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Creep Street is a very colorful and fun brand of clothing that’s heavily inspired by both the ’80s and the horror genre. With their neon colors and flamboyant monster designs, the clothing is just as outspoken and attention-grabbing as Creep Street’s creators, Boris and Chip.
Just from their website’s 8-bit-style animated intro, which showcases the two creators engaging in old-school skateboarding and beating up baddies to save a hot chick and ends with a DOUBLE DRAGON homage, you can tell that Creep Street is one outrageous business. Fango has received some of Creep Street’s goodies, and they are really worth flipping over. Just wearing their yellow CHOPPING MALL shirt based on the B-movie fave really made me stand out on New York City’s busy streets. The shirts are extremely well-made and deserve the attention of any horror fan who might want to wear something other than black.
Fango got the chance to interview one of Creep Street’s creators, Boris Chang Jr., about the business and why it’s the place you want to fulfill your horror needs.
FANGORIA: Tell us a little bit about Creep Street and what it’s all about.
BORIS CHANG JR.: Creep Street is everything you loved as a kid, combined with loud graphics, lewd humor and rad horror flicks. I started this baby with my former partner Chip circa 2006, and it’s been all epic filth, boobs and gore since. We are a lifestyle brand—a lot of tees and accessories, and really about the kids who love monster flicks, music, skateboarding and bad infomercials, and have a great grasp on life in the ’80s and ’90s. The best part is the whole mixing of these elements with contemporary pop culture. We love making fun of shit, twisting things and pissing a few people off. At the end of the day, we just want to have fun, look rad doing it and keep it Creepy 24/7. Having a sense of humor allows you to live longer. It’s scientifically proven.
FANG: How long, on average, does it take to design your products?
CHANG: As long as it takes to be f**king awesome! But typically, because I’m such a busy guy—surfing Internet porn, mostly—I’d say a few weeks for every season, excluding protos, concept and campaign development.
FANG: I love the site’s 8-bit Nintendo-style intro, since I’m a product of the 1980s. I take it that the decade of excess is a major influence on your style?
CHANG: I was a late-’80s baby, but I remember that shit like your sister’s butt! My uncle had VH1 recorded on Sundays, and MTV running—when it still played music during the day. The best video games are kinda what influences us to create smarter product. Good design, basic controls, good storylines and rad soundtracks that were so damn catchy. The ’80s were a great decade because it was pure in its grime, and the style and attitude was hard to compete with. It had the rawness of street culture, and music and drugs were everywhere. Nowadays, people dress like they’re from the ’80s. In the ’80s, they just dressed.
FANG: You’re obviously horror fans, with your BLOOD FEAST and CHOPPING MALL designs. Besides those two, what other horror films have inspired you? Also, which video games and comic books?
CHANG: Horror movies? I hate horror movies! Where do I start? Everything from NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, obviously, THE EVIL DEAD and SLEEPAWAY CAMP to FRIGHT NIGHT, THE MONSTER SQUAD and obviously the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET series. DEAD ALIVE is easily up there as well. I like a lot of B-grade flicks for their hilarity in exploitiveness—is that even a word?—and the ridiculous dialogue and blood. I was a Marvel addict growing up, but that easily transitioned into just downloading CREEPY comic covers these days. As for video games, the two-player titles probably kicked the most ass. CONTRA, BAD DUDES, DOUBLE DRAGON and fighting games did it for me. Stuff like ZELDA, CASTLEVANIA and GHOSTS ’N GOBLINS just had sick storylines and were way cooler than any chick I could hang out with at the time.
FANG: Unlike a lot of horror designers who basically work in black, you’re not afraid to use bright colors on your T-shirts. Do you feel this makes you stand out from the other horror products out there?
CHANG: Well, when you see a bright road sign, you do one of two things: You notice it or you deliberately run into it! Horror is extreme and fun, so why shouldn’t our shirts be too? I’m a big fan of the skateboard culture; it’s an easy compromise when it’s all about graphics, colors and living life to the edge.
FANG: You mentioned something about Greg Lamberson, director/writer of the SLIME CITY movies, yelling at you for using the Creep Street name. Can you tell us what that was all about?
CHANG: Ha ha, that was more of a courtesy e-mail—I love you, Greg!—for using the Slime City name, which was copyrighted, I believe. But he was an awesome dude about it, so I sent him a few shirts and set up some promo with Fearzone.
FANG: You have embraced social networking, like with your MySpace page. How has MySpace helped in the continued success of your brand?
CHANG: MySpace is a place for friends, right? It seems to be mostly a music site these days, but it still serves as a great platform for connecting with people who share comon interests, as well as getting exposure for the brand. The most fun part is really connecting with people, potential fans, random messages and seeing how big and diverse the social network we live in is. That and looking at all your daughters posing in the bathroom half-naked, puckering their lips—sure, it’s about their new lipstick color. You can catch us on Facebook and Twitter these days as well. If people need to be connected all the time and know what’s up constantly, I’m more than happy to let them know what makes Creep Street tick!
FANG: What has been the formula behind your success?
CHANG: Money and ho’s! Ha ha! It’s really about having a unique and fun identity and being passionate about what you do. To constantly keep everyone entertained and staying creative simultaneously. I’m not too cool for school, and I want people to know this is really about not giving a f**k and living life, then just trying to get rich selling graphic tees. You have to have fun and know when to treat business like business, pleasure like pleasure, and when they can mix. I really just mix the two most of the time anyway! Why not?! A midget told me life is short!
FANG: What’s the most challenging aspect of marketing Creep Street? In what creative ways have you gotten your brand’s name out to the public?
CHANG: The biggest challenge is just getting it out there. It’s a process which takes time if you don’t have the advertising bucks; I Iive in a Pantone® Purple C tent, for God’s sake! The most fun thing I’ve done so far was the Panty Parade. Chicks take some serious pictures rocking some creepy panties, and the best, errrr, picture wins free stuff! It’s all about composition! Literally! Guys can do it too, but they won’t win anything. But please feel encouraged to get your girlfriend a pair and take some pictures! This is the only contest where everyone in life wins!
FANG: What are your future plans for Creep Street? Do you plan on expanding your brand to other parts of the world with a more physical presence?
CHANG: Definitely; I would expand it to another galaxy, if only E.T. would hit me back. It’s like I help him phone home and he’s done with us Earthlings! Messed up. As the brand expands its offerings, we’d like people from every corner of this world to expand as well and be able to get their hands on some creepy goodness!
FANG: Finally, do you have any advice for do-it-yourself designers wanting to create a business like Creep Street?
CHANG: Have a great idea, a business plan, some saved cash! Know you are about to go on the biggest rollercoaster of your life, because as fast it goes, you’re only gonna have fun if you enjoy the breeze and know that everyone on that same cart is living it up with you.
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