Although it’s still in its early stages, Cultural Blends has been making waves both in Portland and throughout the west coast, most notably for the “Best Coast” t-shirt. WOHM caught up with Troy Douglass, the owner-operator of Cultural Blends, to discuss the origins of his company, designs, getting national exposure, and more.
When did you start Cultural Blends? What is the concept behind it?
Cultural Blends started in Hilo, Hawai’i where I was attending University of Hawai’i Hilo. It started between friends, but quickly fizzled out to one of those ideas that friends come up with, but never actually follow through as planned. I picked it up and ran with it. It started as a brand that the current marketplace in Hawai’i lacked. The streetwear presence on the Big Island was scarce. “Tapout” and other MMA brands were what was popular. Coming from the West Coast I thought that bringing together the ideals of Hawai’i with a West Coast style would be something new for the market. It also started as a way to work while I was in school and not have a boss. Cultural Blends is a bit different today than it was a couple years ago. The motto is “Embrace All Cultures, Come Together, Create Peace.” I’ve grown up as a person with mixed heritage and also someone who has grown up experiencing racism and classism and I believe it’s very important to voice things of this nature. You will find a lot of multicultural elements within CB. It’s also definitely geared more for the west coast now as I’ve moved back home to Portland, Oregon, but there is still very much two separate but coexisting lines (Hawai’i and West Coast).