When artist Joseph "Sentrock" Perez and Bunky Boutique owner Rachel Malloy first met in 2007, Perez was on the hunt for a shirt to wear to his first art opening and took his search to Malloy's recently opened downtown Phoenix boutique.
Flash forward about seven years, and the two are collaborating on a shirt that embodies a shared creative vision.
"The design represents looking to the future and envisioning something better and being inspired to create that," Malloy says via e-mail.
The shirt and hat line, which will be available at Bunky and on www.bunkyboutique.com starting Saturday, April 26, is bedecked with Sentrock's signature style, picturing a figure wearing a bird mask with a banner that reads, "Bird city state of mind."
It's a mindset that Sentrock, a past Big Brain Award winner who relocated to Chicago to study art, has retained. He got his start in Phoenix's street art scene and now creates works for gallery spaces, too.
But his hometown remains a consistent piece of his creative process. In fact, he'll present a solo show, "Welcome to Our Diary," at Palabra on Friday, May 3, less than a week after his Bunky fashion collaboration launches.
On Facebook, Sentrock wrote that he hopes the shirts remind its wearers to "keep your head up and take flight."
When the menswear line launches Saturday, 100 percent cotton shirts will be available in black, white, and blue for $30. Poly-cotton blend shirts will cost $36. And hats will be available for $32.
Malloy says that after the men's edition is released, Bunky will release iterations of the shirts for both women and kids.
Bunky's hours on Saturday are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 602-252-1323 for details.