DEERDANA’s minimalist portrait tees have been on our fashion radar for some time. But when Jay-Z broke out their Basquiat for his now-famous subway ride to Brooklyn a couple weeks ago, we knew the NYC brand had hit the tipping point. Featuring a mötley crüe of iconic characters hand-scrawled onto classic white cotton tees, DEERDANA takes a wardrobe staple and gives it the tastemaker treatment. They also have their finger firmly on the pulse. From Rick Ross to Frida Kahlo to Maggie Smith’s Countess on “Downton Abbey,” their subjects transcend pop- and sub-cultures, and can best be qualified as, quite simply, cool.
We caught up with founders Dana Veraldi and Kevin Tekinel to learn a little more about the line, including what their actual criteria is when emblazoning those tees:
What’s the criteria for showing up on a DEERDANA limited edition tee?
Sometimes we think about the selection as people we’d like to have dinner with. Martin Scorcese, Frida, Basquiat, Bieber singing…can you imagine a better dinner party?
RSVP us please! So who creates the images?
Where do the visuals come from?
I draw them with Kevin – we work together. We source from a number of different places. Some are more well known images, like the drawing of John Ford which from a Richard Avedon photograph.
Are most of your tees commissioned via collaborations (ie the kickass new Opening Ceremony line) or of your own choice?
None of our shirts are really “commissioned.” All of the shirts we do with outside people are true collaborations. From OC to Sean Sullivan to Miguel we go through a process of talking about ideas, going through images to draw from and then a number of drafts that we both are happy with. Most of our tees are our own line, but we love our collaborations!
Do you have to get the subjects’ approval or do you just go for it?
We go for it! Everyone has been very supportive, they should be flattering to the subject. We try to get them to the subject if possible.
Can you give us a heads up on a few portrait subjects we’ll be seeing soon?
New faces include Choupette Lagerfeld (Ed: Karl Lagerfeld’s beloved cat with 21,000 Twitter followers and counting), David Lynch, Hitchcock and Raf Simons.
Can’t wait! The line is so fresh and your cast of characters delight and inspire. All the best DEERDANA!