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Warpaint Clothing Company opens a store of rock-styled threads in the Plaza District


Luke Atkinson February 11th, 2010

Warpaint Clothing Company grand opening7 p.m. FridayWarpaint Clothing Company1701 N.W. 16thwww.myspace.com/warpaintclothingWarpaint Clothing Company opens its doors Friday, bringing a new way to shop ...

War-paint---Marianne-Pickens
Warpaint Clothing Company grand opening
7 p.m. Friday
Warpaint Clothing Company
1701 N.W. 16th
www.myspace.com/warpaintclothing

Warpaint Clothing Company opens its doors Friday, bringing a new way to shop for threads to Oklahoma City.

Located in the Plaza District, Warpaint, 1701 N.W. 16th, offers a new variety of clothing inspired by rock 'n' roll, American Indians and whatever comes to mind. Derek Knowlton, known as the "brains" of the operation, said he believes the clothing captures the spirit of our state.

"It's really an Oklahoma, rock 'n' roll style," Knowlton said. "It's kind of a '70s, Native American, 'Easy Rider' feel. We tie in a pagan and a blackmagic twist to it."

Knowlton and his friends Spencer Mellow and Travis Pickett " the heart and muscle in the gang, respectively" have known each other through multiple endeavors. One day while hanging out, they decided to start the clothing company on a whim.

"We were BSing one day about making T-shirts," Mellow said. "All of a sudden, Warpaint Clothing Company was born."

The store isn't your average place to shop. Along with normal clothing racks, there are exposed bricks spotting the walls, decorated animal skulls hanging above the clothing, and a large cupboard filled with pocketknives and trinkets " known by the guys as the "man hutch." In addition to the unique decor, Knowlton said they plan to offer something more "on tap" for those of age: beer. Specifically Pabst Blue Ribbon.

"I remember going to New York and getting offered wine while I shopped," he said. "Travis had an old kegerator, and we thought we'd put it to use. We're all Pabst drinkers."

Warpaint will open in a space in the heart of the Plaza District, an area of the city known for its recent growth. Mellow said they decided to move into the spot because of the district's renaissance.

"We feel like it's up and coming," Knowlton said. "With our rock-influenced clothing, we felt like being a part of that little community and fitting in with where this place is going."

Pickett said the group focuses its efforts on Oklahoma pride, believing the metro area is finally getting a big-city outlook.

"Austin and New York have their thing," Mellow said. "It's time for Oklahoma City to have its thing."

Pickett agreed.

"Yeah, Oklahoma pride is kicking off," he said. "The community, everyone who owns a business, has been very helpful with promoting."

Other shop owners in the district agreed the rising development of the area has benefited the city and expects Warpaint to help further the progress.

"When we moved in here, these buildings were empty and there were hookers everywhere," said Travis Griffin of No Regrets Tattoos. "Years went by, and it's really growing. The Warpaint guys are doing their own stuff now, and it's local. How awesome is that?"

While starting their own business has become a reality, Pickett said the group's next step is to continue to give back.

"Ultimately, it's about the community," he said. "No matter where we go, we always find our way back to Oklahoma City."

Warpaint will host a grand opening event Friday at 7 p.m. Radio station 105.3 The Spy will be on hand with a playlist Knowlton and his friends set up. There will also be food by S&B's Burger Joint, made popular at the Electro Lounge, and Pabst on tap. " Luke Atkinson

above | Warpaint Clothing Company co-owners Spencer Mellow, Derek Knowlton, and Travis Pickett stand inside their store. photo by Marianne Pickens

 
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