written by: Barbara Kang
I have journeyed to the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles numerous times for pop ups in warehouse-turned gallery spaces; however, I was surprised to find Boston’s own exclusive hideaway space, Market at Casablanc. On October 21st, Can’t Not Entertainment prepared a fresh spectacle for Boston’s art fanatics and curious youths. Muffled sounds of tracks by Travis Scott and Childish Gambino escaped through the guarded entrance during LowMain’s live set. The lineup featured the brands Chemical X, DDrey Design, and StaycoolNYC. Each pop-up shop was distinctively characterized by entrancing visuals through ambient lighting as well as projections of alluring videos and type.
Can’t Not Entertainment promotes upcoming brands and startup artists. The American Branch is head by creators, Jake Nelson and Patrick Koitzsch who are currently students at Emerson College. While these students were studying abroad in Paris, Nelson and Koitzsch shook hands with their overseas business partner, Alexander Miles, who is operating the European Branch in Hamburg, Germany. Epitomizing modern branding, the trio’s goal was to build a company that utilizes effective methods of marketing and advertising by producing live events and media curating.
“It’s modern branding,” Koitzsch said. “Not many people are creating content for you willingly. Jake and I organize live events like these along with marketing through social media and curating visuals to help build our name while offering a platform for these artists that I believe will achieve great lengths.”
“Can’t Not is an agency in which we can give an opportunity to brand these startup artists,” Nelson said. “Art should not be a risky vocation. We started networking, and doors opened to more doors,” Nelson explained in the VIP Sky Lounge.
As the youngest street wear designer to sign with Phil The Mayor, Chemical X’s CEO, Paolo Moreno had prior experience in leading a pop up event at APPT. ONLY in Miami this past spring. Nevertheless, the young entrepreneur embarked on the opportunity to showcase his work in Boston. Moreno created an enigmatic space using a vintage television and collage work to display staticky patterns and lab space-like visuals. He also showcased his sci-fi inspired graphics from his collection “World Without Pain,” as well as “Introspection” tops which incorporate enthralling poetic lyrics.
Dorian Dreyfuss, a graphic design student at Boston University and the creator of DDrey Design, revealed her custom-made designs enveloped in neon pink lighting. To the side, a projector displayed a loop video of bubbly models dancing in front of the camera while sporting her playful, pastel pieces, evocative of works by Laura Callaghan and Henn Kim.
“I have done prints, posters, calendars, notecards, coloring books, and t-shirts but I would definitely like to expand,” Dreyfuss said. “I focus on mainly a collection of portraits. Clients bring me pictures, and the pictures get reduced to their fundamental basics. Each design is hand drawn and designed in Photoshop and Illustrator.”
Comparatively, StayCool NYC’s retro-inspired chill wear boasts styles heavily influenced by the culture and attitude of the ‘80s and ‘90s. StayCool NYC CEO, Amin Adjmi, explained how he came to the genesis of his brand, “I started about three summers ago. I designed one shirt for myself and I received a good response. Then, I thought—why not introduce trendy chill wear to the streetwear market. I want StayCool to be a lifestyle.”
Throughout the night, performances by Jacksonville Kid, Malachi, Yassky, and the Space Cadets exhilarated a growing crowd. Can’t Not led a live event that went beyond the social walls to represent inspiration and innovation. Amidst the overcrowded space filled with laughter and evident passion, it was awe-inspiring and revolutionary.