As a versatile garment, it has become a virtual canvas for broad strokes of popular culture expression and high fashion statements alike. And within four short years, Bow & Arrow has managed to perfect the art of intersecting the two – attracting the attention of both national retail chains and celebrities alike. By embellishing soft, quality cotton blend tees with original and imaginative graphics, the brand has firmly established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the apparel industry.
Established in 2011 by founder and CEO Peter Lee, Los Angeles-based label’s design sensibility embodies its East meets West ethos. Fusing elements of Western style and Eastern flair, their unique mens and womens designs adeptly illustrate their initiative of integrating a vast array of world cultures. Bow & Arrow’s maiden voyage in apparel commenced with The Bruce Lee Collection. Through an exclusive licensing deal with the Bruce Lee Estate, Bow & Arrow introduced a line of hoodies as well as v-neck and crew neck long sleeve and short sleeve tees featuring the martial arts legend and film icon.
With the objective to usher Bruce Lee into the 21st century in a fresh and dynamic way, Bow & Arrow cultivated a series of designs that frame him in contemporary pop culture settings. But resting on the power of Bruce Lee’s likeness as an easy mechanism to hock apparel. With that in mind, the collection’s flagship design, the Gung Fu Scratch tee, features Bruce Lee sporting designer shades accented with gold overlay and posturing behind a set of turntables. The shirt immediately struck a chord. Celebrities such as Will Smith, Nick Cannon, and Justin Bieber became early supporters of the label, sporting the Gung Fu Scratch tee at various high profile functions in Hollywood and beyond. Within the first year, more celebrities such as UFC president Dana White, Kevin Hart, Nelly, B.O.B, Joe Rogan, Nas, Ne-Yo, Stephan Curry, Sugar Ray Leonard, Rhonda Rousey, DJ Tiesto, Snoop Dogg, and Chad Ochocinco were photographed about town in the label’s various tees.
The company soon introduced their Tree Of Life tee, a resplendent full color all-over print shirt with black sleeves. The label’s impressive women’s line brings a touch of class to flowing cotton blend rounded bottom tanks and scoop neck tees. In addition to the Cream and Creep tanks, Bow & Arrow’s womens collection also features downtown chic graphics.
Bow & Arrow has since expanded The Bruce Lee Collection to include the Interview tee, the Fuel tee, the Hollywood Bruce Lee tee, the Skater tee the No Opponent tee, and the full color DJ Dragon Polaroid tee. On the heels of the increased celebrity endorsement and visibility, Bow & Arrow expanded beyond select boutique shops in Los Angeles to national apparel retail chain Urban Outfitters.
The popularity of the Gung Fu Scratch tee, however, has not subsided. Kevin Hart wore the shirt in an episode of his BET reality show Real Husbands Of Hollywood. The shirt was also prominently worn by Golden Globe winning actor and Bow & Arrow supporter Robert Downey, Jr. in one of 2015’s biggest box office smashes, Marvel’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Downey has since repeatedly and generously sung Bow & Arrow’s praises via his Facebook and Twitter accounts. The film star went as far as hosting a giveaway contest for the Gung Fu Scratch tee with his nearly 25 million Facebook followers.
In the wake of the film’s success and Downey’s social media exaltations, Bow & Arrow’s production has increased exponentially as the demand for the tee has spiked. The Gung Fu Scratch shirt has skyrocketed overnight as one of Urban Outfitters’ top selling items.