“Classic” never runs out of style, it creates it.Classic Material is a T-shirt design firm created for New York’s realest. Bringing it back to the “old” New York, when the people were the trendsetters, not trend followers. Creating a cutting edge style for the underdogs that make the noise, and get their voices heard. Classic Material was founded in 2004 by Carlos Maldonado who was born in Manhattan and raised in Brooklyn, the epicenter of hip-hop and rap. Having these lifelong influences entrenched from the outset, he carries a deep love of old school RAP & HIP HOP. He has been owner and operator a clothing store in Poughkeepsie, New York since 1997 where inspiration hit him to start Classic Material when an associate, DJ Kool Kirk came to Carlos to feature his T-shirt he sold on the road, at the store. The design sold by Classic Material for DJ Kool Kirk was a hit with clients, and it became clear to Carlos NY lacked proper representation in the Hip-Hop T-Shirt community. This inspired him to design and create his own line of Ts with an urban swag.
Starting with the “To LIVE AND DIE IN NY” line, echoing the inner attitude of so many New Yorkers.
When that created a buzz, the idea of “I RUN NY” was born, and solidified the reputation of what Classic Material would represent.
The first of many loyal clients to show interest in the Classic Material line were, DJ Ted Smooth, DJ JS-1, DJ PF Cuttin, Scram Jones, Tony Touch, the BeatMinerz, Big Jeff from Zulu Nation, Hannibal Stax, DJ G Bo, and DJ Premier. The DJs and artists wore Classic Material’s line of shirts during radio shows, concerts, and special events, giving the brand the exposure for expansion, consistently growing in business and popularity.
Following “I RUN NY” Carlos conceptualized over a dozen designs, collaborating with graphic designers and artists, working closest with grade school friend PJ (Nef) from Brooklyn who takes his vision and turns is into a reality, redesigning “I RUN NY,” touching up “KING OF NEW YORK” which is a sold with a CD of tracks by DJ PF Cuttin, and “MORE GUNS THAN ROSES” which was inspired by one of NYC’s greatest rappers, Notorious B.I.G. In celebrating the 13th anniversary of Biggies death he collaborated with DJ Unexpected to create an original samples mix of his greatest tracks with the CD cover reflecting the T sold with the disc. On the same vein Classic Material and DJ Unexpected also collaborated on the “SUPREME CLIENTELE” T with a mix CD of Ghost-face music and original samples.
Classic Material will always create new designs and continues to dress
the T-shirt community with the edge it’s been craving.
The ultimate plan for the brand is to expand beyond T-shirts,
creating a wardrobe found in closets across the country and
around the world.