SWIRL: A Bad Bitch Fashion House
written by randal hollis
Whenever I have had friends tell me about their latest endeavor to make their own album, design their own clothes, start up their own design company, or whatever else it may be I cant help but be skeptical. Usually these “awesome ideas” are presented at the dead end of a drunken night and usually manifest themselves in a set of overpriced t-shirts with iron on graphics jacked from google images.
So when I heard about an old high school friend of mine who was starting up a new colorful clothing/jewelry line having something to do with ice-cream i sarcastically thought “how original” and expected to hear nothing else of it again.
Cut to a few months later where my old high school friend and part founder of the “colorful clothing/jewelry line”, Frances Muscio, makes a facebook post launching the debut of the “SWIRL” brand in the form of a website. I click the link expecting a mediocre effort, expecting a rushed and amateur attempt to launch a site out of premature excitement. And while upon entering the site I do get a hint of all that, I also find that the more I explore the site I start to see the things that so many other ambitious start-up projects lack, concept and substance.
Partners Frances Muscio and Shari Theresia contrived the brand SWIRL for “All the Bad Bitches with Mad Flavor”. It’s that simple and it’s written all over their site. What these two call a “bad bitch fashion house” is something that flips gender stereotypes on their head or simply eliminates them all together. SWIRL pushes “a lifestyle brand that recognizes the strong hustle mentality in all women” and intentions “to break the mold for all boundaries we’re given as women”. And this is not just in a Gloria Steinem Women’s Liberation kind of way but more of a Foxy Brown “get the fuck out of my way while i get mine and look good while doing it” kind of way.
SWIRL does have a bit of a DIY feel. Going back to that “graphics jacked from google images” comment the brand does used “borrowed” images for t-shirts such as the Kimora Lee profile mugshot with the words “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” or the throwback Foxy Brown with Kate Moss photos. But as stated before, these are done with concept and substance in mind and accompany the overall feel behind the brand, a little bit punk DIY and a little bit flashy hip-hop.
What I respect most about these girls is their work ethic. A project that was slow to be realized at first, with Frances and Shari living at opposite coasts’, was put into overdrive when Frances’ mom Sheila had passed away. Sheila had helped to form the original idea of the “bad bitch fashion house” and as a way to honor Sheila, Frances and Shari decided to go all out to make this “discussion over dinner” idea come to life.
And thus the concept and substance grow deeper. These two girls, with a third in spirit, are armed with a great and unique idea backed behind the rare attribute of genuine work ethic and drive which is basically the motto of the brand. In other words these girls live, and have lived what SWIRL is all about.
As of now SWIRL only caters to the female crowd which has me jealous (maybe their intention!?) because I would not mind sporting a “Can’t Stop Won”t Stop” Kimora Lee shirt. In the meantime if you know or if you are a “Bad Bitch with Mad Flavor” then get at these girls! I wish them the best and can not wait to see what the future holds for SWIRL.