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Social Decay's Evolution of Style


Sometimes you just want to wear a statement piece that says everything you're thinking. Luckily, Social Decay has some perfect shirts to let your outfit of the day do all the talking. Snarky, to the point, and ripe with a “tear shit up” attitude, Social Decay upholds a grungy aesthetic with a high quality make. And we can’t get enough! Being one of our major brands over at INKEDSHOP.COM, we wanted to share a little background info with you on the Brooklyn-based clothing company. Rooted in the underground New York scene, Social Decay is all about a hands on, do-it-yourself, and make a statement mentality. Reminiscent of the tongue-in-cheek outlook of the ‘70s and ‘80s punk movement paired with the unique sophistication of modern fashion and alternative art, Social Decay is a must-have brand to add to your wardrobe.

We got to chat with the brand's co-owners Matthew Blacker and Samantha Sisca along with Design Director Ali Blacker and Account Executive Melissa Garcia to get the inside scoop on everything Social Decay. Here’s what they told us.

How did Social Decay first get started?
Matthew Blacker: I have been employed by many brands throughout my career as an illustrator, art director, and creative director. I have a creative mind that’s hard to turn off and I don't sleep much. I started it at home in my spare time while working for other brands to pay the bills. I wanted to create something authentic and homegrown that I could take care of and build in the way I saw fit. It’s our little street baby covered in ink that we love and will continue to nurture.
Samantha SiscaMatt showed me his idea and designs for Social Decay and I fell in love instantly! We’ve worked together for a few years and have always made a great team. It seemed only natural to go into business together and create a brand we are both passionate about. We have some big ideas and it’s awesome to watch them come to life one by one.

What inspired the overall brand aesthetic?
M. Blacker: The graphic biz ain't rocket science. However, street wear is a revolving door of flash bang grenades and the ‘I got rich off a mix tape’ mentality. I don't want to label it 'street wear' because that’s not a proper description; it’s grittier than that and hopefully will stand up longer than most street wear brands. Social Decay is about our culture and the underground youth movement. It’s about not conforming. Maybe we are trying to start a little cultural movement while also retaining a tongue-in-cheek quirky side that pokes fun at serious issues. I have skated, surfed, snowboarded, built and driven gas powered monster vehicles my whole life. Social Decay is a reflection of all of this.

 Photo by Mike Le

Photo by Mike Le

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
M. Blacker: I get up super early. Sometimes I wake up in the shower at 4 am on a Sunday giggling about something funny I just thought of not even realizing its the weekend. Showers are great inspirations. I am most creative in the morning. We sit around sometimes and just come up with things that we like, things that rhyme, statements and art that people will have to do a double take at. A lot of our design inspiration comes from the people we surround ourselves with, the rock culture and the underground NYC art scene.

You are based in Brooklyn, New York with various NYC boutiques carrying your brand. What about the New York style has influenced your brand?
Sisca: New York doesn't have any one particular style. Black is always the new black in our world. Our primary silhouette is influenced from the NYC punk rock era. Our dusty black muscle tee is softer than a Salvation Army tee that someone loved and wore for many years. We developed our own insanely soft blended fabric; you can't buy it from the pre made "printable goods" market. The quality standard is one of our main focuses. Our shit sells out like hotcakes when you can touch it; it’s a little harder online when our customers can’t grasp that this is so much more than a graphic tee. NYC demands something extra that will set us apart from big box brands.

Many of your designs are plays on pop culture. What led you to want to head towards a sort of cultural commentary with your designs?
M. Blacker: It’s what is happening right now. It’s what we like. We are able to relate to our products. I have the 5am shower creative edge and that’s going to keep us on top and get some giggles. We like the double takes.

You've done work with a lot of people in the underground alternative scenes. Can you tell us about some of those collaborations?
Melissa Garcia: We do lots of collaborations with local scene girls, bloggers, inked models and other alternative models, bands, and artists. That’s the world we live in and those are our friends. We are lucky to have them in our big ol' family. We recently collaborated with [fashion blogger] Amy Valentine, [models] Mandee Bence and Jason Blake from ThePlugLA, [model] Rachel Lynch, [fashion blogger] Kirsten Kaye and more.

What led you to want to keep all of your designs hand printed?
Ali Blacker: It is therapeutic and hand printed art is beautiful. Hard ink sucks. We try to keep it authentic. When we print by hand there is room to change things on the fly. If a shirt gets fucked up I will give it to a friend, if it gets too fucked up it becomes a rag. Nothing gets out that is not up to our standard though; Social Decay is top quality disco shit.

 Photo by Mike Le

Photo by Mike Le

What are some of your favorite products?
Sisca: We love the ‘Anti-Social Club’ collection. It’s hard to pick because we genuinely love every design. We work in capsule drops. We have secret machines we built that allow us to think something up and have it on the website the next day physically for sale. We don't make our designs a year in advance like we had done at previous companies we’ve worked for; that school of thinking is dying fast. We never have to push out half-assed designs because of some pressure for a big deadline. We always try to stay ahead of the game.

What's a great go-to for styling an outfit around a piece from Social Decay?
Sisca: Social Decay tees provide an effortless cool vibe. Put on your favorite pair of jeans and a new Social Decay shirt and you’re good to go. Throw on a pair of combat boots and a leather jacket for some edge or heels and leather leggings for a sexy, rocker chic look.

Describe Social Decay in one word:
A. Blacker: Deviant.

Social Decay is currently working on a brand new batch of silhouettes for the spring and summer. But in the meantime, here are a few upcoming Social Decay events to attend:

February 10th – Social Decay Fashion Week Pop-up party @ Beauty & Essex (NYC)

February 16th-19th – Come visit us at the POOL Tradeshow in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Booth #1004 (Las Vegas)

February 17th – Social Decay happy hour at Coyote Ugly in the New York, New York Hotel (Las Vegas)

Love Social Decay just as much as we do? Well check out some of our favorite products in the gallery below!