Although the Zoo York clothing line did not get its start until the 1990s it was actually influenced by an earlier generation; the underground social movements of New York City in the 1970s. An era where skaters, hip hop musicians, punk rock and graffiti artists all left their mark on the city; becoming known as a tight-knit crew, creatively exploring, skating and making beats together. They represent different cultures and races and became known as the Soul Artists of Zoo York.
Inspired by the creativity first seen in the 1970s, 3 skaters: Adam Schatz, Eli Morgan Gessner and Rodney Smith began selling street wear to reflect this skating and urban culture in 1993. Zoo York was originally designed to appeal primarily to youths. It did not take long for the trio to find initial success with T-shirts prints inspired by street art.
The edgy clothing line mixed casual pieces with a sportswear edge. Male teenagers and young adults embroidered the line for its cool factor and carefree attitude. The variety of items in the line also allowed individual to personalize their look, from skater casual to club attire. Zoo York sells: denim jeans, t-shirts, hoodies, sneakers, outerwear, knits and fleeces. Accessories including belts, headgear and bags are also part of the line.
Zoo York has set itself apart from other fashion lines and other skating line by designing clothing that resonates with culture significance. Its authenticity comes from having the backing of the culture that made it famous. New York City's underground musicians, graffiti artists, top skaters and others, who originally formed part of the zoo culture, have an input in the clothing line through the Zoo Crew. Having those who live the lifestyle influence the clothing produced has given Zoo York's clothing a gritty realness.
This grittiness has allowed the brand to better understand what clothing is considered authentic by real skateboarders and other athletes. Today Zoo York is seen as an expression of New York's graffiti, Hip Hop, BMX, skateboarding and motor cross cultures. With clothing that looks like the current vibe and feel of what is happening on the streets of New York and globally.
The clothing line recently became part of the Marc Ecko family. The visionary influence of this powerful fashion line has helped keep the brand relevant and committed into a new century. Zoo York clothing is often spotted when young men and women party in clubs, go to school or walk around the street. Although Zoo York is not ideal for business attire, it does suit almost any other occasion.
The brand has also grown up, creating a style that fashionable people of all ages, races and genders can wear, with specific lines designed for men, women and children. It also has styles everyone will appreciate. T-shirts feature images from New York City, strong black and white imagery, bold coloring and bright letters. Shoes tend to feature print patterns all over. Zoo York also has a certain retro inspired feel.
Celebrities such as well known professional skaters wear the brand and in 2005, Ashton Kutcher became the face of the company. The actor and model is well known for being one of the first to start the trucker hat craze. The brand has become globally recognized with loyal customers around the world, adapting it to fit their own casual cool styles.