The thrill of victory and the ecstasy of defeat...
Founded by ex-journalist and childhood sports monomaniac, Chris Isenberg, No Mas makes sports inspired art, apparel and media equally devoted to the "the thrill of victory and the ecstasy of defeat."
The brand got its start in 2004, when Isenberg began to create t-shirts for himself and friends which referenced iconic moments in sports and celebrated his childhood athletic heroes. After receiving a steady stream of compliments, protests, and requests to purchase on the street, he began offering limited run pieces to Nom de Guerre and Union in New York under the brand No Mas.
From its inception, No Mas was something between a streetwear brand and an art project, as Isenberg was especially focused on what the New York Times Magazine called "the deeper meaning of sports". In October 2005, No Mas presented "Fall Classic" at the Melody Weir Gallery in Chelsea. Subtitiled "Remembrances and Ruminations on the Precipitous Declines of Our Sporting Heroes", the show dealt with the generation of athletes rose to prominence and fell from grace in the 80s: Pete Rose, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Mike Tyson, Ben Johnson, and Diego Maradona. The show featured work by Isenberg, Mickey Duzyj, and outsider artist Black Dragon. Fall Classic was extremely well-received by press and public, and Mickey Duzyj's, "Iron Mike - Vegas", won a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators.
In 2006 Isenberg guest-edited a special No Mas sports issue of Frank 151 Magazine, which included interviews with Darryl Dawkins and Gay Talese as well as photographs by Matthew Modine. No Mas continues to publish original daily content on its website www.nomas-nyc.com.
In 2007 he staged "The Lottery", a performance art show about the disparate fates of NBA draft picks. The show was sponsored by Puma and also featured a limited edition collaborative sneaker, which sold out in under an hour.
No Mas clothing is currently sold at over forty independent stores in the US, Europe, and Japan including Union in New York, Fred Segal in Los Angeles, Cali Roots in Sweden, and United Arrows in Japan. It has been worn by Spike Lee, Adrien Grenier, Mark Ronson, Bobbito, Dean Winters, and Eagles linebacker Dhani Jones.
No Mas has been featured in The New York Time Magazine, Esquire, The New York Post, Women's Wear Daily, The Fader, Complex, Lodown, Mass Appeal, and online at coolhunting, hypebeast, uniwatch, murketing and thrillist.com. Chris Isenberg was also recently interviewed for a special segment on NBC's the TODAY show.
Former journalist and child sports obsessive Chris Isenberg recreates and reinterprets iconic moments in sports for No Mas.
Isenberg was born and bred in Greenwich Village in New York City. As a child he was obsessed with sports and fixated on the New York Yankees, and from ages five through seven, he refused to wear anything except a regulation Yankee uniform complete with stirrups, plastic batting helmet, and, frequently, burnt cork under his eyes. In art class at the Little Red School House, his early creations included a miniature cardboard Yankee Stadium, a papier-machier Bucky Dent hand puppet, and a terra cotta Carl Yaztremski.
After Isenberg graduated with a BA from Stanford and MA in English Literature from Oxford University, he moved back to New York and began writing for various publications including The New York Times, The Village Voice, and The Fader. He spent two years on staff at Details magazine where he wrote about boxing, baseball, and sumo wrestling--as well as style, nightlife and urban culture. In 2004, he returned to his childhood fixation and founded No Mas which began as a sports related t-shirt line and has grown to include art and media as well as selling apparel at over forty stores in the US, Europe, and Japan. In 2005 Isenberg curated "Fall Classic", a show about Darryl Strawberry, Pete Rose, Mike Tyson and other fallen heroes at the Melody Weir Gallery in Chelsea. In 2006, he guest edited a special sports issue of Frank 151 Magazine. He lives in Brooklyn, and plays third base for the 2006 Williamsburg Softball League Champions, Black Betty.
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