It was barely a year ago that homegrown brand Cutlass Clothing opened a small store front on the Newport Beach peninsula. And while their blue collar beach bum aesthetic definitely made an impression on local fashion (and earned the reputation of having style that is cool enough to steal), a lack of in-store sales is forcing Cutlass to cut the shop loose.
Today, the company (founded by designer Dean Bradley who partnered with Martin Stern of Leaders By Design) is hosting a store-closing show with an acoustic performance by local singer-songwriter and Iration guitarist Micah Brown. It's the final gig in of a short run of shows over the last month or so that have helped the brick and mortar business wind down gracefully. However, Bradley and Stern say the brand (and their online store) with continue to pump out graphic tees slathered with wild animals, custom cars and old-school designs.
When the shop first opened, it served as both an office and a mini concert space for the brand's founders, helped by the marketing and design chops of Casey Sullivan, formerly of OC reggae-rock band Seedless (who has since left the company and just recently left the band). The shop played host to a number of artists and bands who rocked Cutlass clothes in their local ads. Duddy B of The Dirty Heads, Sullivan, Brown, rappers Mudlux and Daniel "Bambaata" Marley filled the little shop during in-store performances.
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Cutlass' advertising themes like "local legends" and "custom exotic" are designed to not only appeal local big timers like the Dirty Heads, Seedless and Slightly Stoopid who sport their shirts on stage. They also want their clothes worn by working class beach rats with artistic flare and a conscious desire to lift a middle finger to the stereotypes of what beach culture is to the rest of the world.
"I'm trying to make this the everyday Southern California lifestyle brand. But it's not about having the dudes that are in the limelight or the Number 1 surfer on the team," Bradley says. "It's about the guys who are going for it for their own true passions and the true beach culture that exists around here."
Though we'll be sad to see the store close after such a brief run, we understand rent in Newport ain't cheap—keep selling your shit online, boys!
Come down from 7-9 p.m. tonight to catch Brown's store-closing set. The company is also putting all of its in-store merch on sale for those wish to cop some gear before they say goodbye to the place. For details, click here.