BLVD: Welcome To The City
I’ve always loved where I’m from, anyone whose every met you can tell you that. I’ve always thought the crooked sidewalk and flickering street light across from my grandma’s house were unexplainably beautiful. I smile every time I pass by the white graffitied green garage door next to my house that reads “Get A Life.” I love sitting on the subway for hours, starting conversations with people with colored hair and ripped jean jackets.
I love every part of New York City’s imperfections, which is why I love my home borough of Queens so much. It feels special in that most people from outside of New York aren’t quite sure what it is, their response to me being from there oftentimes “Oh so not really NYC then?” But Queens is NYC. My hometown Astoria is NYC. They are hidden alleyways, of the most famous city in the world, special places the world hasn’t quite discovered yet. They are New York City in that they are perfectly imperfectly flowing with culture and people worth learning about, worth listening to, worth writing stories about, worth designing clothing for.
When I designed my first pieces of clothing last year I drew inspiration from my hometown. I would walk around the streets and sit on my stoop, observing the people and the scenery. For this final project I knew I wanted my brand to be the brand that I am currently trying to create. I didn’t have enough of my own pieces to display so I incorporated pieces from my wardrobe that give a similar feel to the pieces I want to design. The setting was Wellington Court Murals, a large stretch of blocks in Astoria designated to street artists to display their work. To me the site is everything I love about where I’m from. It’s art, its culture, it’s the expression of the creativity of the amazing people who inhabit my city. I chose to make all the graffiti black and white in order to highlight the clothing. The brand name came from the street my house is on, Ditmars BLVD.
I want my brand to be for girls who aren’t afraid to stand out, whether they be admiring graffiti from their stoop, riding the subway or going out for the night. I want my clothing to speak for itself. Actually I want it to scream. Scream Welcome To The City.
Photography and Text by Tara Gonzalez, Copyright 2015.