Since its inception some years ago in the thick of the Sneaker boom, DQM has become not only one of NY’s best known retailers but the worlds, its bold themes and branding have led to the creation of a very strong streetwear brand itself, and of course with Dave Ortiz at the helm it will only continue to grow. We spoke to Dave to discuss the recent changes in the market and movements forward for DQM and of course took the chance to get to know the former Zoo York team manager. Interview by Matthew Ross.
SXH: Dave, when you initially opened DQM, the sneaker market was very different to the way it is today, how have you adapted, and what do you think led the market to change?
DO: Well when we first opened the shop the sneaker market was more underground now it’s a bit more mainstream but we have adapted by developing our own DQM brand which we have been doing from the first day we opened the doors. I think the press/attention sneakers got with the introduction of rare styles and colors not to mention what people would pay for them led to the change of the market and even more attention after that with the introduction of sites like yours, TV shows showing the culture , magazines and celebrity wearing the cool kicks all of that makes a difference.
SXH: Have you noticed a change in customers? If so what?
DO: I think the customers haven’t changed much they are still the same you just have new age groups I see more parents and lots of younger kids buying this lifestyle.
SXH: The progression of your own line is very important to DQM, where do you pull your inspiration?
DO: Well , first of all I don’t create everything that you see, most of the creative direction and designs for DQM comes from my partner Chris Keeffe ,with the help of Kyle Demers and the rest of the crew at DQM . We brainstorm together and keep things loose idea wise then when it’s time to get busy we try to make ideas materialize and if it wasn’t for the crew at the shop and everyone who supports DQM we could not do this .
SXH: A lot of kids out there today look at what you have accomplished and look in admiration… Who did you look up to when you were growing up?
DO: Well it’s not that impressive but it was this guy named Benny Patti he owned this video store where I worked at as a teen. I respected the hard work he put into what he was doing every day working. He later turned his shop into a video filming production company where they filmed weddings and Parties and what not but he evolved from a rinky dink video store to a film house production company I thought that was cool.
SXH: If you could have lunch with anyone dead or alive who would it be and why??
DO: Roberto Clemente he was a Puerto Rican baseball player that gave back to the poor people he died in a plane crash December 31, 1972. He died doing a noble thing. Read up on him he’s mad cool.
SXH: I have noticed that around the world that some stores are trying to latch onto/copy your concept, do you find this flattering or offensive?
DO: I find it neither because if someone starts a shop with someone else’s ideas in mind it’s not a true vision and I think the public can sense things like that and those shops will never have something real, just a shop that looks or sounds like DQM.
SXH: What is your opinion about sampling with regards to the Streetwear industry…?
DO: I think it’s in your best interest to sample ,you have to iron out “kinks” so when you get your production in you know what you are getting and it’s not some craze in some crazy ass size with a crazy ass fit .
SXH: Do you care about peer critique or could you give a shit?
DO: I don’t care much of what any one says I just care about what DQM can accomplish and hopefully our supporters/peers will appreciate what we are trying to do .
SXH: Do you have any regrets?
SXH: A lot of people only know Dave Ortiz from a streetwear standpoint, but there is a whole lot more to comprehend. What about you (not so visible to the general public) is necessary to understand Dave Ortiz?
DO: What are you crazy?, I’m just like all of you guys out there, I go to work everyday put my pants on one leg at a time and can get a little nutz sometimes.
SXH: Do you have an opinion on the so-called ‘blow out’ of Streetwear?
DO: Choose wisely .
SXH: I know you Dave and the wheels just keep on turning… With that said what do you have in the works? What are the upcoming “next big things”?
DO: We have a bunch of stuff in the pipeline with people you may expect as well as some projects you might not , so stay tuned for 08 .
SXH: What collab/item/thing have you not done yet that you would absolutely love to do?
DO: I don’t know…. DQM is down to make something that relates to us as a brand not just because we want to make something for the sake of making something .
SXH: What kind of legacy do you hope Dave Ortiz and DQM leave?
DO: i just hope people continue to respect our brand and just be down for it.
You can check out Daves Quality Meats online here and if you’re in New York their details are below.
7 East 3rd Street, New York, NY 10003