My name is Rico aka Sweat Shop Suave aka King Of Underground Chicago Streetwear
How was life growing up?
Life was cool, I grew up on the south side of Chicago in the back of the yards neighborhood. I was blessed with a two parent household that really wanted my sister and me to venture out of our neighborhood and really see what Chicago offered and the different cultures that made up the city. At a young age, I was exposed to a lot of things that modeled the way I would look at or understand things. As I got olderIi would hop on the CTA and travel to different neighborhoods in the city and walk around and try different food spots
When did you begin to witness you had creative talents?
I would say when I was in grammar school because I would hand draw all my favorite cartoon characters. It was strictly something I did just to pass time in school or at home if I wasn’t outside. I knew they were really decent drawings but I didn’t really show many people it was just something I did for myself.
How was your experience working at ldrs?
GREATEST JOB EVER! Corey really sees something in you before you do and he really teaches you the game from a business man’s perspective. As creatives, we all think of the entrepreneurship dream heavy and want the acknowledgment of our crafts. While working at Ldrs you learn what it takes to run a store one day and what it takes to keep up with the business aspect of your craft. Thanks to Corey, I was able to find the mindset that I can really find success in street wear.
You run a clothing company called Hooligan Brand. Talk to us about your first collection
I wanted to re-define what it means to be a hooligan to what I define it as. I define hooligans as individuals that go against the rules and create their own paths to achieve whatever it is they’re after.
It came about with me wanting to embody the current mood the culture is in right now everyone is being a Hooligan in their own way and accomplishing their goals in nontraditional ways.
My first collection was the “rap tees” which was debuted on Nov. 22, 2015. A collection inspired by old hip-hop concert tees and artist merch and it really kicked that wave off in Chicago in 2016. Because I was the first to do it out of Chicago it brought a lot of attention to the brand.
Now tell us about your new collection
My latest collection is “Hooligan Liquors”. I designed 2 iconic liquor rips and one of the most iconic movie scenes based off a run to the liquor store. (Menace II Society) I ripped Hennessy’s old “The civilized way campaign” that was seen a lot in Jet and ebony magazine and the other is a rip of an OG malt liquor St.Ides. Its significance was its aid in giving hip-hop artist their first endorsements in the early 90s and then was banned for being the worst marketing campaign. With the release, I’m having my first pop up at Leaders April 15 from 4PM-7PM really excited, there will be complimentary St.Ides and $1 shots of Hennessy.
Last year you tweeted “got the greatest collab idea of Chicago streetwear history and no brand ready to do it” What was that idea?
I can’t share this one because I haven’t found the brand i can pull it off with, but its heatHint: : the current atmosphere in music right now could be the idea.
What are your favorite stores in Chicago?
Leaders ( it put me on to street wear) Fat Tiger, Uprise, Mildblend, Notre, Saint Alfreds, RSVP and Sir & Madame. (since they were Soulmates)
Who are three brands you would love to collab with?
Leaders, Vita and Bape
When it’s all said and done how do you want to be remembered?
For my humbleness and drive. But I mostly want the brand to be remembered for its quality, collections and take on street wear.
Written By: Nicholas Rud