NEO TOKYO CAPSULE: Product Preview and Notes From the Creator by Alex Nguyen



July 27, 2019
3PM Eastern/12PM Pacific



On July 27, 2019, SPIF will officially launch the NEO TOKYO CAPSULE, which explores a wide breadth of styles, designs, and ideologies present in “Akira,” both the 1988 film and the original manga. “Akira,” for those who aren’t familiar, is widely considered a legendary film for several reasons. At the time of its creation, “Akira” was practically a miracle in animation, and to this day, stands as one of the most technically astounding 2D animated films of all time. The film became a worldwide phenomenon, introducing multitudes of western audiences to anime, and popularized cyberpunk as a genre. So many famous works of art, film, and music have since drawn inspiration from “Akira.” The Matrix, the Simpsons, Kanye West, hell, almost every animated TV show with a motorcycle has parodied this iconic shot.



Chances are a lot of the media you’ve consumed growing up has taken from this iconic film.

If it’s not apparent by now why we’ve chosen to create a collection around this historic film, I don’t know what to tell you.

But why now?

As this is our first year really venturing into anime-inspired streetwear, we wanted to start off with something big. Instead of picking a flavor-of-the-month topical anime, we decided to go with something memorable and classic. Nothing fits the bill better than “Akira.”

Additionally, the film is set in 2019, so we had to do it. If that wasn’t a sign, then I don’t know what is.



If you haven’t seen it yet, take a moment to appreciate this beautiful lookbook preview made by the magical @beeragon, starring the lovely @lindyyhop/@balloondaa.

Don’t worry, we’ll wait.





What’s the deal with the pill? And what does the slogan mean?

With everything that we design, we try to go beyond surface-level depictions of our subject matter. We like to internalize the inspiration we draw from, figure out how it impacts us, and what message we then want to convey in our apparel and art.

"Always Sedated, Never Satisfied" is the phrase we came up with, and can refer to multiple things in “Akira.”

It isn't touched on in the movie, but in the manga, Kaneda's crew is [not canonically] called "The Capsules." Kaneda’s famous, red jacket has a giant pill plastered on the back. He routinely siphons drugs from the school's nurse, and even goes to her for help in identifying the components of the government-issued capsule he finds. The gang itself is heavily dependent on the abuse and circulation of drugs. The pill is a very prevalent motif throughout the story.

For Kaneda specifically, his story arc in the film is that of a delinquent teen being suddenly thrust into a higher purpose. Metaphorically speaking, it can be argued that his life of dealing and abusing drugs was his "sedation," living a day-to-day that would never ultimately be fulfilling. The phrase “Always sedated, never satisfied,” encapsulates the struggle of living this kind of life. He breaks this cycle, however, by falling in love, helping the resistance, and helping to save Neo-Tokyo. Through these actions, he is put on a different path, one that could provide true and lasting satisfaction.

The phrase also applies to the other main character, Tetsuo. The pills, which Tetsuo has likened to "candy" in one of the famous manga panels, are government issued sedatives used to keep the espers’ (persons who have developed psychic abilities) power in check.

Being in a state of constant sedation and dependency on the pills stopped Tetsuo from reaching his "godhood" or "ultimate power." Tetsuo's desires in the film came from a place of envy, constantly craving more power, influence, respect, etc. For him, being under the influence of drugs kept him from achieving his true desires.

On a more general level, the dependency on drugs and medication has a controlling effect on one's life. Using drugs as a coping mechanism can be dangerous, and although it can bring relief or comfort in the immediate, ultimately can leave people feeling unfulfilled.



100% Cotton




100% Rayon




100% Polyester




LED Light with 2 modes: Blinking & Steady




30 individual pieces of CANDY




The goal with the CANDY Pullover and crop hoodies was to draw aesthetically from the pill motif. I decided to construct the hoodie from the ground up using the colorblock of the pill itself.

The JP text “Candy” is designed in a bubbly/pop-y style, to complement the playful colors. In fact, using the term “candy” as opposed to “pill” or “drug” was a very conscious decision to lean into the innocent vibe.

The juxtaposition of the light-hearted colors and design and the sobering phrase “Always sedated, never satisfied” is where the garment really is taken to the next level. The subtle print of the pills on the wrists (always in your hands) draws from the idea of the characters’ dependency on drugs in the manga/film.

This dichotomy in attitudes is something that I considered very important during the creation of this piece.

The coordinates on the hood also are significant - we released this as part of the NEO TOKYO CAPSULE, and debuted them at ANIME EXPO.







A lot of the establishing shots, set design, and costuming is lost in the film, whereas the manga is full of wonderful imagery that grounds the entire story.

A lot of the establishing shots, set design, and costuming is lost in the film, whereas the manga is full of wonderful imagery that grounds the entire story.


“It’s society’s outsiders — those who don’t belong — who are more intriguing to draw,” Otomo has said.

As a streetwear brand, this is fundamental validation into our vision of highlighting subcultures, countercultures, and creating within a space that is under-explored. Although gaming, anime, nerd culture, and punk culture have now become more mainstream and acceptable, they all started out as countercultures. Otomo centered his story around orphans, outcasts, punks, and thugs, and for this reason, they all seemed more relatable to me. This is probably why the rugby tee is one of my favorite pieces in this collection.


The driving force behind creating this garment was to explore the lesser-appreciated fashion design in “Akira.” In both the manga and the film, many of the supporting characters sport some unbelievably cool street fits which are quite frankly glossed over. Since 80’s/90’s fashion is also super in right now, I wanted to try my hand at creating something that was reminiscent of the time period, while also being fashionable by today’s standards.

If you even loosely follow street fashion, you’ll know that brands like FILA, 10.Deep, and GOLF WANG have been keeping the rugby tee alive, and with the right pairings, it can really give your wardrobe that unique flair for certain occasions.

The colors were very specifically chosen with the opening bike chase sequence from the film in mind. The navy from the background colors of Neo Tokyo at night, and the red and yellow side taping emulating the light trails from the film’s animation (still one of my favorite effects from the movie). DELINQUENT is spelled out in a very classic-looking typeface, as a call-back to prominent brands from that age (Tommy Hilfiger vibes, anyone?) The goal was to - at first glance - capture that feeling and maybe even appear as though this garment was made in the late 80s/90s.






Oversized adhesive decal


SPIFWAVE (Tumor) Tee
Hand screenprinted
100% Cotton

One of the big turning points in the movie is when Tetsuo loses control of his psychic abilities and begins to transform. Equal parts disturbing and cool, no one can deny that the transformation is a sight to behold. The classic white t-shirt emulates the look and feel of the original manga, highlighting the intricacy in the linework of the grotesque growths on Tetsuo’s arm. The globe in the background alludes to the end of the film, in which a new world is created. If you were looking for a new, crisp, white tee to be the staple in your summer wardrobe, look no further.   FUN FACT:  If you look closely at the SPIFwave itself, you’ll notice some Easter eggs drawn from SPIF’s background as a brand nestled inside the abomination.

One of the big turning points in the movie is when Tetsuo loses control of his psychic abilities and begins to transform. Equal parts disturbing and cool, no one can deny that the transformation is a sight to behold. The classic white t-shirt emulates the look and feel of the original manga, highlighting the intricacy in the linework of the grotesque growths on Tetsuo’s arm. The globe in the background alludes to the end of the film, in which a new world is created. If you were looking for a new, crisp, white tee to be the staple in your summer wardrobe, look no further.

FUN FACT: If you look closely at the SPIFwave itself, you’ll notice some Easter eggs drawn from SPIF’s background as a brand nestled inside the abomination.

AKIRA CU fjkdsla.png





If you haven’t seen this film yet (and care about being spoiled), you should probably stop reading and just look at the pretty pictures.

Tetsuo discovers the remnants of Akira, whose parts have been preserved with future hopes of replicating his power

Tetsuo discovers the remnants of Akira, whose parts have been preserved with future hopes of replicating his power



Humans do all kinds of things
during their lifetime, right?
Discovering things, building things...
Things like houses, motorcycles,
bridges, cities, and rockets...
All that knowledge and energy...
Where do you suppose it comes from?

Humans were like monkeys once, right?
And before that, like reptiles and fish.
And before that, plankton and amoebas.
Even creatures like those have
incredible energy inside them.

And even before that, maybe there
were genes in the water and air.
Even in space dust, too, I bet.
If that's true, what
memories are hidden in it?
The beginning of the universe, maybe.
Or maybe even before that.

Maybe everyone has those memories.
What if there were some mistake
and the progression went wrong,
and something like an amoeba
were given power like a human's?

Amoebas don't build
houses and bridges.
They just devour all
the food around them.

A long time ago, there were people
who tried to control that power.
At the government's request, you see.
They failed, and it triggered the 
Fall of Tokyo.

“AKIRA” (Katsuhiro Otomo, 1988)










We’ve always been enamored with the idea of techwear, and honestly, what better time to start experimenting with the style than with “Akira?”. While I wouldn’t consider this 100% techwear, it is very obviously inspired by the style, and contains elements from it.

First and foremost, the SLEEPING GOD RACER JACKET is the crown jewel of this collection. We couldn’t create an apparel line inspired by “Akira” without doing a badass jacket, come on. Some highlights of the jacket include shoulder straps, throat latch, and a plush, padded interior lining.

The SLEEPING GOD COMBAT PANTS are made from a similar water-resistant outer shell like the jacket, yet the inner lining is a soft, jersey material.

Rounding out this collection are the accessories, the SLEEPING GOD SLING BAG (which, by the way, is roomy enough to fit a Nintendo Switch), SLEEPING GOD 5-PANEL, and SLEEPING GOD LANYARD. We’ve taken great care to make sure all these pieces work well together, forming a really cohesive capsule.

When worn as a cross-body sling, the heart on the front sits at your chest area.

Large enough to fit a Nintendo Switch, with joycons attached!

In addition to the large frontal compartment, the top compartment also has a zipper/pouch area.

In addition to the large frontal compartment, the top compartment also has a zipper/pouch area.

Main compartment also contains a smaller, more incognito pocket.



I remember the first time watching the film and thinking to myself “Oh s#@!” when it was revealed that the titular character, Akira, was preserved [in parts] cryogenically for future research. There was something extremely twisted about the government dissecting a child and preserving his parts that really stayed with me. This, coupled with Kei’s earlier explanation of Akira, inspired this design.

Most existing Akira merch has been very focused on Kaneda’s jacket, leaning into the pill iconography, or using a shot of the famous explosion (you know the one).

To me, I felt that the containment unit was a very important part of the film - a grand reveal. And yet, it was really hard to find any references or depictions of it. The jars in which Akira’s parts are housed were fascinating and unsettling to me at the same time, and was something I really wanted to highlight from the movie.

In the various SLEEPING GOD pieces of this collection, you’ll find different body parts strategically placed. The brain on the hat, the optic nerves on the underbrim of the hat, the heart on the cross-body sling (which, if you wear it in the front, is approximately where your heart is), the blood sample on the leg of the combat pants. In this way, the design alludes to the fact that Akira, ultimate energy, and the power of creation/destruction is within all of us.

The number “28” is significant in that it refers to the number assigned to Akira as a test subject by the government.

The temperature readings are the degrees at which the cryo unit was kept in order to preserve Akira’s parts.


The sketching and lineart on the containment unit alone took approximately 12 working hours






In addition to “Akira,” we wanted to show up big to our first Anime EXPO. We decided to design jackets from two household names in anime, Naruto and Dragonball Z.

The approach in design was similar to the rest of our apparel in that succinctly portraying our attitudes and takeaways from the shows was paramount. The fit is more of a slim fit (compared to our ONI bomber jackets). Aesthetically, I decided on having the designs portrayed in a more western style, leaning into imagery reminiscent of classic and vintage Americana and tattoo art. The end result is a unique blend of East meets West, and I couldn’t be more proud of how they turned out.

You can check out images from these two killer jackets below (hover over the images for more info). Retails at $120/ea.


The attitude behind this jacket was very much inspired by Naruto himself. In one of the earliest episodes in the series, Naruto goes on a mission with Team 7 to escort an elderly man to the land of waves. Assassins end up attacking the team, and Naruto freezes up and is struck with a poison blade. Thanks to Sasuke, the enemies are defeated. Realizing that he was useless in the fight, Naruto becomes infuriated.

Naruto stabs his own hand with a kunai to drain the poison (hence the graphic), and vows then and there to never need saving again. This mantra is one he carries with him for the rest of the show, and is one of his most defining character traits. Naruto would rather die than face dishonor or give up in what he believes in.



“BLOOD OF A WARRIOR, HEART OF A SAINT” is a phrase that perfectly encapsulates the ideology behind the main character of Dragonball Z, Goku. For many, Goku has served a source of never-ending inspiration. The characteristics he embodies such as determination, positivity, and compassion are what make him so magnetic.






I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it a million more - thank you.

Thank you to everyone who has ever interacted with us, whether you bought one of our new $130 jackets or just followed us for a free smash pin, thank you. We’re where we are today because of your love and support. I started out designing and peddling t-shirts to avoid getting a “real” job, and so far, thanks to you guys, it’s been working out. I won’t say “I never ever in my wildest dreams could have thought I’d be able to do this!” but the sentiment comes pretty damn close. This collection in particular is my proudest work yet, and I am so, so genuinely happy to be able to share my work and my weird thought processes with such a supportive and appreciative audience. There were so many pieces that just fell together perfectly, and signs that doing an Akira collection was the right move. The movie taking place in 2019, the Olympics happening in Tokyo in 2020 (the movie makes reference to this), the fact that Akira is number 28 and I’m turning 28 this year, the list goes on. All that is to say that even though I don’t truly believe in “signs,” I’m feeling pretty good about where SPIF is at and where SPIF is headed.

For those who have actually stuck around to read this entire post, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’m going to try my best to continue making more awesome products, and I’m honored to share my time here with any of you guys who will have me.



SPIF SPACE UPDATE PREVIEW: Fall/Winter 2018 by Alex Nguyen

2018-08-27 01.40.33 1.jpg


Fall/Winter 2018


The Long-awaited Fall/Winter 2018 Collection is Finally Here

After a long and successful summer tour spanning coast to coast, SPIF is back at home, and we’re pulling out all the stops for our F/W Collection. Comprised of all the new products we’ve come out with since July, this particular site update and product drop is pretty comprehensive. Let’s get started.





The ONI SQUAD is back! Headlining the collection is the new SAVAGE bomber jacket. Peep some images featuring pro player @tweekssb, part-time model @coult_45, and photographed by the talented @SpectreFGC






Made from sublimated silk, the traditional bomber-style jacket is a tried and true bonafide outerwear classic. Graphics are fully embroidered on the front and the back of the jacket, and brass zipper accents and a red flight tag finish off the look.

The camo on the jacket is very low-key, and includes shapes inspired from the Donkey Kong Country franchise. Bananas, banana bunches, and DK’s animal friends are all present in the silhouettes of the pattern.

Jackets run true to size.





The SAVAGE collection also has peripheral products based around the ONI SAVAGE design. As always, we are striving to push the boundaries of the products we create, and want to offer unique items that are a part of the lifestyle we represent.

ONI SAVAGE Decal ($5)

ONI SAVAGE Gamecube Controller ($225)

ONI SAVAGE Bracelet ($20)

ONI SAVAGE Skate Deck ($85)


A Note on the Controller

The controller is the brain child of three different creatives. Conceptualization and artwork done in Houston, painted on the west coast, and finished off in Michigan, this controller most definitely qualifies as a designer collectible and a work of art just as much as it functions as an actual controller. The perfect matte finish really showcases the satin gold paint used on the DK design and SPIF letters. To top it off, the controller comes with a gold “A” button custom cast with banana bunches. ($225)







Requested for a while now, the ONI SQUAD t-shirts are now available in black, and made from an even softer shirt than the previous iteration.

Also included with this release are crop tops and panties!

ONI SQUAD Crop Top ($20)

ONI SQUAD T-shirt ($20)

ONI Chonies ($15)


New dad hats are in! Featuring our new SPIFwave logo, you can hang on to those last remnants of summer with this stylish white cap. Super relaxed fit with adjustable strap in the rear. ($20)




The Melty Mia! Tank top comes with two offset colors, but the positioning and separation of each color is unique on every tank! ($20)



The Dia De La Peach design was conceptualized over a year ago but was never fully realized until now. Refining our in-house screeprinting, we’ve been able to bring this beautiful design to life. Not only that, this garment glows in the dark as well! The design has also been applied to our skate deck series and decal selection.

Dia De La Peach Long Sleeve T-shirt ($40)
Dia De La Peach Skate Deck ($85)
Dia De La Peach Decal ($5)



Debuting at EVO, the Chun-Li sweater is perfect for ushering in the fall weather. Made from a cotton fleece, the sweaters are available in unisex and also a women’s off-the-shoulder style. Both boast an incomparably soft interior lining. ($40)
Chun-Li decals also available ($5)

Another hotly requested item, beanies are now in stock for ($20)!

Another hotly requested item, beanies are now in stock for ($20)!

Part of the Boo! Collection, we’ve also added a Boo! Face mask ($7) Previous masks, ONI and Fox, will also be restocked. ($7)

Part of the Boo! Collection, we’ve also added a Boo! Face mask ($7)
Previous masks, ONI and Fox, will also be restocked. ($7)



SPIF has been working behind the scenes learning the ins and outs of sculpting, mold-making, and casting. We’re excited to announce that we’ve teamed up with a local brand, Wisdom Works, to bring you unique and exclusive collectible figurines. Each figure is hand-sculpted in house, molded, cast, and hand-painted. We’ve created a new page on our website to showcase our weird and funky designs, so please check it out! These collectibles are made-to-order (they’re quite expensive to produce), so please allow 4-6 weeks to ship (though it’ll probably arrive faster!) Check out some more images below.

SPIF has been working behind the scenes learning the ins and outs of sculpting, mold-making, and casting. We’re excited to announce that we’ve teamed up with a local brand, Wisdom Works, to bring you unique and exclusive collectible figurines. Each figure is hand-sculpted in house, molded, cast, and hand-painted. We’ve created a new page on our website to showcase our weird and funky designs, so please check it out! These collectibles are made-to-order (they’re quite expensive to produce), so please allow 4-6 weeks to ship (though it’ll probably arrive faster!) Check out some more images below.


The Original Trio

The original trio in their original colorways.

As each figure is hand-painted, there will be slight discrepancies and inconsistencies between each figure.



Solid Colors

Colors picked to really make a statement, the solid color options are sure to make any space pop with a splash of fun.

Mario is available in both coral and teal, and peach is available in lavender.




Yoshis are also available in alternate colors as well! With the majority of the colors covered, there’s bound to be one you’ll love!




All figures will also be available in a galactic colorway too! Notice Mario’s “M” has been switched out for a “W” for Wisdom Works!




Of course, you know we had to do this one. The signature SPIF sprinkle aesthetic makes its way onto our first batch of resin toys as well. In addition to other small details, Mario’s “M” has been changed out with the SPIF “S.”




Be sure to grab all the cool items you want when the site updates at 12pm Pacific/3pm Eastern today.

Thank you for all the support this season, here’s to many more!

Catching Up with Qavee, SPIF's First Official Brand Ambassador by Alex Nguyen

Photo Jul 17, 5 46 56 PM.jpg

SPIF is proud to announce Cathy (Qavee) as our first official brand ambassador! On top of being a stellar model, influencer, and personality, Qavee is an amazing friend and will be periodically helping at the SPIF booth at events. Get to know her a little bit here! 



Since you started attending events, you've earned the nickname "Tournamom," can you tell us a little bit about that?

I pretty much can't help but be over prepared for “what-ifs” at tourneys, it got to the point where anytime someone needed virtually anything I was able to pull it out of my bag. That, plus ensuring everyone's hydrated constantly, makes me very much the mom-friend. Tournament + mom = tournamom. I think it caught on as a term around Genesis 5!


What are some of your strongest interests/hobbies? 

Like. Eating, honestly LOL. And I think it'd be a bit ridiculous if I didn't say “traveling” here as well. Hit me with those food tours, oof. (I also love movies and anime)


What's your favorite kind of food?

Japanese cuisine is probably my favourite in general - I can't really get more specific than that. I don't like picking favourites, aha.


Being a Portland resident, can you give us 3 restaurants you'd recommend there?

Pok Pok, Bamboo Sushi, and Afuri!


Favorite movie/show

I don't have one! There's a lot that I love but choosing favourites stresses me out. (THANKS ALEX) Favourite ghibli film is Princess Mononoke, favourite anime film out in the last couple years is Kimi No Na Wa, favourite Sci Fi film is prooooobably Arrival?


What's the one place you most want to visit?

JAPAN JAPAN JAPAN JAPAN JAPAN!!! It's been the same answer since I was 10 years old and my cousin brought me back a hiragana chart from her trip to Japan. I've been teaching myself Japanese ever since.


What's something about you that surprises people?

People tend to think I'm kidding when I say “I'm crying” but when they meet me and I actually sob, or I take a bite of really good food and just start crying they learn it's all for real and I tend to get really surprised reactions, hahaha (shout outs to poutine at Genesis 5)


What are some of your biggest fears?

Car accidents, gun violence, and spiders.


You got a new tattoo recently! Can you tell us a little bit about the reason why you picked out the particular design?

I have a rose and a dagger side by side on my right forearm. It has no particular meaning, nor did I plan it. During the 11 days I spent in Los Angeles before Hyrule Saga I was going through some major life changes and just decided I needed an unplanned tattoo like, immediately LOL. I left top 8 at Hyrule Saga and headed to “The California Dream Tattoos” where I was able to get a walk-in with Romeo Lacoste, who was shocked (and a little offended) that I didn't know who he was. I definitely unintentionally crushed his ego several times over. Sorry, Romeo. Though the tattoo was unplanned and had no particular meaning, the dagger has consistently reminded me of one of my best and closest friends, Taylor (@sleepykokiri), so that was a nice lil bonus. The rose brings me thoughts of Sailor Moon a lot - fitting for the SPIF City line. So maybe the meaning for me developed later :)



If you could be good at anything you wanted, what would it be?

Not having anxiety, lmao. Being a good singer would be cool too though.


What's a dream you want to achieve?

I have two major ones that are both really important to me: to live in Japan for an extended period of time (6 months +), and to travel across Haida Gwaii (previously Queen Charlotte Islands) where my ancestors are from.


That's it! 

Be sure to give Qavee a follow on twitter and instagram @qavee to keep up with all her travels, food adventures, and of course, SPIF stuff! 


SPIF is back this summer, and pink is the official color!

From controllers to swimwear and everything in between, our first foray into major screen-printed pieces and cut-and-sew contributes to our largest product offering update yet. Get a preview of all the new items for sale (dropping at 12pm PDT/3pm ET) so you know EXACTLY what you want when it's released! 



SPIF's first designer controller had to be none other than the recognizable pink donut. Only 3 available, these are official OEM Gamecube controllers hand-painted with a high gloss front and matte back. Features the classic donut design, powder blue A button, and opaque white B button.




A remix on last year’s classic, the donut hat is back! Featuring a leather patch with the new “spifwave” design.

Classic microfiber poly 5 panel with all-over printing

100% suede brim

Adjustable nylon strap with plastic clasp


This summer's official party shirt! First pre-released at CEO Daytona, the donut button-up is the perfect pop of color to any wardrobe. 
NOTE: These shirts are fitted - if you don’t like your shirts tight (especially in the shoulder area) we recommend going a size up. Please also check the size chart for reference.




The Boo! shirt is the first shirt designed by Ozzy, one of SPIF's in-house designers. Starting from a notebook of hand-drawn ghosts, this screen-printed tee is the perfect marriage between a clean, minimal aesthetic, and the charm of organic illustration.



















First debuting at Hyrule Saga, CHAMPION marks Nairo's first collaboration with artist Mike Luckas





Iconic, retro, classic. 
The one piece swimsuit is made from a polyester/spandex blend.
Sizes run tight but have adequate stretch. Padding not included.



Inspired by Sailor Moon, the raglan pays homage to some of the core symbolism in the series. 

Screen-printed on unisex, sport-ready baseball raglans

Fits are roomy, please view sizing chart for accurate measurements. $35



Sky’s out, thighs out!

The donut pattern makes its way onto swim trunks, complete with side and back pockets, and mesh lining on the inside. Based on a classic retro design, these shorts fall to about mid thigh. Please double check sizing chart for reference.


Last but not least, we have a gang of summer-inspired stickers. From the new pastel SPIFWAVE to the Boo! Sticker sheet ($5), there's sure to be something you'll love. 

Thanks for all the support as always! 


SPIF x LOCUS by Alex Nguyen



A Look Into the Mind of a Fighter



Locus, a top Smash Bros. player, has always been a player who brings the heat and packs a punch. Predominantly known for his Ryu, Locus continually strives to push himself and become more knowledgeable about his craft. In the time that we've known him, it's been pretty crazy to see how he has grown both as a player and a person, and his genuine love for the game is apparent. Always armed with a smile and a good attitude, it was an absolute honor to be able to sit down with him for an interview and collaborate with him on an exclusive design for SPIF. Check it all out below!  


Photo by  Ferofotos

Photo by Ferofotos

Hey Locus, how's it been going? Thanks for doing this interview with us.

It’s going great! Life’s been treating me very well. Thanks so much for having me!


That's good to hear man, we haven't talked in a while. What've you been up to?

I’ve been doing a good amount of traveling, being in Chicago and Indiana in March, and then Oakland for the start of April, and currently I’m spending time in New York, competing at weeklies and regionals here in the tristate area.


Living the life! You've been spending so much time in the U.S. (shoutouts to smash community housing), how do you balance your time between Canada and the U.S.? There are certain restrictions on the amount of time you can spend abroad if you're not a citizen right?

Honestly, the restrictions aren’t that stringent. From what I understand, I can stay in the states for a maximum of 6 months at a time, and I have to not be trying to make this my permanent residence basically. I spent the month of March in British Columbia when I wasn’t traveling to events, and I’m still paying rent in Vancouver, so that’s still where I’m technically living still!


Do you feel like moving to the U.S. or obtaining dual citizenship is anything you'd ever pursue?

Yeah, definitely in the future. It’s something that’s just a little bit out of reach currently but it’s definitely something I’m looking towards eventually


Nice! Speaking of goals, we're kind of in a weird transitional period for smash, don't you think? A lot of players are kind of waiting to see what's up with Smash Switch before deciding what they're going to do. What are the goals you're currently focusing on in your career both in and out of the game?

I’m trying to get as good as I can with the game as it is. There’s a lot we don’t know about the new game and I hate the idea of taking my foot off the gas when there’s so much up in the air. My goals right now are just to iron out some of the little matchup issues I have and try and focus on concepts that will work in smash games in general, like reaction time and edge coverage.


That's awesome man. I remember first seeing you (and I think this goes for a lot of people) at ZeRo Saga in December of 2016, and it's crazy to see your journey since then. What do you think has changed between then and now, and how do you feel about the game and your own personal growth in general?

I think I’ve come such a long way since then. I played really well at zero saga and I’m so glad I was able to hold my own against such talented players, but I honestly wasn’t even that strong of a player at that point. However, now, through practicing with such amazing players and having the privilege of traveling so much, I am extremely proud of my play. I also feel like my confidence has gotten a lot higher since then, and I’m just a much happier person as well.


Locus upsets Mr. R at 2GGT: ZeRo Saga, 2016 (photo by  2GG Lakitu )

Locus upsets Mr. R at 2GGT: ZeRo Saga, 2016 (photo by 2GG Lakitu)


Yeah definitely. I think you hella stepped up your game since then. Right now you're playing Ryu and Bayo, are you using any other characters for certain matchups or mostly focusing on those two?

Nah, I’m just using them two. I play other characters in friendlies and stuff but nothing but them two in tourney


What inspired you to play these characters specifically? Because obviously you were playing the game before these DLC characters came out. Can you talk a little about how these characters fit with your gameplay and any inspirations from other players you've watched that have influenced your style?

I’ve always been the type of guy that likes explosive characters, that may have a little bit of trouble getting in. I played falcon and ness originally, and as the game progressed moved to those two dlc characters as they’re both better at blowing up people’s stocks with minimal interactions won, provided my reaction time and execution are on point

As far as players that have inspired me, I kinda picked up ryu before really being interested in the highest level play so I didn’t really have any huge influences on him to begin with, but I like thinking I took influences from almost all of the top ryus like Trela, 9B, Darkshad, Takera, and Chanshu. My bayo was shaped from watching a lot of different top players, but I’d say I’ve taken the most from Lima and Mistake as they’ve both helped me a lot with her.


Locus at 2GGC: Civil War (photo by 2GG Lakitu)

Locus at 2GGC: Civil War (photo by 2GG Lakitu)


It's really great that you've been able to use both these characters at such a high level. Your team and sponsors made a good choice. Can we talk a little about them?

Thank you so much, and of course! Circa has been absolutely amazing to me, helping me get to basically anything I wanted to go to this past half a year. It’s really unfortunate that they’re closing shop after Evo.


That's super unfortunate, it's great that they're riding it out to the end and have been continuing to help you attend events. Is that what you're mainly looking for in a sponsor? The ability to travel?

Yeah, I’m honestly not asking for too much at this point. I absolutely love being able to travel and play this game the way I have been, and I just want something that will be able to allow me to do that. I’ve always been frugal with how I travel, and that lets me ask less of orgs too! I just want to be able to keep playing the game.


Alright let's get into this collab. This design is specifically tailored around you as both a player and a person. Obviously the shoryu and the "SPIF" on the back are inspired by Ryu/SF which is the character you're known for but there is also detailing around the fist that has significant meaning as well. Can you explain that to our readers?

I received a necklace as a gift from my mom when I was pretty young, and it’s something that’s become something of a good luck charm for me, and it’s stuck with me for a long time. The charm on the necklace is apparently a symbol of power, and it’s meaning is “to rule the world”, which kind of keeps me aimed towards the top. The area around the fist is inspired by that charm!



Yeah I'm really glad we were able to work that in. And for the people who don't know, what's the origin/meaning of your gamertag?

It’s a reference to locus of control which is a concept in psychology. If you have an external locus of control, you believe that outside forces control your life, life is predetermined, destiny, etc. And internal is the opposite, where everything that happens is a result of your own actions. My tag is a reminder to me to have an internal locus of control and know that I can do anything if I put my mind to it.


Honestly one of the coolest gamertag origins I know. Well thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us, and keep killing it. Is there any social media or other places you'd like for people to follow?

If you’re looking to keep up with me, my twitch and twitter are probably the best places to find me, and they’re both LocusSK. Thanks so much for the opportunity and for the interview!


Be sure to check out our limited edition SPIF x Locus collab in our shop, running from 5/21 - 6/4. Shirt orders will ONLY be available during this two week period, after which all shirts will be made and shipped out. Half of ALL profits from these shirts go directly to Locus himself, helping with travel and competition expenses. 

SPIF Spotlight 01: Tori by Alex Nguyen

For over a year now, SPIF has been wanting to implement a more solid system of collaboration with members of the gaming culture and the community. We've always seen ourselves as more of a "lifestyle brand" as opposed to just a Smash Bros. brand. Our ultimate goal lies beyond just creating products. We want to generate content based around our lifestyle that is meaningful, and we want to work with people in the community who are like-minded. We're going to use our growing platform to spotlight some of these people and show you all the cool stuff they're getting into. 





- TORI -

We've known Tori for quite some time now, and she is definitely one of the friendliest and most easygoing gals we've had the pleasure of hanging out with. She's always got her hands in a bunch of different projects, and right now is no exception. Stay tuned after the interview for details on a giveaway we're doing together!


Beyond just being a game enthusiast, Tori works her magic in modeling, music, and cosplay. Thanks for doing this interview with us, Tori.

Absolutely, thank you for having me! I’m honored to be a part of the squad!

I just want to make sure I get to do something that’s fueled by passion - if you love what your job represents, it’s so much more fulfilling to get up and go to work every day, y’know?

So Tori, you have a couple different names/tags/handles online. Are you using separate names for different things? Tell us a little bit about that.

Well, being half Latina, I have a name that’s about a million surnames long. I’ve shortened it all to Tori for the sake of time, and that’s what I go by most days. When I’m cosplaying I’m part of Carpe Diem Cosplay- my own little cosplay company. And on Twitter, as you can see, I go by wavebird. I’ve never had a gamer tag before wavebird, even though I always wanted one. Nothing had ever stuck out to me as being “the one.” But one day, as I was hanging out with some of my closest gamer friends, we began discussing the Nintendo GameCube and they became aware of the fact that I prefer the wireless GameCube controller (known as the WaveBird) over the wired controllers. They ALL proceeded to make fun of me, and soon enough they started referring to me as “wavebird.” I secretly loved it, and the nickname stuck. That was when I knew I had found my tag!


Honestly, the WaveBird is legendary, so you should be proud of that name! Let's talk about that a little bit. In this realm of 'wavebird' can you tell us a little about what you plan to use it for? (entering tournaments, online gamertags, etc)

I gotta say, even I’m not entirely sure what kind of trouble wavebird is gonna get into! I’ve never entered a tournament before, although I did just participate in my first casual crew battle at G5 earlier this year. I had a total blast, but I definitely need a lot more practice, LOL. I’m thinking, however, that I may start streaming soon, and I think wavebird would be a great name for playing online— much shorter and easier to pronounce than “diemtocarpe,” my original twitch username!


Definitely makes sense. Honestly I think with Smash Switch recently getting announced, if you get into streaming, it'd be pretty perfect. And as far as diemtocarpe, the name you associate with your cosplay, how is that going? Cosplay has been a passion of yours for a while now, hasn't it?

It definitely has, even if I didn’t know it until recently. I’ve been acting professionally since I was 3 and have always loved dressing up and pretending to be fun characters. My mom used to make my Halloween costumes from scratch every year, so I spent a lot of time watching her sew and build. Once I realized that was a hobby outside of the theatre, I was totally enamored. My first official cosplay was Black Widow, which I wore to the premiere of the Avengers movie back in 2012. My closest friends asked me if I would help them get costumes together for all of us and I was super hype about it, so of course I said yes. Once I saw the reaction of everyone at the theatre I knew it was something I had to pursue!

Tori and friends at the premiere of The Avengers (2012)

Tori and friends at the premiere of The Avengers (2012)

That's amazing. I saw that movie at least 5 times in theatres and would've LOST IT if I saw a group cosplay this good. That's dope as hell. So now that you've been cosplaying for around 8 years now, there must be a lot of things you've learned along the way. Do you predominantly make your own cosplays? Purchase parts of outfits and/or full suits? How do you decide which ideas to pursue?

I try to make as many of my cosplays as I can. If I can’t make them, I try to find someone within my group of friends who can, and ask them to help teach me so I can learn for the future. Some cosplays I’ll order bits and pieces (or thrift shop for hours on end) and alter things to fit the character. Every once in a while if I’m in a major hurry, I’ll order a full costume. As far as choosing what characters to do, I tend to pick characters I relate to, but I have to be drawn to their look as well. A lot of times I’ll see a character I’ve seen a hundred times before and all of a sudden I’ll randomly get an idea of how I could execute a part of their costume in real life. Then there’s no turning back! Gotta get started while it’s fresh in my head!


What's your favorite cosplay you've ever done?

It’s always SO hard to answer that question! I have so many favorite ones but all for different reasons, you know? For instance, Silk is my favorite to wear, but my Varia Suit Samus is my favorite to look at. I think overall though, my Snow White is probably the best. My mom and I made it together totally from scratch and it’s GORGEOUS, and every time I wear it I get little kids coming up and talking to me like I’m a real princess! Nothing beats that!


"Every time I wear [the Snow White costume] I get little kids coming up and talking to me like I'm a real princess! Nothing beats that!"


That's a super good one. I don't really think it gets better than that. It's one of those timeless kind of looks, you know? How do choose what events you're going to, and are there any coming up soon that you have any big plans for?

I mostly choose events based on word of mouth. If a lot of my friends have gone to an event in the past and really enjoyed themselves, then I’m highly likely to attend myself— cons can be so expensive nowadays, sometimes it isn’t worth it to spend all that money on an event if you’re not sure it’s gonna be a good time. My biggest events coming up are Raleigh Supercon, ComboBreaker, Dreamhack, and Super Smash Con. As far as tournaments, I’m gonna be attending both CEO and EVO for the first time this year, and I am beyond psyched about it!! I have a couple new cosplays in the works for these but I’m keeping them under wraps for a little longer, until I make a bit more progress


Honestly can't wait. So what else are you getting into? What do you like to do when you're not traveling?

I spend most of my free time gaming. (Big surprise, right?) I don’t play a whole lot of online games simply because I never know with my schedule when I’ll be around to play with friends, so I tend to play retro stuff because it’s always there ready for me! I have a pretty decent collection of retro consoles that are always set up on our TV downstairs. Outside of that, I like to perform. As I mentioned earlier, I’m into theatre, so I do a lot on stage, and I also sing in a little band called The Sunspots with my sister.



Retro, huh? How old are we talking here? Any standouts in your collection you particularly enjoy over the others?

We have all kinds of retro systems at the house- Sega Genesis, N64, GameBoy SP, GameCube.. but my SNES is my pride and joy. The Donkey Kong Country trilogy is my all time fave, I’ve played it over and over again! My sister and I are in the middle of trying to beat them all in co-op mode right now, but it’s taking a good while because she’s off at college for the moment. We’re about 75% done with the second one so hopefully we can knock the rest out soon!


Solid choice. You’ve mentioned your sister a few times, you’ve done some collaborative cosplays with her in addition to music and other things, right?

Yes, I sure have! Deanna and I are incredibly close. We grew up together as the two youngest pipsqueaks in a family of 6 kids. Our older brothers taught us the ways of video games and our older sister helped us find our voices. She does theatre as well so anytime I need a partner for a cosplay (like Ice Climbers!), I know she’s down to join me. I believe you guys met her at Super Smash Con last summer, actually! She rocks a SPIF shirt you guys gave her that weekend pretty often!

Tori and Deanna as Nana and Popo, Super Smash Con 2017

Tori and Deanna as Nana and Popo, Super Smash Con 2017

That’s an awesome relationship. It seems like you currently have so many interests and passions, and it’s really great that you’re pursuing all of them in some capacity. Can you tell us what your future aspirations are or what you’re planning on focusing on for let’s say... the next couple of years?

Oh gosh. The future is so intimidating to think about some days, but truthfully I’m very optimistic to see what it holds. Hopefully in the next couple of years, I’ll have settled in a city that feels a little more “me,” and I’ll have a job where I get to be creative in some way. I’d love to be in the public eye for obvious reasons, like the host of a small talk show or on stage singing and dancing, but I’ve had a few jobs where I was more behind the scenes as well and that was just as fun and rewarding. I just want to make sure I get to do something that’s fueled by passion- if you love what your job represents, it’s so much more fulfilling to get up and go to work every day, y’know?


Hell yeah. Well with someone as talented and driven as you are, I personally think the future can only hold good things for you. On behalf of everyone here at SPIF, We wish you the very best! Where can the people keep up with all your ventures? And is there anything you'd like to plug before we head out?

Hey, thanks so much you guys! I’m just super thankful to be able to do everything I’m doing! As far as social media, I’m @diemtocarpe on Twitter, Instagram, and Vero, and if you wanna keep up with my cosplay specifically you can do that at @carpeDMcosplay on Twitter and at …!



Of course a spotlight wouldn't be complete without a collaborative giveaway, right? Check out the gleam link for all the ways you can enter to win!

From Donuts to Demons: A Look Into the ONI SQUAD by Alex Nguyen


In the summer of 2017, we released our now-iconic "Treat Yo' Self" product line, which marked our first step toward being a more unrestricted clothing brand. While the donut is a stylized smash ball, "Treat Yo' Self" is the first cohesive product line including shirts, hoodies, hats, and a controller that carried a strong aesthetic not necessarily tied to video games. Consequently, we noticed really positive reception from people who didn't even follow Smash or know what Smash was. And that was always the demographic we were trying to serve. To bridge a gap between "nerd culture" and "cool culture," and to make people realize that the overlap is probably bigger than most people think. Now that we've established ourselves as one of the forerunners of "Smash fashion," we wanted to bring our audience into a more general space, introducing pieces that aren't just Smash Bros.



We're proclaiming 2018 as the year of the demon. Our demons are the parts of ourselves that we fear, fight, or suppress. But this particular collection aims to serve as empowerment, a reminder that we can use these things in a positive way. Don't fear your demons. Own them. Maybe you're a jealous person. Use it as motivation for self-improvement. Maybe you're an angry person. Use that to fuel yourself in competition. A lot of times the darkest parts of ourselves are just misunderstood and don't manifest themselves in the right way. Sometimes instead of trying to fight or lock these parts of ourselves away, we need to redirect and nurture them. 

Don’t fear your demons. Own them.

After some extensive prototyping, alpha testing, beta testing, AND an early access drop at Genesis 5, we can honestly say that we could not be happier with the result. 

We proudly present to you guys the ONI SQUAD collection. 




Coach's Jacket

The ONI SQUAD Coach's Jacket is made from a 100% nylon taffeta, which makes it super smooth to the touch, and works great as a windbreaker. The inner lining is a polyester tricot, making this relatively thin jacket great at insulating heat. Front snaps make it easy to wear open or closed - both equally fashionable. $65.



Dad Hat









The ONI SQUAD dad hat comes with the signature ONI insignia woven on the front, and "SPIF" on the back above the rear opening. Made from 100% cotton twill, the unstructured crown offers maximum comfort. $25. 




The ONI SQUAD super soft tee is hand-screen printed by us using a water-based ink, meaning you can barely even tell the ink is there when you touch it. 100% cotton, this crisp white tee should definitely become a staple for spring/summer. $18 




A first for us, the ONI SQUAD joggers opt for a more athletic look with the side stripes. On the front is the signature ONI logo, and on the back pocket crossed swords elegantly frame "SPIF." $35




@princesshyruie @qavee photocred: @mcc_nfreak




Probably the most notorious pieces in this collection, the ONI BOSS and ONI POWER flight jackets have been seen on Smash Bros. streams from coast to coast. The BOSS jacket's Japanese text reads "Underworld King," and the POWER jacket's text reads "Demon King." Although SPIF is moving more toward branded content and apparel, we of course had to draw inspiration from some of our favorite video game villains. Cop the jackets as soon as they drop tomorrow. $60