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Fabric Narcotics Launch Night

Xan Frank for Fabric NarcoticsXan Frank for Fabric NarcoticsXan Frank for Fabric Narcotics

September 30th marked the launch of new lifestyle brand, Fabric Narcotics. With a complete release party and launch collection as well as the launching of the online store, Fabric Narcotics has gained a buzz within the community. With the help of key sponsors like their friends from Monaco Cocktails, talented acts such as Melo Makes Music, DJ Chava, and DJ Radd Simons, and the support of friends, the Fabric Narcotics launch was successful.

Controversial at the most gritty of levels, acting as the epitome of individuality and refusing to adapt to the constraints of society, Fabric Narcotics was founded by Dru Bowitz in early 2016. Since Fabric Narcotics was founded, the brand has quietly garnered a solid buzz through artist support, word of mouth, and a single pop up shop all without an official release. The brand has caught the eye of many notable artists thanks to the simple yet intricate designs that go into the final product. The most notable and sought after pieces are the 1 of 1 custom-made jackets, along with the “Trafficking Division” line. These exclusive and custom pieces are carefully and strategically created with the intent of not being seen as just another “streetwear” brand, but as a statement that can be worn.

With exceptional support and love from outside and inside the city of Chicago, Fabric Narcotics has been under the radar for a little while. Since their initial start, they’ve embedded themselves in a prosperous musical and artistic environment. In this environment they were able to organically create a movement not only for those of their friends who support them, but also many of those that simply get the message behind the people and brand itself.

I got the chance to speak with the founder, Dru, for a short interview on the origin of the brand and his goals for it. As of today you’ll be reading the first ever interview from Fabric Narcotics. You can read our full conversation below.

For those that don’t know, who are you and where are you from?

Dru: My name is Dru, with a U, originally from Rockford, Illinois which is about an hour and a half from the city. I used to be out here all the time and one day, two or three years ago, I just said fuck it and decided to move out here to get better opportunities in life and push my brand harder.

There’s nothing in Rockford, it’s a very fucked up place. The only thing you can do when you turn 21 is go to the same bar and start a family and I couldn’t go for that, so I just ended up getting out of there.

What is it exactly that you do?

Dru: I’m a clothing designer, brand operator and creator. I don’t like calling myself a creative director because a lot of people call themselves that and they’re not, but I am also creative director for the brand. I’d like to think I’m a workhorse simply because I do it all, I mean the shipping, buying, ordering etc. I have partner named Jason who works mostly the business side of things, but I mostly operate the brand.

So how did Fabric Narcotics originally come about? What influenced the style and approach that you all have?

Dru: I came up with the brand name three years ago right before I moved to Chicago. I had been doing custom drawings for people in high school, so if you wanted your name drawn up in a creative font or something like that, I was the man you’d go to. Basically, you’d hit me for a small commission and I would get it done, that transitioned into me doing graffiti, which got me into a lot of trouble.

For anyone that writes graffiti they can tell you how much of an addiction it is, so along with that I got introduced into canvas painting where I started doing bigger commission pieces for people. At one point, I said to myself “I wanna see my art on people” so I made a quick shirt. I didn’t really have a name for it at the time and it was fast design I just came up with, but I put it on Facebook and it sold out.

The way that I sold it was inspired by how Bape uses dust bags. I remember thinking “I love the way they packaged it, how could I make this personal for me?” So I went to the dollar store and just bought a bunch of hefty Ziploc bags. That style of bagging things up seemed familiar to me, like I’m putting this items in bags and literally delivering them to other people and making like $30 off a shirt. After realizing that, the name just came to me, it clicked, and I loved it. I bounced it off a couple of people and everyone that I told about it was ecstatic, like “Yeah bro, that sticks.”

So whenever someone is wearing a piece of mine, someone is coming up to them asking them in a confused but interested sense like “Where’d they get that at?” And that’s one of the things I love about it, the enigmatic sense of it all.

 So how would you say Fabric Narcotics has progressed since your original beginning 2-3 years ago?

Dru:  If we’re thinking of levels, let’s use dragon ball z levels. If the highest is at Super Saiyan God right now, I’m just preparing to fight Raditz. So we’re basically just taking off now. I moved out here and didn’t wanna be just another brand coming out of Chicago, I don’t wanna just drop some shirts and call it a day. I wanted to put an entire campaign behind it and push it more than just clothes.

I wanted it to be organic; when I would go out wearing the clothes that I made people would come to me and ask where I got them at. I feel that puts me closer to the people, which is want I want. I would go out by my lonely and just network with others who liked what I had going on and vice versa. It took this long for me to launch the brand, so from then up until now I was just building it making the path for it brighter than it was when I moved here. It’s grown a lot, but this is just a low form. I expect us to evolve even farther from this in future.

Seeing this as step one, I would say you all have a pretty solid support system and not just from people who love the look of the clothes, but from artists that relate to the movement with you as well.

Seeing this as step one, I would say you all have a pretty solid support system and not just from people who love the look of the clothes, but from artists that relate to the movement with you as well. 

How do you think that these people were able to catch onto your wave so fast?

Dru: Like I said, it’s just built organically. I feel that everyone who sees the work and even those that are around me and support me understand the work ethic and the meaning of the brand, which is to be a part of something. It doesn’t matter about being clouted up or famous or anything like that, it’s about creating a legacy with this brand so I can put money in my friend’s pockets or something like that. It’s about leaving something behind for those that relate can benefit from.

We’re not here to be another quick brand, which are very common nowadays. You have people who are just pushing their brand and movement for fame right now, which isn’t how I work. I won’t normally come up to people promoting Fabric Narcotics, because I don’t want to be another person with a brand just trying to get myself in everyone’s face. I’d rather let those who like what I’m doing approach me.

So what are your plans going into 2018 for Fabric Narcotics?

Dru: Into 2018 we plan to expand farther than Chicago. I recently just got back from an LA visit with some members of the team and we linked up with Lil Xan and Xan Frank. They ended up liking what we were doing and ended up getting a photoshoot of a simple organic session between us all. Things like that are an example of how I’d like to let the brand speak for itself. So we just plan to continue doing what we’ve been doing and simply get better at it with every step. We also plan to expand to different states, New York is on list next.

I don’t think we’ll ever go wholesale, it’s just not something I would want to do, so we’re going to stay away from specific drops. We’ll still do seasons, but they’ll be spontaneous so you’ll never truly know what’s coming next. You can still keep up with what’s going on through the Twitter and Instagram so whenever I have something ready, expect to see it threre.

Do you have any words for anyone who’s in your situation of building themselves and looking towards you for inspiration?

Dru: It’s weird that I get asked this because I feel like I’m still one of those people, cause I’m still learning myself, but be prepared to a lot of risks, lose a lot of sleep, always bet on yourself because if you can’t bet on you then no one will, and remember that quality is everything. It’s not about just wanting to be out there and clouted up, they forget that this isn’t just some gig. It’s a real-time business; things like going out of your way and reaching out to your customers and supporters are big because that matters. Being a part of something is the most important, the clothes are just another aspect.