Rebellious. Dark. Satirical. Ironic. Nostalgic. These are just a few words the designers behind Mob Mentality used to describe the aesthetic of their line. Mob Mentality has been up and running for years and has grown an impressive following, but the history behind this graphic based streetwear line is lesser known. I had the opportunity to sit down with the men who make their dreams into reality everyday with hard work and dedication for a little insight into what Mob Mentality represents. Oliver “Oli” Wilcox and Brian Davis tell us everything we need to know about the brand before the newest line drops on the 4th of July.
Wilcox, the head and sole designer of the company, started paving the way for the line back in 2005 during his freshman year in high school, the same year he met Davis. “I taught myself Photoshop, but I didn’t really get the aesthetic that I have now for five or six years,” he shares. A self-proclaimed “computer nerd”, Wilcox downloaded software like Photoshop and started playing around looking for new things to do. When the duo acknowledged their surf/skate hometown in North Carolina was lacking the clothing they wanted, he jumped on the chance to cater to the need in the marketplace. When Wilcox decided to put some of his designs on t-shirts, he asked his good friend Davis for his help. Davis now runs the company alongside his longtime friend and will sit down with him at the computer to toss around ideas, give feedback and discuss what they’ve seen in the marketplace recently.
While the line has kept its original name through the years, the meaning behind it has evolved. The name has always reflected Wilcox’s entrepreneurial spirit, first reflecting his original venture in the surf world, M.O.B. first stood for Masters of Boardwax. These days it holds a meaning that speaks to Davis and Wilcox’s lives, My Own Boss. “I think the meaning came about when the company started coming together. We slowly became our own bosses,” says Davis.
It can’t be stressed enough that it has never stood for money over bitches.
New York City is much different than the southern beach town Davis and Wilcox grew up in. The pair has been in the city for roughly two months now and say that it has had an influence on the new line compared to the past work they’ve produced. Another inspiration for the new merchandise comes from the 90’s. The 90’s babies use their love of their birth decade to inspire new graphics, and Davis tells us that he couldn’t be happier that 90’s themes are reoccurring in fashion. “Most people tend to stick with going to work, going to church and having a normal life – we hate that. We own a company, but refuse to work nine to five. We don’t want to do regular things, and I think that screams out in the designs,” says Davis of the new line.
The company has put out handmade women’s gear in the past and also has a women’s line in the works for the future that they’re really excited about. “For a long time we did everything by hand, just recently we’ve been involved in the manufacturing. We have girls’ stuff in the works, but I don’t think we’re ready to announce when we’re going to do it. We’re pretty excited about the girls’ stuff, but it’s far to come for right now.” If you are familiar with Mob Mentality, you know they feature graphics of women with two pairs of eyes. The women are hauntingly beautiful, but there is more to it than that. “Look twice, glance twice. With anything in the world, if you look deeper at it, or look twice at it, you’ll find something you never really noticed,” explains Wilcox.
Even though the pair has moved to the city, found a deeper meaning within the brand’s name and gained thousands of Instagram followers, a few things have stayed the same. “The foundation of the company, how we operate and the support we have has all been pretty consistent,” says Davis, “The foundation of our company is doing what you want to do and making your dreams come true.” There are many aspiring streetwear designers in nearly every city around the world. When asked what they thought the key to a successful line was Davis had this to say: “A big thing is not to follow trends. Don’t care about what other people are doing. Whatever you think and you like, put that out. No Matter what it is, you’ll find a crowd that wants it and that likes it.” “Someone everywhere likes something,” interjects Wilcox, “Always be learning. Constantly progressing.”
If they have it their way, Mob Mentality will be one of the top five skateboard/streetwear brands with flagships in L.A., Tokyo and New York. Davis and Wilcox not only have big dreams, but the passion, determination and work ethic to make it happen. If you haven’t already followed them on Instagram (mobmentalityclothing) or liked them on Facebook (Mob Mentality) do it now. This is one brand you don’t want to sleep on any longer. Their webshop is reopening soon with the line launch; get your Mob Mentality gear at mobmentalityclothing.com.