The new collection for Video Store Apparel (VSA) — founded by Brockhampton's Kevin Abstract — immediately looks familiar. "It really makes me think of Napoleon Dynamite," Abstract says about the latest launch for the clothing arm of Video Store Records. "Because you don't really know what time period it is."
Titled Our Good Dreams Go Into the Sky, VSA's Fall 2021 lookbook was photographed by Nick Holiday, who helped bring this nostalgic vision to life. "Something me and [Kevin] like to do is take classic American tropes — things you've seen in movies and TV shows from the past — and redefine those, flip them on their heads, by adding queer elements."
Like the "Gays Only Event" tee, which looks like the iconic "Frankie Say Relax" shirt (or something else derivative of that image). At the bottom, in the same block lettering, there's a VSA twist: "Go Home!" Another shirt says, "Read My Lips," with two men kissing and the hot pink declaration, "Gay Power;" and "Boyfriend" covers everything, from beanies to crewnecks.
Celebrating the past, some VSA pieces are dated with the year "2003," while the color ranges and textures throughout are decidedly old-school, as well. The All-Over Fleece Jacket, in particular, revives a very vintage material in combinations like teal blue with mustard yellow or a much louder royal blue, neon green option.
All colors are original to VSA, which is entirely handmade in LA. "The paint isn't stock," Holiday says of their custom-dyed products. "Every color you see is a unique dye. That's one of my favorite things when it comes to making clothes: picking the Pantones and finding the right shades that simulate the vibe we're trying to push."
There's a cohesion to VSA, and everything else Abstract and Holiday do in collaboration. The two are constantly together, whether working on each other's projects — Holiday has an eponymous brand, for which Abstract has modeled and photographed, and Holiday is Abstract's stylist — or just hanging out, regularly appearing on each other's socials.
"We always are together, I mean like every single day together," Holiday says. "We love the same stuff, and when it comes to creating and making something, it's really just conversations. VSA is fully Kevin's creative vision and everything he wants to do. He can just say a keyword, a movie or a phrase, and I know how to execute that."
Abstract and Holiday imagined VSA as the last video store. They hope to evoke that memory — or maybe create one, if you're younger — of spending what felt like hours walking the aisles in search of the VHS or DVD that would become the centerpiece of your night. They recall, like many Blockbuster regulars, how that trip was "a whole event."
"When I was a kid, I was going with my sister all the time," Abstract says. "My sister would wear a baggy hoodie, hair tied up kind of thing — super cozy. So that's really why I designed this, what the vibe is. We pulled so much from our own experiences going to the video store when we were children."