Whatever It Means To You
is a clothing brand spawned from the internet that has a tight knit community of people built around their sentimental designs. We spoke with the founder Chich about his experience growing up playing video games like Halo, and how his memories from this and other life experiences have influenced him to create clothing that brings back that same sentimental feeling from being a kid. In addition, Chich also spoke with us about the inspiration behind some of his best designs, his collaborations with music artists and other brands, and his goal to build up the Sentiments community so that kids can feel like they're part of something that's bigger than clothes.
Where are you from?
Chich: I was born in Orange County, California, but I’m from the Internet.
When did you start Sentiments?
Chich: I started making clothes with my friends as early as 2016, and it eventually led to Sentiments.
What was the inspiration behind the name?
Chich: I’m very sentimental. I give everything value. Things like little notes from my highschool sweetheart or even receipt paper that reminds me of a fun day — all kept in a box somewhere in my closet. Sentiments represents the things that are important to me, but it’s really whatever it means to you.
What made you want to start a clothing brand?
Chich: To do what I love and make a living from it. I saw my parents do it so it’s been ingrained in my brain. I chose clothing because having a brand lets me express myself in just about any way I can imagine. It’s so much more than putting a design on a shirt.
What’s your background in fashion and art?
Chich: My momma had me looking so clean as soon as I was born. I had more drip in 1997 than I do now to be honest. I can thank her for putting me onto not only clothes, but style. I’ve been doing art from the start too. My dad taught me that part. I remember he would spend hours painting Pokemon murals on the walls of our crib. He even let us finger paint the entire living room. Our house probably looked awful, but it showed me that walls don't exist in the art world.
Talk about your most recent release. What was the inspiration behind the “Halo Tees” that you released?
Chich: Man, nothing beats feeling the wind against your visor on the open dunes of Sandtrap. I might’ve been 10, but I could drive a Warthog like it was my job. Got homie in the passenger seat talking shit while bro’s manning the turret on the back. Me and my boys were always ready for however many infected were tryna press us. I made some of my best friends and memories cause of that game.
Were you into Halo growing up as a kid?
Chich: Oh yeah. When Halo 3 came out it really showed me what online gaming could do for a socially awkward nugget like me.
What was the inspiration behind your “Zoboomafoo Tees” that you released in that same drop?
Chich: Zoboomafoo was my favorite. Before clothing I wanted to be a vet. I’ve always been into exotic animals. I really only want to be rich so I can afford owning some water monitors and a capuchin monkey or two.
Did playing video games as a kid have a big influence on you?
Chich: Most definitely. I got a Halo tat on my chest and a couple other video game references too. There will for sure be more video game pieces in the future.
What is the Sentiments logo and where does it come from?
Chich: The logo is a Lunar New Year red envelope. I used the money I saved up from getting those envelopes to make my first run.
What was the inspiration behind the “Love is the Answer” release you did?
Chich: I was going through some tough times. I came to the realization that having love in your heart is the best way to live, and to not let anything get in the way of that.
What made you put a crosshair on the Sentiments logo for that piece?
Chich: The crosshair represents the culture I’m a part of now. I don’t know what to call it, but the crosshairs are a common theme in this internet/fashion/music scene.
What made you want to do the “Mother’s Day” release?
Chich: I’m always thinking of my momma. It doesn’t get any more sentimental than her.
What was the inspiration behind that design?
Chich: I used to buy her flowers, but she doesn’t really like getting them. “They’re just going to die,” she says. I still think they're pretty while they're around though. Nothing lasts forever anyway.
I really like the visuals you’ve done to promote your releases on Instagram. Do you make all your visuals?
Chich: So far I’ve made all my visuals. My skills haven’t gotten that much better since then, but I used to go crazy on windows movie maker as a kid. I would link my old youtube channel, but y’all might cringe.
How did you end up making the Charlie Shuffler merch?
Chich: Charlie and I did a photoshoot a few years back. The next time he hit me up, it was simply to get lunch. He was my first friend and best friend in the scene. Real brother shit ever since.
Are there any other music artists you want to work with in the future?
Chich: I definitely want to work with Eyekeem
on a merch line. We are good friends, but even before all that I was a huge fanboy. He still is my favorite artist.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Chich: Mostly my addiction for nostalgia.
What other garments or accessories do you want to experiment with in the future?
Chich: There's so much. It’s quite honesty daunting thinking about how much I want to create. The next step is probably going to be Sentiments finger boards though.
Are there any other brands or designers you want to work with?
Chich: Half Evil, Absent, and Sukamii are my favorite brands right now. I’m also a huge fan of Bronze56k and Places+Faces. As far as designers go, Kodone and Imran are some names I look up to. I also want to work with Oschea. He's one of the friends I started the clothing with, so he's always been one of the people I envisioned myself at the top with.
What should we expect to see from Sentiments next?
Chich: Other than new designs and pieces, I’m planning on throwing some lil functions. I’m having my first event on July 13th, It’s going to be a Smash Bros tournament which doubles as a popup. No online drop for this piece.
What do you want Sentiments to become?
Chich: All I ever wanted from Sentiments was for people to be able to feel like they were a part of something. And It’s already become that. A core community of kids fuck with the brand, and I’ve seen how that influence can help where it’s needed. Our family is small right now, but with the kind of energy the community has it’s bound to blow.
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