One of the most important elements in hip hop (or music for that matter) is fashion. You can’t go anywhere without someone noticing what you have on. You have to make sure what everyone is noticing is unique. How do you find that uniqueness? By coming to us to help you find the latest designers that you need to help get your swag up, that’s how. Let us introduce you to Million Monkey Clothing and the company’s CEO Dicky Wang.
Street Khemistry: Tell us about yourself, what’s your designing background?
Dicky Wang: I don’t have a formal designing background or schooling. Prior to Million Monkey, I owned a brand called Ethnology Clothing, and most of my lessons learned came with that brand. I have a special ability of conveying to my designers, a very detailed description of what I am looking for. We usually nail it on the first or second time.
SK: Tell us a bit about your clothing line (describe name, history)
DW: I launched Million Monkey Clothing (MMC) in March of 2010 at a sneaker event in San Antonio. The name has a great story behind it and I love telling it. I am of Thai and American decent, and when I was little my mom called me Ling. Ling means monkey in Thai! So when I started brainstorming brand names I knew that I had to use Monkey some how. By chance I came across a theory called the Million Monkey Theory. The theory stated that if there were a million monkeys, typing on a million typewriters over an infinite amount of time, eventually one of the monkeys would type out a book like “Hamlet” by emulating the exact keystrokes. What I took from that is the impossible is still possible. That is the message and lifestyle that Million Monkey conveys. My name, Dicky Wang, well that’s a whole different story!
SK: How would you describe your clothing line’s style, What makes it different from what’s out there?
DW: Our style has been classified Urban/Street but I try to stay away from those classifications because as a brand I believe we have something for everyone. We have sold our apparel at sneaker events to rock shows to pool parties. I believe we are different because we diversify our product base. Not only do we do tees, but we also have hats, a custom line of bamboo jewelry, and our own energy drink called Ape Sh*t Energy.
SK: Are you the sole designer for your line? Do you have a team? DW: My design team consists of me, my childhood friend Ramon G, Jaime Munoz of Zealouz Creative, and world renowned shoe customizer from San Diego, Sole Junkie.
SK: What influences you when you’re designing? What’s the creative process? DW: My influences would have to come from my life or those around me. We are representing a lifestyle, so what we do day to day helps with ideas. Most of my design ideas come to me at the oddest of times, usually in the midst of sleep or on the road. I typically write my ideas down, discuss them with the team, and let it build from there.
SK: Who are your favorite designers? DW: My boy Sole Junkie(SoleJunkie.com) is one of my favorites! You have to see what he does on a pair of sneakers, it’s just amazing! I have really been impressed with Mega’s work with Black Scale, and of course Johnny Cupcakes definitely is up there.
SK: What’s the deal with the monkey? What does it represent and how does it relate to your brand?
DW: As told with the story above it was a childhood name that stuck with me. I see a monkey as an animal that is very friendly and playful, but at anytime can be fierce! I feel that represents me and my brand because we enjoy doing shows and have fun promoting, but we are still fierce competitors.
SK: What are your future goals with the clothing line?
DW: My immediate goal is to launch our latest project, which should be done in August or September, and is our Mobile Store. We took the food truck concept and made a mobile boutique. The inside is finished out like a retail store and the exterior has a showroom paint job that will knock your socks off! In addition to the custom interior build out that includes wood flooring and clothing racks, it features a mobile DJ stand with a TV screen for music videos and games. We really want to make sure that we deliver a great product with that entertainment factor. We want to create that MMC Vibe that everyone will want to partake in!