ties in with our love of music and it brings a touch of the old school.
GR: What was your style inspiration for your holiday collection?
N: We based our holiday line on a new vs old school concept. We mix modern 3-D printed technology on some pieces with old cassette tapes on others. We put re-vamped tapes on the hats as a representative of the things we grew up with musically. We use a basic color palette of black, white and greys with accents of metallic. We like for there to be one centered focus to an item with a statement piece. Our line is differentiated from mainstream fashion because of its unconventional style and how we connect with the underground.
GR: What does it mean to be a part of the Stereotype brand?
N: We gravitate towards people with higher consciousness, people who look a little deeper into something. Our following consists of people who love music and have a positive outlook. We’ve been fortunate enough to go on tour with hip hop artists such as G-Eazy, Tory Lanez, Mike Stud and Rockie Fresh and set up mobile merchandise shops.
I grew up in a mixed high school with a mixed group of friends. We can connect with any demographic of people. We are a collective of artists and we include a lot of musicians in our creative process. We’ve done collaborations with hip hop artists such as Young Lucid and Paul Marz where we worked together in coming up with the line.
We put on community events and fashion shows in all sorts of venues such as rooftop clubs, art galleries to skateparks. We recently did a black light party featuring 7 artists’ designs. All of the tees had glow in the dark designs and it was a very unique type of show.
GR: Who would you love to see wearing your designs?
N: It would be cool to see Kanye sporting Stereotype. He has a defined sense of style that fits well with the brand. I also really admire American artist and social activist Keith Haring. He was a big part of NYC street culture in the 1980s and he had a “cute” vibe that translated well in all parts of the city. Sadly he has passed away but he would’ve been a great brand ambassador.
GR: Who would be your dream person to collaborate with?
N: I would love to do a remix of a Nike Jordan sneaker and take those elements and put it into a cap. I also think that it would be dope to collaborate with Spike Lee because of his creative vision. He could add a new element to an apparel and cap line that would be unlike anything else on the market.
GR: Where do you see your business in the next five years?
N: In the next 5 years I would like to see Stereotype expand more beyond NYC and take on other cities throughout the country. I see us going to places like Austin and Dallas in TX, Colorado, Venice Beach in LA, Seattle, Hawaii and even up to Toronto Canada. I feel like our brand will translate very well with the people in those cities.
In a closing statement, Noodlez tells us he’s grateful to be working with so many talented people that share the Stereotype vision. They are proud to be a creative outlet for so many artists. One lasting impression from our conversation was the 2015 Bucket List he gave me. Embracing the spirit of putting dreams to action, the bucket list has you put your goals into writing, the team you will be working with to accomplish them and hold yourself accountable to a deadline. First on my list is to purchase the Stereotype black BEEnie because I need to be sporting it this winter!
Shop Stereotype Co.'s Holiday Collection on Colabination now.
Stereotype Co. 2015 Holiday Line
Images by: Stereotype Co & Nicky Monji