What makes a T-shirt cool? A witty political pun? A metal band's album art? The words "American" and "Apparel"? Wolves? For two St. Louis-loving brothers, the answer is usually found somewhere east of Skinker. STL-Style cocreators Jeff and Randy Vines turned their passion for everything St. Louis — its idiosyncrasies and its imperfections — into preshrunk 100 percent cotton garments of urban solidarity, celebrating the local accent ("Highway Farty"), city neighborhoods ("Benton Park," "Old North St. Louis") and various St. Louis quirks and images ("Fo' Chouteau," "Meet Me in St. Louis...Bitch" and a homage to the bus line "70 Grand"). "We wanted a way to reflect the city the way we saw it," explains Jeff Vines. "Authentic, fresh, honest, edgy, colorful, gritty," Randy adds. "If there had been cool [St. Louis] T-shirts back in 2000, we would have been the first to buy them, but they didn't exist." The business that originated in a Dogtown apartment and a booth at Soulard Farmers' Market now occupies a 2,000-square-foot studio on South Jefferson Avenue that it's also outgrown. Within the next six months, the Vines will move their baby to a storefront on Cherokee Street, where they will sell T-shirts, underwear, onesies and anything else they can emblazon with civic pride to the masses, whether local, expat or "South City Hoosier."
© 2017 Riverfront Times