Sunday, December 28, 2008
Endgame: Ok, Alex, I know you are good at designing stuff, but let's talk about something important...do you know how to play chess?
Alex: I honestly have not played in a few years, but I used to love it.
Endgame: What made you stop? Got tired of the chess groupies?
Alex: Actually, I discovered a skateboard.
Endgame: Ouch. Moving on...what was your first thought when you realized that Endgame Clothing was inspired by the game of chess?
Alex: I thought, "Seriously? That's fucking cool!"
Endgame: Really? Is that why the picture you sent of yourself has your face cut off? Endgame is so "fucking cool" that you want to make sure that nobody recognizes you?
Alex: LOL...no, it was the only good way to get the Endgame logo in the picture.
Endgame: Ok, sorry about that. Can you name one famous chess player, alive or dead?
Alex: Bobby Fischer?
Endgame: Can you name another?
Endgame: You obviously spend a lot of time in front of a computer...did you know that you can play chess online? And if you do know, have you ever?
Alex: I've never played chess online. You can do just about anything online, so I assumed the chess feature was there.
Endgame: You have recently worn your Endgame shirts to your high school. Can you tell me a little about that experience?
Alex: It was great...here's a few quotes, "Dude, does your shirt say chess apparel? That's cool!" "The...original...chess...apparel...really? Where'd you get that?" "I'd totally wear that!"
Endgame: Ok, last question...after working with Endgame Clothing, has your opinion of chess gone up or down?
Alex: My opinion has gone up substantially. Endgame is giving chess a cool image, something that is not often done.
Endgame: My work is done here...thanks for the interview.
So what did we learn?
1. It's possible to wear a chess t-shirt to high school and NOT get your ass kicked.
2. Apparently in Indiana, they are putting something in the water that makes 18 year-olds grow cool guy beards.
3. Alex is a great guy and an amazing designer. If you would like more information on Alex or see more of his work, check out www.octoberpromotional.com
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
It has been a lot of work getting to this point and, for the most part, I have loved every minute of it. But there were also times when I would think, "Chess shirts? Chess shirts?? What the fuck am I thinking?"
But for every set-back that popped up, there was an amazing victory. Here are just a few of the highlights from the past year...
2. Grandmaster Var Akobian. Var has played chess all his life, all over the world and said he has never seen chess shirts like these. This really made me feel like I was on the right track.
3. Jeremy Popoff, the guitar player from Lit, agreeing to wear my shirts. Here is a guy who has sold millions of albums, played all over the world, and he rocks an Endgame t-shirt. I still can't believe it.
4. Just meeting a ton of great, talented people. Without all of the designers, programmers, models, photographers, etc., who helped me along the way, there is no way I would have been able to bring Endgame to life.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Them: "Cool! You have a clothing company? What kind of clothes?"
Me: "Well, see, um, the shirts are all inspired by the game of chess."
Them: "Yeah, right...haha...no really, what are your shirts like?"
Me: "I'm serious...I think I have made the best chess shirts in the 1500 year history of the game!!"
Them: "You have got to be kidding..."
It has been very strange to approach people and tell them what I do. I have had to explain the concept of chess t-shirts to everyone I have come in contact with...designers, printers, programmers, friends and models. As soon as I mention chess apparel, they get a strange look in their eyes and I can hear hesitation in their voices.
Are people just not ready for Hardcore Chess Apparel??
If I am able to show them the designs, then people usually come around. I have found some phenomenal designers to work with and the shirts look fantastic. But if I don't get a chance to show the shirts, then I usually get blown off.
A perfect example was trying to find models. I found several great models local to me and tried to message them or add them as friends on myspace. I am offering them the chance to be the sole model for Endgame Clothing, and they can see that I have a fairly professional operation and a professional photographer. Days go by...no response. I send follow up messages...no response. And thanks to the super-cyber stalking features in myspace, I can tell that she has read the messages. So she has 2,752 fuckin' friends on myspace, but somehow Endgame Clothing doesn't make the cut?
I wonder if Versace or Ralph Lauren ever had this problem?
Thursday, October 23, 2008
It all started about fifteen hundred years ago. One of man’s most beautiful creations was released upon the world…the game of chess. Ancient kings played this ancient game as a means of pastime as well as a training tool for both life and war. Since then, time has passed, borders have moved and wars have come and gone. But chess has stood virtually unchanged.
As the game made its journey through the centuries, something terrible happened along the way. Somehow this game, with its rich and colorful history, was plagued by a horrible image in many parts of the world. The game’s heroes, who were once viewed as celebrities and graced the covers of magazines, have faded from the popular culture. And many of the great clubs and halls that witnessed decades of play have either closed up or had been all but forgotten.
This was the birth of Endgame, The Original Chess Apparel.
Based in Orange County, California, we created our first t-shirts in 2001 out of necessity. There simply was no chess apparel worthy of being worn in public. As chess players, we wanted to wear clothes that expressed our love for the game, but our only choices were a poor selection of novelty items. We could not understand how a game that was able to bestow the gift of joy or the curse of insanity could be reduced to a simple novelty. So we started designing chess t-shirts for ourselves. And then for other chess players who asked. And still again, for others who were not chess players, but loved the idea of what chess stood for.
Things are not always easy for a chess player. We live in a time when activities such as bowling and competitive eating are regarded as more prestigious sporting events than chess. The majority of our top players cannot earn a living from the sport they have dedicated their lives to. Yet these players continue to push forward, fueled by their passion for the game. They stand in opposition to a society that celebrates stupidity and persecutes intellectualism.
Endgame believes that intellectual passions, like chess, are at the very core of being human. Passion of the body is nothing without passion of the mind. It is our body that engages in the act, but it is our mind that provides us with the lasting joy of it.
We strive to show the intelligence, beauty and strength of chess. We strive to restore chess to its historically rightful place as one of the greatest gifts man has ever given itself. And we strive to do it all…one shirt at a time. Come join us!