We've been a fan of Full Court Press for a minute now and we're pleased to add the brand to the ever growing roster. FCP hits a note with us at Tomorrow. The brand is the perfect mix of 90's US sports and music culture, graphic zines and thrift style Tees that tell a story. We spoke to Kumasi for the knowledge.
Kumasi what's goin on?
Tom whats good dude.
Still based in NY? What are you up to today?
Yep still in NY. Today just brainstorming ideas and getting everything ready for Summer drops.
How have you been through Lockdown? Have you managed to stay creative? Learned much from it?
Lockdown has been pretty mellow. Creative ups & downs for sure. Some weeks I feel like a work horse, others I get a few things done and my mind wonders. Been reading, riding my bike, trying to meditate and thinking about the kind of work I want to put out. Learned a lot, I would say mostly about myself.
As well as running Full Court Press you're also part owner of The Good Company with Quinn right?
Yep, shout out Quinn.
How do you find time for everything?
I don't know, I like working I guess. It's fun to me. I'm not literally always trying to design or responding to emails but I'm basically always thinking about the brands or its in the back of my mind.
So FCP was born early 2016? What was the intention at the time? How did it come about?
It's basically a combination of my love for graphics and books. The first FCP tees I wanted to look like a shirt you find thrifting, kinda like the tee you never knew you needed. Books are really chill to me too. I used to go to book stores a lot more before, these days I mostly get my fix from eBay. I want FCP to be a platform to tell stories that I think are cool, through graphics and publications. We made a few zines so far but books soon come.
FCP has a distinctive aesthetic. Very music and sport heavy. What's the story behind that? Are you basically referencing your interests?
Music & basketball had a big influence on me growing up. I wanted to create something that could tell a range of stories, I felt like using the language of music and sports was the best way to do it and have it be understood by the heads & the tourist.
It seems like there's a certain nostalgia with a lot of it. The "Sporting Life" stuff for example resonates with me and takes me back to a time when And1 video tapes and basketball training on a Saturday morning were everything. Am I right in thinking that and is part of the intention to give a nod to a certain period in time?
For sure, And1 mixtapes were the truth. That style of play wasn't new but it was starting to get the shine it deserved. When those videos came out it took it to another level. And1 spoke for the underdog, I always appreciated the underdog the ones that no one believed in but still found a way.
You've got people like Sage Elsesser, Medhane and Earl Sweatshirt wearing the stuff. Are these the homies or fans of the brand or both?
Those are the homies, but they also like the brand. It's sick to have friends whose work you respect but also who respect yours.
The latest zine "Alley Oop Vol 1" was impressive. A huge list of features from some heavy hitters including Peter Sutherland. How did you pull this together?
Mostly just friends. I just like seeing cool people do cool shit. If I can help facilitate that in any way, I'm always down.
You worked with Ronan Mcgee on a bunch of stuff and he looks to have had a hand in some of the new stuff too. His aesthetic works perfectly with FCP right?
Ronan is the man! He kills it. He is my favorite person to work with for FCP. He understands the aesthetic and appreciates basketball so it's always easy to bounce ideas with him.
What's your favorite FCP product ever and why?
Damn thats hard. I like a bunch of tees we did. The FTL shirt with Weirdo Dave, Shawn Kemp Japan games, Iverson getting his hair braided those stand out for the t-shirts. I like the cee-lo zine we made and the game chose me zine which was a collection of NBA tattoos. I think we still have a long way to go I'm just happy to be able to put stuff out and people like it.
What's your plan for the brand if any?
No real plan really, just be more consistent. I was kind of just making stuff when I was board before but now I want to push it a little more and release more pieces throughout the year.
What's your favorite brand and why?
WTAPS probably. I like Tetsu Nishiyamas approach to design, the craftsmanship, the humbleness and attention to detail in the pieces always stood out to me. His book my life is my life is a good read. His thought process and reason for bringing pieces into the world is sick. The different stages and how he grew as a designer is cool to see from Philosophy to FPAR to WTAPS. He's beast to me.
Where are your favorite places to eat, drink, hang out in NY?
Lovely day is a chill spot. I go their a lot. If you come to NY go there.
What's really important to you?
Showing myself and others that you can do what you want and make a living. More specifically I want black people to know that they can do anything and that they don't have to limit themselves because of their surroundings. I try to expose kids that I interact with to as many different options as possible & try to get them to dig inside themselves and figure out what they want. It sounds cliche but the sky really is the limit, just have to believe almost blindly at first.
Will you ever print on anything other than black, white or grey? :-)
Lol not sure. Tees I usually end up keeping or wearing a lot are either white or black. I like a classic shirt, something you want to keep on for a while. FCP is kind of a nod to the history of screen printing too so just using one or two colours to get your point across is cool to me.
Can you share ten songs new or old that you're into right now?
Gil Scott Heron - Save The Children Clipse - Hello New World Nina Simone - Baltimore Future - Astronaut Chick Erykah Badu - Didn't Cha Know Goodie Mob - Thought Process Willie Hutch - Sunshine Lady Polo G - 21 Eddie Kendricks - My People...Hold On Nipsey Hussle - Overtime