ESEPH Founder, Mingo One
A native of San Francisco, I spent most of my teen years (1990’s) learning and creating graffiti vs. learning more traditional subjects in school. Some years back, I got the chance to get involved with a graffiti based murals crew named W.O.D. With this group, I started to paint murals in almost every neighborhood in San Francisco. It’s amazing that something I once was involved with and frowned upon is now requested, respected and provides income. We focus on high risk walls; walls known for large amounts of illegal graffiti where most muralists would not paint because the walls would not stay clean for long. When we put up a mural, it’s respected by the local graffiti vandalz and left alone.
Around 2004 after having my daughter, I started working with at-risk youth. While working with this group and thinking back to my childhood, I remembered how hard it was to get good quality fashion at a price my mother would/could afford. As a reward for the kids I was working with, inspired by somethingI desired as a child, I started hand painting shirts and hats. This led me to create my clothing line ESEPH.
ESEPH is something I came up with, inspired by my years in graffiti. We would use anagrams and change F’s to PH’s. When I came up with my company name, I wanted something to represent my love for my city and lifestyle, which is represented in the clothing I design.
Most items in the collection are not just a simple silk screen on a piece of clothing. I like to order my clothes from the manufacturers so I can get the cut-sew style I wanted. I based the logo off of myself, which is a heavy set man that favors a black or white tee with black dickies. I picked a panda with a gas mask to represent my graffiti art and one without the mask to represent a party life I was living most of my life. I hope my line grows with me as I learn more about art and the difference in fabrics.
Creating a style of my own by doing what I know best, following my own rules and disregarding everyone elses… My brand tells a story of growing up in a city never looking for a role model. Just following my gut though the path, while ignoring society's thoughts on right or wrong.