Our newest release has been a super fun one to work on start to finish. Before we go in to it, if you don't know this legendary Charlotte story read it here before continuing on:
All caught up? Good. First and foremost, we want to stress that we don't condone theft. However, Joe's tale is part of Charlotte's history and one people are going to be telling every April for years to come. There's no ignoring his place in this Charlotte's history. We're going to give you a Jackass (the tv show) type warning: Do not try this at home. Doing something crazy isn't going to get you on a Glory Days Apparel shirt.
This shirt concept has actually been one nestled in the back of my head since I first launched Glory Days Apparel. There were two "urban legend" like tales I wanted to tell. One being the Selwyn Ave. Golf Cart story. We did that one and people loved it. Now, a year in to our brand and a bigger following we wanted to tackle the second story... Joe's infamous night on the town in the costume.
A couple months ago I reached out to Joe on Facebook. We'd never met before. I believed so strongly in the project and had blind hope he'd be on board too. I wrote in great detail my vision for the shirt we'd do together and waiting anxiously on a reply from him. Luckily, he was pumped for the idea too. He literally responded with, "I'm totally game for this! Just let me know what you need from me and I'll be there". Makes me wonder if I needed to be as lengthy in my description or it was just enough to elicit his excitement.
The next step was finding the right artist to articulate my vision for the Homertown Hero shirt. As many of you know about Glory Days Apparel, we strive to create a feeling of nostalgia in our shirts. This was no different. The inspiration I had for this design was from the 1990's sports shirts I used to wear as a kid that would have your favorite athlete on it drawn in a caricature style with a big head and lanky body. I wanted to portray Joe in the same fashion. This is where Robert Wildermuth (AKA Robert Bobby) comes in. He's an amazing artist and an even more amazing person. Check out his page to see some of his work and if you want a great portrait of your pet hit him up.
Robert had the exact style and look I was looking for with this design. So much of what made this story great was the details and personality of Joe. If you look at his mug shot you'll see he had a mullet that had bleached tips, there were lines shaved in his head, and a nice scruff on the face. All of which were looks that were prominent in the 1990's. I went over details and my vision with Robert and he knocked it out of the park (pun totally intended).
With our first draft of the art I asked Joe to sit down with me. I wanted to meet with him to let him know Glory Days Apparel was serious about this shirt and I wanted to meet the person behind this Charlotte tale. After a few beers and lots of laughs I was even more motivated to do this design after meeting him. Joe is a local Charlottean, small business owner, and the guy who will strike up a friendly conversation with anyone. He is one of the friendliest people I've ever met. I wish I had a photo or video of the look on his face when he first saw the art I showed him but you could tell he was excited.
Joe's excitement for this shirt comes from his pride in being a part of Charlotte history. He didn't approach us and didn't ask us to promote him but he's damn proud to have his place in Charlotte's story book. We're thrilled to tell the story for him and with him.
Here's the whole team...
We got to partner with Ryan Pitkin of Creative Loafing who did an amazing job getting all 3 perspectives (myself, Joe, and Robert) for the feature. You can read it here:
We look forward to seeing this shirt on fans in the ballpark. We'll be donating a portion of profits to Charlotte Knights Charities. Our hope is we can help bring a water under the bridge relationship with Joe and the Knights through telling this Charlotte legend.