Dennison and Savitch have been planning to conceive a clothing business since their youth, when they were all a bunch of skateboarders tearing through their clothes and shoes by the week. Despite the fact that they're still in their early 20s, Dennison and Savitch raised the capital needed to start a fashion line, and created a brand whose logo can now be seen on the backs and chests of skaters across North Texas, and beyond.
“I’m not really a business dude,” says Savitch, who admits there were many difficulties they faced first while trying to raising capital and then handling money after they got their hands on some. But he says they've now found a unique way to follow their dream, though, and an affordable and admirable means of producing stock.
“There’s a local thrift store that does a sale once a week, where everything is $2.50,” says fellow co-founder, Dennison, “so we just go in with a basket and fill it up with plain articles that we like and print our logo on it.”
Talk about efficiency. By stocking up on thrift store buys and utilizing embroidery and screen printing, the men have managed to beat a system that makes creating a fashion line so difficult. And they’ve grown exceptionally since their founding in 2016, to a now well-known brand in skate communities from Austin to Los Angeles and Chicago.
Bleach U.S.A. first spread like wildfire through the Dallas skating community. Whether you’re at 4DWN skatepark or mingling among the boarders who skate through downtown and Deep Ellum on the daily, if you mention Bleach U.S.A., you’ve got a conversation ahead of you.
“Skateboarding is one of the few sports where you get to pick your own outfit,” Dennison says with pride. “There’s no uniform or anything, so it’s very individualistic in that way.”
“Skateboarding is about to be in the Olympics. ... We were just having a good time and now we gotta wear a uniform and shit.” — Nick Dennison
The distinctive nature of skatewear is what has set it apart in many ways in the fashion industry. There’s no questioning the recent trend toward skate fashion and sportswear in popular culture, where artists like Justin Bieber and Rihanna have embraced styles that have never died down among skaters, like hoodies, baggy pants, beanies and oversize kicks. The oversize clothing wasn’t just for fashion though; as many skaters would attest, it’s a barrier between you and the concrete.
“That’s a big part of it,” Dennison affirms, remarking on the physical aspects of skating that shaped modern fashion trends. “You definitely eat shit at some point,” he says with a laugh.
Outside of traditional skateboarding fashion trends, the pair has a flair for innovation. Their line includes a wide variety of styles, including workwear, golf- and rugby-style polos, soccer jerseys, hiking gear (which Savitch sees as more of a modern trend spurred from technology built to better insulate and protect the wearer) and now small or cropped tops for men (thank you Ezekiel Elliott).
“It’s all about the big pants and tiny tees right now,” Dennison explains.
But it’s not just skaters sporting Bleach U.S.A. looks these days.
“A lot of people who don’t really skate love it too,” says Dennison of the brand. “Skateboarding in fashion in general has been popular in the last few years — like, every kid in the world is rockin’ Vans and even the ‘fratty’ groups, they’re rockin’ it too.”
As the company grows, the name continues to permeate unique crowds of people and thus gives more recognition to skateboarding as a sport — although, this isn’t necessarily the brand's ultimate goal. Like most skaters, they’re happy with being an alternative culture, which could all change soon.
“It seems like we’re a pretty mainstream thing now,” Dennison says. “Skateboarding is about to be in the Olympics. It’s a weird mixture, you know. Like, now you’ve got to go to the Olympics? We were just having a good time and now we gotta wear a uniform and shit.”