Careless fear and organized chaos mark the creative process at the latest punk clothing store to hit Bushwick.
Viva Los Saicos – located right on Bushwick Avenue – is the project of 22-year-old Ray Morales and 21-year-old Pat Oliveira and will open its doors June 5th. The two designers, who hail from Long Island and say they are mainly self taught, met through earlier silk screen and print collaborations and say they want to cultivate a space for misfits like themselves to share their work.
Their store is named after the short-lived ‘60s Peruvian band Los Saicos, who they say originated punk.
“We are just trying to embody their energy,” Oliveira said of their namesake.
Walking into Viva Los Saicos you will likely be greeted by Vaida, the duo’s puppy. Later, you will find a curtain, made out of three massive white t-shirts, that divides the store from the shop, where Oliveira and Morales do all their screen printing and upcycling of recycled clothes. One of their screen printed shirts features the store’s mascot, Vaida, in a yellow graphic against an olive green backdrop. Other clothing items for purchase are screen printed pants, t-shirts, jackets and hats all made from recycled material.
“I feel like it is where life brings you too, I feel like everything I associate my life with is natural, I let it flow. I don’t force anything. I recycle everything,” Morales said.
Recycling also compliments the atmosphere the store now occupies on the Bushwick Avenue stretch. Nextdoor, their neighbors also upcycle vintage items, 1970’s-esque furniture and other trinkets. But Viva Los Saicos sets itself apart by supporting local punk artists.
Their walls feature the work of local artists that compliments Oliveira and Morales’ own eclectic style. The mural that says ‘Stronger 2gether’ was created by local artist, Elijah Maura, who also painted the outside gate.
“We want people to come here and feel supported in the community. We encourage loitering,” Morales said.
The store’s zine wall also features a myriad of local writers, who populate titles like NYC Graffiti, Punk in a Foreign Space, and Fuck This Life.
“This is supposed to be a community zine wall [and] eventually [we] want to move it to being more like a library where we support local artists,” Oliveira said.
If the natural hardworking energy of Oliveira and Morales doesn’t lure you into their store, the zombie mascot with ‘Smile if You’re Horny’ patches might do the trick.
Viva Los Saicos is located at 383 Bushwick Avenue and opens June 5th, kickstarting that night with a live show put on by punk acts Poster Boy and Food Corps, starting at 10pm.
All photos by Chandler Kidd for Bushwick Daily.
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