Cardboard Robot based out of Long Beach”, CA, has always been a fascinating brand for their mix-up of themes and tight connections with music politics, skateboarding, and artists. In the last 4 years, the brand has crossed over into having complete collections with between 80-100 accounts per season, and are now expanding internationally.
We met up with Jaso, the Marketing Director for Cardboard Robot, at Agenda who talked with Label Networks TV about the brand and how it has continued to keep its edge in the industry of street fashion.
“If you ask where Cardboard Robot the name came from, the guy who started it would have to say it started 7 years ago when he first picked up a box. He was working in a warehouse boxing things and he felt like a cardboard robot.”
Unlike other street fashion brands Cardboard Robot also produces cardboard furniture including shelving, chairs, couches, and displays which can be seen anywhere from booths such as the Girls Garage on the Vans Warped Tour, to their own booths at trade shows like Agenda, United, and MAGIC, or other venues, including last month’s premiere of the Label Lab Exhibition at Crewest Gallery in downtown Los Angeles. Other aspects that put the brand on the map was their deer hunter hoodie with the bullet zip and faux fur hood lining (which some say started the whole deer/antler aesthetics found in fashion today from runway to street), and the cool apparel items that the brand also creates for young women.
Cardboard Robot’s Fall ’08 collection features a mix of hoodies ranging from colorful fully reversible silk jackets with Hollywood themes and stars on the inside complete with sunglasses zipper pulls, to camo styles such as the Bandit hoodie with a subtle all over print that zips up over the chin and mouth like a bandit, and the classic deer hunter in red with black horn designs, faux fur hoodie lining and bullet zips.
T-shirts for women include new silhouettes in sleeveless tops, plus longer T’s, and slightly oversized. Their T-shirt collection highlights for guys and girls however, remain in their choices of graphics ranging from a funny diss on Miami Vice and other Miami clich?s complete with neon pink and turquoise colors, to Los Angeles with city icons such as hookers, the Capital Record building, and traffic. Another hot T is the “zipper” T-V-neck which is a big graphic of a zipper being unzipped down the front.
The goal of Cardboard Robot, says Jaso, is to keep creating several different types of designs from different sources of inspiration. “It can be politics, music, cities, our artist friends, and collaborations. It’s pretty interesting to see some people come by and look at one design and have a reaction to it, then look at another and wonder how we came up with that too because we can have really different types of people in here.” Which begs the question, what are Cardboard Robot’s creative design meetings like? “Let’s just say various substances can sometimes be involved,” cracks Jaso. “The point is if we can keep a retailer on their toes, then we know we’re doing a good job.”