I wanted to have a brand that was built for us you and we. So my wife, my son and I could all have some cool things to wear from our experiences.
A stalwart and revered figure in the Chicago music & fashion scene, Pugs Atomz is a trailblazer who laid the ground work for many artists in the area today. Born in Pittsburgh PA., son of an ex Panther turned Radio host and a Painter. His love of Hip Hop developed when his family moved to Chicago; during grade school he would see the graffiti on the trains and in his neighborhood of Englewood. These trains also would have rap groups performing and singers doing their thing for spare change. The first rap he wrote was in 5th grade, so the next day when he recited his, everybody said, ”you’re rapping, he's a rapper". From that point it started to make more sense to him.
As teenager his parents would have people like Oscar Brown Jr. in his living room performing ”Signifying Monkey" and various other poets/ visual artist schooling him to give me a sense of culture. He would attend Chi Rock meetings (Chicago's version of The Zulu Nation) and watching the moves being made by Twista, Common, Dem Dare and author/activist Upski. An avid listener of Jp Chill and Pink House’s Rap shows on WHPK and WKKC. In high school there weren’t too many people at that time that could really help him with his goals, so he became a leader and started a crew called the Nacrobat’s. This got him into throwing parties and performances with his and other crews. From that revenue he started to put out Nacrobat tapes and CDRs in the mid to late 90's. Nacrobat’s was a crew that was influential to so many kids coming up at that time, with 100 plus members, and rep for freestyle battling any and every ware. This was the starting point for Chicago artists like Psalm one, Vyle, Mike Eagle, pianist/producer Kenny Keys, producer Prolific (Lupe Fiasco), visual artists Hebru Brantley & Rahmaan Statik and so many others.
From Tv Host (Barber Shop Hip-Hop) to radio host (CTA Radio) he has pushed his agenda, Chicago music and art must be acknowledged and promoted. Atomz has released numerous albums, compilations and mix tapes with key independent labels and blogs and recently released a new album with Munich (DE) label Tokyo Dawn Records. At the School of the Art Institute of Chicago he majored in Fine Arts, and minored in Video. Pugs cut his teeth designing t-shirts for a small student run clothing brand and painting graffiti back drops for 20th Century Fox films. His first big design break was in 2007 with Afro Wear & American needle working on their branded fitted caps and specialty lines (Red Fox, Malcolm X). At the same time he was also marketing manager at "Sang Werks" a Chicago based marketing company (Adidas, Scion, House of Blues, Power 92.3 FM). That experience really nurtured his acumen in marketing and promotions. This started to show more and more in how he presented his music and design ideas. His creative genius and consistency awarded him sponsorship from Scion for a fifty city tour (USA/Canada), and he even teamed with a marketing agency to put out one of his albums. His popularity pushed his name allowing him to tour the world a few times with DJ Vadim and their band The Electric, resulting in Atomz moving to London for 3 years. His wife Jasmine Girl Chloe started to really get into making Jewelry and cut and sew pieces for a boutique there; and In that space he was around thriving musicians, life style photographers ( PAZ), models, and British designers like Walé Adeyemi (MBE) who really pushed him to take fashion more serious and sparked the idea of him starting USUWE.
Currently Pugs is enjoying his time as the Creative Director of Iridium Clothing Co. designing select menswear pieces for the brand and helping with POP and the marketing of the line. As well as developing his USUWE brand through Threadless.com.