Glamour Kills is more than just a clothing company. Built from a community of punk culture and armed with a purposefully independent, do-it-yourself mentality, we are an alternative-minded brand for people who don’t want to follow the norm. We are a lifestyle and culture our own. We are the underdog, the passionate, the creative and the dreamer. We are Glamour Kills. March to your own beat or not at all.
Today, Mark Capicotto goes to work in an office in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Back in 2005, he went to work at a pizza parlor where he was a delivery boy. That was the year Capicotto, still fresh out of high school, started Glamour Kills in his parents’ basement in upstate New York. Only nine years later, Capicotto’s dream has moved out of that basement and into the spotlight as the premiere lifestyle brand for an alternative culture.
Glamour Kills has been driven by music from the start. Capicotto fell in love with music at The Chance – his local venue growing up in Poughkeepsie, NY – and found a community where he finally felt accepted. It was only natural, then, for GK to make its official debut at in 2005 at the first-ever Bamboozle Festival in Asbury Park, N.J., where Capicotto and a few friends completely sold out of every piece of GK clothing they brought with them – including the original signature Flying Pig design. “The pizza delivery guy was never supposed to own an office in New York City,” Capicotto says. “The flying pig design was for all those teachers who told me I could never amount to anything.”
Even more success accompanied GK at Bamboozle in 2006, when the festival moved to the much larger Meadowlands and Capicotto sold out of even more product. The same community that had accepted Capicotto at The Chance was now accepting Glamour Kills, and Capicotto realized this would become his life. In 2008, GK joined the Vans Warped Tour – where it would sponsor its own stage in 2010 – and has continued to be a part of Warped ever since. It also opened its first office and store in Beacon, NY, where a little band known as All Time Low kicked off a huge celebration party.
Things sped up in 2009, when the national retail store Zumiez began carrying Glamour Kills in stores across the United States. Now, GK products can be found in Urban Outfitters and Tilly’s as well. The annual GK Tour was launched and has gone on to feature headliners like All Time Low, Mayday Parade and The Wonder Years. A new warehouse on the West Coast was opened in 2011 as Glamour Kills relocated to New York City, making the company bicoastal as it became distributed internationally. In recent years, GK has expanded into swimwear, cut-and-sew and denim, and has launched its first-ever mens-only line – dubbed Create Destroy Rebuild – for like-minded individuals with a punk ethos.
Music is still a focal point in Glamour Kills’ daily life. It lives, breathes and operates with the inspiration of being ingrained in the culture it grew up in. Luckily for the company’s 11 New York City-based staff members, who have all come up through the music industry, working with bands doesn’t feel like work at all. As Capicotto says, it’s all just “one big GK family,” and that mindset has led to projects like the new Annual GK Zine, which highlights intimate stories from musicians. And the GK family doesn’t stop at bands, either – it’s grown to include charities like Keep A Breast, PETA2, Dear Jack and more that Glamour Kills has made a priority to support throughout the years. The common thread, though, is always music.
“Every once in a while, I’ll do an interview with a fashion or a clothing-related publication, and they always want to know who my biggest fashion influence is,” Capicotto says. “And I’m like, ‘Is it acceptable to say Brand New?’ We are so not just a clothing company. We’re here to be a part of the music, we’re here to be a part of kids expressing themselves. And we’re always going to stay that way.”
March to your own beat or not at all.