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Glamour Kills weaves together threads of culture. Their t-shirts, hoodies, bathing suits and denim combine a rock n' roll edge with a chic modernism. Their aesthetic is fashionable, but still underground. It's palatable, but still edgy. It's vibrant, but subtle. It's the future of youth lifestyle brands; it's Glamour Kills.
Fresh out of high school with an entrepreneur's spirit and an artist's soul, Mark Capicotto founded Glamour Kills in 2005. Setting up shop in his parents' suburban New York basement, he made five t-shirts that would serve as the template for the company. He slowly began building the brand, selling the shirts at local shows and launching his company's web site glamourkills.com. The 21-year-old's company began to grow immensely, catching on in the music world and then slowly seeping into the cultural zeitgeist at large. Soon Glamour Kills was out of the basement and into its own warehouse.
It all started with Glamour Kills' signature flying pig though. Mark explains, "The first shirt was called, ‘When Pigs Fly.’ To me, that phrase means that anything can happen, and that's what I base my life and the company around. I simply wanted to put my art on shirts, and it was a bonus that people bought them."
They buy them for a few reasons--most notably because there's nothing else on the scene like Glamour Kills. He continues, "Glamour Kills is a bright, youthful brand. When I started the company, a lot of the clothing that was worn in the music community--which we directly market ourselves to--was very dark or all black. That's not us. I wanted to introduce something that was bright, colorful and fun, but not overbearing. No one wants to wear a highlighter on their shirt [Laughs]. We've found the middle ground.
It truly is an indie business too, and Mark has built it like one. Right from the get-go, Mark's passion fueled the company. He did all of the artwork personally, and each and every shirt was a product of his drive. "We're 100 percent homegrown, from designing the shirts to fulfilling orders. There's no third party company that has a hand in anything. My friends at American Icon proudly print all of our clothing, and I come up with the ideas for the shirts. Now we're introducing things like skateboards. We released our first swimwear line in May 2009. We're expanding into cut and sew. We want to always push the envelope."
His dream was to make t-shirts that reflected the rock culture he was immersed in. "Our company is based around music," he says. "Music has always been a huge part of my life, and that's where I draw the most inspiration from."
The rock world has embraced Glamour Kills too. All Time Low, Cobra Starship, Bayside, Boys Like Girls, A Day to Remember and many others all proudly sport Glamour Kills clothing regularly and have been seen on MTV and Jimmy Kimmel Live representing.
Now, another dream has come true for Mark with Glamour Kills' summer long run on the 2009 Vans Warped Tour. "I used to look forward to going to Warped Tour every summer as a kid. One of my favorite things was seeing all of the bands and brands together. We want to promote our line as much as we can and give out a bunch of free stuff. We want to help make an experience for all of the show goers. I think Warped Tour is great for building brands. It gives us the perfect platform to promote. Our demographic is there, and it's awesome for us because we get to hit fans that may not have heard of us."
Glamour Kills has infiltrated American pop culture in countless clothing stores including Zumiez nationwide, in addition to being available online and overseas. Plus, Glamour Kills has its own store in Beacon, New York. He shows, "The brand is more than just a clothing company. I want people to recognize us as a movement--like the Hulkamania of fashion! It's not just t-shirts; it's a lifestyle that we want to be reflective of."
The company's name illustrates Mark's openness to all inspiration. He laughs, "When I started Glamour Kills, I didn't have a name. A friend of mine and I were driving, and one of us was like, 'Glamour Kills.' The name happened by accident, and it ended up sticking. It catches people's attention when they hear it."