A couple of months back my good friend introduced me to guy this Mark and told me that I should feature him because he is doing big things in a really unique way. Mark and I connected and he invited me to his showroom in the heart of Hoboken, New Jersey where I got to see his collection first hand. Boy was I not only taken a back by what I saw but I also felt an instant throwback feel when I walked in. Mark describes his brand Top Shelf Premium as “Wearable Vintage Garments” and by vintage we are throwing ourselves back to the early 90’s (so much so that he gave me a free copy of the PBS show “Ghostwriter” that was up on display. This made me quite the happy guy). From the music to the jackets to the hairstyle, it really screamed 1991 in so many different ways but for some reason it worked and gelled really well with the atmosphere at hand. It quickly made me think that Mark was onto something here, and I should get to know the guy more to see how this crazy idea of his started in the first place. A couple of days back, I got to know Mark and the company at hand. Take a look.
How did you come up with the concept for “Top Shelf Premium”?
The concept came from a simple lack of money – I needed extra coin around the holidays. Ive always been a collector of dope vintage. I put a few things up on eBay and saw that it sold immediately. I always knew I couldn’t work for anyone – so I started a website – started selling on the streets and pushed my way into the game.
What about the name, where did that come from?
Funny – I used to make glass art work out of Top Shelf liquor bottles – I couldn’t see my self having a future in that scene so when I started to succeeded with vintage I carried the name over.
What would you say is your mission statement for TSP?
I carry the dopest vintage in the game.
Do you think the clothes you provide can fit an array of people out there?
I love what I do – because when Im out shopping I find the piece and see the person that will wear it. I sell to all genres. Rock tees and leather for my grunge heads. Early Polo for the Lo-Heads. Vintage sport jerseys and tees for the sports fan. Outrageous patterns for all my people with confidence and that are experimental with there style. And tons of acid wash for everybody!! Acid wash in my fav – everyone looks great in it to me!
When I went to your gathering I got a strong early 90’s feel. What draws you to that era so much?
It’s the era I grew up in. So I know it hands on. Been there – done that, you know? I just love bringing back amazing memories when things were a lot simpler. Before the iPhone where I can speak face to face with someone across the world – we had to get walkie talkies to talk someone 50 yards away.
Who are your biggest inspirations?
I love the hustle mentality. So any hustler out there I look up to. Doesn’t matter what your hustling – there’s pride and a sense of making it your own way. It means a lot to me. I just want to be like Sinatra and be able to say I did it my way.
Do you hope to incorporate any celebrities into your mix and if so who?
Ive worked along side a few celebrities so far. I wardrobed Macklemore for The Source Magazine. A big customer of mine is P-Thugg from Chromeo. Last week I spent a few days with Lil Debbie – styling her for the photoshoot we did for my website. (topshelfpremium.com)
I love to work with artist – it brings my clothes to a life that it deserves – so bring em on.
Say you were doing a fashion show. What kind of music blends well with the fashions and products you are providing?
I’m personally a fan of early 90s Hip Hop and super new upcoming hip hop. From Das EFX to Joey Badass. I hear that rawness and passion behind the voice. Same feeling I get about my business.
Any tips to upcoming small business owners?
What is your ultimate hope for TSP?
Long term goal -I want to be known as that dude when it comes to vintage. Short term I want to be able to sell across county, hitting all the festivals, colleges and big cities. Be able to reach out and spread the vintage love face to face.
For more information on Top Shelf Premium and how you can become of what I believe to be the next craze in the entertainment industry, check out their main site, Instagram and Facebook pages. Be on the lookout for this dude for real.