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This is Atlanta according to HYPEBEAST

Men's style and culture site jumps in on the trend of ATL-focused documentaries.


Over the course of the last month, men's street style and culture website HYPEBEAST, like Vice before them, has taken it upon themselves to explore the different pockets of Atlanta's culture. Dubbed, The Atlanta Project, what makes the HB treatment a little different (and better) than past "Hey, let's go see how the ATLiens live" docs is that the focus of the videos are on the arts, tattoo, and retail communities that've garnered attention from outside the city as opposed to the strip clubs and plethora of "young" and "lil" rap acts that most outsiders associate with all things ITP.

The video above comes from The Atlanta Project: Part 1, and delves into the visual art renaissance in ATL as seen through the eyes of artists Peter Ferrari, Sam Parker, Brandon Sadler, Trey Moseley, and Paper Frank. Each artists mentions the sense of community, and friendly competition amongst each other as the reason why the ATL arts scenes thrives and is more welcoming than some of the more established metropolises in the country.



The Atlanta Project: Part 2 checks in with a few of the big names in the city's tattoo scene: Miya Bailey (City of Ink), Keet D'Arms (Southern Star Tattoo), Jason Kelly (Live Free Tattoo), and Russ Abbott and Eddie Stacey (Ink and Dagger). Like it's predecessor, Part 2 is a nice snapshot, but definitely not the entire picture.



Much of the same can be said about Part 3, which explores our "growing retail scene," by catching up with folks at Walter's, Epitome, and Steven Alan. Patrick Morrison talks about Walter's staying power, and Kris Triplett explains ATL's dual small-town/big-city dynamic that is present in the fashion conscious of locals. However, it's Rosenberg, the owner of Epitome, who best explains that: "Other cities try to do what we do or use our slang. I just feel like people in Atlanta need to embrace that and accept it as our own. Instead we're looking for other people to say, 'Yeah what they're doing down there is cool.' We've been doing that. This is what we've been doing."

So therein lies the question that follows each new doc about ATL from an outlet that's not based here. Why do we need validation from outside the city to remind us that we are cool? Granted, Wish (Any reason they didn't make the cut for retail?) employee Gavin Guidry is listed as one of the executive producers and editors, but for local viewers the Project leaves more to be desired, even if it is one of the better visual representations of the city's culture to come out this year.

For instance, where are the women? I know HYPEBEAST has a heavy male demographic, but ladies paint (hello, Molly Rose Freeman), tattoo (Danielle Distefano at Only You Tattoo, anyone?), and are designing some of the cooler new lines (we're looking at you, Crafts and Love) to emerge out of the city's long history of consumerism.

So why make a doc about how ATL has enough culture to nix any ideas folks have about us being nothing more than stripper poles, gold teeth, and good 'ol boys yelling, "Go Dawgs!"? Hell, even the Brits are oh so curious about what makes ATL so damn hip. The answer? We already know we are, the rest of y'all are just figuring that out.