Our new design by Kyle Schuler for our Summer 15’ line of shirts requires the most badass history lesson you’ve ever read on a blog in your life (unless you’re an avid Tumblr user, in that case I can not gauge your infinite knowledge).
The first story in this design is the story of the ruthless viking Eric the Red. His legend represents self-empowerment, chaos, and the breaking of resistance. As an outlaw in Iceland, Eric the Red set out on a quest for new land. Whether this voyage was to run from authorities (he was an infamously violent captain of an enormous viking ship), or to fill his unavoidable role as an explorer and ruthless trailblazer, it landed him the role of the first man to discover and settle on the shores and icy mountains of Greenland.
His story, one filled with “blood, booty and ships,” as Schuler says in his own description of his piece, and is highlighted with powerful symbolism. The sign of Taurus can be seen in the middle ground of the design, representing material gain, rewards of the game, and physical pleasure, which are all clear principles of being a kick ass viking beast.
Thurisaz, an ancient rune which is identified as “the giant one” or “the strong one” is also seen sitting in the middle of the crown upon Eric’s head. As if his story wasn’t cool enough, he would go on to father none other than Lief Ericson, the first person to discover America, taking after daddy as a great viking pioneer.
The second story behind the imagery involves the folklore behind your average playing cards, and is where the design gets its name.
The king of hearts that you can find in any deck of cards rumored to represent “The Suicide King” Charles (Charlemagne) the 7th, the emotional king of France. (In case you’re interested, rumor also has it that the holy king David from the bible is the king of spades, the diamond is a representation of the wealthy king Julius Caesar, and the clubs, the powerful Alexander the great.)
Bedridden for most of his life because of chronic fever, an ailment that eventually drove him to insanity, he came to be obsessed with playing cards.The idea that the king is the 13th card in the deck was in his mind the reason for all of his bad luck and illness. He fixated on the number 13, and claimed to see it everywhere. Charles was determined to find the meaning of it, until one day, before anyone could stop him, he left his bed with a sword and said the last words he would ever utter, “They have shown me the truth of thirteen, and it is not meant for mortal eyes,” before he committed suicide.
This design, overflowing with sentiments of discovery and innovation, strength and chaos, lore and mysticism, is available on our website now!