Everyone in our scene had an entry point into streetwear and mine was New York’s own 10Deep. Initially I was drawn by the bold graphics and the bravado of the statements on the t-shirts, before falling in love with the unique cut’n’sew pieces, all with the small details and quirks that only a designer with real passion would have dreamt up.
Many don’t realise that 10Deep has been around for 20 years now, the same as Supreme – something really must have been in the water in New York back in 1994. But unlike Supreme, 10Deep have quietly gone about their business for the best part of those two decades, and even though I don’t have as much of their gear as I used to, I still regularly check in and look on – to see where they’re headed next.
My mom once told me that, no matter what, don’t get into the apparel industry. Despite that she did help me get my first cut-and-sew stuff off the ground.
Always relevant, their recent World Wide Wave collection shows they’re still tapping into the street zeitgeist, while their collab BMX bike with New Jersey’s Animal Bikes via BMX Pro Mike Hoder shows that they’re still prepared to do things outside the streetwear lexicon.
At the helm of the brand is Scott Sasso, an enigmatic designer and brand leader who still designs most of the collection for the brand, as well as overseeing the rest of the operation. 20 years of dedication right there. Scott and I conversed over email for this interview, and it was a pleasure to delve deeper into the brand that got me started on this path.
Much like most of the earlier roots of ‘street wear’ it was honestly done with out any sense of business consciousness. I woke up one morning, thinking that I wanted to start a t-shirt brand like many of the guys graduating from graffiti before me were doing, so I wrote down a bunch of names on a piece of paper, taped it onto the wall of my college dorm, and eliminated the ones that I liked least over the next few days.
10Deep was the name I liked best. I just wanted to make a couple of t-shirts really as something cool to do and as an extension of my interests in graffiti, zines, etc.
The brand has always been true to its core so there hasn’t been a need for reinvention. We’ve always been based not in what we think we ‘should’ do but from the collective of interests and tastes of our small and eclectic crew of friends. That said, sometimes we find it necessary to re-remind the street wear public (who often like to assign their own assumptions and values to brands) who we are.
We stick to the essence of where we come from – the 90s NY indie brand scene. Much of what is called street wear today doesn’t necessarily fall into stuff that we would call streetwear.