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Behind The Brand: Anti Social Social Club

Posted by Ross Dwyer at

It’s all about having a cult following these days. If you can establish a loyal fanbase in today’s eclectic, ever-changing world of streetwear you’re doing something right … and few brands have been able to achieve that cult status quite like Anti Social Social Club. Their themes of paranoia and self-doubt seem to have struck a chord with street culture, and their products continue to sell out season after season.

You’ve seen the clothes, both in person and all over Instagram. Peeped the recognizable wavy font and signature catchphrase on  many a hat, t-shirt, hoodie, or coach’s jacket. But what do you really know about the mysterious, depression-fueled brand from Los Angeles? They’re intentionally shrouded in mystery and confusion, so today we’re bringing you the backstory behind one of the hottest brands on the market today,  Anti Social Social Club.

To truly understand the brand,  you have to understand the mind of its founder Neek Lurk, the current social marketing manager for Stussy. He’s stated that Anti Social Social Club was “never meant to be a brand, more like a life project. More like my lowest days into tangible items”. Neek speaks openly about his paranoia, self-doubt and depression, and channels that into a tangible form with his brand, a physical representation of his fragile psyche.  

Originally from Las Vegas, Neek was extremely active on streetwear/sneaker forums in the early 2000’s (you can still find his old NikeTalk posts with a bit of digging), and was an early Internet style influencer before Internet style influencers were really a thing, wearing skinny jeans when anyone who didn’t wear baggy jeans got clowned ruthlessly (tough to imagine that happening today). In 2013, he moved to LA with nothing but his Toyota Prius, intent on shooting photos and assimilating himself into the culture, but without a solid idea of what he wanted his future to be. He got his foot in the door by securing a job at Stussy, worked his way up the ranks to his current position as their Social Marketing Manager, and launched Anti Social Social Club in early 2015.

And the brand caught on like wildfire due to its honest approach. It was spotted on Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Travis Scott, Wiz Khalifa, Ian Connor, and more, and is seemingly everywhere you look on the Internet nowadays. The graphics and the brand’s signature aesthetic seemed to resonate with everyone when the first pieces released, and that’s because Neek is brutally honest about his thoughts, feelings, and inspirations, and in his own words, he’s “quick”. In an interview with i-D Magazine, Neek said “This brand is successful because I’m really quick. Quick decisions, quick production, and quick reactions to the internet”.

After the co-signs came the collabs. Dover Street Market. Undefeated. Mastermind. RSVP Gallery. Bape. ASSC has collaborated with some of the biggest and best brands in the business without ever compromising their signature aesthetic, something that’s no easy task. Neek has said that if a collab doesn’t come from a place of “honesty and weirdness”, then he won’t do it, and that mindset has kept his brand’s collabs organic and authentic.

And Anti Social Social Club is more than just a clothing brand ... it’s a lifestyle. Through themed pop-ups, short films, and somewhat cryptic Instagram posts, their aesthetic showcases their wide variety of inspirations from depression, paranoia, and self-doubt to fast cars (one of Neek’s favorite things) and Japanese culture.

Of course, any brand as successful as Anti Social Social Club is going to have its fair share of naysayers. ASSC detractors complain about the lack of variety in the releases and the slow shipping speeds, but we’ve got a feeling that those things are supposed to play into the brand’s overall mystique. After all, it’s the Anti Social Social Club … and if you don’t get it, then maybe you’re just not supposed to be a part of it. No matter how big the brand gets, they’re always going to be anti-social, and that’s what keeps them thriving.

 

 

What’s your favorite Anti Social Social Club piece? Out of all the collabs they’ve done, what’s the best in your opinion? Hit us up and let us know on Twitter, check our Facebook page for updates, and, as always, be sure to follow us on Instagram for all the fire pictures you can handle.

-RDwyer


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