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2K by Gingham: Artist-Driven T-Shirts

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Los Angeles blazes the trail when it comes to the t-shirt. The lightweight garment wears ideally for our SoCal weather, and it’s casual versatility is locked in a cultural groove. We’re home to the $1,850 t-shirt, numerous eye-sore trendy brands, and a slew of feaux-vintage, nearly-ironic t’s whose wearer looks the butt of a silent joke. Thankfully those aren’t our only options.

LA-based 2K by Gingham is an artist-driven t-shirt company whose clothes aspire to be contemporary art. Their shirts are even sold in museum stores. Check the tag on the shirt too. You’ll find a tale of the artist who designed it.

2K’s shirts, full of personality, and creative edge, won’t push you closer towards bankruptcy. The shirts are about $35 each, with some on sale for $20 via their website.

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LAist’s Lifestyle Editor Julie Wolfson recently had a chat with 2K boss Chang Ahn about what’s going on with 2K, how you can get involved, and where Los Feliz resident, Ahn, gets his grub on.

LAist: What is the philosophy of 2K by Gingham?

Chong Ahn: The idea is to get a somewhat non-directed, eclectic bunch of artists and art work. Most lines are unified and look a certain way, whereas our line is really about the individual artist.

How did 2K get started?

We used to export shirts from museum shops in the US to Japan. In Japan there is a huge collectors market for t-shirts. A big thing for us was the metro and subway t-shirts from New York. That led to bringing in artist who had their own great ideas. We started producing our own shirts. At first we bought shirts and then printed them. That led to producing our own shirts here, dying them, and printing those.