It’s time for another LacednLit Friday Focus where we take a deeper dive into some of the lesser-known streetwear brands on the come up. This week we had a chance to spend a few minutes with Michael Kriz from Grassroots California.
About the Brand
Grassroots began making hats for a documentary film they were producing in 2009. Since then they have created fitted hats and snapbacks for some of the biggest names in the industry. Artists ranging from Method Man to the biggest names in the jam scene like Jerry Garcia and Griz to namedrop a few. Today Grassroots provides cutting edge state of the art designs in every item they create. They have thrived to be an industry leader by paying attention to every detail, and providing environmentally friendly hats constructed with hemp, recycled aluminum cans and ballistic material. It’s the little details that matter with Grassroots.
Love your brand Michael and the things you create. We see you got started making hats for a documentary film. How did that come about?
We started with just one hat design and we were walking around and selling out of backpacks. Today we’re in 15 countries and we handle about 90% of the official music festival hats.
Why the name Grassroots California if you’re based in Denver with a store in Chicago?
Good question. Our roots are in California, and we use to work with a fulfillment center, but about 4 years ago we moved to Denver and brought everything in house.
I see your products are sustainable. What does that mean to you?
Our idea of sustainable is using recyclable materials whenever possible. Protecting the planet and its resources. That's important to us and should be to everyone.
How has the response been to venturing out into other products besides hats?
Very well received. Especially in the women’s category. I spend a lot of time in factories such as Bangladesh getting a focus on women’s apparel. This will be a strong category for us going forward.
Let’s talk about the removable patches on many of your hats. Great idea. How do they attach? Will they work on all Grassroots hats or even other brands?
Our removable bear line has been a top seller for us. Also giving people the option of changing their look without buying a whole new hat seemed like the right thing to do. The patches attach with a hook and loop fastener, so they pretty much are exclusive for our hats.
What brands inspired you back in the day.
If I had to choose one it would be the Nike SB line. I set out to be the new New Era, not just print designs on hats but also actually design the hats.
What brands do you respect today?
I really like to follow brands like The Hundreds, Staple Pigeon, and I still enjoy seeing Nike and Adidas do their collaborations.
Speaking of collaborations I see you do more than most brands. In fact you have a very impressive list that includes artists of all types. How did these connections develop?
It’s most from reaching out a trade shows and speaking with the artists directly. The relationships just seem to form naturally. Our quality of product and our rep gets people on board pretty quick. There is no pitch.
Anybody you haven’t done a collaboration with that you would like to?
It’s really an endless list, but I’d love to do something with a visionary artist, someone like Shepard Fairey. He would be super cool to work with.
Finally, what’s on the horizon for Grassroots followers to be excited about?
We have three releases coming up for spring/summer featuring more headwear; some lightweight jackets and some really cool new tie-dyes. We’re excited about changing up our themes to keep our brand fresh.
More upcoming goodness from Grassroots