Music and fashion often go hand in hand, one industry reliant on the other for survival. Frequently, the musicians are the one wearing new collections produced by designers and brands in the clothing sphere.
And the two combined make an inspirational combination, with world famous icons inspiring generations of young people and acting as human style guides, just check the trend ASAP Rocky has started since he appeared wearing a babushka.
VT Studios founder Josh Coogan discovered the strong connection between fashion and music from a young age and his older brother furthered his surroundings, often buying him the latest albums.
“I started to listen to rap from a very young age, I have an older brother and I remember him buying me Tha Carter III and Drake’s Take Care album and it all started from there.
“As for most people rap and fashion go hand in hand, seeing influencers like Playboi Carti in M+RC NOIR, Lil Peep in Places + Faces and Ski Mask in Gue$$ jeans.”
The marriage between sound and style not only shaped Josh’s own tastes but led to the creation of his first project.
“VT was never actually meant to be a brand, I designed the ski mask design for myself because I loved the vintage style rap tees but I couldn’t find a Tee that had contemporary rappers on it so I decided to contact some printing companies.
“That led to me having quite a few printed although it still is a limited tee, once they are gone they are gone.”
With an impressive entry into streetwear, coming in with a Ski Mask graphic that is unique and stand-outs, a lot can be expected for VT Studios.
Even with the competition in the industry, Josh remains unfazed and confident in his designs.
Instead of seeing people like Marino Morwood, one of the leading designers in the ‘rap graphic tee’ market, as competition, VT Studios draw inspiration from other creations.
“I don’t see it as competition, Marino Morwood is a G.O.A.T, he’s my biggest inspiration and he sets a high standard, I would jump at the chance to work with him. Yet, we all just want to bring great designs to the community.
“I remember being in Selfridges and seeing the book “rap tees” by DJ Ross one with pages full of vintage rap tees and this brought me to Marino Morwood and he inspired me further, eventually inspiring me to create my own.”
Yet it’s a process and Josh is happy to take his time to refine VT Studios over the course of 2019. He told Wear? Magazine: “I’m not rushing, it’s a process, it takes time. I could go through 2019 with four sales and then boom in 2020 I’m just planning to stick with it.
“By the end of 2019, I hope to produce the first season of “The Studio” as well as more vintage style rap tees.”
The aforementioned ‘Studio’ appears as the second half to VT. Alongside producing rap t-shirts, Josh is using ‘The Studio’ as a way to add his own influence onto the streetwear scene.
With the ideas flowing and a clear vision on what the industry lacks, VT Studios aims to launch their designs in before the year closes.
“It’s not about the money, my goal is to be able to go out and see someone wearing a tee or hoodie that I’ve created.
“I could be working on a design for weeks to sell the tee for £30 but I’m constantly looking to improve my designing skills and interconnectivity with the community.
“I have so many ideas I want to share and release but it takes time and right now I’m trying to get VT recognised but do expect a new vintage design to be released soon.”
Whether VT Studios get the recognition they deserve tomorrow or post-2019, the creativity Josh is bringing to the industry is impressive, and the VT label, whether that be in the vintage rap t-shirt market or as ‘The Studio’, is certainly worth keeping an eye on.
Josh Coogan speaking for VT Studios to Wear? Magazine.
Images courtesy of VT Studios (@vnt_studios).
Check out the Wear? Reviews: VT Studios ‘Ski Mask the Slump God’ tee here.