Works of art

"I was working at Urban Outfitters," Rick Sans said, "and I said (to myself) that I could make clothes better than this." This thought began the Japanese- and street art-inspired clothing line, Sans Oceana

Rick Sans and Sergio Andujar II met at work and decided that their common interests in Japanese culture, music and street art could produce unique, limited edition clothing.

The duo has very strong opinions about mass produced clothing. "We try to make things that you wouldn't see everyday," Sans said. "We like making things that 20,000 people don't own."

With hopes to expand into making hoodies and jackets, they currently print their hand-made screen prints onto t-shirts, old vinyl records and art canvases. "At one point, we were screening on anything we could get our hands on," Sans said. 

The line focuses on producing affordable, wearable art prints. "I want people to be able to own great art without having to spend a fortune," Sans said. 

He also explained how paying fifty dollars for a t-shirt is ridiculous. "We want to give people wearable art that is affordable." 

Their current best seller is the three little birds print. "Whatever we put this print on, it always sells out," Sans said. "I think people like its peaceful nature." 

The Three Little Birds print features a cherry blossom tree with birds flying to a cherry tree. The Japanese-inspired print has an ethereal and inspirational feel. 

The duo's shirts have been featured on MTV, in films and in a Nintendo commercial. 

Despite some commercial recognition, Sans Oceana has been hit by the economy like many businesses. "Our clothing is affordable but we still lost customers," Sans said. "The upside is that we have gained some customers due to the affordability of our product." 

Sans recounted recently having to collect their merchandise from a store that picked up their line. "We were given fixtures because the owner didn't have use for them any longer," Sans said. "We knew the economy was bad but this was still unexpected." 

Sans Oceana currently has a solo show at The Pop Shop in Lakewood, which is scheduled to run through March 6. The show features their signature hand-printed shirts as well as artwork. No item is priced over $50. 

For more info or to purchase their clothing and art, visit

Monday, February 8, 2010