In a world where music and fashion coincide, the newly established, Taylor Gang and Heavy Hustle-affiliated company, Plane Clothing is elevating streetwear to an even higher altitude. Following the release of their Spring line, I booked a flight up into the clouds and collaborated with Plane Clothing’s founder, Corey Griffith and his co-pilot, Marrie Freeman on an extensive interview and exclusive giveaway contest!
In regards to the giveaway contest, send an email to DCMuziksMyLife@GMail.com with the subject line “Plane Clothing Giveaway” before this Sunday, June 07 @ 11:59 PM EST for your chance to win! Three winners will be randomly selected and notified after midnight. Please include your name, address, and answers to any or all of the following three questions: #1: Wiz Khalifa says, “camo shorts go with anything I wanna wear” in what song? #2: Wiz Khalifa debuted his limited edition sunglasses, “The Elevators” in what music video? #3: What shoes are Wiz Khalifa most commonly known for wearing? The contestant selected upon correctly answering question #1 will be granted first choice of prize! The contestant selected upon correctly answering question #2 will be granted second choice of prize! The contestant selected upon correctly answering question #3 will be granted the remaining prize! The three available prizes are the following items:
To browse additional products from Plane Clothing, visit PlaneClothingShop.com! To learn more about this rapidly trending brand in streetwear culture and discover hints pertaining to the contest above, continue below to read our interview . . .
Muzik’s My Life: When did Plane Clothing take flight, and for how long was the idea on the runway before doing so?
Corey: We took off around September to October. That’s when we really started working on the website and everything. But as far as the designing goes, that started way back around February of last year. Ironically, around when I met Wiz for the first time—a little bit before Kush & OJ. That’s when we first started designing things. But back then, it was all just a hypothetical thing. When I was a younger kid, I had always wanted to design. I just never had the means, never had the knowledge of how to produce the designs and everything.
What inspired the name Plane Clothing?
Corey: Actually, my lifestyle—I smoke a lot. That’s kind of where all my inspiration comes from. I’ll sit down, roll up and see what I can come up with—what crazy ideas I can come up with and just start playing with the computer, the artwork and what not. Maybe sketch out a few things and see where it goes. I wanted to have something that was a symbol of what we represent—that could resonate with people. Not just the name to the brand, but a logo people would recognize and respect. The paper plane was perfect for my lifestyle and kind of represents living life to the fullest, however you choose to.
One thing that I thought about, which kind of works in your favor, is the fact that you guys do a lot of your work in Pittsburgh, so the ‘P’ can potentially stand for both Plane Clothing and Pittsburgh.
Corey: Oh yeah, definitely. That’s the line of Varsity Hoodies. When we came out with that, that shit was like—it only made sense to drop that with the ‘P’ on there.
Plane Clothing is a very unique brand. What sorts of things influence your designs?
Corey: A lot of the influence comes from a lot of stuff from the 80s. That’s when I grew up—early 90s and all that too. Infusing a lot of the cartoons and what was popular back then, with the modern day trends. That’s kind of where I’m trying to go with the brand because the 80s are trending a lot more lately and I have a lot of knowledge of that. Growing up in New York, there was a brand called IceBurg. That’s who I feel has a strong influence on some of our designs. They used to work a lot with Looney Tunes characters and flip stuff like that. Whereas, I try and take cartoons and stuff that can create a funny, family friendly image, but at the same time, have an underlying theme of paper plane smoking or other risky theme’s that typically wouldn’t be socially acceptable. Something that the teenagers can wear to school and not necessarily get in trouble, but all their friends are going to know and respect what they’re reppin’.
How do you balance maintaining the exclusivity of your individual products among consumers, while simultaneously expanding your brand?
Corey: That’s where a lot of the sponsorships and working with artists really comes in. When you’re able to get an artist that’s impressed by your brands clothes, they’ll possibly wear it in their video. Artists we work with all share the same target demographic—so one video reaches thousands, potentially millions of people in just one video. Out of those thousands, you’re only going to offer maybe 25-100 of that design. But that’s a key factor in expanding the brand while keeping it exclusive. It’s helped us take off and just climbing the ladder, as far as respect goes. Working with, originally back in November, a artist from my hometown, Taj Mahal, who was a major part of the Dipset / Senate movement with Cam’ron, Juelz Santana and all them. It started with a few videos with Taj and his Crew, such as the Juelz Santana diss, “Say So”. Next, we worked with Sidney Rice from the [Minnesota] Vikings. He has an artist that’s coming up, based out of South Carolina, named FlyGuy. Their slogan was also “Fly Or Die”, so that was the next step on the ladder; it only made sense. And then most recently has been our work with Taylor Gang. Both Marrie (Ms Plane Clothing) and I have always been supporting Wiz, since 2003, being we went to college in Buffalo,NY—two hours from Pittsburgh. It was a goal to work with Taylor Gang from the get-go, especially because being “Plane Clothing”, it only made sense. When we were finally able to earn the respect of the Taylor Gang that was the biggest move to date. Being able to get our word out through them and all other artists, we’re able to keep the exclusivity of the brand because there are so many people out there that want it once one of their favorite artists has it, but there’s only a certain amount available.
You keep the availability of each individual product limited, correct?
Corey: Oh yeah, definitely. When we first started, we were keeping it less than 100, as low as 25, because when you first launch, your funds are a little bit more limited. Now that we’ve grown a little bit, we try not to keep it anywhere above—as far as tees go—250 tees. That is for the more general designs that we want the average plane to be able to have. That way, people with a budget can have Plane Clothing. We also have some designs that range up to $140, which there are only 50 of those made. Those are for the elite people, the artist or the more important people that would want Plane Clothing and want something exclusive that nobody else is going to have.
One other important thing I should probably mention is that with our Varsity Hoodies, what we did to try and innovate, take it to the next step and make that exclusive, is that’s actually hand dyed out in Venice Beach, CA with what’s called a burnout effect! Being that it’s hand dyed, every single garment is different from the next. So we actually see Stevie wearing a—they call it a vintage black, on the website banner right now; that was hand dyed. His would be different from say if Will was to have a vintage black one as well. Will’s wouldn’t be exactly like Stevie’s because that was dyed a little bit differently, so it would be lighter in different areas—the fade would be in a different spot of the hoodie. So that makes that piece one of the most exclusive streetwear pieces available.
For the sake of the readers, who are you referring to when you mention Stevie and Will?
Corey: Yea-yup, Stevie, that’s my homie. He’s one of the bosses down with the Heavy Hustle / Taylor Gang movement from the beginning. Brother of Chevy Woods and Loody. You’ve seen him in the “Black And Yellow” video wearing that Clay Candy chain that you recognize, the blue T.G.O.D./HH that you see in there. Will, of course we’re talking about Wiz’s tour manager. I’m sure everybody knows him and sees him in the DayTodays.
Can you dive a little further into your affiliation with the Taylor Gang and Heavy Hustle?
Corey: Well, it started out, there were a couple people—obviously you’re familiar with Tevin—Tev, who does a lot of work for Chevy. Then there’s my homie Marr, who’s a relative of Sledgren. We talked on Twitter for a minute before they reached out and asked if I would be able to send them down some threads to check it out and everything in exchange for promo—and of course. Like I said, I’ve supported Wiz and Taylor Gang for a while, so I sent them some clothes and they loved them. From then on out, it was just their word of mouth. Obviously a lot of their friends are Taylor Gang or affiliates, so they saw them wearing them, liked the flyness and wanted some. Once they checked Plane Clothing out, it just spread from there and worked its way through the gang. Next thing you know, we’re sending some to Stevie, Chevy and Lonn. There’s so many people in Taylor Gang, but most people just know Will, they know Motor Mane, they see Loody, of course Wiz—those kinds of people. But Stevie, when we reached out to him, that was a big move. He definitely looks out. From there, it’s just kind of taken off. We met for the first time and chilled for a while getting highed up. He was a really chill dude; we share a lot of the same interests—obviously smoking, just chilling out, living in the moment. We’re still working and still growing everyday, but so far, it’s just been amazing. We went down there for the Jordan Beckham photo shoot and that was a legendary weekend. Let’s just leave it at, we racked up about $500 in charges for smoking in the 5-star suite [laughs], but it was a fun time. We have a lot in common, so it’s not so much of a business relationship as much as it is just having while fun handling business.
I’ve noticed that Wiz, Will, Chevy, Loody and those guys are all just the tip of the ice burg and it actually goes a lot deeper than that. Do you enlist a lot of the other people closely involved with the Taylor Gang for modeling Plane Clothing?
Corey: Oh, yeah. That was the idea with our Spring Line photo shoot with Jordan Beckham, include everybody that’s been there supporting Plane Clothing from the beginning. That’s a lot of the “Young Taylors”—it’s the ones that are coming up and are where Wiz was maybe five years ago. They have their dreams too. We’re actually trying to come out with our own program, called “The Future Of Fly” that works with young talent, who we feel has what it takes, and helps support their dreams. The gang goes pretty deep, because they look out for their own and don’t lose touch with their roots—something I respect a lot.
You just recently launched your Spring line. Aside from the Varsity Hoodie, what are some of the other new products that Plane Clothing’s Spring Line has to offer?
Corey: One of the newest products we have that’s actually been a hit so far is our camo shorts. We came out with both men’s and women’s camo shorts. The men’s camo’s actually feature a vintage style. They’re a little bit worn on the edges and have a little bit of a slight fade to them. Both feature our signature paper plane embroidered. On the women’s, it’s on the back-left pocket. On the men’s, it’s right on the front above the left cargo pocket. They also both feature Plane Clothing stitched on the right leg of the shorts.
I think Wiz said it best: “Camo shorts go with anything I wanna wear.”
Corey: [Laughs.] Definately, definately. That’s true; that’s just perfect. Another new thing that we had to come out with is—Stevie told me he needed a fitted for the shoot, so I figured why not come out with fitteds. They had limited colors I could use, but we were able to make it happen. There’s a purple one, a blue one—a few Spring colors we were able to come out with in the fitteds. The snapbacks are coming in style strong, but some people are still rockin’ fitteds, so you’ve got to keep that [option] out there for the people that want them.
Snapbacks definately seem to be the new trend. Personally, where do you stand when it comes to snapbacks vs. fitteds?
Corey: Personally, I love snapbacks. Like I said, I’m big into the 80s and early 90s. When I was a kid, you’d go into the store and that’s all you could find is a snapback—versus a fitted, making fitteds exclusive in the 90’s. Now, it’s the exact opposite. You can’t find snapbacks hardly anywhere. So for that reason is kind of why I like the snapbacks. Snapbacks are a little bit more exclusive. I can remember going to a Wiz and Mac Miller show that was in December of this past year, and I left my snapbacks at the house—I forgot a bag. So I go to the mall on the Atlantic City boardwalk, and I’m like, “Do ya’ll have any snapbacks?” The guy looks at me like I’m crazy, like he’s never heard of a snapback before. And I’m thinkin, “Really?” He goes, “Oh, we’re getting them in a couple of months.” Meaning he was about to order some. [Laughs.] So personally, I like the snapback because it’s a little bit more exclusive and a little bit more vintage. But I understand for the people who still prefer the fitteds.
Do you see snapbacks sort of taking over the spotlight, now?
Corey: I do, yeah—personally. I think that the snapbacks are next up in line, because you know how fashion is: one thing will go out of style, ten or twenty years will go by, and it will be back stronger than it was originally. I definitely think that they’re back or coming back, especially with all the support that you see these days.
I think Big Sean is one of the main people—at least in hip-hop—who I see consistently rocking them right now.
Corey: Yea-yup definitely. There’s definitely a lot of important people that are supporting the snapbacks. You’ve got Big Sean, Wiz, and then you obviously have Mac Miller—Mac Miller’s supporting them hard too. You can’t catch that kid without a snapback on.
Fashion is a major part of the hip-hop culture. Which hip-hop artists do you feel have the best sense of fashion and why?
Corey: I like Wiz’s sense of style because he’s a big supporter of the streetwear and its exclusivity. I’ve got to say I like—as far as keeping it classy—how Diddy dresses a lot, as far as like red-carpet style goes. But as far as casual goes, I gotta go with Wiz, because we share a lot of similar interests. We’re both skinny, so I like the fitted clothing. And like I said, I like the vintage clothing a lot. You see him supporting a lot of the 80s-style-type jean jackets and fitted jeans, slim jeans, Chuck Taylors, all that kind of stuff. So that resonates with me. But as far as what impresses me a lot, I’ve got to say I like what Diddy’s doing. He’ll keep it very GQ and he pulls that off very well. I have to give it to Drake as well, he infuses classy with casual.
Can you explain your “Fly Or Die” slogan?
Corey: From the get-go, I wanted to come out with something catchy. We had the paper plane logo, but we had to come out with a slogan. “Fly Or Die” just made sense. It’s simply get “fly” or “die”. If you’re not going to get fly, then you might as well get flown over—just wear whatever you want to wear and be sloppy. Basically, I’m letting the customers know that if you want something fly, I’m going to take care of you. If you want something that’s the latest trend, that’s in style, I’m going to have that. There might be somebody else that will have that too, but I promise you that mine will be top of the line. Not saying that theirs won’t be top of the line, but it won’t be much better because I do a lot, a lot, of research. I don’t just sit down and make a design. I’ll research what is the latest clothing, the actual threads that I’m going to put that design on, what’s my best platform, my best canvas to put my design on—not just go out and get any t-shirt. That’s what I think separates us a lot from other brands is that most brands will just go out and maybe just buy a simple Gildan cotton tee or something and just throw their design on it, or just buy a basic 7.5oz Jerzees crew neck or hoodie. I’ve done a lot of research to see which brands offer the best product and more recently—like I said—I’ve started working with a company out of Venice Beach. They really impress me a lot. They’re who were able to produce the DayToday Cadet Jacket, also they did the Varsity Hoodies—both the OG and the Burnout one; each one is exclusive—and they do a lot of the tees. The tees that you’ll see coming out in the Spring and Summer line are vintage style. They’re all destroyed around the edges and ripped. That’s what I’m saying by “Fly Or Die”. Come to us, because we’re gonna keep you the flyest. Get “#FLYorDIE”.
What are some of the challenges that Plane Clothing has been forced to overcome as a new clothing line in such a competitive market, and how have you fought through the adversity?
Corey: One of the toughest things that you have to do is set yourself apart from everybody, because there are so many clothing lines. I had put a good seven or eight months of work into the line. Then—of course—as I started launching the website, I noticed that there were a lot of “coming soon” brands popping up all over the place. That’s when I started doing a lot of the research into the different types of threads that I wanted to use, to differentiate us. One benefit that I was able to utilize is growing up, my uncle owned a screen printing company, First Impressions. Within the past couple of years, he actually retired because he worked exclusively for a blues artist by the name of Roosevelt Dean, who unfortunally passed away. He had retired, but I was able to talk to my uncle and he agreed to work with me. That’s what I thought was going to set us apart was that I was able to produce tees, crews and hoodies quickly and easily. With the screen printing, he’s able to do about four or five different “pulls” on the ink, which gives the design more ink and creates a more vivid color, also making the printing longer lasting. Some people use a cheaper form, Digital Printing. This is basically sending a t-shirt through a printer like you print signs on. Typically, the results are a lower quality print. At times blurry and wears away easier. You can’t really tell the difference between the print and the shirt, itself. It’s almost like kind of one layer. Whereas, on our clothes, you can feel the layers of ink pop out from the tee.
How do you plan to continue the elevation of Plane Clothing as time progresses?
Corey: We’re going to keep innovating. We’re going to keep researching the latest trends, the latest threads that people are wearing and work on them—take them to a different level. Although something might be the latest trend, we’re going to try and put our own spin on it. We’re always hard at work innovating and creating. We’ve got meetings throughout the week and everything. We keep our ear to the streets, if we hear that there’s a trend coming, then we work to have ours released before [the competition] and that’s the goal; our goal is to come out with the latest things before everyone else does. Jetsettin’.
Marrie, can you explain your involvements with Plane Clothing and describe your work relationship with Corey?
Marrie: Our relationship is unique. [Laughs.] Although Cory does the designing, I am involved with the vision and direction that the brand takes as well. I help with that process and do a TON of promo work, sponsorships and a lot of the shipping and order processing. I do much of the business in terms of dealing with the clothing providers and the tailor. I’m involved with just about everything but designing. And I help keep Corey focused. [Laughs.]
What are some of the pressures you encounter while handling the business aspects of Plane Clothing?
Marrie: Time! I’m working on my master’s degree right now, so it’s been really hard. The brand takes up more time than I really have for it, so it’s been hard to balance my school work with it, however I’ve been successful at it thus far. It’s my last semester, so I don’t want to screw up now haha. There’s pressure to stay on top of the newest fashion and make sure we have quality threads going out on time. Its also a full-time job promoting and getting the name out there.
What type of dedication do you contribute to Plane Clothing?
Marrie: I put in hours on hours to make sure everything is straight. I offer a lot of support because I know Corey get stressed, too at times. I’ll wake up as early as I have to or go to bed as late as I need to to make sure everything’s done for the brand. I am so passionate about the brand! I love planning and organizing trips like the photo shoot in Pittsburgh, for example.
Is there a sense of pride that comes with wearing your own clothing line out in public?
Marrie: Yeah, I think so. It’s real neat, especially when you get complimented on it and they’re like, “Oh, where’d you get that?” and you tell them, “It’s my shit.” Then they get asking about it and it’s kind of cool to talk about it because I know that we’re really excited about it, but when other people are excited about it too, it’s pretty dope.
Coming from a female’s perspective, how does Plane Clothing successfully cater to both genders?
Marrie: Innovating! A lot of the inspiration for the women’s line was that I had trouble—I’m finding tailord gear and streetwear shwagg. Streetwear in general doesn’t really cater to women, so a lot of the vision was offering—not so much a women’s line, but—women’s sizes at first. Then we began introducing designs [strictly for women].
How would you pitch Plane Clothing to a potential consumer?
Marrie: I would emphasize the innovative designs not only in terms of imagery but garment quality as well. We try to keep our designs as unique as possible. But we also always try to have our trademark plane in there so you know its official Plane Clothing threads. We use exceptionally high quality garments and—as Corey had explained—really high quality screen printing. Lastly, we are very business minded and appreciate all of the support we receive.
Lastly, I’d like to open the floor for anything you’d like to say to the readers and those who are entering in the giveaway contest, as well as any shout outs.
Corey: For one, everybody stay tuned at MuziksMyLife.com because we’re going to have a contest coming out where you guys are going to get yourselves some fly threads. Won’t be too hard, just go study yourselves some Taylor information. And stay tuned to PlaneClothingShop.com because we’re going to have our Summer Line dropping that we’ve already been hard at work on—a lot of big things coming from us. Even packs featuring pairs of Deadstock/Sold Out Jordans with special releases. The website’s getting updated shortly. We’re going to have a Tumblr blog, look book, we’re going to have media, everything’s going to be on there.
I’d like to give a big, big shout out to MuziksMyLife.com for everything. I’ve got to shout out the whole Taylor Gang / Heavy Hustle; the Mo Scrill movement; my homie Stevie (@HHSTEVIE); Marr (@TaylorGang412); my taylord homie Marc (@Marc_AJP) for all his help; Quay Meanz (@TaylorGangMeanz) and his manager, Turtle (@Turtlehzw) for all their support; my dude Taj Mahal (@TheRealTajMahal) over at Finally Focus Films; Joe (@JoeMeilz), manager of Fly Guy; of course Jordan Beckham (@JordanBeckham) for all the dope shots of the threads; and also everybody repping the whole #FLYorDIE movement.
Marrie: I’d like to give a few shout outs. Here go my girls! Shout out Lindsey (@ClassyFreshCool); Brigitte (@Mixi3chik); Courtney (@CNBBRAND); The #GangGangGirls, @SkyHighCle, Ridgemont, and Wavy over at Ask How Fly (AskHowFly.com / @AskHowFly); the homie, Marc (@Marc_AJP); my dude Stevie at Heavy Hustle (@HHStevie); my dude Quay (@TaylorGangMeanz) and his manager, Turtle (@Turtlehzw); Jordan Beckham (@JordanBeckham), the dopest photographer in the game; the homie, Taj Mahal (@TheRealTajMahal); Marr (@TaylorGang412); and my Cloud Gang Music Group / Royal Records Inc fam: @Joemeilz, @FlyGuy675, @SidneyRice, @KBatezFG, and @DreamyFG! Stay #FLYorDIE, y’all!