Yesterday, the Toronto Is Fashion team got a chance to meet Wet Cement creators Stef Zef and Andrew Lee at Harry Rosen’s Bloor St. location. The designers, who hail from Venice Beach, California, have had recent success with their unique brand of custom made apparel. Besides scoring some big deals with Warner Brothers, their clothing has been worn by some of the biggest celebs including Jim Carrey, Matt Damon, George Clooney and the cast from Jersey Shore. The creators gave us a sneak peak of whats to come with their new venture, featuring DC comic book legends Superman, Batman and more, which will sell exclusively in Canada at Harry Rosen stores starting late 2010. *Check back on Toronto Is Fashion for info on the launch*
Stef and Andrew took a few moments in between helping us on our first ever silk screening experience to talk about Wet Cement Clothing:
TIF: We gotta know about your name , Wet Cement. What was the process in picking the name?
Andrew: It took a long time to think of a name, we literally tried everything and everything was taken. Then over lunch, we noticed a construction crew had finished pouring some cement on the sidewalk. We figured we should just hang out, play with the wet cement, try to figure out some more names to choose. After while we just kind of looked at each other and we said ‘What about Wet Cement’? We looked it up, and it wasn’t taken, so we ran with it. We wrote Wet Cement in the sidewalk and took pictures with it.
TIF: Is it still there?
Stef: Unfortunately no! They repaved it, it was right by my apartment, and they repaved it. But we have the photos, and we totally took a bunch of poses with it.
Andrew: And that’s the day Wet Cement was born.
TIF: How did you both start the company?
Stef: When I was 16 I had a job silk screening t-shirts, and I’ve always wanted to have a clothing line. I knew how to do all the making of the shirts and the set up. Andrew and I met, I think 11 years ago, so we’ve been best friends for like a decade. Ahh, that’s weird to say!
Andrew: I worked a lot with denim, so I knew a lot about distribution and the right channels. So it was a good fit.
Stef: So we were like ‘Let’s just do this!’ So we kinda started messin’ around, making screens in my apartment. I rigged up a dark room in my apartment, with like a $15 dollar halogen light bulb from Home Depot. I had screens in my bathtub, and we were making shirts in the bathtub. At first we started printing all these, like, wings, and shields and stuff. Then I was trying rinse the screen out so we could use it again, and Andrew looks over and we just both kind of said ‘ This is just so not us, we are trying too hard.’ So we started putting photos on the screen and with a paint brush and a garden hose, we started making shirts that we wanted to make. And we could see the distressing was so unique, it was like every piece was like a little piece of original art.
TIF: What sets your brand apart, that keeps celebs flocking to wear Wet Cement?
Andrew: It gives people something unique. A one of kind shirt, literally every shirt we make is gonna have something different about it. It’s kinda like, a one of a kind piece of history, a moment in time or inspiration around us. We could look around and think ‘You know, look at this wall or this object, it’s cool. Let’s take a picture.’
Stef: It’s was like a photo diary. Like this shirt I’m wearing, it was of my old car, and this is where it hit over 200, 000. All the pieces have a story behind it, and its kind of cheesy, but if you think about it, it’s like wet cement. When, in that moment, when the cement is wet, you can write something mean, or you can write something funny, and you can capture that moment. You can make it permanent. That’s how we realized actually, just how perfect the name Wet Cement really was.
TIF: A lot of your products are environmentally friendly.
Stef: Every time we have a choice to use eco-friendly materials we do. Like our cleaners and such, we’re very conscious about what materials we use and what our employees work with. Not everything that we use is, but whatever chance we get, we go with the products with the least environmental impact.
There will be an event open to the public today, September 25th, from 1 – 4pm where you get a chance to meet the designers and get a limited edition t-shirt made while you wait. To sweeten the deal, Harry Rosen is including a special gift with purchase when you purchase a shirt. This is a totally cool event for Harry Rosen to be hosting and will defiantly catch the attention of both new male clientèle, as well as their loyal customer base. For more info and pictures check out the Wet Cement site and on Facebook.