For the last year and a half, State Champs singer Derek Discanio has been building his own brand outside of the band.
That’s not to say that the New York-based pop punkers are going to be slowing down anytime soon, but rather that Discanio’s streetwear line, Steez, won’t be counting on the band’s existing success or looking to ride its coattails. Instead, Discanio is looking to expand Steez outside of his existing platform to reach streetwear fans who’ve never heard of his band before — reaching fans new and old through both online drops and an in-person merch tent for festivals and events that may or may not involve State Champs.
With Steez now looking into retail distribution and expanding into hosting its own events and other endeavors, SPIN spoke with Discanio about where the brand has been and where it’s heading.
SPIN: How did you decide you wanted to launch a streetwear brand?
Derek Discanio: It’s something that I’ve been passionate about since high school. When it came time to decide what I wanted to do during my senior year, Ii was one of those guys that was always a jack of all trades. I was a jock kid who played hockey, I was a skate punk kid who liked to skateboard with his friends, and I’d just started a band with my friends and bought a van — so I didn’t know what the heck I wanted to do. The only college I was accepted to was a graphic design school near New York City, so I ended up going there for one year and learned a lot about design before dropping out because my band was starting to gain some traction. Then I started working for a merch company as the head of the art