Check out this interview, as we discuss sneakers, “surviving trends”, and resisting tradition with flowers.

This is D3 The Concrete, bringing you fashion from the street!

On January 6th, I went to the first of the biannual events called the “H-Town Sneaker Summit”. I had a great time linking up with old friends, meeting new brands, and as always, viewing “deals” that I had NO money to spend on.

One of the few brands that stood out to me was “Shiff HTX”. Shiff is relatively new on the scene and what impressed me most was their DIY throwback aesthetic. Shiff’s specialty is that they silkscreen every shirt BY HAND!

When I saw this, along with their non-booth area, I was amazed and decided to interview the owner of the brand. Read the interview below and tell me what you think! (BOLD: D3 The Concrete // Italics: Shiff)

Please tell us who you are and where you are from?

I’m Sterling, the creator of Shiff (or Shiff HTX) as a concept and a clothing brand. I grew up southwest of Houston in the suburbs of Sugar Land, TX.

How did you discover streetwear?

I discovered streetwear mainly through my interest in hip hop and sneakers as a kid. I used to go through Sneaker Freaker magazines and stay on pickyourshoes.com for hours looking at shoes in Jr. High, and I needed outfits to match with my kicks. Like a lot of kids, I got into BAPE by listening and watching a lot of artists like Pharrell. 

Tell us about your brand and when did you decide to start?

Shiff started in 2017 as a concept to display some of the more creative sides of Houston to a larger audience. It was less of a brand and more of a social and cultural study to become more interactive with the City of Houston, even if only through pictures. Shiff as a brand formed in 2018, with the idea of creating subtle designs for the city that Houstonians would take the greatest pride in.

Why did you start your career on this path?

Owning a clothing brand was something I dreamed about as a kid. I went to college and got a degree in engineering, and that really works the technical side of the brain. As a hobby, I took on designing in my spare time to work my more creative side. I wanted to make something tangible of the designs I put together, and I really wanted someone to be able to hold on to and benefit from the products I made. So I turned my hobby into my brand, and put my energy towards designing for Houston.

Tell us about your booth at the Sneaker Summit and what made you display the way that you did and what made you choose those products. 

I wanted to be unique and stand out with my display, and avoid defaulting to the table provided by Sneaker Summit. There’s an artist/florist that goes by Mr. Flower Fantastic, that creates installations in the shapes and colors of sneakers out of flowers. I was really inspired by his style and chose to use flowers to represent the my brand name on my display.  The products I chose to sell held true to my brand philosophy to make designs for Houston. Each tee/hoodie represents Houston in some way, and has an associated story. The “Triple S” Tee was a fan favorite and was created specifically for the Summit attendees. 

Tell us about what you have coming in the near future.

In the future I have more story lines based in Houston culture and history. I’m taking Houston’s events and people of the past/present and putting twists on their stories and using that to create new designs and collections. I also plan to expand beyond tees and hoodies, and explore other forms of menswear and accessories.

What else would you like for our audience to know about you, the brand, etc. ?

Although Shiff’s main focus will be apparel, the brand will also provide art and other events/services with the same design philosophy. Follow us @shiff.htx on IG for updates on the brand.

What advice can you offer to the youth that may read this article?

I encourage all the youth to find what you believe in and build towards it.

Go to my IG (@D3THECONCRETE) for my photo essay on the Winter 2019 Sneaker Summit.

About The Author

What do you get when you cross intelligence, with an original sense of fashion and a lyricism that knows no bounds? born and raised in 5th Ward, Houston, TX, D3 is equal parts MC, sartorialist, and scholar. D3 is the #BestDressedRapperInTexas and you should take your streetwear advice from him.