When couture designer Bucky Bakes made his break from small town USA to Hollywood to make noise with The SYC BOi$, there really was only music on his mind.
Unfortunately he had to diversify. Although the band was doing pretty well in the beginning, the fights started, the drummer went off to rehab, and the guitar player trying to shrug off habits, couldn’t take it anymore and killed himself.
During this turmoil, Bakes had started to realize that maybe music wasn’t the way to go. He did some behind the scenes management and video producing, but the custom clothing pieces he had started to make for his and other bands, started to become the prominent feature in his existence and he stopped doing everything else to concentrate on the clothing line. He started SYC FUK (Street Youth Couture From Unwanted Kids). A real up yours to all the backwoods bullies from back home. “They were so judgemental back there. This was my fuck you with no four letter words, something that they always preached against. Success really is the best revenge though.”
Bakes explains “I was a smaller kid, and I had an earring. I was a punk rocker, but of course in a town full of hicks and red necks that made me the town fag. I’d flip them off at the school dances or the football games. They would come after me and I could probably outrun them, but I was usually drunk and high so I’d end up face planting into a wall and getting a beating. It definitely toughened me up!”
Bakes had no idea back then that he would one day be compared to the likes of Punk Designers Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood. The two changed the face of Punk with their shop SEX, on Kings Road in London, fashioning garb for the likes of The Sex Pistols, whom McLaren also managed, along with Bow Wow Wow and Adam Ant.
“Of course back then I had no idea that these punk bands had a designer. We were ripping things, using safety pins, chains, spray paint, in fact anything we could access to make ourselves stand out. Back then the only time you had a shirt with a band name on it was from an actual show. I was not so much into the European bands. I loved The Sex Pistols, but I also loved Black Flag and The Dead Kennedys, Circle Jerks and TSOL to name just a few.”
So very far away from an ass kicking, Bakes is in Hollywood, making clothes and they are showing up on the backs of the rich and famous rockers he once aspired to be. That must have been better than a kick in the ass from Billy Ray Redneck?
“You know, I think it’s great that some of the bands I listened to and had pictures of on my wall when I was younger will wear my clothes, but a lot of these people want shit for free. It doesn’t happen now, but I’ve had people order items and I have made them, taken them to their house and handed them an invoice which barely covered the cost of materials, never mind, sourcing, hand cutting patches, the work of two others hand making the item and they have been offended that I would dare to charge them at all. I have sold a jacket that retails at $5,000 for $500 and still it’s not good enough for some of these people. They say ‘give it to me for free, its great advertising.’ This star thing doesn’t mean shit to me. If I would ask them to play a charity show at The Roxy or the like, they would ask how much I was paying them. I say play for free its great advertising. They say no way. I say exactly so…. FUK OFF AND PAY ME FOR MY WORK ! ”
This may seem unbelievable when the man hours on a leather jacket cannot even be calculated but it is an absolute fact!
Of course it can be down heartening, especially when they literally eat, sleep and live work, to be treated like shit and with so little respect, by those who should know better. Bakes explains this in real terms. “I take five steps from my house to my shop. I work, I eat, I go to the gym and I take five steps back home. Last night I worked until three am.”
That is true passion and a serious case of dedication. It is paying off…
A short while ago Bakes was featured on Slice Networks Ex-Wives of Rock, when Tobi Tyler Kottak and her musical mom Athena were present for a modelling assignment, giving him some great advertising in Canada. Bakes tells TiTT that, “I have no concrete plans on opening up a store in Canada, but I am looking for a good distributor that understands the SYC FUK Family and what we stand for. I really haven’t been that interested in stores until now, but I will make more money from opening stores, so 2013 is the year for that. I aim to have SYC FUK into 50-100 worldwide. Right now sales are mainly US, Canada, Australia, UK, Japan, Taiwan and a few places in Europe. Fans see people like The Scorpions wearing the clothes and they want some too. I will be diversifying a little for the stores. There will be more in the way of active wear, swimwear, athletic and Moto X also.”
TiTT thinks that Bakes needs to make XXL’s, but there is not an option online. Until the stores open can we only order teeny weeny sizes online?
“You know, that is just a glitch. I will make clothes for Samson and Goliath, or a leprechaun. Just get in touch and I can do it. I make everything custom, no matter your size or shape. We are all different.”
That is great news….
“Yes, all sizes are available to order from SYC. If you don’t see exactly what you want to order, just hit me up firstname.lastname@example.org and ask me for any size or color of any item. I love to do custom pieces for our SYC FUK family members!”
It would seem that this SYC FUK is now coming for you.
By Karen Graham 14 January 2012