The Brooklyn based street wear brand Mishka celebrated their 10th anniversary last night at Stage 48th last night. For me Mishka turning 10 was less about a party for a clothing company and more about seeing family grow up. When I moved to Brooklyn 7 years ago I happened to move a few blocks from Mishka’s base of operations. I vaguely knew a few people from the brand in nightlife and when they had a warehouse sale I stopped in because it was a few blocks away from my apartment. They didn’t even have a store yet, much less the stores they have in Brooklyn, LA, San Francisco and Tokyo. I ended up leaving their warehouse with a couple things including one of their Keep Watch hats, all black with the famous eyeball on the front.
I wore that hat pretty much every day for a year. Eventually someone from Mishka approached me about shooting a lookbook for them. They wanted to do a nightlife themed book and figured I was a fan of the brand because I wore the hat every day. The truth is I liked the hat but I didn’t want to shoot a look book for clothes. I had done two look books for clothes before and both times the brands failed before I even got the gear. The lookbooks were never even published. I had learned my lesson so I said no. They kept bugging me about it over and over again until I finally agreed.
The shoot ended up being the Spring 2009 lookbook and while I am not a big fan of the photos I am so glad I did it. Yeah, I ended up with some free clothes but I also gained a family. Back before Mishka took over the world you would see people in Mishka and you could walk up and say hi because they were friends with somebody you were friends with. Wearing the eyeball meant you were down with all the other kids Keeping Watch.
In the nearly five years that have passed since we shot that lookbook Mishka has blown up like you wouldn’t believe. I recently got a chance to check out their massive new office space in Greenpoint and I just was excited for Mikhail and Greg. Their office has a god damn bar in it. So proud of those dudes and how far their little t-shirt company has gone in just the five years I’ve known them.
So last night I went to their party at Stage 48 and saw King Louie and World’s Fair and had some fun but the party isn’t nearly as important as what it meant… seeing the Mishka family grow up. And yeah, I took some photos and once again I shot something for Mishka for free because they will pay me back in a lot more than clothes.
Speaking of all this, I am going to announce it officially next week, but Mishka LA is going to be the location for my Route 66 book release party on October 11th and we are going to do something in NYC too but that’s a bit up in the air right now. This party in LA is going to be amazing and it never would have happened if I didn’t shoot that lookbook back in late 2008. Thanks Mishka and congrats on your 10th birthday!