There’s quite a few PRPS tattoos around – and the image people most often choose is our symbol the wounded Cherub, getting about on crutches but still smiling.
That cherub, concept and execution, sprang from the nimble 2HB pencil of our Founder, Donwan Harrell, who happens to be an actual, real artist; not even the conceptual type who can blow your mind without you understanding what they’re saying, but the old-school type of artist, an actual guy who can sit down anywhere with some lead and a pad, and make the page jump alive with his vision.
Though already a leading designer, finding a logo for the new PRPS brand, a very personal project for Harrell, was more challenging than usual. As it so often does, his mind turned to vintage cars, particularly Nascar’s daring ’69 Daytona, so wildly innovative that it proved impossible to drive on regular streets and soon became extinct. But its protuberant aerodynamic oblong rear “wing,” designed to slow air drag, continued to intrigue fans. Something about the wing’s stubborn panache echoed through to Harrell as a resilient winged cherub. We all have an angelic side, but sometimes circumstances invite the demon in us to step forward. Yet though it’s tested, even sometimes overshadowed, that inner angel still hangs on in there – bruised but not broken, as our Motto says.
But even beyond the racecars, the Cherub expresses our core beliefs – perfectionism, persistence, and purpose. Admiring the way its makers had adapted household rivets to fix the pockets of some ancient jeans, Donwan noted, “It’s more valuable bruised but present than when it was crisp and new. Just like the human spirit...and our Cherub.”
You don’t have to be a survivalist to dig Grizzly Adams, the legendary 19th Century mountain man who talked to the animals way before Dr. Dolittle.
We have chosen Grizzly as our theme for the Autumn/Winter 2013 Prps collection, partly because of Dan Haggerty’s beard in the mid-1970s TV series – well maybe not really the beard, but the freewheeling yet capable spirit behind the beard.
Naturally, the TV plot was de-fanged compared to the real fate of the original Grizzly, whose actual career was as out of control as a bear tackling an ornery alligator.
A nasty skirmish with one grizzly bear as a teenager left him permanently scarred, and Grizzly beat a retreat into the family shoe business. But the call of the wild was too loud and he headed off for the great outdoors -- he hoped, for good. A final fling with the regular world ended badly when his entire stock of shoes was burned in a fire. Yet Grizzly remained undaunted and kept bouncing back – mining, hunting, ranching – but being repeatedly fleeced by unscrupulous conmen. When his luck hit rock bottom, Grizzly spent a winter alone in the freezing desert. He was saved by those early shoemaking skills and began making moccasins and the crude but dashing buckskin garb popularized in the TV show, which informs our latest Prps:Goods & Co. (Minus the fringes.)
Eventually Grizzly had his own animals act in Dr. Barnum’s traveling shows and became a celebrity showman. Basically, he branded his eccentric lifestyle and sold it as live mass entertainment; a sort of live reality show. Grizzly Adams never stopped hustling and re-inventing till the end – even though he rarely found a human he trusted as much as a good grizzly.
And so we give Pr(O)ps to Grizzly Adams, who ultimately wound up being like our Cherub – bruised but not broken..