I feel like the world of fashion has gotten so much bigger as the internet has become a larger part of people’s everyday lives, and that this has led to some smaller independent designers coming out of the woodwork. So, I decided to take some time to talk to three local, up and coming brands. These brands are pumping out some crazy cool stuff and are run by some incredibly creative and driven individuals.
The first brand I talked to is, Ardzir (@ardzir on Instagram), run by Jonathan Pinchera, age 20, from Boston, Mass. He makes very graphic, eye-catching designs often using vintage materials. Reminiscent of hardcore, ‘90s skate style, everything is made by hand and clearly crafted with care. Pieces are adorned with bold prints, patterns, embroidery, spray-paint, and a variety of other materials. There is a real laid-back, yet still edgy feel to his designs. Also, another really cool thing about this really cool brand is that it has a lot of one-of-one designs. Inspired by other local artists and friends, Jonathan feels his creative energy comes from those around him, saying, “It doesn’t even have to be clothing related, I feel like having other creative friends just pushes me. I think DIY clothing is also super cool”. The name Ardzir struck me as really unique, and Jonathan explained that Ardzir is a mistranslation of the word “Eagle,” saying, “I’m Armenian, and I try to use this idea of “mistranslation” to explore my heritage. But it also goes a bit beyond that, because I feel like being an American disconnects one from their heritage too.” It’s clear he has a real, authentic connection to his craft, and is driven to do more. His current goal is to grow Ardzir, “I just want to keep consistently making stuff and putting it out there. I think I’d like to increase my online presence, and I’ve got some pop-ups planned for the spring. Ideally just keep pushing my craft” With upcoming pop-ups with Street Threads and one in the works with skate shop Onegig in downtown Boston, Ardzir is definitely one to watch out for!
I was curious about the role of social media in each of these brands’ experiences in this age of the internet. This is really the first time in history that if someone wanted to start something, with dedication, they can get their name out there on a platform like Instagram, with over a billion active users. I asked each of them if they thought it would be possible to build up their individual brands without social media, and was met with some interesting answers. Jonathan stated, “It’s a tough one. It’s definitely a plus in that it really helps put my stuff out there. Especially since Boston isn’t as big of a city as NY or LA. At the same time though I feel like it puts pressure on artists to put work out fast.” However, he does not think that building up Ardzir would have been possible without it, that it would have taken a much longer time to do what he has done since he started a little under two years ago. Jonathan also made a good point regarding resources that are at our fingertips, more than any other generation that has come before us, saying, “the internet lets you just find any resources you need, like I learned how to print mainly through the internet.” However, he has faced some challenges regarding Ardzir’s online presence, as he feels like “there’s a lot of pressure, especially with like social media and making clothes, to put stuff out quickly. I try to remind myself to slow down a lot.”
Despite the pressures of today’s online world, Ardzir has emerged and has been kicking ass with his designs. I think its is pretty inspiring to see people like him truly dedicating themselves to their passion and taking advantage of the infinite amount of info available to us through the powers of the internet. Jonathon’s work is super unique, yet still trendy and effortlessly cool. Definitely be sure to check him out!