Meet Insomnia

by Ryan Najjar

So you recently sent me a photo of your clothes on Smrtdeath. Tell me about how that connection came together.

I just reached out to him about four months ago. I said, “Yo, I’m starting a brand, and I was wondering if you wanted a one of a kind piece made for you,” and he said “Yeah, most definitely, let’s do this shit.”  He told me the color & what type of print he wanted & I just made that shit for him and sent it to him.

Tell me about some of the other people that’ve gotten your threads.

Wiggy, the videographer for GBC, has been shouting out my brand a lot. He sent some of my stuff to Diablo but I haven’t gotten any photos of that yet. I’m not really looking for any, but any publicity is good publicity at this point, cause Diablo’s a pretty big name celebrity, and I think that’s the biggest person I’ve reached thanks to Wiggy. He actually has a connection to Lil Tracy so I’m gonna try to get him to wear Insomnia soon enough. I was talking to Costello, he’s over at FTP, and I might send him some stuff too. Cause he owns Heaven’s, and he also works at FTP, so that’s pretty dope too.

I could 100% see Tracy wearing your stuff. We talked about this in the last interview we did (Author’s Note: That interview was this interview, but a certain me deleted the audio & we had to do it again), but talk about some of the people you envision when you design your stuff.

Most definitely Tracy, Nascar Aloe for sure, and rest in peace to [Hella] Sketchy man. Wiggy was going to give [Insomnia] stuff to him before he passed, and then the news hit. None of us saw it coming. 

Rest in peace to Sketchy, for real. Let’s bring it back a little bit & talk about a timeline of you as a designer.

Ok, so in middle school, I wanted to make a brand, but my freshman year of high school was the main year for this brand. I was taking a digital art design class and my teacher taught me everything about Photoshop. From then on I started experimenting with different types of logos, different types of editing tools, different types of looks. I self-taught from then on with YouTube, and I made the crosshair logo [the brand’s main logo] from there. I started being more creative from there, and at the same time I was experimenting with different clothes [in my wardrobe].

What’s a story you’ve told through your clothing that’s stuck out to you?

I’ve made some controversial items in the past. About a year ago, I had an image from this movie called Begotten (CW for Link: body horror, violence, etc.)  that was made in 1991. It’s a black & white film, no dialogue at all, and it was a movie about God killing himself & Mother Earth guiding him throughout the process, walking his body around. I thought of it as a pretty cool film, and I really liked it, so I implemented the image of God stabbing himself onto a t shirt. That’s an archive piece, only for friends & family. I don’t know who has it right now, but I was just giving them out & selling them to friends & family.

That goes hard as shit, I’d love to see that resurface.

Hell yeah. Oh I just recently trademarked “Insomnia” too, so I kinda own the rights to that word on clothes. 

That’s a common word too! I can’t believe you beat everyone else to the punch on that.

I also made a t-shirt called Wasted Youth. This was over a year ago. The back shows the two Columbine shooters. It was a controversial t-shirt.

I can see why.

I wanted to emphasize “Yo, these fuckers out here are shooting up schools.” That’s the epitome of wasted youth. They all have potential, everyone has potential, and they wasted their lives shooting up people. Friends wear it & some of my customers get bad looks, but the true meaning behind the t shirt isn’t just “yo, we’re fucking cool, we’re fucking edgy”, but more to say “they’re wasting their lives.”

Do you feel an urge to take on stories with a deeper motivation in your clothes?

Of course. It could be seen as political, or some other shit, but the political messages represent my customers too. It’s important to show those types of messages to say “this shit’s not moral, it’s not right to do this type of shit.” I want to express that through clothes & show it to other people. I don’t want to be too loud, too political, but offer something people can take note of.

Anything else you want to leave the people off with?

I’m going to be emphasizing darker stuff soon. Shorts too, and tote bags. I need to send you some shit too! (Author’s Note: He sent me not one, but TWO shirts, and they’re both beautiful.)