By Agustin Caballero
If convention were a half-pipe, east-coast streetwear brand 1025 would be riding, and painting, all over it with its own individual flair. Brynn McIntosh started the brand in 2019 when her lifelong passion for streetwear boiled over into an insatiable urge to channel a vision of her own. Her influences – street style, skate culture and cartoons – are plain to see in the unisex range of tees and hoodies, all of which incorporate her own hand-drawn designs. It’s contemplative, characterful craft in the drop-driven age of commercialized streetwear.
Following the release of 1025’s “INTO THE UNKNOWN (Pt.1) KNIT SWEATER”, I had the opportunity to interview Brynn McIntosh, the creator of 1025. With the brands unique designs and positive message, its no wonder as to why the brand is gaining the amount of organic growth and hype.
When did you come up with the name and what does it mean to you?
I came up with the name of 1025 in July of 2019 when I was interning at a studio in Brooklyn, New York. At that time I had already made the first 1025 T-shirt.
The meaning behind the name 1025, is that it’s mine and Pablo Picasso birthday. 1025 is also recognized as international artist day, so it’s a day that calls to recognize all artists and the contributions that they make to society. It’s a day that I feel can resonate with everybody which was what my goal with 1025 was from the very beginning. From the very get-go I knew I wanted to give my brand a meaning that could resonate with others beyond it being mine and Pablo Picasso birthday’s and that is the reason why my slogan is also “A Call to Create”. The fact that it’s international artist day also helps further evoke creativity through my brand.
What were some of your favorite brands growing up?
My favorite brands growing up where Vans, Osiris, Stussy and Obey. Pretty much all skate brands. Growing up I was obsessed with Obey snap backs and I had a lot of those and I also had some of Stussy‘s hats and clothes. With Vans, I used to go to a store called Journey’s at my own local mall and then my mom would always buy me new colorways of these Half-Cabs that I was obsessed with so I had like four of the same Half-Cabs in different colors. I also had the Vans wallet as well as the skateboards and some of their clothes. I had everything from Vans so that was definitely my favorite brand growing up.
Where do you get your influence from?
A lot of my influence comes from nostalgia in popular culture which you could say is pretty intersectional because I grew up loving popular video games such as Pac-Man, Mario Kart, Mortal Kombat etc. so that’s definitely where my influence comes from. Just sort of revisiting my childhood and just tapping into that. On a more general note I love looking at popular patterns that exist like the paisley pattern or the Louis Vuitton pattern, both of which I’ve done a lot of playing around with. The Odd Future flames are another pattern that I love. I enjoy remixing those popular patterns that exist and putting my own spin on them.
Can you talk a little bit about both the 1025 Bear and Kai the Flame Guy?
It was my junior year at the University of Southern California and I was watching this master class at the time by Neil Gaiman and he’s the guy who wrote the Coraline book and he was talking a lot about creating work that resonates with you deeply would result in other people also resonating with it, admiring and supporting it. All of these things combined got me working on this bear that I felt carried a lot of my identity. The idea of a bear came from my nickname growing up which was Brynn bear and as I was thinking about that I was looking at the teddy bears that I have in my bedroom and at that moment I just knew that I had to create a bear. The bear has little details which many people miss. I wanted to give the bear a darker color scheme because my birthday, 1025, is close to Halloween so all the black parts on the bear are actually shadows to give it this ghost feel. I also included my initials on the stomach, BM, and my birthday on the left arm, 1025. The scare underneath the bears eye is inspired by a character named, Luffy, in my favorite anime One Piece.
Kai’s story begins with a poem that I read which was about October and there is a line in the poem that referred to falling leafs as dancing flames. I love that idea so much because it enabled me to create a character that had this connection to the fall season and the brand itself. The visual inspiration came from Keith Haring, more specifically some of my old drawings that were inspired by Keith Haring. That’s how I got Kai’s very simple shape. Pac-Man was another big inspiration for Kai’s aesthetic. Kai’s symbolizes change because when you think of leafs you think of change as well. I used Kai for my “INTO THE UNKOWN” concept because that whole concept is about transforming yourself and taking a leap of faith into uncertainty and I felt like it was just the best representation of that movement.
Who are some brands or people you want to collaborate with, related to fashion or not?
Some of the brands I would love to work with going from the larger scale brands down to the smaller scale brands. Starting off I would really love to work with Supreme that’s like the one for me because I really admire and respect what Supreme has done as a brand. They started off with a core audience and later on they were able to expand into so many different fashion communities such as outer wear, hip-hop, and even high fashion. I really admire them for that because as an artist, the idea of your artwork reaching everybody is a dream come true. Jordan brand is another brand that I would love to work with. I’m currently on Jordan brand’s radar as well as Lyrical Lemonade and The Hundreds. I am in the process of setting something up for each of those brand, individually. Kodone, he’s an artist who has really been growing within the underground street wear community. I love his work, he’s done a lot of work with larger brands like Lyricical Lemonade and FTP. Sukamii is a page that is created by a guy named John Hollen’s. His work is really inspired by Takashi Murakami and Bape so he puts his own spin on those on those brands. As for some of the smaller brands I really want to work with Exile Worldwide, SYSTEMS Worldwide, and Proxi Plus.
What is your favorite piece of work thus far?
My favorite piece of design so far is probably my denim jacket which is funny because I didn’t even think it was all that special when I first made it. I just think what I did with it, detail wise was really special. The buttons were custom shaped and it wasn’t an over complicated jacket but at the same time there were those small details about it that really made it stand out and appear so different from any other jacket on the market.
What is some advice you have for anyone interested in starting a brand?
There is a million ways to start one so therefore there’s no right way to start a brand. I would say to take any advice you get and the success stories of other brands with a grain of salt because their journey has nothing to do with yours. I would also like to say to really go inward and think about what your strength are and how you can use that to leverage your brand to make it stand out from everything else that already exist. It’s really really important to not take any advice to the extreme and so literal. Make sure that you know you’re staying true to yourself.