Thursday 1/20: Bushwick Yacht Club x Chris RWK Drop

Written by Emma Riva

Today marks the release of local fashion organization Bushwick Yacht Club’s inaugural artist collaboration, a step forward for the brand and a new chance to give back to the community. Founder Aaron Nessel created Bushwick Yacht Club with the intention of “neighborhood clothing with a cause.” The brand, rather than focusing on profit, is focused on funneling percentages of their sales into local causes “I make things I want to wear myself, and it’s really mainly a vehicle to give back,” Nessel explained. In past releases, 25% of profits has gone to local charities and large batches of clothing have gone to Brooklyn-based homeless shelters.

With this drop, Nessel plans to donate not just 25% but the full 100% of sales. The difference between this line and the company’s past products is the collaboration with street artist Chris RWK or “Robots Will Kill,” known for his whimsical and thought-provoking robot character sketches. “I cold called Chris, and he was down for the idea almost immediately,” Nessel said. “A collaboration like this legitimizes the brand, which is still in its infancy.” Despite the somewhat ominous nature of the title “Robots Will Kill,” Chris RWK has been a force for positivity in the street art world through the earnest, relatable quality of his work. For the collaborative clothing line, Nessel and Chris RWK discussed causes Chris was passionate about.

The two of them landed on animal rights–100% of the profits will go to Social Tees, a no-kill animal rescue organization in the East Village. The shirts, hoodies, and pullovers feature Chris RWK’s iconic style of handwriting and robot figure. “The artistic process was great,” Nessel explained. “We went back and forth a lot and Chris was really proactive.” As Bushwick Yacht Club is an independent, locally owned brand only a limited number of shirts will be available, but customers can purchase with the knowledge that all of their profits are going towards a charitable cause. All clothing is available for purchase on Bushwick Yacht Club’s website. For updates on future drops and collaborations, follow them on Instagram to see more ways to give back to the Brooklyn community through fashion.

Emma Riva is a novelist and art journalist. She is the author of Night Shift in Tamaqua, an illustrated novel that follows a love story between 24-hour-diner waitress and a Postmates driver. As an art writer, she is particularly interested in working with international artists and exploring how visual art can both transcend cultural boundaries and highlight the complexities of individual identity. Emma is a graduate of The New School and a Wilbur and Niso Smith Author of Tomorrow. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Insta: @EmmawithGlasses