Das Monk – Flipside

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Published:  March 14, 2013
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Das Monk – Flipside

Brother and sister team, Marc and Brooke Hendrick have been successfully running men’s clothing label Das Monk since 2007. With a shared background in design (spanning photography, graphic design and architecture) each collection is carefully curated by the pair who extend their aesthetic across artist selection, fabric and branding / marketing. With each new collection, a limited selection of designers / illustrators are invited to submit themed designs for the range.

Brooke shares with us the background behind Das Monk’s latest collection Flipside which encouraged designs around the theme of opposites/reflections/symmetry and illusions.

Red Hook by Duncan Skiles

Please could you give us a little background into the initial development of Das Monk? How did the brand come about/who’s involved?
Das Monk is a men’s art/clothing label run by my brother Marc and I. We collaborate with half a dozen artists for each collection (we release four collections per year), on a series of graphic prints and all-over patterns. The label started as a way of selling our own t-shirt designs, but after a couple of successful collaborations we turned the concept of the label into an artist collective, and have since worked with about 50 fantastic artists from all over the world.

You’re a brother/sister team, one of you is based in Sydney, the other in LA. How does this enhance/influence/affect your work?
It’s surprisingly not too difficult to work from different countries. We have a pretty strong sibling intuition with one another – we’re basically twins that were born three years apart – so communication is never an issue and we’re always on the same page design-wise. If anything it’s a blessing to both be involved in the different cultures of two very artistic cities… whether it be the visual stimulation we each get walking down a street, the shows we go to, or the artists we meet. And at the end of the day, he’s still my annoying little brother, so having a giant ocean between us isn’t always bad.

Kalahari (Rust) by Studio DSMNK

You work with different designers for each range/tee – how do you go about selecting the right designers to work with?
We spend an unhealthy amount of time scouring design blogs for new talent, so most of the artists we work with are people we have discovered online (and are therefore from all over the world). We have worked with a very broad number of artists but there are always our old favourites (and now good buddies) that we love collaborating with, artists such as Melbourne graphic designer Sam Chirnside and UK illustrator Tim Laing whom we keep rushing back to work with. We love it when artists get in touch with us too – half of our last collection was designed by people who approached us with their art, so if anyone wants to get involved please email us at mail@dasmonk.com!

Can you tell us about your new collection Flipside. What were your influences in designing this range?
For our Flipside collection we gave our artists a few keywords like ‘opposites’, ‘reflections’, ‘symmetry’, ‘parallel worlds’, and ‘illusions’, and we wanted them to interpret those words in whichever way they wanted. By being less specific with a theme, we get more variation in style and content, which is important when designing a whole range of graphic t-shirts, so that we can give people of all different artistic tastes a chance to like at least some of our t-shirts. We also like to shoot each collection in a style that represents the theme, and the ‘Flipside’ lookbook was particularly fun, involving mirrors and reflections.

Monolith by Ross Aitken

Yeh Nah (Black) by Maja Wolnik

Can you select a favourite tee from the Flipside range?
I really love Maja Wolnik’s Yeh Nah design (see above), which is just a really simple use of positive and negative space, combining patterns with text. And of course it’s just a great Australianism – it always gets a smile even though it’s not a specific joke about anything… it’s just familiar. Maja was actually our design competition winner from last year, so we’re excited to see how good this t-shirt looks in the flesh. Each year we have a design competition where we open up one of our themes to the public and give a cash prize to our winner, and this was one of the many great entries we received. We will be launching our new competition in a few weeks so look out for that.

Papagayo by Nico Krijno

Designers involved in the Flipside range:

Chris Golden
Duncan Skiles
Maja Wolnik
Michael Willis
Nico Krijno
Ross Aitken
Studio DSMNK
Sam Chirnside

You can view and purcahse the entire Flipside range online.

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