“For the freaks, losers, weirdos, slackers, punks, junkies, greasers, cowboys, and so on,” punk clothing store Viva Los Saicos is coming to Bushwick, N.Y., on June 5.
22-year-old fashion designer Ray Morales from Bay Shore has been making clothes for two years, learning the foundations for his craft at both Suffolk and Nassau community colleges, where he studied fine art and womenswear classes.
But mainly he’s self-taught.
“I feel like it’s naturally just in me,” said Morales, who now lives in Central Islip. “My family makes clothes in my country, and I believe that has passed down to the new generation.”
The Bay Shore High School alum connected with his partner Pat Oliveira, 21, through social media. Oliveira, who now lives in Bushwick, got his start in fashion by working at a community print shop in his hometown of Providence, R.I., where he first learned how to silkscreen.
The two designers received positive attention from pop-ups they did together in the past and began looking for a workspace a few months ago.
But the punk pairing soon realized they wanted more than just a studio.
The store — located at 383 Bushwick Ave. — is named after the Latin punk band Los Saicos, which is widely considered to be among the originators of punk rock.
“For me, Los Saicos means being the pioneers and the originators,” Oliveira said. “I like to think that we’re kind of embodying their energy by doing something new.”
The walls are painted in eccentric murals done by local artists, and all of the clothing is made by Morales and Oliveira, including silk screened T-shirts, embroidered hats, and apparel made from recycled materials.
“My purpose is to make things more sustainable and not bring more waste into the world,” Morales said.
Morales adds that the ultimate goal behind Viva Los Saicos is to provide resources for other local and international artists, providing them with space to promote and sell their art in the store.
The store also has a small community library where people can check out zines from local artists, photo series or skim through pamphlets on the history of punk rock.
Oliveira says he’d love to start doing silkscreening classes and give people the confidence in knowing that “they can do it, too.”
The June 5 grand opening party will include live music from three different bands — Show Me the Body, President Evil, and Poster Boy — starting at 9 p.m.
“We’re both artists putting together something we love,” Oliveira said. “We appreciate physical things. The internet is so saturated, so we just want to provide a physical space for people. We want anyone to come in and feel comfortable.”
Check out photos of Viva Los Saicos below.
(Top: Pat Oliveira (Left), Ray Moreles (Right), and Viva Los Saicos’ mascot outside of storefront.)