It’s draft day and everybody’s waiting to see who will be the chosen player to win the basketball shootout. It was Saturday, February 20th and Durags USA in collaboration with Up 2 Something Studios is hosting their premier DBA Draft day pop-up event. As soon as you enter the space you are greeted by an untraditional, allusion to the NBA Street video game stylistic basketball court; painted black & white while accompanied by the white walls and a mini site-specific basketball hoop. As visitors are able to work on their jumper, Durags USA offers exclusive DBA Jerseys, hats, and miniature basketballs. A retro and almost ghoul-like character is the main character on the merchandise that seems to be the highlight of the show. We see this in a cut-out picture installation where visitors were able to completely interact with this character and immerse themselves further into the experience.
Besides the many locals who were familiar with the DBA Brand and Up 2 Something Studios, there were many newcomers who roamed in wondering who and what exactly is the Durags, DBA Brand? I was able to get a quote from the founder, Hidrys who was able to tell me more about the brand and its message. He quotes, “I started my brand officially I would say in 2018, although I started putting my name out there in 2016 with doing cover art for artists. I did the cover for Ski Mask The Slump Gods “Drown In Designer” and that really boosted my following. After that, I just started using my character for illustrations and on the side taking commissions for cover arts. I never wanted to do that, so I took a whole year off, and decided what my path for the brand was going to be. I wouldn’t say my brand really has a super deep meaning, but if it does have a message it’s that anything is possible, which is in the sense that I like doing my character “Durags” doing whatever he wants and whenever.”
The most memorable moment for most visitors was the ball-out competition where each and everybody was able to showcase their basketball skills by making up three shots and more in order to win one of the prized merchandise. When asking Hidrys what his most memorable moment from the pop-up was the quote, “the most memorable moment for me definitely has to be when the whole inventory was gone. It's a small milestone for me, I wanted to have my own first pop up, and thanks to Aldhair we made it happen. It felt amazing, having everything sold out, and I can only see the brand getting bigger from here.”