Strands Apparel: A Promotional Marketing Lesson Learned From a Streetwear Line

When BriSco Branding Solutions was getting off the ground in 2007, my profits were being reinvested into an apparel company I was developing.  Free time was at a premium so when the line became bogged down with trademark and investor issues it quickly fell apart before it ever really got started.  But my desire to create my own line never went away.  I continued to stockpile resources.  I continued to search for the highest quality manufacturers – the best blanks, best trim, best decorators.  All the tricks of the trade that I knew I would one day put to good use.


Shortly after Brandsmith launched in 2011, a good friend contacted me.  He and another friend had been creating t-shirts out of his garage and he wanted to see if I had any thoughts on the best blank shirts to use.  I asked them to stop by my office to see some samples.  From the moment we sat down I was immediately impressed.  They had the vision, the funding, the style, and most importantly they shared my passion to create amazing clothes.   With their aesthetic and my tool kit it was a natural partnership.  So, in the fall of 2011, Brandsmith began working with our first apparel line.


Little did we know, what would grow from that partnership would become one of the most widely respected, game changing new streetwear lines in the Bay Area:  Strands Apparel.


This year Brandsmith will transition into an advisory role with Strands Apparel, so I want to take this opportunity to look back at the garments we’ve created over the last 3 years.  Brandsmith is working on several new projects that will be primarily focused on sustainable, domestically manufactured products.   We can’t wait to share more about our future plans in later posts, but for now, we’d just like to thank the Strands team for the opportunity to work with them.  I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve produced together and I look forward to assisting as they continue to grow.


If there is one lesson from Strands Apparel that I  wish to impart to my promotional marketing clients it is this: Too often promotional apparel is thought of as trash.  Something you wear once at an event or a trade show and then throw away.   This does not have to be the case.  There is no line in the sand that separates promotional apparel from fashion.  We are eager to work with clients that recognize they have the ability to brand their companies in truly amazing ways.


What follows is a small taste of the Strands Apparel garments Brandsmith has helped design and produce.

Everyone's favorite t-shirt.

Everyone’s favorite t-shirt.

Made in America - Zip Up Grey Patchwork Hoody

Made in America – Zip Up Grey Patchwork Hoody

3M ANSI reflective ink in the shield print.

3M ANSI Certified reflective ink in the shield print.

A celebration shirt / tank combo for the 4th of July 2013.  Features "Fade Proof"

A celebration shirt / tank combo for the 4th of July 2013. Features the patent pending “Fade Proof” treatment.

Features a 9 on the sleeve made out of felt and our patent pending fade proof print.

Features a 9 on the sleeve cut from felt and sewn to the sleeve (as well as “Fade Proof”)


Ben Smith is a talented street artist out of Southern California. This is his interpretation of the Strands Shield.




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