The now-cult LA-based streetwear brand and bootleg label Market (formally Chinatown Market) is the brainchild of Mike Cherman, which since launching in 2016 is turning fast fashion literally on its head and spawning a devout following in the process. Tapping into the rebellious spirit of New York’s Canal Street – a place where Cherman spent many afternoons with his dad as a kid – think of it as taking the most in-demand references and viral moments in popular culture and mashing them together.
Having dropped out of Parsons, via landing a job at the Nike customization store, Cherman got his start with a batch of bootleg shirts as he couldn’t afford the stuff he wanted to wear. Sampling some of Canal Street’s finest, including “Fuck you you fucking fuck” and “Thank you have a nice day,” among the merch was also the now infamous Frank Ocean/Nike Swoosh mash-up T-shirt, (a reference to the Frank Ocean song “Nikes”) all of which were displayed in a booth during the ComplexCon trade show.
The drive to be easily available for everybody sets the label apart from the exclusivity-club of many other streetwear brands, and you can cop their stuff in major retailers like Urban Outfitters. In an ironic twist, perhaps, knock-off Chinatown Market gear has even surfaced in China, cementing the young label’s cult status for rehashing pop culture.