Unless, of course, it’s a truly original and interesting idea. And we’re pretty sure we can say this new collab between Nordstrom-owned concept shop Treasure & Bond and hard-to-define social club/t-shirt company Horses Cut Shop is unlike any collaboration that’s come before it.
Last week, after a cross country road trip from Seattle to New York, Gabe Johnson readied his pop-up in Treasure & Bond, where you can go now to find an Americana-y motel room-inspired installation filled with cool $39 100% cotton American-made tees featuring prints of authentic regional American brand marks. Each shirt’s print comes from a real place Johnson has visited and each place gets a percentage of the profits. It’s kind of like a smaller, cooler version of The Shops at Target.
We chatted with Johnson over the phone to find out what Horses Cut Shop is, how they got involved with Nordstrom, where these t-shirts came from and how they plan to grow and become “curators of the American spirit.”
Fashionista: What is Horses Cut Shop and how did it come about?
Gabe Johnson: It’s a physical location inside an old garage in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood and it started out as just a place to store old cars and motorcycles and it turned into…I guess it could be best described as a social club. Whether they’re musicians or own a bar or restaurant or professionals, they were kind of craving a place where they could be amongst their peers. It’s modeled after old social clubs of the past like the Moose Lodge and the Elk’s Lodge and the Lion’s Club. We pride ourselves on not taking ourselves too seriously and there’s always this element of childlike mayhem.
How do the t-shirts factor in?
This community took root and as it grew, we thought it was something a lot of people could benefit from being exposed to. Then, there was this idea of real t-shirts from real places. It’s the hamburger joint or the tavern or the tattoo parlor or the bait & tackle shop or the bowling alley. They’re these places that have remained and they’re usually someone’s absolute total passion that generations of families have worked on and loved and it’s an extension of them, and we feel like Horses Cut Shop is an extension of us and our community, so we wanted to celebrate all those little pieces of community around the country.
How do you find people and businesses to work with?
We’re constantly traveling and talking to people and engaging people…We meet someone and they tell us to go someplace and we’re there and they tell us to go someplace else, so it’s kind of this daisy chain with all these stories.
If the [business's] artwork is true and it resonates and the history of the business is such that it’s iconic, revered, people in the community see it as a representation of their values, we take that artwork and put it on a 100% cotton t-shirt we have milled in North Carolina and we sell it and tell the story of that business and when someone buys the shirt, that business gets a percentage of the end sale.
Why did you decide to partner with Treasure & Bond and do a whole pop up?