Friday, September 06, 2013

CEO, Alex Mardikan and the OBPGlobal team launch the NEW Services Website

Newly launched website for the Boutique Agency, #OBPGlobal (Optimized Business Partner Global) enables companies to work Smarter, Better and Faster.  

Visit www.OBPGlobal.com to learn more. 

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OBPGlobal is a reliable outsource solution partner specializing in evaluating and enhancing clients' core business activities, brand support and lifestyle development.  The company delivers efficient and effective business solutions, leveraging on industry knowledge and expertise, scalability, resource and network through the strategic management of operating from three continents.



With an effective use of labor, technology and local resources OBPGlobal is able to save the time and energy that are otherwise would be spent in setting up and maintaining an in-house team directed to the competencies required.   Employing structure time-tested methodologies and advance development tools incorporated with creativity and innovation, supports deliverables of quality, efficient and cost-effective services for marketing, communication, technology, in-bound out-bound voice and non-voice support, web solution and back-office administrative functions. 

Areas of expertise that OBPGlobal offer, ranges from the immediate need of people, processes and infrastructure needed to the digital support and development for brands, products and campaigns ranging from:

Targeted Solution
Delivering maximum impact to target demographics.

Responsive Website Development
Let customers access your business in crossover platforms.

Mobile App Development
Reach more customers with a custom app.

Customer Service
Provide customers with real-time support 24/7, 365 days a year.

Product Design
Leverage your business from start to finish.

Information Security
Keep sensitive information in your computer network safe.

Online Marketing
Cultivate customer relationships by strengthening your brand.

Data Encoding
Speed up the backend process of your business.

Merchant Services
Create an eShop and offer efficient payment process solutions.

Brand Architecture
Innovative and rigorous approach to managing aspects of your brand.




#OBPG      #OBPGlobal      #OptimizedBusinessPartnerGlobal     #OneBigPartyGlobal  

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.




Looking back at 4H, it reminds me of the simple things and putting it all into perspective.  Like raising a calf for auction;  It takes a lot of hard work, a lot of commitment and a whole lot of love.
If you get lost and you loose track of  those things,  you loose track of yourself and I have defiantly have lost track along the way.   Life is like a long road.... you just got to keep going straight.  Man there are a lot of turns and I have taken quite of few of them... and I'm just trying to get back on a straight road.  




              A LOSS by Carlos Castano {click to listen}       

Again, at a loss for words.
It’s funny to own a space where thoughts are expected to come. To overcome. To reveal, and sometimes, to conceal.
There are far and too few of these beautiful moments.
Again, at a loss for words.
To sit in a room full of comings and goings, and never knowing when to say stop, or go, or just a little bit more.
There are far and too few of these beautiful moments.
Again, at a loss for words.
Belief in the right things at times unexpected. Fill a wall with ideas of yesterday’s lunch and last night’s worries- to a fault, to never forget, to always remember.
There are far and too few of these beautiful moments.
Again, at a loss for words.
Spread out like children on a field of half-dreaming, and half God-moments. God love. God safety. Nothing like the unmistakable feeling of face-first into madness. Guided and mapped out clarity.
There are far and too few of these beautiful moments.
Again, and again, and again a loss for words.
I am everything I always dreamed I would be. Sometimes more, often less, but never lacking. I am sure that this is exactly how it was meant to play out.
There are far and too few of these beautiful moments.


Shayna Mardikian my apologies




Monday, January 14, 2013

A deeper dive into the Sons Of Mariel

The Voice Tri Works Studio San Francisco What happens when you take two talented musicians with unique ethnic backgrounds and combine them?   The product is the rich sound and meaning of the Sons of Mariel #SOM 
Black Eye Peas  
















 The spirit of George Pajon from the Black Eye Peas and Diego Val from the Voice, and their  native countries Cuba and Peru, combined, to create something extraordinary.  This will be found throughout the new expected release from #SOM the Sons of Mariel album, The Great Divide. 


Sons of Mariel The Great Divide  George Pajon Diego Val
 
On April 5th, 1980 a few hundred Cubans marched into a Peruvian embassy in Havana seeking refuge attempting to gain diplomatic asylum. A few short weeks later, over 10,000 Cubans had crammed into the embassy. The government swiftly countered these acts and had military personnel block access to the embassy. These events helped trigger the Mariel Boatlift. The Mariel Boatlift was a mass emigration of Cubans leaving from Cuba’s Mariel Harbor to Florida. Cuban president Fidel Castro announced that anyone who wanted to leave Cuba could do as they pleased as long as they had someone to pick them up. The boat left from Mariel Harbor commenced soon after. By the time the boat left ended in October of 1980, over 125,000 Cubans had relocated to Florida.

 Keep a look out for the Sons of Mariel on tour : www.sonsofmariel.com


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Monday, January 07, 2013

January 6, marks the time of Celebration and Festivity for Armenians

   Shnorhavor nor Dari yev soorp dzenoont

The holidays aren't over yet... as confusion of why Christmas Trees and festive lighting still twinkle through the night.  As I am Native American and Armenian, I celebrate not just the traditional date of December 25th where Saint Nick comes sledding along with a trail of reindeer delivering a bounty of gifts;  but also the traditional celebration of Christmas {Soorp Dzenoont} on January 6th, to my Orthodox heritage and Armenian culture.
This celebration is the events leading to the incarnation of Christ as it is recorded. The Theophany or Epiphany {Astvadz-a-haytnootyoon in Armenian} meaning the revelation of God, is the centralized theme through the season known as Christmas.  Major events that are rejoiced are the Nativity of Christ in Bethlehem and Baptism in the River Jordan. The day of this major feast in the Armenian Church is January 6th. A ceremony called "Blessing of Water" is conducted in the Armenian Church to commemorate Christ's Baptism.
Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was not established until the fourth century of the Roman Catholic Church, prior to that  all Christian churches celebrated Christ's birth on January 6th
      
According to Roman Catholic sources, the date was changed from January 6th to December 25th in order to override a pagan feast dedicated to the birth of the Sun which was celebrated on December 25th. At the time Christians used to continue their observance of these pagan festivities. In order to undermine and subdue this pagan practice, the church hierarchy designated December 25th as the official date of Christmas and January 6th as the feast of Epiphany. However, Armenia was not effected by this change for the simple fact that there were no such pagan practices in Armenia, on that date, and the fact that the Armenian Church was not a satellite of the Roman Church. 
When Pope Gregory XIII instituted the Gregorian calendar in 1582, some Armenians rejected the reforms and stuck instead to the old, Julian calendar.  Today Armenians living in the Holy Land still use the Julian calendar to determine their feast days. The Julian calendar is now a full thirteen days ahead of the Gregorian calendar. So, when these Armenians celebrate Christmas on January 6 according to the Julian calendar, the Gregorian calendar counts the day as January 19. In the Holy Land of Bethlehem services for Armenian Christians specially take place at the Church of the Nativity on January 19.


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Friday, August 03, 2012

"It's Not Lying, It's Flirting With the Media" by Neil Strauss

It is not my character post the writings of someone else... 
but Neil Strauss is not just someone else.
And at times you forget just how great some of your friends are... and then you read the following and it really makes you take a step back, evaluate and hopefully appreciate the track your on.  If not... hopefully you make some changes.  And make sure to join his fan page: www.neilstrauss.com
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND on our MEGA trip
It's Not Lying, It's Flirting With the Media by Neil Strauss

1. How to weasel your way into the lives of people you admire.
2. How to weasel your way into the media.
3. Who controls the mafia.

Let me tell you a story: Just after The Game came out, I got a call
from Tucker Max. He asked if I wanted to meet for Mexican food in
Silverlake with him and Robert Greene, author of The Art of
Seduction and the 48 Laws of Power.

That weekend was the beginning of  a long friendship, and both writers
turned out to have one thing in common: a guy just out of college
named Ryan Holiday, who'd originally contacted them as a reader, was
helping them out with research and marketing.

A couple years later, I was speaking at a seminar that Tim Ferriss
put together, and he had someone who was helping him out
both behind the scenes and as a guest speaker: And it was Ryan
Holiday again.

And I thought: How does this Ryan guy work his way into the inner
circle of every author. Then I started talking to him. And the
answer was clear: he does three smart things that I want to share
with you today in this email.

People are always asking how they can meet Mystery or any of the
guys in The Game or Emergency. And I tell them it's easy to get a
mentor. All you have to do is have three qualities: be willing to
learn and capable of getting great (that's the reward for the
mentor); be positive and non-threatening (thus making the mentor
feel safe); and recognize a need the mentor has and be willing to
fill it with nothing asked in return (because everyone has a
pain point or somewhere they need more help). This is called paying
your dues, and Ryan started doing it for these guys for free, from
what I understand, until he was eventually getting paid handsomely
by people in their networks (like the founder of American Apparel).

Ryan's special skill is that he is an evil genius. Okay, maybe not
totally evil (unless you're The New York Times or anyone else he's
pissed off with his recent stunts). But, with the help of his mentors,
he's come to understand modern marketing on a level far beyond
what any top-end publicity or marketing company does.

So I did what I do when I come across any incredible resource or
mad genius or gifted teacher or self-improvement guru: I brought
them in to speak to The Society at one of our Intensives. (We just
had what's technically our seventh Intensive together, and everyone
is staying in for another year, so no new spaces have opened up yet.)
And we're all quite proud of Ryan, because his new book Trust Me,
I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator, hit the Wall
Street Journal bestseller list this week.

So what we're going to do today on this list is offer a little bit
of a scoop. If you've been reading the news, you may recall that
Holiday has been in a bit of a scandal since it was revealed that
he had his assistant pose as him and pretend to be a vinyl
collector (and watch below to see the extent of the lie there),
for an article in The New York Times.

As a former correspondent for The New York Times, it horrifies me
on two levels: the first that someone would deliberately lie to
reporters for their own Situationist-style prank. But, more
horrifying, that reporters wouldn't check or corroborate in
any way random sources they find online.

What's interesting about this clip, and hasn't been revealed
anywhere yet, is how, once he pulled off this stunt, Holiday
himself broke his own scandal. Here he reveals, ahead of
time, the exact plan he appears to have executed:

http://youtu.be/HOnO6PPXd38

And just to show you how this guy's mind works, here's another news
story he created with Tucker Max, and the secret back story behind
another media scandal:

http://youtu.be/JCkAUfgSn2s


Outside of the Internet-age PT Barnum-like advice, the takeaway
here is not being deceitful or deceptive, but being smarter than
the competition.

And rather than lining up with everyone else to try to get in the
front door to obtain something you want, your chances are better if
you figure out instead how the entire institution works, what
its needs are, and what its strengths and vulnerabilities are.
Then you'll be ushered in through the back door. Whether your
goal is marketing, writing, entrepreneurship, acting, coding,
running for president, or being a clown (which I suppose has
similarities to all of the above).

Finally, if that's not enough clips and links for you, I had an
Inner Circle show on SiriusXM 104 recently with a reputed mobster
(Johnny Fratto from the Howard Stern show) and a biker (Sandman
plus his wife from The Devils Ride on Discovery). And I wanted
to give a few of my favorite clips to those of you writing in
from overseas, who can't get Sirius. So you can listen to these
short highlights here:
https://www.neilstrauss.com/sirius/monogamy.mp3
(in which Sandman destroys his relationship with four words)
https://www.neilstrauss.com/sirius/domestic_violence.mp3
(in which I'm invited to be their marriage counselor)
https://www.neilstrauss.com/sirius/halloween_witch.mp3
(in which we find out who controls the mafia: their wives)

Alright, that's enough links for now.


P.S. Okay, one more link. If you just want to download the radio
show clips as a single zip file, here you go:
https://www.neilstrauss.com/sirius/7-12-2012.zip


PPS And as long as we're clicking on links, if you want to know
when spots open up in The Society or offer suggestions on how
we can expand The Society to transform more of you or if you
want access to future video clips that have been approved for
public consumption, just click here:
http://bit.ly/societyinfo

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The City that Never Sleeps

 Hong Kong, the Melting Pot of Cultures, Design and Attractions. 
It's the contrast of old and new, east and west, big and small, mountain and sea.
Always on the go... this is where I call home.
The Peak
Morning walk from Pok Fu Lam to the Peak and off to Stanley Beach.  
Celebrating 21 years of a great son.



More than just panoramas and seascapes during the day... more than just a Symphony of Lights over Victoria Bay.   Its a hub of harmony, creativity and production. 
 Its where business gets done, from all walks of the earth.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Evil War Machine

Stand Firm and Be Strong

All through out time there has been an Evil War Machine found through out the establishment.  We are subject to a system of accepting a guilty plea till proven innocent; The American Way.

Creating change starts with exposing without limitation and censorship the Freedom of Global Speech and Press.

Breaking the chains of ticker tape and morons is what Mardikian has sought out for the embryonic growth of Evil War Machine.

The synonymous term freedom of expression is sometimes used to indicate not only freedom of verbal speech but any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, such as on controversial speech.





Rise Up and OPPOSE the EVIL WAR MACHINE and EXERCISE...

Right to seek information and ideas;
Right to receive information and ideas;
Right to impart information and ideas;
Right to express information, ideas, idiosyncrasies and belief.

Be the Lion, not the Lamb.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Von Dutch is known for thier Motorcycles to the Stars

TERRA on Third, get hip to it…..

Displayed is Three 6 Mafia, Alex Mardikian and Ron Starrantino from Von Dutch Kustom Cycles with the new 2007 Von Dutch Speedball at TERRA on Third joined together for VIBE magazine. Here again, Von Dutch Kustom does the bikes for the stars.

TERRA on Third is Los Angeles’ premiere service-oriented fashion destination for women's, children's and men's apparel and accessories, continues to defy traditional cross promotions with their latest collaboration with Von Dutch Kustom Cycles. Through April, an original Louis Vuitton Kustom Cycle -- created specifically for hip-hop diva, Mary J. Blige will be on display at the front of the store. For the customer who appreciates quality, style and a fast ride, the $130,000 Kustom Cycle has been luring many customers in the store since its arrival.
"Since TERRA opened its doors last November, I have made an effort to find cross-promotional opportunities," says TERRA Creative Director Johnathon Vasquez. "At TERRA, we have consistently had a Von Dutch Kustom Cycle on display monthly, and it's proved to be a successful way to entice a new customer into the store."


"It is rather unconventional to have a motorcycle at the entrance of a luxury boutique, but it has proved to be a successful venture. Since starting this program, Von Dutch Kustom Cycles has managed to gain interest in both potential buyers and press. Our motorcycle company is the perfect complement to the Von Dutch Originals fashion line and I think that translates well in an environment like this. Many fashion-conscious customers who walk into the store looking to buy clothing end up walking out wanting to buy a motorcycle. We enjoy being a part of this special retail experience and hope to continue working with TERRA on their innovative marketing initiatives."
VGeared towards L.A.'s fashion-conscious, "movers and shakers," VIPs, celebrities and people "in the know," TERRA combines a fresh, diverse mix of high-end, men's, women's and children's fashion,


Three 6 Mafia's beginnings date back to the early '90s, when they were known as Triple Six Mafia; these recordings are well compiled on such latter-day compilations as Underground, Vol. 1: 1991-1994. Three 6 made their proper debut in 1995 with Mystic Stylez, a fairly groundbreaking if rudimentary effort that lent itself well to the "horrorcore" tag tossed about in the years to follow. Following another independently released album, Da End (1996), Three 6 signed a distribution deal with Relativity, resulting in Chapter 2: World Domination (1997) and a rash of hasty releases to follow, including solo albums as well as side projects. There were some underground hits from this era that helped further the group's fan base: "Tear da Club Up '97" and "Sippin' on Some Syrup," most notably. Three 6 eventually signed to Columbia, though the group's label debut, Da Unbreakables (2003), didn't break into mainstream consciousness. That would happen with Most Known Unknown (2005), thanks to "Stay Fly," the first major hit for the group. Many doors opened for Three 6 thereafter, including an unlikely Oscar win in early 2006 (for "Hard out There for a Pimp," from the film Hustle & Flow).

Monday, May 07, 2007

Defining what the Kustom Kulture: Past and Present

Kustom Kulture is a US neologism used to describe the artwork, the vehicles, the hairstyles, and the fashions of those who drove and built custom cars and motorcycles in the United States of America from the 1950s through today. In the early days of hot rodding, many fashions and styles developed. Over time, each of these distinct styles of customizing have blended and reshaped our everyday life. Artists such as Von Dutch (Kenny Howard), custom car builders such as "Big Daddy" Ed Roth, hot rod and lowrider customizers such as the Barris Brothers, along with numerous tattoo artists, automobile painters, and movies and television shows such as American Grafitti and Happy Days, have all helped to form what is known as Kustom Kulture.Kustom Kulture is usually identified with the greasers of the 1950s, the drag racers of the 1960s, and the lowriders of the 1970s. Other subcultures that have had an influence on Kustom Kulture are the Skinheads, mods and rockers of the 1960s, the punk rockers of the 1970s, the metal and rockabilly music, along with the scooterboys of the 1980s, and psychobilly of the 1990s. Each separate culture has added their own customizations to the cars, their own fashions, influenced the music, and added their own ideas of what is cool, of what is acceptable, and what is not. Everything from wild pinstriped paintjobs, to choptop Mercurys, to custom Harley Davidsons, Von Dutch Kustom Cycles, Triumph Motorcycles, to metalflake and black primer paintjobs, along with music, cartoons, and monster movies have had an impact on what defines anyone and anything who is part of this automobile subculture .
In the 1990s and 2000s, Kustom Kulture had taken on a rebirth of American subcultures from the 50's and 60's with DIY activities. Each style is distinct, and has its roots in American automobile history. Many styles that would not have been acceptable in one place now have come together in large shows. Many styles have been blended into a homogeneous mixture, mixing what in the past had been forbidden to now being an accepted new way of doing it. Many vehicles with styling from completely different eras can be found parked next to each other with no hostilities or qualms about the differences.

Check out Von Dutch Kustom Cycles
http://www.vondutchkustomcycles.com/ and see what the Principle of Kulture, Mardikian, and his crew of misfits and greasers are fabricating in tribute to an era of black suede.

Von Dutch……the LEGEND LIVES!!!
The Von Dutch sensation in more than just a “trucker cap”, paying homage to the late Kenneth Howard and honoring the Counter Culture Lifestyle, Von Dutch Kustom Cycles is passionate to share the experience, the way of life and the companies’ essence of freedom, style, sex, power and motion. Von Dutch Kustom Cycles first rule is, there are no rules when it comes to design. The unorthodox creations of kustom motorcycles, hotrods, clothing and accessories redefine the rebel lifestyle, melding new world chop shop technology to the origins of the passion, performance and flavor of what motorcycling and hot rodding is really about. Simply put, becoming one with the open road and oneself… the answer to the infinite identity question of soul searching.

Discovery Channel films new Celebrity Poker show with well known Motorcycle customizers




The Discovery Channel: The Great American Celebrity Poker Run.

Kerry Kasem was also a featured celebrity along with motorcycle industry vanguards Gard Hollinger , Jesse Rooke, and Von Dutch’s Alex Mardikian. The premise of the show will be to feature various celebrities from within the motorcycle industry as they pursue a typical southern California poker run that is mixed with various challenges along the way. Check out the photo’s and the celebrities featured in this episode of “The Great American Celebrity Poker Run”. And watch for it to debut later this fall on Discovery TV. Watch the antic’s of Lorenzo Lamas, and Branscombe along the way... it will be a fun new show in Discovery TV’s fall line-up.

The Von Dutch Flying Eye

FLYING EYEBALL 101- HISTORY & ORIGINS
I am seeing more and more of the Von Dutch Flying Eye logo on celebrities and the like. The Flying Eyeball has to be the coolest throwback design around dating back long before the kustom kulture. But remember, from the time of beginning, there has always been the inner child in all of us, the rebel spirit.
Instead of recapping an already well publicized life story of the legendary Kenneth "Von Dutch" Howard, let’s take a look at the origins and history of Von Dutch’s favorite icon, The all seeing “FLYING EYEBALL”.
The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth leaving no stone unturned, no research unearthed, no muck unraked. Having enlisted the help of our kustom time machine, and set the controls for ANCIENT EGYPT-4000 BC.
EYE OF HORUS-Arriving in the Valley of the Kings (that’s one valley over from the Valley of Fatigue), we found prolific use of the Eye of Horus. Renowned to be a powerful symbol of protection and considered to confer wisdom, health, and prosperity, this hot shot sun god’s eye was big stuff in funerary rites and decoration in general. Later Egyptian mathematicians used the eye to represent fractions based on repeated division by two #1.
EYE OF GOD- Staying ancient but kicking it up a couple of thousand years, the WAYBACK dropped us off next in classical Greece (Classical Greece? Isn’t that what you use to repack wheel bearings on pre-WWII cars?) This cat named Philostratus had all the Greeks believing that for the three minutes during a total eclipse of the sun when the moon is perfectly aligned, the black ball of the moon surrounded by the sun’s corona was the Eye of God. Go figure! Others from the Jewish perspective say that the same vision was given to Moses during that "burning bush" thing and later explained in the Dead Sea Scrolls by Isaiah as the reason why the stones of the temple are set as they are that they may become the center of the eye.
EVIL EYE-About the same time over in Sumeria the Evil Eye was getting some play as a superstitious curse. Picked up by your Central and Southern Europeans in the Middle Ages, mal occhio (as it was called in Italy) really started to roll. Amulets and talismans were commonly sold as protection and the Catholic Church inquisitors were all over it like a rash. Some even believe today that our dislike of staring and being stared at is rooted in the fear of the Evil Eye.
THIRD EYE-A long time staple of your eastern type religions, the Third Eye is believed to be your psychic reception center located between your two physical eyes. Obviously the Dutch was hip to this trip.
COYOTE’S EYEBALL-Back in the not so WAY BACK for a trip to pre-white man America where the Native Americans had an eyeball groove going on. As the story goes the Coyote liked to show off for the girls by juggling his eyeballs. One day he threw one so high that it stuck in the sky where it continues to fly.
PRE-WW 1 GERMAN MILITARY-Although aware of many or all of the aforementioned, this could quite easily be the source that inspired the Dutchman. With an avid interest in things military and particularly things German, it was either Von Dutch or one of his close confederates that told of an insignia based on the flying eyeball and sported on prewar uniforms.
ALL-SEEING EYE OF GOD-Here’s one we all know. First printed on the back side of the one dollar bill in 1935, the All-Seeing Eye has been attributed to Masonic origins and is suppose to suggest the importance of divine guidance. Not a bad concept! (Let’s have everybody in Washington flip over a buck and think about it for a few minutes!!!)
DUTCH, LARRY & DEAN-Von Dutch hit his stride in the Fifties with Larry Watson and Dean Jeffries not far behind. All embraced the winged orb; each in their own way.
RICK GRIFFIN "BG-105 1968"-Remembered as one of the most vivid images of the San Francisco Ballroom Rock Poster Art era, Rick’s flying eye is seen by some as more than an attention getter for a forthcoming Hendrix concert. There are those who believed it to be a manifestation of the artist’s inner turmoil as he agonized between love of the spirit and love of the body. While many of the eras were experiencing the same struggle, few used it as the catalyst to produce great art. Rick eventually found the answer to this duality in the vision of Jesus.
LATER- Many have subsequently drawn upon the flying eye for inspiration. Well known ballroom poster and album cover designers Mouse & Kelly have been popping eyes for years with their creations. Another of the rock art greats, Roger Dean appears to have reflected on the Eye of Horus for an Asia album cover. And pinstriping Legend Ron Myers has and continues to make the eye on the fly an integral part of his work since the late fifties.
MEMORIALS- "The Passing Of A Legend-1992"-Von Dutch’s departure from the scene compelled many artists to visually express their feelings of loss. The brushes of those legendary in their own rite including Von Franco, Jack "The Italian" Giachino, and Dave Bell have produced memorials to a hard life lived on its own terms. As we consider the price paid by those who produce the art that we love to look at, let’s remember a line from a past hit that must have been written about Dutch, "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."*

Von Dutch, A New Breed paying Tribute to the Old Skool

Von Dutch Kustom Cycles, “a New breed paying tribute to the Old Skool“
Written by: Raphael Srabian


Now Listen Up, there’s a new Kompany in town and “they ain’t what ya’ thank. This Kompany is Von Dutch Kustom Cycles; And let me tell you something; They’re the Real Deal!

A lot of you Nu-Skoolers might think that Von Dutch is a hip clothing line for celebrities…well sort of, but I’ll get back to that in a minute. But some of you OG’s that have been in the game for a bit, know that Kenneth “Von Dutch” Howard meant something to the “Kustom Kulture” of cars and bikes, post World War II. Ken Howard was the originator of the free hand pin-stripe. Striping was his way of personalizing each bike or car that he touched. Eclectic, Un-social, Obsessive, Rude and sometimes Genius, Ken Howard lead nothing less then an interesting life, but his legacy is best remembered by his scrupulous attention to detail and design.( I HOPE I DIDN’T LOSE YOU AT SCRUPULOUS. KEEP READING!) Fast Forward to Today, a new Bike builder has emerged and his ability to design would make Ken Howard roll over twice in his grave. Alex Mardikian is Chief Designer and President of Von Dutch Kustom Cycles. Mardikian has an insatiable appetite to create and like Ken Howard, Alex loves to personalize every bike that rolls off his assembly line. Conventional designs? I don’t think so. The Von Dutch bikes are all unique in their own way and the attention to detail will blow your mind. “I only know one way of building: It’s custom, and it’s high end. I don’t compromise my quality for quantity,” says Mardikian. You want to talk quality? Each Von Dutch Kustom is equipped with a Patrick Racing Billet motor, Primo-Vera 6spd tranny, Brembo Quad-Piston calipers and floating roaters. The frames are Diamond Chassis and the custom exhaust and primary drive is Arlen Ness. The Von Dutch Bikes are all retro-inspired but the mechanisms SCREAM modern ingenuity: literally SCREAM! For the personal touch each bike is outfitted with a custom hand carved leather seat from Pasquel and an ultra unique paint scheme done by award winning shop, Deano’s of Arizona.

Mardikian’s designs speak for themselves, but the only way to bring them before the public’s eye is to have a solid business plan; In walks Ron Starrantino, VP of sales and marketing for Von Dutch Kustom Cycles. I had the pleasure of meeting Ron and at first glance he looks like a Bar room Bouncer that spends a lot of time at the gym, well that’s half true. Ron is an avid weightlifter, but a meat head he’s not. Ron is extremely business savvy and personable. He cut his teeth in the boiler rooms of Wall Street. He understands how important client relationships are and best of all he loves to ride bikes. In the 6 months that Ron has been with the company he’s helped raise the public awareness of the custom cycle division 10 fold. Ron is a huge advocate of giving back to the community and he plans on participating in at least 6 charity events per year. This year Von Dutch Kustom Cycles was commissioned by the City of Sturgis to build the official 2006 Black Hills Sturgis Rally bike. The bike is being raffled off to raise money for the Children of Sturgis and that was a no-brainer proposition that Mardikian and Starrantino didn’t think twice about. I asked Ron what the game plan was to take Von Dutch Kustoms to the next level, “our goal is to build high end bikes but at the same time keep the price points attractive for the consumers who want quality without having to take out a second mortgage on their homes.” Ron’s plans must be working, because every bike built has been pre-sold months in advance.

Finally, in conclusion to my previous thought: For you Nu-Skoolers who still think that Von Dutch is a hip clothing line for celebrities; That is true, celebrities do wear the clothes as well as a hundred million other people. The Point: Celebrities also ride custom bikes and so do we; out of love for the “Kustom Kulture.” THE MESSAGE: Don’t Hate; shut your mouth and check out the bikes, www.vondutchkustomcycles.com. You might fall in love like I did, Peace!

Von Dutch will always remain a Legend

Von Dutch was a legendary American pinstriper and overall artistic mechanic, gunsmith and custom car and motorcycle builder in the 1960's. His trademark was a flying eyeball and was the mainstream feed to the lowbrow kustom kulture movement of southern California.
Pinstriping on cars and motorcycles was a dead art when 15-yr. old Kenneth Howard went to work in George Beerup's motorcycle shop in the mid-forties. General Motors did the last automobile striping on an American car in 1938. Then, in the mid-fifties, customizers brought it back in style in mostly radical form believing they were doing something entirely new! Kenny, the motorcycle mechanic was the man who started this "new" vogue under the name "Von Dutch. The nonconformist way of pinstriping that the late Von Dutch made-up initially came to life by covering up grind marks on the metal canvas of vehicles in which he was working on, the new age of pin came to birth.

Keeping to the core and carrying out the lifestyle applications of Von Dutch is represented in the
fabrications and details of Von Dutch Kustom Cycles, a true lifestyle company.
In respect to a great forefather to a movement that continues to grow, there are only to lifestyle companies in existence today making a difference and not exploiting the rhyme, the reason and the dream of their mentors. They are Harley Davidson Motor Company and Von Dutch Kustom Cycles, building upon dead men’s names, giving freedom to the living.


Friday, May 04, 2007

In 2006, Von Dutch Kustom Cycles was the Official Motorcycle of the Black Hills Sturgis Rally

Grand Daddy to them all, Sturgis Black Hills Motorcycle Rally appoints and purchases a Von Dutch Kustom Cruelworld Chopper as the Official Bike:

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif., Von Dutch Kustom Cycles (www.vondutchkustomcycles.com) has been unanimously selected by the Sturgis Chamber of Commerce to build the official custom bike for the 2006 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Von Dutch Kustom Cycles, with it's winning bike design, the Cruelworld Softail Chopper, was awarded this prestigious honor, beating out numerous motorcycle companies, manufacturers, OEM's and custom builders. The bike, which has been built for the 66th Annual Sturgis Rally, will be raffled off for charity through the Sturgis Chamber of Commerce


"We are excited and humbled to receive this distinguished honor," says VDKC COO and Chief Designer, Alex Mardikian. "Von Dutch Kustom Cycles was built on the principle of 'Kustom Kulture.' We plan to use this opportunity that the Sturgis Chamber of Commerce has graciously bestowed upon us, to help educate the motorcycle community about Kustom Kulture, and why it is relevant to us and our fellow bike builders and enthusiasts."


Kustom Kulture is a movement that started in 1950-60's car and motorcycle culture and continues today. The concept at the basis of this principle is that everyone is an individual with their own sense of style that reflects their personality. Kustom Kulture is an ideology that allows people to express themselves through the artistry of their vehicles. Von Dutch Kustom Cycles has infused elements of Kustom Kulture into the bike that they have built for the 66th Annual Black Hills Rally.


"Von Dutch Kustom Cycles really brings some strong assets to our charity program," said Marcia Johnston, chair of the Sturgis Chamber of Commerce Charitable Foundation. "We think the relationship with Von Dutch will take us to a new level and we are excited about expanding our relationship with the company in a variety of ways."

"The community is sure to win on this one," says Sturgis Mayor Mark Zeigler. "I'm extremely proud of the way the Chamber, The City and Sturgis Rally Charities are working together on behalf of our town. Having Von Dutch Kustom Cycles on board should really enhance the excitement surrounding the raffle this year."

The winning Von Dutch Kustom Cycles model chosen by the Sturgis Chamber of Commerce, the Cruel World Softail Chopper, is a marvel of modern technology and old-school design. This bike features a complete 113 cubic-inch Patrick Racing Billet Motor, Primo Rivera open-belt drive, and 6-speed chrome transmission. Additional features include a hand tooled leather seat, Brembo braking system, VDKC handlebars, custom rims, and custom paint by award-winning paint by Deano's of Arizona.

The bike has already achieved celebrity status by being featured and photographed with Hollywood A-listers at the Showtime Style 2006 pre-Golden Globes retreat. Held at the Luxe Hotel on the famed Beverly Hills shopping Mecca, Rodeo Drive, the event boasted some of Hollywood's biggest stars including Angela Bassett, Daryl Hannah, Terrence Howard, and Michael Madsen, amongst many others. The bike will continue its media blitz leading up to the Black Hills Rally, visiting Cincinnati's V-Twin Expo, the ultimate motorcycle dealer tradeshow and internationally renowned apparel tradeshow, MAGIC Marketplace, in February.
This honorable appointment by the Sturgis Chamber of Commerce entitles Von Dutch Kustom Cycles to join the exclusive company of the few organizations who are permitted a license to use the Sturgis name and composite. The Chamber and Von Dutch Kustom Cycles are currently working on a variety of licensing deals related to a unique blend of the two sought-after brands, including a line of die-cast miniature toy motorcycles by Jada Toys.

Von Dutch Kustom Cycles was founded in 2003 by longtime custom bike and power-craft designer Alex Mardikian. The company makes both production models and original, highly-stylized custom cruisers, choppers and bobbers popular for their unorthodox, retro "Kustom Kulture" designs, and sells through an exclusive network of dealerships worldwide. Along with its motorcycles, Von Dutch Kustom Cycles is the official licensee of Von Dutch Originals, an internationally-renowned fashion powerhouse that offers a selection of "greaser chic" and "garage couture," hot rod-inspired clothing and one-of-a-kind accessories. Von Dutch Kustom Cycles is headquartered in the Los Angeles area and employs an array from top level executives, chop shop specialists also known as sheet metal fabricators, master mechanics, engineers and not to forget, artists. All VDKC creations carry certificates of authenticity placed out of sight to the fuel tank, the frame, the oil tank, and the rear fender. Visit Von Dutch Kustom Cycles online at www.vondutchkustomcycles.com.

About Sturgis Motorcycle Rally / Sturgis Chamber of Commerce Charitable Foundation / Sturgis Rally Charities
The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will celebrate its 66th anniversary in the summer of 2006. The event draws in excess of half a million tourists each August to the small town of Sturgis and the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota.

The City of Sturgis, The Sturgis Chamber of Commerce and Sturgis Rally Charities work hand-in-hand to offer the community a significant annual return from the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. More than a million dollars has been given away to dozens of great causes as a result of sponsorship, licensing and the annual raffle of the Official Custom Motorcycle of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

For further information:Alex Mardikian, mardikian@artisticdemocracy.com