August 20 2014

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On Our Radar: Subversive Logo Tees From C.O.I. NYC


There are a-ha moments and then there are “Ah ha!” moments. One of the latter occurred when Tommy Ton snapped CR Fashion Book editor Shiona Turini wearing a cheeky logo tee that read “Ballinciaga” during London fashion week. No, Nicolas Ghesquière’s spell checkers didn’t take the day off. The ironic shirt was from Conflict of Interest (or C.O.I. NYC), a new label launched in September, which also offers other conversation-starting tops branded “Giraunchy” and “Bodega Vendetta.” There’s a cool backstory, too. According to its founders, who work in the industry and prefer to remain anonymous for now due to a “conflict of interest” with their other jobs, the line models itself after a fictitious government agency that raids warehouses, seizes unlicensed designer goods, and re-releases them to the public in actual tamper-proof evidence bags. “We have hilarious conversations with our friends in fashion and often use a lot of wordplay when referring to what each might be wearing,” explained one of C.O.I.’s incognito agents. “We are definitely fans of the labels we parody, and if we don’t love the original house, designer, or logo, we don’t touch it. Our objective is to create a dialogue on fashion iconography and imagery.” When the Tommy Ton photo posted, it quickly became a viral hit, and C.O.I. reportedly saw an immediate spike in sales. In the near future, C.O.I. will be putting out slightly larger collections including limited-edition hats and sweatshirts and is also in talks with some companies to do collaborative subversions of their own logos. So what’s next—Narcissus Rodriguez, Mary Katranzoo? You’ll have to stay tuned to find out.

C.O.I. shirts ($60 each) are sold on and at VFILES, 12 Mercer St., NYC.

Photo: Tommy Ton



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