Last weekend, Agenda tradeshow in Huntington Beach debuted brand-spanking new collections from a fully-loaded roster of surf, skate and street wear companies. One standout brand in particular garnered notable attention as one of this year’s top up-and-comers - meet ARKA, a company whose mission is to provide quality street wear while paying attention to every detail.
Founded in July 2009 by three LA locals, ARKA launched with a collection of thought-provoking and ultra-steezy men’s graphic tees. Each tells its own, sometimes controversial, story and every design is an eclectic blend of global influences and all products are produced locally in southern California with non-toxic dyes and inks.
Best-selling and top styles from the tradeshow include: “Classic Execution,” featuring a crow ready for its execution, complete with a blindfold on and a cigarette stuffed in its beak; and “Concrete Jungle” with a Banksy-esque graphic of monkeys dressed as humans and doing very human activities in the midst of a forest of skyscrapers. The booth, decorated with fake crows, doves and a variety of other uber-creepy props, brought ARKA's graphics to life for tradeshow attendees.
“The word ‘ARKA’ literally means the king of all kings, but people can interpret this different ways, just like they do with the messages on our shirts. Our design team will have a specific concept in mind when creating a new graphic, but then we’ll show the line to someone who has never seen it before and their interpretation winds up being equally cool and something we never would have thought of,” says ARKA founder, Shant Der Ashodian. “We believe that everyone possesses a leader within and that they can choose to utilize it to contribute to the beauty of today’s world – following our dream to launch this company is how we are personally doing that.”
So what does the future hold for this young, starry-eyed, idealistic company? Fans can look forward to new categories including denim, blazers and hoodies. Right now, ARKA can be found at trend-setting retailers, Moule and Broken Leash. Be prepared to make a statement if you end up indulging in a tee or two (or eight). Don't like attention? Then this brand is most likely not for you. Each tee is laced up with an edgy and eye-catching visual in a variety head-turning colorways and combinations.