Skate shop–slash–streetwear boutique Alive and Well closed its brick and mortar store after six years on Capitol Hill (new location TBD) at the end of last year. Now, Marcus Lalario, who also owns spots like Li'l Woody's and Ciudad, is embarking on a new retail project: Can't Blame the Youth.
Lalario's partnering with Four Color Zack, a world-traveling DJ and Cornish College of the Arts grad who's also a partner in Alive and Well. This time around, though, they're taking a politically driven point of view: "The idea is we can't blame the youth for the place we're giving them," a place, says Lalario, that's pretty messed up right now. But it's not all doom, they fully intended on having some fun with it too.
Enter Jason Gomez of Flying Coffin who rounds out the trio of partners. A perfect spiritual fit, Gomez's designs already prod at our current state of affairs, like some of his latest work—the phrase "SOCIETAL COLLAPSE" in colorful text emblazoned on T-shirts and hoodies, "Fear the Future" on camo sweatshirts.
You can expect Flying Coffin threads alongside the shop's eponymous line of apparel with "Can't Blame the Youth" stitched onto jackets and hoodies, everything. "It's a lot of embroidery and heavy graphic stuff." They're also working with Ebbets Field Flannels, the benchmark for vintage athletic style, on some rad new headwear. What else: mugs, "knickknacky shit," says Lalario; really it's just a space for them to put whatever feels right and fits the youthful zeitgeisty style of the moment. There are also plans to bring in artist and designer friends for popups in the 800-square-foot space.
Can't Blame the Youth, located at the corner of Eighth and King Street, debuts this Saturday, May 26, from noon to 7. There will be candy. There will be espresso. There will be major drops, like art by Bryan Sanchez and Matthew Hollister, who's done illustrated work for the likes of, oh, The New York Times, ESPN Magazine, The Ringer, and perhaps your favorite local signal box.
(Somewhat related: Yes, I listened to the rebellious crooning in "You Can't Blame the Youth" by the Wailers with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh while writing this blog post.)