May 29th, 2014 by Amelia
I got a hold of Chuck from The Cast to interview him about his sick shop in New York’s Lower East Side. I had passed it many times while volunteering at ABC No Rio nearby and I always wondered what the story was as I figured the owners must be rockers themselves. Anyway, Chuck was nice enough to answer my questions from leather to studs, making The Cast a one stop shop!
What is The Cast?
The Cast is a punk rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle brand that I started here on the Lower East Side in 2004. Our focus is leather with our specialty being custom made-to-measure leather jackets. We also offer premium denim and t-shirts, some records, vintage, and accessories.
Who owns and runs The Cast?
My wife Elisa and I.
Are you locals?
Yeah, been living here over 12 years now. Originally from Jersey.
Why are you located in the LES? Isn’t Brooklyn, like, the place to be?
Maybe for some people. I’ve a lways lived here on the LES. My shop and home are just a few blocks from each other.
Do you support NYC artists?
Of course! The Cast has a night once a month at Home Sweet Home called Fuck It. We usually have about 3-4 bands play. Mostly punk rock, rock ‘n’ roll — local New York bands but some out of towners as well. Its a really fun night. We also have bands play live in front of our shop a couple times a year. Those street parties are pretty wild! Got one coming up on Saturday, June 21st. SHOCKED MINDS, DIRTY FENCES, THREATS, SHAKES, and THE BOWERY BOYS are playing.
How are you connected to the music scene in NYC?
I’ve always known a lot of people from going to shows for years and playing records at the rock ‘n’ roll bars.
Tell us about your leather stock.
The Cast offers classic biker leather jackets for both Men and Women. We’ve given them a much more modern twist with better design, fit, and premium materials. We’re committed to quality, workmanship, and the perfect fit, and with that we’ve gained a cult following from bikers, punks, and rock ‘n’ rollers. We also offer custom made-to-measure jackets as well which is big part of our business. Pick your own leather, lining, hardware, whatever you want we can make it…made locally here in NYC too. We’re not all custom though, we also have our very accessible off the rack line of leather jackets called Cast Off by The Cast.
Why start a store?
New York City doesn’t really have many rock ‘n’ roll clothing shops and or leather jacket focused shops. So that is why we’re here.
Is it hard work?
Owning a business, period, is hard work. Social Media is playing a huge part these days, so we’re on Instagram (@thecastnyc) and Facebook (The Cast NYC) constantly. My wife and I also have two kids, which adds an extra kick in the ass.
How do you figure out who to employ?
Must be hardworking, trustworthy, willing to learn. Good style. Well-versed with music and clothing of course! No squares here.
How do you select inventory?
Besides our own brands The Cast and Cast Off, we also stock like minded brands. Good design, quality, and price point are key.
Any words to punks who want to start their own store and sell wearables?
Start screen printing your own t-shirts and go from there.
Any last words?
If you can’t visit our shop, no problemo. We ship worldwide. Visit us online at thecast.com
Up the punx?
UP THE PUNX!!!