This week we have a new brand spotlight. We had the opportunity to link up with Tyler Watamanuk of CX City. His brand takes influences from the urban lifestyle of Los Angeles and New York. Check out the interview we had with him down below.
Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Tyler Watamanuk and I started CX.CITY in my garage back in 2009 while living in Los Angeles. I’m currently living in New York and the other managing partner of the brand, Ryan Romero, still lives and works in LA.
When did you guys come up with the idea of starting the brand?
I had just quit touring with my old band and had settled back in my hometown to start working but wanted a new creative outlet, and was burnt out on playing music. I’d always been into design and graphic tees so CX.CITY was formed as an outlet for that, and just it grew from there. I started printing each shirt by hand in my garage and learned the screen-printing process from the inside out. While the brand has since evolved past that, I still carry that same hands on approach and eye for detail.
When you started out did you think it would be a serious business?
Not at all. I started this as a little passion project in a garage, just for fun without any real thought that it would turn into anything more than that. I just wanted to be able to put out a few shirt designs here and there; the fact that it has grown into something more has been very exciting and unexpected.
How would you define your city’s fashion?
Diverse. You can be in one part of the city and see certain styles and then hop on the subway to another and see a whole new set of looks and style. The fashion in New York is in a constant state of progression, always ahead of the trends. There is a lot of personality in this city and it definitely translates into how people dress.
How is the internet changing your craft?
The internet has always made it easier to find more of whatever it is you are passionate about. I remember being younger, buying CDs, and then looking to see what other bands were mentioned in the “Thank You” section to try and discover new bands. Now you can just browse around online to find other stuff you might be interested in. The internet has definitely exposed me to a huge number of great designers, illustrators and brands that I would have probably never otherwise known about. Seeing how talented the current creative landscape is has definitely pushed me to keep evolving my craft and skills.
Do you consider yourself an artist?
As much as I’d like to say yes, at the end of day I’m just printing t-shirts and making clothes. It is important to be original and creative in this industry but also equally as important to not take yourself too seriously. I’ve never looked up to “fashion or graphic designers” the same way I’ve looked up to true artists (writers and musicians included) so I would feel pretty foolish considering myself an artist. I do admire the dedication and work ethic behind a lot of bigger clothing brands but never found any of them to be as culturally significant as a Woody Allen or a Jackson Pollock.
What does the future hold? What should your followers expect to see in 2013?
I’m looking to continue to push the brand forward with more products, sharper creative and better visual stories. Expect to see even more attention to detail in what we are doing.
Where and how can new followers follow your brand? Instagram? Twitter? Facebook?
What was your intent behind the creation of CX.CITY? How did the business come about?
As I mentioned earlier, this brand has always been a passion project. My intention was always to just have fun and create goods within the vision and aesthetic I enjoyed. Everything else has just happened organically and I’ve done my best to keep up with it.
Where do your inspirations come from?
I’ve always taken huge influence from my surroundings, so I knew the core concept of this brand would be driven by the inspiration found in my environment. Whether I am in Los Angeles or New York, I constantly strive to create products that honor the visuals and history found in both cities. It could be a subway sign, a pattern I see on the street or just about anything. Both are vibrant cities full of inspiration and an array of different cultures.
Lastly, could you talk about any long-term goals you have in mind?
I’ve never been big on setting goals for the brand because I like letting it grow and evolve in a very natural sort of way. The only thing I have in mind is to keep working as hard as we can and see where it takes us. A lot of people get caught up in the future and don’t really focus on the present and that is part of the reason why setting goals or projections for the brand has never been a priority of mine.