X-Large

XLARGE, est. 1991

The clothing company was amongst the first to create underground cool, cult-collectible streetwear; clothing that was so much more than apparel because wearing the XLarge gorilla let people know that you were a part of the scene.  You were into hip hop and skating, you were a hipster before hipsters existed, and above all else, you were really, really cool.

The concept for the store was created by brothers Eli and Adam Bonerz, and their friend Adam Silverman with the help of Mike D from the Beastie Boys.  Their first location was on Vermont Street in Los Angeles, California.  The store carried a few original X-Large design products, classic Ben Davis and Carhartt, and they also stocked old Adidas and Puma sneakers, offering the perfect blend of the best of the old with the coolest of the new.  But they quickly realized that it was a lot easier and more profitable to sell new X-Large t-shirts than it was to restock ultra rare and hard to find footwear.  And so the concept grew across the country, into Japan, and a women’s line (created with indie queens Kim Gordon and Daisy von Furth) called X-Girl.  With the likes of Sophia Coppola and Spike Jonze, Mike Mills, Thurston Moore, the John Spencer Blues Explosion, Chloe Sevigny, Ione Sky, Nigo (a la the BAPE ape), and so many others hanging around and helping out, the X brands were the hippest of hip.

They were a super creative company, with amazingly imaginative friends, which led to one of the greatest promotional videos ever, and the whole reason I felt compelled to write this post – the XLarge Action Suit!  The “commercial” was created by Evan Bernard, shot in Eli Bonerz’s Neutra house, and starred John C. Reilly as the greatest model ever – way before the days of Dewey Dox, Cal Naughton Jr., and all of the other amazing characters.  This video is so insanely good!

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