Four years ago, Matt Baker, Tony Cook, Sean Hagerty, and brothers Carson and Garret Wassmuth came up with an idea for a website where Columbus tourists could learn about the best events, bars, and restaurants the city has to offer. They love it here and with their latest endeavor, Tha City Clothing Co., they are making their love public.
Located at 15 W. 1st Ave. in the Short North, the shop carries an in-house line of T-shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies for men and women. A skyline is featured prominently on several pieces to underline their creators’ dedication to the city they’re reppin’.
“We are the city,” said Baker. “And we want that to be everyone’s motto.”
In an effort to showcase local talent, Tha City plans to partner with artists and designers who don’t have stores of their own, but want to get their name out.
“We want to be their backbone,” Baker said. “We are currently working with a company called J-Spot to boost their exposure.”
Sunglasses, accessories by Pick Up Sticks Jewelry Co., and hats by Rich Kids Club Clothing Co. round out the shop’s offerings.
Tha City’s summer collection will feature crop tops for women, swim trunks, tank tops, and more T-shirts with logos and text expressing the founders’ “Mad Men persona,” Baker said.
Someone who’s sure to be seen around town in Tha City’s merchandise is its brand ambassador, Stewart Smith. He and Baker met two years ago. (Baker, Hagerty, and the Wassmuths grew up together in Galloway.)
“He is pre-med and also a member of the Ohio State football team,” Baker said. “Not only is he my friend, but he has a keen eye for fashion and is right there to help me finalize my decisions.”
That keen eye will likely come in handy as Tha City’s team continues work on its upscale MattSon line, which won’t debut until it’s been perfected, Baker said, adding that it’s going to be “huge.”
Photography by Jennifer René. Jennifer grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, and recently relocated to Columbus. She found her love for photography at a very young age by insistently capturing every detail of her life and those around her with her camera. Jennifer is a lifestyle photojournalist, who carefully crafts each image with the use of light, color, gesture, and composition to communicate a story. More of her work can be found at BeyondSnapshots.net.