Websites to Spend Countless Hours On: Boot Boyz Biz

15. June 2022

Boot Boyz Biz is a bootleg fashion label from Chicago, now based in New York. Subverting copyright laws, their designs, collaged from snippets taken from books or the depths of the internet, incorporate and quote a huge amount of eclectic sources — often in a single visual. They are usually accompanied by blog posts, exploring the people and subjects referenced in the visuals in depth.

  • links
  • fashion

Their website has therefore become an archive of cultural references of almost boundless breadth — philosophy, graphic design, visual art, music and clubbing culture, and mysticism are just the most common subjects in their research.

We’re interested in how an image’s meaning changes as it’s pushed through various contexts. Grinding disparate elements together always provides fascinating results and revealing truths.

Boot Boyz Biz, in a rare interview from 2016

Sometimes referred to as a duo, the collective remains largely anonymous — only some sites make a reference to New York-based graphic designer Kevin McCaughey as the founder. Their products are sought after and the drops usually sell out overnight. However, following them on Instagram and subscribing to their newsletter gives you pretty good chances to grab an item. Unfortunately, shipping to Europe is prohibitively expensive.

My favorite posts §

The entire archive is a treasure trove, but these are my favorites — some because of their design, some because of the stories in the posts. However, I implore you to scroll through the website and just pick some pages by instinct.

R. Buckminster Fuller was renowned for his comprehensive perspective on the world’s problems.
R. Buckminster Fuller was renowned for his comprehensive perspective on the world’s problems.
Drop City / Domes was a counterculture artists’ community that formed in southern Colorado in 1965. Abandoned by the early 1970s, Drop City became known as the first rural “hippie commune”.
Drop City / Domes was a counterculture artists’ community that formed in southern Colorado in 1965. Abandoned by the early 1970s, Drop City became known as the first rural “hippie commune”.
Whole Earth Catalog was an American counterculture magazine and product catalog published by Stewart Brand several times a year between 1968 and 1972, and occasionally thereafter, until 1998.
Whole Earth Catalog was an American counterculture magazine and product catalog published by Stewart Brand several times a year between 1968 and 1972, and occasionally thereafter, until 1998.
Michel Foucault was a French philosopher, historian of ideas, social theorist, philologist and literary critic. His theories addressed the relationship between power and knowledge, and how they are used as a form of social control through societal institutions.
Michel Foucault was a French philosopher, historian of ideas, social theorist, philologist and literary critic. His theories addressed the relationship between power and knowledge, and how they are used as a form of social control through societal institutions.
VKhUTEMAS was the Russian state art and technical school founded in 1920 in Moscow.
VKhUTEMAS was the Russian state art and technical school founded in 1920 in Moscow.
Memory Palace — Featuring my favorite graphic from “Feynman’s tips on physics”: Triangulating from known facts.
Memory Palace — Featuring my favorite graphic from “Feynman’s tips on physics”: Triangulating from known facts.
Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe
Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe
Victor Papanek was a designer and educator who became a strong advocate of the socially and ecologically responsible design of products, tools, and community infrastructures.
Victor Papanek was a designer and educator who became a strong advocate of the socially and ecologically responsible design of products, tools, and community infrastructures.

The website §

Boot Boyz Biz —  a project-based research practice that aims to assemble an expanding archive of citations, organizing a wide range of material. It uses intertextual strategies and disinterment to produce translated–synthesized works that strive to open unique pathways. 👢-ing is a model for association, for reflecting on histories and ideas, for capturing essence to organize a collective memory that guides our future.

The series §

In my series “Websites to Spend Countless Hours On” I write about my favorite wholesome websites. I focus on those that are slow-growing, personal, opinionated, or fastidiously comprehensive. They are like the websites that first drew me into the web: Quaint personal spaces by real people.