One to Watch: Guns, Germs and $teal

Matt Jacoby

Upon meeting in college, designers Philippa Price and Smiley Stevens, founders of much-buzzed-about new label Guns, Germs, and $teal, instantly bonded over a shared love of skate culture, music and American history.

"I guess we unofficially started GG$ while we were still living together in NYC in college," says Price. "Smiley would sneak into the metal studio at Parsons and we would work on stuff together for fun."

Among their earliest projects were a series of brass wallets based on classic cigarette case designs. "We thought it would be funny, since it was this old fashioned looking brass case, to stamp a rap quote on it about money," Smiley explains. "We started making them for our friends for their birthdays and for fun, and then slowly started getting more and more orders for them!"

Since then, the girls have expanded the collection to include a series of unusual monocle chains (finished with everything from pocket knives to brass lighters), and come February will unveil a first foray into ready-to-wear, which promises to exude just as much swagger as the GG$ accessories.

"Obviously skating is a huge inspiration," says Price. "Music is a huge source of inspiration for us, old school hip hop, rap, soul ... We have a mixtape section on our website which we update weekly with music that inspires us ... We're obsessed with American history, and try to incorporate it into all of our work." The brand's new button-up shirts, for example, are designed and named for historical American gangsters, and come with collectible tags detailing their legends.

Top-notch collaborations, including a capsule collection for LA-based street wear label, DTA Rogue Status and a T-shirt line developed in partnership with infamous gang photographer, Robert Yager, are slated to hit shelves this spring. "I think the best advice we have gotten -- and live by -- is that the process of design is just as important as the final product," says Price, who also admits that the official GG$ credo is "'Green For the Money, Gold for the Honey,' as said by Bishop Don Magic Juan."

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