Sunday, November 10, 2013

Super cool project: 8-bit art! extended sizes! brand-new business! anti-rape ethos!

Dave Poyer is an American living, working and teaching in China.

He's also a jiu jitsu nut, a big dude, and a bit of a sucker for punishment.  He's starting a brand new company and needs our help on Kickstarter.

Nope, this isn't Dave-- but this IS the aforementioned homage to 8-bit videogame art.  Modeled at the ADCC 2013 by an excited fan.

One excited grappler couldn't resist the urge to try us on at ADCC 2013!  Thanks, Thein!

Here're a few words from Dave:

"I live and work right here in Shanghai, and since our idea was hatched in April 2013, I've criss-crossed this country visiting factories and talking to hundreds of textile experts worldwide to make sure that our products are not only made to our exacting specifications, but also that their workers receive a fair, liveable wage for their efforts. I've found some factories and suppliers that I not only trust, but that will allow me to personally oversee our production run from the factory floor when it begins!

Unlike others, Ikkari has a slightly more irreverent approach to fashion.  Our look is for serious athletes who don't take themselves too seriously.  We wanted to create some compression wear that pops!  With some art for a change.  You'll get a reaction when you show up to training wearing an Ikkari Rash Guard.

This business is an outlet for our creativity. . . .  But Ikkari has another mission:  make rash guards available in unconventional sizes.  I'm a Samoan guy.  We're mostly big dudes, and much to my chagrin, many of my favorite rash guard makers cut their sizes off at XL.  Worse yet, many of them also use the European OECD size charts, which make the sizes  even smaller!  That's no fun. We'll feature Men's S-XXXL; and Women's S-L.  Stay tuned for a detailed sizing chart.

We at Ikkari share a goal:  create a little business where we sell one limited-edition rash guard line at a time until the production run sells out.  Then on to our next rash guard theme and design.  This way we don't have to sweat the vagaries of wholesaling, or major inventory management."

For $60, you'll get a unique, limited run long sleeve rashie.  You can even send Dave your custom measurements and get a custom-fitted rashie for no extra charge!!  You'll also be supporting a small businessperson and you'll know the people making your gear are not children or sweatshop prisoners.  I asked him about his approach to advertising, and we ended up with a long conversation that included this:

"None of my ads will have anything derogatory toward women or anyone else.  In fact, I started Ikkari because I thought all brands took themselves entirely too seriously for my taste with names like Contract Killer, Hit Man, [and] Tap Out. . ."  The aim: to have something more lighthearted, like Art Junkie or even Reversal Gear, except I'm a Samoan and most of those companies don't even make stuff in my size. Oh, and cheaper too.  (It might be worth mentioning that with 60 bucks for a long-sleeve rashie +10 for shipping outside the US gets them a pretty sweet rashguard, something that I prefer to think of as a wearable piece of digital art, not sure if the VAT would apply to that.

  Yes, by all means, I support the anti-rape ranting!  My US-based business partner and friend Lindsay back in the US and I have been looking for a shelter or rape crisis center to donate some of our proceeds to, if we get our project funded.  We wanted to follow the Warby Parker Eyewear model of building by building a contribution to a charity in every single sale we make.  We'd kicked around the idea of having whatever cause's logo on the rashie's side-panel, but that's not really going to help if someone buys a rash guard that has the word 'rape' on on it.  So, it's a work in progress.   Lindsay is a former banker who gave up her lucrative career as a Securities Trader to return to school to become an LPCC, a mental health specialist [and she] has dedicated her life towards helping others put their lives back together after such a horrible experience."

Dave's kickstarter project has just one more month to go and it needs your help.  Click here to order your custom-fitted wearable art.  I'll keep you posted on where the donation will end up.

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