Shirt Happens

Budding urban-wear mogul takes Phoenix's MosDef label to the streets

Noting the flux of Valley-based urban-clothing lines, Ponce says he hopes to form an "Arizona Clothing Alliance" of independent street-wear designers. "It's a power-in-numbers thing," he says. "We could help one another out with distribution and manufacturing costs and get a sales team going."

Ponce says he's especially eager to work with MosDef. Quincy Ross sounds somewhere below stoked on the idea. "Robert Ponce. Yeah, I remember that kid. I talked to him before I even started, when he already had a line or two going, and I kinda questioned him on what's going on, and how things operate, and he played me to the left, like, 'You can't just walk up and expect me to let you in the door and give away my hookups.' Now he wants to share hookups. Well, I don't know about that. He's a pretty cool kid, though."

Ross says he doesn't consider any of the other Valley clothing lines competition. "Arizona doesn't count for most of my sales, and it hasn't for quite a while. I still promote here. I'm out in the clubs almost every night, but I'm not local. I'm seeing the global picture.

"Still, it's good to have all these companies representing Arizona. You know, we're all doing our entrepreneurial thing, and there's room for more. The kids support these clothes because they have more feeling for the small projects, because it's closer to their lives than Ralph Lauren.

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