by Nicki Kasper
Tell us a little bit about yourself… Where are you from? How long have you been tattooing? What shop are you in now? Etc…
I was raised in Florida, ended up in NYC where I’ve been for the past 10+years. I began tattooing just about 9 years ago and have been at Three Kings in Brooklyn for the last 6 1/2.
How would you describe Victory Cult, and what was the inspiration?
I’d call it sort of a sophisticated street wear brand. I grew up skateboarding and playing in bands, so I’ve always had a strong inclination towards graphics and the merch game. When I began tattooing It was just a natural progression to carry that on. With this project, I have begun with the basics (t-shirts,hats,hoodies,etc.), but I aim to eventually expand that scope. I also wanted to create a project that would treat the artists involved respectfully. I know a lot of us tattooers have been approached by companies that look at us as cheap labor, so I’m just trying to keep this all in the family and have everybody treated correctly. You know the old adage, if you want to do something right, you have to do it yourself.
How long did you sit on the idea before you decided to get it rolling?
Probably not long enough. Haha. I had always thought it would be fun to create a proper brand, but I had never taken the idea all that seriously. It took a client in the fashion world asking me why I hadn’t tried it, to really kick start this thing. (Thank you Kyle!) I pondered the idea for a few weeks and finally decided to go for it. I’ve certainly wasted both my time and money on dumber ideas. Now that this thing has got legs, I’m going to run with it as long as I can.
What would you say has been the biggest challenge in taking on a project like this?
Without a doubt, my biggest challenge is time. I’m always running out of it. Haha. I tattoo full time and this takes up the rest of it. Victory Cult is a one man operation, so yeah, time is my main obstacle. Other than that, it’s the typical issues of funds, researching materials, the best manufacturers, fulfilling orders in a timely manner, etc. while trying to produce the goods here in the USA and at a reasonable price point. Man, when I think about it, it’s all hard, but I love it!
Is there a story behind the logo?
The logo came pretty quickly. I wanted a strong and positive symbol to represent Victory, but I didn’t want to go with just the straight forward hand gesture. While staring at it one night, the mash up idea just clicked.
Are the designs collaborations with other artists, or are they mostly yours?
Currently everything has been designed by myself and Tamara Santibañez, but it will be evolving beyond that soon. I’ve got players like Daniel Albrigo, Regino Gonzalez , Noah Moore and Denton Watts lined up for projects. I’ve been receiving solicitations from many others which is incredible and honestly quite flattering. Through tattooing, I’ve been fortunate to make friends all over the world and want to collaborate with so many of them. The challenge is curating this thing so that the end result is one cohesive brand, so I’m trying to approach this with a lot of patience. That is not something that comes naturally to me, so this has been an excellent exercise in it.
What are some new things you’re working on that Victory Cult fans can look forward to?
I’m really looking forward to getting into cut and sew items as we move forward. I’ve begun with the basics, but hope to expand to pants, flannels, knits, etc. I also want to make a hat with my buddies at Knickerbocker Mfg. They produce amazing garments that are all USA made. I’m excited about the sort of American-made revival that is happening. I’m not sure it can ever revert to the strength the nation once had, but it’s inspiring and I’d like to do my part to keep that spirit alive. Hopefully there will be future collaborations with other like-minded creative types and who knows what can happen? I think people will be pretty excited about what’s to come.
Where can people buy VC products?
Right now you can only find VC products at www.victorycult.com.
That will be changing in the coming year, as I step into the retail arena, but again I’m going to take my time with it. Between tattooing and this, I only have so much time available, so I want to take the necessary precautions to ensure that I’m ready for that jump. I hope to have some items available soon locally in NYC. Once I’ve got a handle on that I’ll work on stepping up the game, hiring employees, getting a larger workspace, etc. All in due time.