STREET SEEN "People were like, we wanna wear some clothing from you guys," San Franpsycho owner Christian Routzen tells me from the behind the counter of his DIY brand's newish (it's seven months old) location on newly-trendy Divisadero Street. "But we didn't make clothing."
I guess sometimes the brand just comes first, and then the product. Or rather, the movie comes first. Routzen made a 2001 Ocean Beach surf film with cohort Andy Olive called, yes, San Franpsycho. Apparently the flick, along with its 2005 follow-up San Franpsycho: Wet and Wreckless, captured the imagination of certain sector of San Francisco. They wanted T-shirts, so Routzen and Olive located some silkscreening gear and a mail truck and became a presence at Indie Marts, bars, and street fairs, silkscreening clothing with their bon mot. I've seen them do it, they get slammed.
"We had people taking off their shirts. Men, women, and children," concludes Routzen. People resonated with the name, he says.
A couple of bangin' blonde girls interrupt our conversation to buy wristbands for the surf fashion show the brand is hosting at Public Works that night. Later, I see a shot on Instagram involving a runway, a lot of thigh-high American Apparel tube socks, and bikinis. That same weekend, San Franpsycho was hosting a surf tournament and a poker competition.
The girls recede into the distance, banded. And then a guy interrupts us asking about customizing an aqua sweatshirt, as if to complete the San Franpsycho milieu I've found myself in the middle of.
But I kind of want Routzen to spell it out. "Can I ask you a less tangible question? Why'd they want to wear clothes from a bunch of guys that don't make clothes? It's all the name, really?"
Routzen shrugs, and hands me a DVD copy of Wet and Wreckless ($20, buy a copy at the store.) I watch it with my roommate the next night. It is a Jackass-paced piece of San Francisco bro-moblia, featuring gentlemen named Simo, Doobie, and Brownie, guys bouncing their penises while frying hot dogs in the kitchen, claymation sex, girls making out, an Ocean Beach parking lot shooting, a broken surfboard montage, and an incoherent interview with Andy Dick. Also: barrel rolls.
Most of the SFP dudes are pretty hot, they surf gnarly OB waves, and they straight-boy don't give a fuck. Ding ding ding! Well yeah, obvs everybody wants San Franpsycho to rub off on them.
Which is a totally unfair analysis, because Olive and Routzen have (in addition to being attractive) created a real cute, real-real, repurposed wood retail galaxy. The Golden Gate Bridge-San Franpsycho logo can now be found on man-tanks, lady tanks, dog sweatshirts, boy shorts, hoodies, aprons, duffel bags, water bottles. The machines they're printed on are clearly visible in the shop's workspace.
The boys also sell a host of products made by buddies who live in the immediate neighborhood. The ginger-Afroed Olive holds up an expanse of black Cordura nylon, excitedly gesturing at a bank on the wall of the classic roll-top, leather-strapped Motley Goods backpacks (also available on Etsy) that it will be made into. That brand's based out of their friend's apartment, Olive says. "Literally, two blocks away." The shop also stocks Sea Pony Couture (sea-pony-couture.myshopify.com), a line of delicate gold-chained, be-charmed jewelry by San Franciscan Fatima Fleming.
505 Divisadero, SF. (415) 829-7874, www.sanfranpsycho.com