Remember all those jokes about Silicon Valley you always said you’d put on t-shirts? Siliconvicts Clothing Co., a shirt company from Malibu, just beat you to it. With slogans ranging from ‘Unicorn Hunter’ to ‘Coding Is My Cardio’, recent Stanford grad Cameron Lindsay’s side project will probably be the source of your next favorite t-shirt.
Sitting on Stanford’s campus this afternoon, with students clad in startup t-shirts zipping past the d.School on their bikes, it’s refreshing to see an ironic use of buzzwords amongst the sea of Google and Facebook career fair freebies. Catchphrases range from the clever double entendre ‘Hacker Chick’ to the deadpan humor of ‘Coffee + Coding’. While all but one of the shirts come in either grey or white, the red-font ‘Tindered Spirit’ is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
It all started, Lindsay explained, when he spent time in Los Angeles last year with an obsession with street art. Driving down to Los Angeles frequently last year, he spent time working with noted street artists like Plastic Jesus. Combined with his interest in technology – he studied Product Design at Stanford, he decided to combine the two. “I wanted to be the street artist for tech, but I didn’t have the stomach to put paint on a wall,” he confessed.
Looking at the next best thing, Lindsay decided to put ink on fabric and teamed up with Cole Arutian, a friend from Lindsay’s childhood in Malibu. At the moment, it’s strictly a basement-run operation. “In Cole [Arutian]’s basement, there are two pool tables full of shirts, and a fabric printer,” he said.
Arutian and colleague Tynan Daniels manage the manufacture and distribution of the shirts, which is run through a company called #YOURBRAND.
Modern technology has definitely made coming up with new shirt ideas and manufacturing them much easier. “The more I sit down, the more I come up with,” said Lindsay, throwing around at least ten new shirt slogans when we were talking on campus this afternoon. “We go direct-to-fabric,” he added, joking that the team is beta testing t-shirts and iterating through designs.
While not immediately obvious, the company’s name comes from an art piece Lindsay worked on in college. “I wanted it to be edgy, and I wanted it to be cool,” he added, urging me not to search for a deeper meaning.
Although at the moment a side project that launched just two days ago, the team has big plans. Siliconvicts is currently in talks to put the t-shirts on HBO’s hit series Silicon Valley. Certainly, with slogans like “Caffeinate, Incubate, Iterate” the shirts will be a hit with the Palo Alto crowd. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them being worn – both ironically and not – around Four Barrel and Blue Bottle Coffee in San Francisco.
The shirts are currently in presale, and while they normally sell for $32 each on the company’s website, using the discount code TECHCRUNCH at checkout will get you a cool 10% off. A quick look at the label does however show that not all are pure cotton. Despite that, though, I can vouch that they certainly are soft to the touch.