New York photographer Matt Clark has been working quietly on his new project for some time now. It’s called Naff le Skell and it is a line of t-shirts designed by Matt himself. These aren’t your typical “surf brand” shirts with a colorful logo and some waves on them. The shirts included in the summer line have a real fresh and unique feel to them. I’ve already ordered two and can’t wait until some new designs drop.
Clark hasÂ definitelyÂ put a lot of time into the collection and it really shows in the designs. We asked him a few questions about Naff le Skell, like how he got started with the shirts and where the name came from. We’ve also got a full gallery of photos he took of the collection while on a surf trip in Nicaragua. The shirts are currently on sale online and in select stores.
More info, the whole interview, and the gallery can be seen after the jump….
SURFBANG: You’re known for your photography, how’d you make the leap into selling t-shirts?
Matt Clark: Every couple of months or so, I lose interest in my photography and start pursuing other things. This past winter, I started drawing again, and posted some old stuff I drew years back on Facebook. Some people liked them, one person hated them, and the rest seemed indifferent. In December I put together my first T-shirt, it was a rectangular collage of my photos and it came out awesome, they sold out really quickly, so for the second t-shirt I did a drawing of Long Beach with a wave, and this time I printed it on three different colored t-shirts, they too sold out very quickly. I started working on Naff le Skell ideas with intentions of printing t-shirts around March.
SB: Who is designing the shirts and what’s the inspiration behind them?
MC: I’ve done everything so far concerning the company, however I’m all about collaborations, it’s the best way to support and grow a community. For these first three t-shirts, I hand drew all of them. Lots of ideas we’re put back in the folder, these three seemed like the best way to open it up. Stoke Attack has been a saying amongst some of my friends for years, when you’re so jazzed up about whatever it is in the world you can’t hold it in anymore, you have a “stoke attack”. Locals Only came from a drawing I did in 2008 of a Shark with these crazy teeth, I really liked him and redrew him eating some dude who was on a tube out in the ocean. Most of my drawings have a little flare going on too, like the shark has a fin-ring because he’s a punk, and some other secret stuff. I drew myself into that one too, there’s one little fish who’s facing the opposite direction of every other fish and he has a big nose, that’s me. These t-shirts are pretty innocent and not geared towards any specific type of person, I’m just trying to make people smile.
SB: Where does the name “Naff le Skell” come from and what does it mean?
MC: I’ve spent the last two years trying to come up with a good name, and I’ve always come back to this one, sometimes you just have to go with what feels right no matter what anyone says. Naff le Skell comes from a bunch ofÂ different things. Skell is a word that’s been thrown around amongst my friends for years, but it comes from the father of one of my best friends Casey. Apparently it had been a word NYC police officers used to describe someone who was a derelict on the streets. Naff is a British slang word that can mean tacky or unfashionable. Naff le Skell, the unfashionable derelict. I’m Naff le Skell.
SB: When can we expect the next round of designs?
MC: As soon as these are snatched up! We just got back from Nicaragua doing a bit of a photoshoot for the Summer 2010 line, so now it’s back to work! The support for Naff le Skell dictates when the next line comes out. Ideally, we could start production on the Fall line in August and have them ready for September. Aside from the portion of the profit I’m donating to the Gulf Oil Spill Fund, the rest is going into making more clothing, the Fall will cost a bit more if we go with a hooded sweatshirt and some t-shirts so it would work out nicely. If there’s one thing to know about me, it’s that I jump head first into everything, if I’m going to do it, I want to do it with all of my heart, so they’re going to be nice. Also looking forward to “collabo” with some other artists for the next line too. There’s no rules so they can make whatever they want, it should be really interesting.
SB: Anything else you want to tell us about this new project?
MC: We’re already being sold internationally! The support so far has been awesome. We’re being mentioned in ESM and a really cool magazine called Desillusion, out of France. We’re putting together a team, so if you’re interested in working with us, submit a resume to email@example.com. You can be anything, skateboarder, surfer, bodyboarder, artist, photographer, whatever. Also, the next stuff to come out from us is going to be visually different than this first line, so enjoy and see you out there.
The shirts are also currently in stock atÂ Unsound Surf Shop in Long Beach, NY and will be in more stores soon.