Danny Sobor ’15 has pioneered several art ventures on campus. But for his 21st birthday he decided to go above and beyond anything he’s done in the past by founding a new company, Milk Supply Co. We picked his brain on this unique new clothing line, whose first collection just dropped this Thursday.
BlogDailyHerald: What exactly is Milk Supply Co.?
Danny Sobor ’15: Milk Supply Co. is a psychedelic street wear and design company, Providence-based but Chicago-inspired. It’s really based on the people and experiences I grew up with for the first 18 years of my life. I also came back home for the first time in two years this summer and being back home really made me reevaluate things and this was me looking back on where I grew up and trying to visually represent it. Another inspiration was a good friend of mine, Miles, who died after a five-year bout with brain cancer last January. His passing inspired me to do something with my time.
BlogDH: You said that it was a “psychedelic company,” could you elaborate more on that?
Danny: [Laughs] Sorry mom. The PC version is that it is inspired by conscious alteration. Being the same person, but you know seeing the world a little differently. We used to trip and just experience the city [Chicago] and walk around the city and I think that has heavily influenced the way I draw. The patterns I draw I feel like I’ve seen tripping, and then see them continually coming around in the world. In Native American art, in Japanese art, and other forms.
BlogDH: How long has Milk Supply Co. been in the works?
Danny: I have been wanting to have a t-shirt company since I was 14 and I used to hand screen-print shirts in my basement. I would buy bulk Gildan tees, like these crappy things, I would go to these ridiculous wholesalers and buy 150 t-shirts for like 40 dollars [laughs], and then I would come home, lay them out on a ping pong table, and like hand print these things. Some of them came out cool but it just wasn’t a sustainable business model.
BlogDH: What went into launching Milk Supply Co.?
Danny: Last Sunday, I had all the pieces in place, I had been designing all summer, but I still had like 2 weeks worth of work before it would be ready. So I didn’t go to school for a week and literally stayed in the Sci Li, slept like seven hours in three days, and just got it out in time for my 21st birthday on Wednesday, which was the launch night.
BlogDH: What kind of products does Milk Supply Co. Sell?
Danny: Right now we have five shirts, we have a coloring book, and we have a hand-drawn pair of shoes. We are definitely looking to expand to women’s clothing in the future.
BlogDH: Which one is your favorite design?
Danny: It’s a really hard question because I actually had to cut out several designs before deciding on the five we have now, so I am absolutely in love with all five. I’m not gonna totally cop out so my favorite one is “F*** the Suburbs #2.” It’s a really strong design. It’s actually based on, wait this might sound too pretentious [laughs], but it’s based on a 1920’s woodcut print by this woman named Zarina, and when I saw her work in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, I was like, ‘this minimalist design is beautiful,’ and basically I just made it trippier and put a skyline in it. It’s grounded in these very strong minimalist design principles.
BlogDH: What is the process of making a shirt?
Danny: Every design is hand-cut and hand-drawn. I have to digitize things at the end to be printed, but I would hand-cut a stencil with a razor, I would ink print that, and I would draw on that so it would only have to go into the computer at the end. In a world where everything is digitized, this has a human touch and element. And another thing, I never erased a single line in 4 months of designing. You can’t edit the sad parts of life or mistakes you make in life so you shouldn’t be allowed to edit your mistakes in art. So like I only worked with ink and marker and razor, if I made a mistake, I would have to find a way for it to look beautiful.
BlogDH: You mentioned earlier something about women’s clothing. What are some other hopes for the future?
Danny: I wanna start getting these into small stores, I wanna start taking out online ads, I want to start sending it to blogs, but at this point the plan is to promote it and see how it goes. I am already working on the next line, so maybe get some buzz going and then in a quarter of a year launch the second line. Maybe take a totally new idea and new style and bring it out there.
BlogDH: Is it just you working on these designs?
Danny: Everything is me. I didn’t show anyone these designs until about a week ago.
BlogDH: Anything else you want to tell us?
Danny: You should check out Noah Fradin’s ‘15 app Punch. We have both spent the summer working on a project and now we’re releasing them, so much respect to him.
Take a look at Milk Supply Co.’s first line here. Ten percent of profits go to a charity in honor of Miles. The charity is called Jokes 4 Miles, which uses comedy to help kids with cancer.
All images via.