Evan Rossell and His Distinctive Stink Grow From Murals to Streetwear

Street artists are common in Orange County, but none create such playful, colorful recurring characters as Stink, the signature character of Newport Coast-based artist Evan Rossell. You have likely seen some of Rossell’s murals, such as the one above Playground in downtown SanTana or the ones in downtown Huntington Beach and across from Disneyland. Rossell has also painted in cities across the country, Brazil and Japan.

The character is a fuzzy, sharp-toothed fellow, with almond-shaped eyes and a small smile; he was originally created for a high-school art show and has since appeared in zines, sculptures and paintings. Rossell has also created a crew of characters called “Hairy Fools,” which hearken back to graffiti crews and motorcycle clubs, only more inclusive. “I wanted to do a thing where I paint a bunch of different hairy characters,” Rossell says. “I wanted them to feel like a group, but I also wanted people to feel like they can be part of my made-up culture that I created.”

Stink has appeared on apparel from brands such as Nike, Hurley, Levi’s, Red Bull, Skull Candy and more. But in seeing demand for his sold-out Stink-covered creations increase, Rossell decided to start his own streetwear line, with small runs of hats, hoodies and long-sleeved tees embroidered with Stink’s beady eyes. The line also includes one-off pieces such as vintage, thrifted jackets with painted-on Stink characters. “I used to paint on my jackets whenever I would go out to an event ’cause I wanted to stand out,” Rossell explains. “I’ve had people [from all over the world] reach out through social media to get their own painted jackets.”

Check out his Instagram (@evanrossell) and website (hairyfools.com), and maybe buy yourself something with Rossell’s Stink all over it. The fashion world is about to get Stinky.

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