Friday, 5 April 2013

SHIRT KINGS: PIONEERS OF HIP HOP FASHION - A new Dokument Press book by Edwin PHADE Sacasa & Alan KET Foreword by MC Serch

A new book by Edwin PHADE Sacasa and Alan KET

Foreword by MC Serch

LL reppin Farmers Blvd!
"Shirt Kings brought the hip hop element into the clothes for real and integrated it, and it was the first time I saw hip hop culture completely merged with clothing."
- LL Cool J

Jamaica, Queens, New York in the mid 1980s. Rappers and hip hop fans came from all over the city to get their own customized t-shirt by The Mighty Shirt Kings. The style traveled all over the world through record covers and music videos, and the Shirt Kings designs soon became synonymous with hip hop and the 
culture of making something out of nothing.

Shirt Kings "Strictly Buisness"

SHIRT KINGS: PIONEERS OF HIP HOP FASHION looks at the early days of urban fashion through the lens of the pioneering group of artists known as the Shirt Kings. By adapting the graffiti skills from the trains and spray cans to shirts and airbrush they created a new look for a new generation. At the same time they laid down the ground for the streetwear industry of today. Edwin PHADE Sacasa is a founding artist of the group and it is through his archives that we are transported to the 1980s in New York City where the fashion was loud, colorful, and filled with cartoon imagery; but not just any cartoon imagery for the cartoons where urbanized. Mickey Mouse with a Fila suit, Casper the Friendly Ghost with gold teeth and Pink Panther with gold chains.

The Shirt Kings with a young MC Search (3rd Bass) who also writes the books forward

People from across the city made their way to Jamaica, Queens to a small shopping mall known as the Coliseum where you could easily bump into the biggest names in hip hop of the day. From DJ Red Alert to LL Cool J to Big Daddy Kane to Mike Tyson ˆ they all had to have their Shirt Kings designs.

Audio Two "What More Can I Say" the Shirt Kings most well known work
"Milky Fresh" Dookey Fat Chain, 3 finger ring & Jordan 2's

The Audio Two Album Backdrop

"Milk is chillin"

SHIRT KINGS: PIONEERS OF HIP HOP FASHION chronicles the art, the styles, and the people who where loyal supporters of the Shirt Kings, and takes us on a trip down memory lane to when customization and art reigned supreme in New York City.

The Shirt Kings with Video Music Box's Ralph McDaniels

Born in East New York, Brooklyn, Edwin PHADE Sacasa studied photography at the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan and video production at the Savannah Collage of Art and Design. PHADE has been airbrushing for the entertainment industry for more than two decades and founded the Shirt Kings store in the mid 1980s, where he serviced many of todays hip hop stars and pioneers, such as Jay Z and Run DMC.

Ket "cruisin' J-Train"
Alan KET Maridueña is an artist, photographer, author, artistic consultant and marketing professional. His photographs have appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine and The Source. KET is the author of Graffiti Planet, New York City Black Book Masters, Graffiti Tattoo and Rockin‚ It Suckers. KET is also a frequent blogger on

"The Shirt Kings network was fashion TV of the times, and advertising and promotion way before it became trendy."
- Chuck D, Public Enemy

Big Daddy Kane Juice Crew, Roxanne Shante Ghost Writer & Smooth Operator

"When you got your first Shirt Kings shirt, that's when you knew you had really made it as a Queens rapper, but when other people put your face on their Shirt Kings shirt, that's when you knew you'd be a legend." - Roxanne Shante

Prince Markie Dee (left) rocking a Shirt Kings jammy alongside The Fat Boys at The Grammy's

"Phade has been my go to guy since the 80s for all airbrush collaborations."
- Dapper Dan

The Mighty Zulu Nation's Kool DJ The Red Alert B.D.P. down with The Shirt Kings

"The first shirt I ever threw on that had anything on it that represented my heart was Shirt Kings."
- KRS One

"Phade and the Shirt Kings are pioneers of Hip Hop Fashion and it is duly noted that the graffiti element has been elevated and made fashionable thru their work."

"They would transform your whole look into a superstar."
- Nas

Edwin PHADE Sacasa is available for interviews and features.
To request review materials or discuss feature opportunities, contact Björn Almqvist at or call 0046 (0)8 133330.

Press images available at

144 pages,  $ 44.95, £29.99, • 34.90
Published by Dokument Press


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