Famed photographer, video-director and Joker Brand clothing co-owner, Estevan Oriol, has teamed up with San Francisco-based company Upper Playground to release a new line of t-shirts featuring his photography from over the years.
The exclusive new apparel line, known simply as Estevan Oriol, is designed by Nike collaborator and former Fourstar clothing Art Director, Rob Abeyta Jr. And also features some of Oriol’s most famous photos, including a photo shot in 1995 featuring a girl throwing up “L.A.” with her fingers and the highly-duplicated photo of the words “West Coast” tatted a woman’s bare ass.
Teaming up with Upper Playground, who carry everything from clothing and books to DVDs and artwork, was an opportunity for Oriol to expand his already successful Joker Brand line to a customer base they weren’t currently reaching — the sneakerheads and skaters, for example.
“[Upper Playground] have a completely different customer than Joker does,” Oriol told BallerStatus.com. “That’s why I went with them, to open people’s minds. I’m hitting a more mainstream market with my line… like sneaker heads, skateboard kids and at the same time, the hip-hop kids love it.”
But, just because the Oriol is producing another line, aside from Joker, the line is all a part of the Joker family, assures the photographer.
“I incorporated the Joker logo into my logo in the line, so that people who know about Joker will know it’s part of the family. And people who don’t know about it, will know about it now,” explained Oriol.
Out since May, the line is already available overseas in Japan and Europe, but here in Los Angeles, it’s still at the mom and pops level. That’s where Estevan likes it for now.
“I’m really just letting it do what it does on its own,” says Oriol. “If the demand is there, then I’ll spread it out. But right now, I’m just keeping it in the mom and pops shops. Like collectable sneakers, these are collectable shirts.
“But, I didn’t go all stuck up, jacking up the price. It’s still affordable. I figure these people support me, so I’m not trying to burn ’em. A t-shirt’s a t-shirts. Some of the motherf***ers trying to charge $80 a shirt, it’s funny style,” the photographer continued.
Oriol is currently working on the second line, which will be a little more creative, with a more designed shirt, rather than just photos. But, will keep the hardcore imagery of the first line.
Oriol began his career in the entertainment industry in the late 80s as a club bouncer in some of Los Angeles’ most popular nightclubs. In ’95, he began to hone his skills in photography, which featured the raw essence of street life. His work has been featured in countless publications including The Source, Vibe, Fader and Rolling Stone to name a few.
The Oriol t-shirt line is currently available online at UpperPlayground.com and DigitalGravel.com for $24.