Steve Aoki Teams Up with Neff for T-Shirt Line: Exclusive

Steve Aoki for Neff

Electro house musician Steve Aoki joins the likes of Lil Wayne and Deadmau5 in their pursuit of sartorial swag.

After a chance meeting at a poker table in Las Vegas, Steve Aoki has become the latest artist to hook up with streetwear brand Neff and create his own line of colorful skate-and-snow-branded apparel.

“I was actually walking passed a poker table at the MGM in Vegas a couple months ago when I had bumped into him,” Shaun Neff exclusively revealed to Billboard.  “I had not seen him in over a year. We high-fived and I said, ‘Dude, we’re both blowing up, let’s collaborate and do something different and fun.’ And here we are.”  

The Neff x Aoki collection was designed by Aoki himself and includes six unique co-branded t-shirts and one hooded sweatshirt, which echo the frisky aesthetic of Neff and embodies Aoki's energetic personal style. Plus, it’s a great excuse to rock Aoki’s silhouette on a tee.

This isn’t the first time the creative twosome has joined forces. A couple of years ago they collaborated on a headwear collection back when Aoki had a thing for headbands. “This time we wanted to do something bigger, better, more representative of our brands combined,” Steve Aoki told Billboard.  “Dim Mak and myself have grown leaps and bounds from when we did the first collaboration, so it finally made sense to do it together now. We went into doing this collab with a fresh fun start, colliding electronic dance culture with street fashion.”

The collection officially launches tomorrow, October 15. It’s available exclusively at Zumiez both in-store and online.

In the meantime, check out our exclusive interview with Shaun Neff and Steve Aoki. Steve chats about the collection, new music and Tiesto.

From AOKI:

You came from punk and indie scenes. Did this influence your designs?

This collaboration hits the right demographic of kids that have the same punk rock attitude to life. It doesn't matter whether you listen to NoFx, Mac Miller, or Steve Aoki the graphics will speak the language these kids will relate to. They are fun, vibrant, loud but without being cheesy and overdone. 

Do you think there is an ephemeral nature to your work?

The ephemeral part of this work is that in music production the sounds evolve so much faster than it used to which means that you really have to put in a lot of work and effort in constantly designing the next sound that will move the culture forward. The way in which kids relate and have agency of our culture has also changed with a lot more competition, be it healthy, it requires us producers/DJs to become artists that can evolve and change with them. 

What do you think of so many DJ’s starting clothing lines?  

I have been doing merch’ since I was 15 and in bands when I was a teenager -- silk-screening shirts, making the emulsion in my mom's closet I converted into a dark room, through college. That’s essentially how us bands survived was selling home made t-shirts. What was part of my roots in my DIY lifestyle slowly and organically grew into a domestic business and now global. It's what I know. I grew up with it and its as much a part of me as music. We have recently branched out into more of a fashion t-shirt line. It can be found at Zumies, Forever 21, Spencer's, Hot Topic. We have two price point lines that we are developing as well as other collaborations that are international. I have designed a higher end collection with a Japanese brand called Diet Butcher Slim Skin coming out next year. On the horizon for spring summer 2014 we will be coming out with Dim Mak Denim, eyewear with George Gorrow formerly of Ksubi, and accessories. 

Do you like Tiesto’s fashion range?

Yes its very definitive of his lifestyle. The graphics speak the language he's representing when he's DJing. 

What’s your secret to style?

Futuristic cuts and styles, but also laid back.

Are you working on new music?  

I'm working on my album called “Neon Future,” which will come out sometime in 2014. The inspiration behind the spring and summer line is based on a neon futurist world visually and graphically. My first single that came out this year, "Singularity," was echoing that same concept. Once again bringing in a future of vibrant colors, stream line cuts, and forward thinking.

From NEFF:

What was it like working with Steve? 

He is the best person in the world to work with. He's so creative, passionate and hands-on during the process.  A true pro.  We just had our photo shoot and unlike any other artist we've worked with, he was on time and fired up throughout the entire shoot.  He had just flown in from Europe, was jet-lagged, yet his energy was 110%.  The shoot ran long but he didn't mind; it even caused him to be a little late for a family dinner, but he stayed to get all the shots we needed.  He's the best and I'm so hyped to be working with him. 

His music is super energetic, did you want the same energy with the line? 

It was very important to make sure his personality was living in the designs and I'm hyped with how the collection came together. We were able to incorporate the cake movement and poppy art style to develop the collection.  Steve was intimate in how the art was being styled.  It was super rad to see such a creative person applying his artistic ability in design. 

What’s your favorite track by Steve? 

The latest track I've been blasting in my car from him is the track he did with Chris Lake and Tujamo called “Boneless.”

What do you love about Steve’s style? 

Everything.  He's amazing. He's always rocking the dopest skinny jeans, good sneakers and his hair is bomb.  I'm jealous and in my opinion he's the steeziest, DJ's in the game.