Do you smell that? That’s the sweet, sweet aroma of promise. That’s the smell of your new favorite brand, created by your new favorite entrepreneur. That’s the smell of Tao Antrim and his brain child: ‘State’.
What the hell is State?
That’s what I’m trying to figure out… Basically its my idea for a clothing brand that is slowly gaining more momentum. But it’s so frustrating because there’re all these items I want to make, but I don’t have the resources to make them a reality yet. So for now its just shirts.
How did you get the idea/ why?
A few years ago, my mom said she could see me working in the clothing industry. I was kind of perplexed at first, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I’ve always been very particular about the clothes I wear and I tend to see garments that I like, but would like even more if I could tweak them a little bit – changing the color scheme, or the way a shirt is cut, or getting rid of a logo somewhere, etc.
So I guess that was always sitting in the back of my mind, and in the last couple years I’ve been getting pretty bored of the ”popular” brands putting out clothes that (in my opinion) are so stupid, yet the general public can’t get enough of it because its so trendy.
About a year ago, my good friend Connor Cook started printing shirts for his company, Penchant, and that just got me so motivated to get something going.
I’ve had a running list of potential names for companies that I keep on my phone. There’s seriously like 200 different names on there that I would add to as I thought of something I liked.
I was born and raised in Santa Barbara, and it’s a place I hold very dear to my heart. Anyone from there knows that State Street is pretty much the main street there and is the center of downtown Santa Barbara.
So one day I started saying “State” aloud and looking at the letters and I got so hyped. It just sounds so gangster and simple. So I rolled with that.
What’s your company mission statement?
I don’t really have one at the moment, but my goal is to provide my friends and whoever else that likes what I’m doing with cool ass clothes that aren’t thoughtlessly designed and mass produced for a million other people to wear. I want to keep it relatively small and limited and only put out things that I think look good. There’s also a component of environmental responsibility that I want to tie in once I have more of a foundation, so I’ll keep you posted on that part…
You’ve just been stranded on a desert island for 2 weeks with no food. What is the first thing you eat when you are rescued?
Well I’ve basically been stranded in Australia for the last two months and cry heavy tears when I think about Super Cucas burritos.
What are some of your favorite clothing companies?
At the moment, Penchant is my favorite thing ever. I wish he would put out more stuff. I’m really inspired by brands like Patagonia, Carhartt, Hoodbats, and HUF. All the old Stüssy stuff is amazing. There’s this group/brand coming up in San Francisco called Yerba Buena, and they’re doing some awesome things.
How would you describe your style/ how did it become what it is?
I’ve been skateboarding all my life, so that tends to shine through as a heavy influence in everything that I do. Also I fucking love graffiti. I’m always thinking about font styles, letter placement, and color combinations and I think it comes from that. Its weird, it seems like almost anything these days will influence me in some way. I was snorkeling in Indonesia a few weeks ago and the fish were getting me all inspired. Satan…
If you had to listen to a song for the rest of your life?
Probably “Hypnotize” by the beloved Biggie Smalls.
If you could have one person endorse and represent your brand, who would it be?
Lucie Simmons is going to be my Kate Moss.
Bella or Gigi?
Bella. Actually, I wouldn’t mind having Bella represent State either…
Chuck or Nate?
Least favorite thing, in your opinion, that girls wear? Guys?
This might stir up some controversy, but good god FUCK GIRLS WHO WEAR DOC MARTENS. Guys need to chill out on the streetwear hype and buy my stuff instead.
How tall are you?
I’m pretty sure I’m 5’11”, give or take a little.
What is your dream for State?
Honestly, if I could support myself designing clothes that would be so insane. I need to make some stickers when I get back to the states and just start networking more. I don’t want to be confined to just shirts. Be on the lookout for a sweatshirt around December of 2014. I want to do jackets, flannels, button ups, hats, bags… I just want to build a beautiful brand that doesn’t get too big and people are excited to wear. I want to inspire people, offend people, make people drool.
What things in this world do you love most?
Sex, drugs, and YC.
If this is the first time you’ve heard about State, you should consider moving out from that rock you live under, and then you should check out its little bloggy-woggy, here. After perusing, maybe you’ll realize that ohhhhhh, that’s where those sick-ass shirts you’ve been seeing around town are coming from and maybe you should send Tao a little Facebook message next time he releases a shirt and he’ll be thrilled to hook it up. Bottom line, Tao is an extraordinary guy with an auspicious dream that I think you’ll find you’re very keen on and- wait, hold on, sorry I have to take this phone call. That was State. It called to tell you that it’s here, and you’re late. And this time, it’s not fashionably.