New York, 03/02/2010
It’s true, good things come in two. Hahaaa. You probably think I’m crazy for this one. Let me explain.
Around February, I ended up in New York for work. (Oh yes, we all need to pay the bills you know) Since I try to always be Pola-ready, I took my camera with me and tried to have a little get together with the double trouble you can see here above. You know, combine work with pleasure. Boy O Boy, if someone deserves a reality show, but then, a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious one, then it is definitely those two. I guess it would be total anarchistic twin madness.
Let me be so kind to entroduce you to DEE & RICKY.
I first read about the boys in Jalouse Magazine some time ago, and honestly, I was intrigued. The boys from Staten Island, New York, DIY-d themselves àll the way to the Mark Jacobs SS08 catwalk with their bold and colorful handmade LEGO pieces around 2008. It didn’t take long for people like Kanye West, Takashi Murakami, Rihanna, Vashtie, Tristan Wilds, Chris Brown and many, many more, to be spotted with the twins’ funny brooches and the boys received fame and recognition for their work and pretty soon huge brands like G-SHOCK, BARNEY’s NY, Kid Robot, NIKE, were all standing in line to work with the boys.
Here are a few of my favorite DEE & RICKY pieces:
So, I decided to try my luck and contact the boys for a ‘Ouni Likes’ feature when I was in New York and I ended up talking with them in a bright loft in Williamsburg. For some reason I thought they were going to show up with a huge entourage, 7 managers and Kanye West in a limousine (no, not really, just kidding) but they actually arrived in a cab, nicely on time for our little rendez-vous. I gave the boys some Pabst Blue Ribbon and managed to get this little interview out of them. Voilà. All you need to know about Dee&Ricky (Whether you like it or not)
OUNI LIKES DEE & RICKY
Hello Boys. What made you decide to be a designer? Being twins, was it something that started out individually or was it something that morphed together?
It just came out of nowhere really. We were really into looking good, dressing good, sneakers and things evolved from there.
It was an unexplainable force…
Who was the fliest first?
Uhm…We had our days…
Yeah. Depends. We got two different styles all the times so…
We were actually doing a bunch of other things, like a Nintendo controller belt and people just started really biting our whole style. We just changed it up. We made a LEGO belt, sat on it for about a year, never showed to anybody and we just came out with it. And then things just popped.
What are you working on right now?
Currently? Non-conventional fabrics. Technical fabrics, weird material. Elements like metal and magnets, plastic, teflon. Weird stuff that you would not expect to be involved in fashion.
Yes. Industrial fabrics. Working out cut & saw garments and accessories. And some very interesting collaborations.
How does your working process go? Who is in charge of what? Do you have a work ethic together?
It’s kind of 50/50. Depends on the situation and on whoever gets the order.
It just comes easy. Designing stuff comes out just like that. (snaps fingers) We are twins so its a 100% more easy. We can bust out like 3 seasons in a one night. Like literally.
Being mostly rewarded and known for your LEGO pieces (although the D&R line consists also of T-shirts and duffelbags) and responsable for ‘inspiring’ people like Jean Charles De Castelbajac and Mark Jacobs, how do you see thing evolve in the future….
(both burst out laughing)
Haha. We definitely ‘inspire’. I see what you mean. Is it inspiration or…?
I was trying to stay nice.
Haha. We definitely inspired Mark, he picked us up and we worked with him on his show for SS08.
….will DEE & RICKY stick with the LEGO?
Nah. We definitely won’t stick with the LEGO. This will probably be the last time you’ll be seeing it really. We are slowing down the whole process.
In the future, I definitely see people getting weird more technical on fashion.
We have never seen so many ‘do it yourself’ fashion since the whole Mark Jacobs LEGO thing. You would probably count for us too or like vouch for us whatever, I’m not trying to get to my ego or something but, since we came out, there are so many people who are making their own stuff now.
The Lego stuff really touched fashion pretty hard.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but you guys were the first to come out with the LEGO approach right?
Yes. We were the first. People wouldn’t probably have caught on so fast, but everyone loves Mark Jacobs, so it was just a good combination that worked. People didnt even know what was going on at first, they saw that Mark did some LEGO pieces, and then it came out that we did that. We didn’t even have a website when we first did the Mark thing. It caught us by surprise, really.
We met Mark in The Hamptons, actually we met his boyfriend first, he saw our stuff, took it to Mark and that evolved in Mark asking us to do some pieces for his show. We put the color combinations together, did the show and it started to pop out in different magazines like VOGUE, Teen VOGUE, ELLE, all that stuff, New York Magazine, Time Out.
It was like LEGO here, LEGO there. Mark this, Mark that. It was getting up there and it blew up like a DEE&RICKY – Mark Jacobs thing. People started biting and doing their own stuff. JCDC started doing his stuff and suddenly there was LEGO everywhere.
What is the next step for DEE & RICKY being an artist and the pressure of always innovating and evolving as an artist ?
It’s just all about lifestyle. Fashion is cool but it’s not a 100% us. We are into looking good and doing what we like, sometimes we give the people what they want but…
We don’t limitate ourself so anything could be the next step. We could be building a building next year. Or designing a building.
Or go into culinary arts.
We are into all different fields. It’s like a game of chess. Basically we wake up and do what we feel like doing. Today I feel like doing construction, or I feel like sewing or maybe I fee l like painting, whatever.
Can you explain me an ordinary day for DEE & RICKY?
FUCK…! I woke up. Hahahaha. Do you follow me on twitter?!
Checking our emails. Seeing what orders came through.
Actually going through a lot of designing, ’cause we are working on our new season. Play some X-box. For like 4 hours straight. Then we run around the city. Probably hit a little event early in the day.
Meetings. We do a lot of meetings. Really random. Our days are all random.
Photoshoots here and there. Interviews.
Is New York your biggest environmental influence?
DEE & RICKY:
Definitely. 100% our biggest environmental influence. Most definitely.
Which places in New York are an inspiration for you?
That would be every single borough. Every nook and crannie in New York. Even the old boroughs.
It depends really. I’d say Canal Street for inspiration. Always busy, you always see new stuff. everything is fresh. You can get some ideas by going to the market.
If you would have to work in Europe, which city would you probably work from?
(both look at each other, think and agree.)
DEE & RICKY:
Kanye West made your heart brooch pieces world-famous. Takashi Murakami has been seen with the bow tie. How does it feel to see your work on these very influential people?
Yesss! 808’s & Heartbreak! Thank You Kanye!
To tell you the truth, it feels great. Seeing that, it’s bananas! Come on. Kanye West ànd Takashi Murakami?!
Exactly. That’s a pretty dope combination.
I think there are already about 30 celebs wearing our stuff. That’s crazy.
Who are the people who wear DEE & RICKY ? (besides celebrities)
Kids from the hood that look up to us. Kids that are into fashion. FIT-kids, Parson- kids. The highschoolers.
Kids that like playing games. Big kids. (smiles)
Is their somebody that you secretly think they should wear your LEGO pieces?
Jesus Christ. (laughs)
Probably Malcom X.
Barack Obama! I would give him the Pepsi one.
Nah. I would give him the red heart brooch. Maybe the black one…
Bill Clinton maybe….. The Pope?
That would be sick.
What would Queen Elizabeth wear?
I don’t know… I would not give her a heart. I would make something completely new for her. Something in ceramics.
What if you have only one day to live. For whom would you make your final piece and what would it be.
(Both start to think. Really hard.)
That’s tough right there….
DEE: (Starts laughing)
I don’t even think I would be even making stuff! If I had only one day to live!? But if I had to, for whom would I make something…? Such a hard question! That’s the weirdest question ever. (both can’t stop laughing)
If anybody. My grandmother. I don’t think anyone else would deserve it and appreciate it as much as she would.
Finally. Why is it DEE & RICKY and not RICKY & DEE?
(both start laughing again)
Technically, it’s just a company name. So don’t sweat if you make it RICKY&DEE. Some say one rolls over the tongue better than the other but whatever. It’s all good. (both burst out in Beavis & Butthead giggles.)
It was pretty cool spending the afternoon with Dimietrus and Ricardo Jackson and although the wild party reputation of the boys, they were very polite, asking us if Belgium girls think they were hot (Hmm, we still need to figure out that part), talking about American politics, (ow yes, they can do that too), chatting about their friend Tristan Wilds performance in The Wire (epic) , and asking us (me and my colleague/friend MH33 who me helped out with this feature) if we were schoolteachers. Because, so they said, we looked like ones.
I sò hope this is in the naughty professor way.
Some call them a fashion one-hit-wonder, other claim they are the next big thing to keep your eye on. Quite frankly, I don’t think they give a fuck what others might or might not think about them. And I’m SURE they are having the time of their lives (twice). Will they last in this cruel critical fashion world? Time shall tell. I guess they really are just ‘two identical twins, trying to reach the pinnacle.’