In this time where the might of the pin is more of a fashion accessory and marker of personal interests It was a striking and pressing statement when Chaise Dennis translated the meme “I LOVE BEING BLACK, SHIT KINDA DANGEROUS, BUT IT’S LIT“ into a minimal and statement making pin for his brand Pinnicle Pins.
The subtle details of wearing a pin has long been a way to announce intentions and present alignments. From the militant to the punk the accessory has had a long reach into history dating to 5000 BC late in the Neolithic period mad of bones and metals. The early Olympics would present metal Fibulae which would echo the wearers wins. The adornments would later be signs of luxury and exoticism as English merchants would use them as worldly signs of trips to Paris where ornate designs were offered up. With the industrial revolution the accessibility would conjure up an effect and crafted way to add details to everyday life. In the last century we really see a shift into statement making pins which showed political stances and a little totem representing personal hobbies and the outward identity presented.
For Dennis, a native Midwesterner, the company launched in 2017 out of a love of pop culture and a collection of tear images from magazines along with thee extensive curiosities of Pinterest and Google. Primarily focus on music and fashion Pinnacle Pins has expanded to fit the ever-flowing market of pins with highly detailed and heavily illustrated concepts that capture along with a digitally native slant have come to reverberate the international mindset of the cosmopolitan life. His slogan pin garnered strong traction with a viral post from Pyer Moss designer Kerby Jean-Raymond. Instantly sold out and now prepping for another drop we caught up with Dennis to chat pins.
I love this story it’s so fascinating how did you get into pin making?
Out of my love for graphic design and drawing and seeing a void in the market for the things I wanted to wear.
Your latest pin opened my world to all your pieces how did you come to creating the meme pin?
Originally a tweet that I came across funny enough and the message resonated not just to me but all my friends and family. There’s something about being black that only black people could ever understand. Literally the tweet embodies my exact sentiments so I came up with a newspaper concept that really rang true to me with the Black Times. there we have a pin designing the graphic was very easy.
It was also so cool that you have gotten support from the creative community like with Kerby did he reach out?
I’ll be honest w you I have no idea how he got it. I didn’t send him one but he and I share a very similar network. I’m very close with people at Vogue which he has ties to but also within our friendship capacity.
That is so lovely that social media and the creative community does move that way. Do you see yourself making more pins that veer into the activism space?
Absolutely, I think it’s the route and direction I’ll be on furthermore now than before. It’s only right.
Now we get into the explorative aspect of this convo… As we are so heavily saturated by the culture of influence. I think it’s vital to see your brand get more and more exposed as we are shifting into work that is more focused on taste, style, and concept more than numbers. how have your other creative projects been lately?
This pandemic has really changed my view on my creative abilities. I’ve always worked on my pins even before now but I’m exploring different categories, some of them are already oversaturated markets but I believe in my work so much that I think what I’m working on and doing will stand out significantly amongst other things in the market.
Are there any charity or advocacy groups you work with in particular?
As of now no but I’m working on a pin that a great percentage of what’s made will be donated to a specific organization and or fund in assistance with BLACK people and BLACK issues that we solely face.
With our again lock down (California has gotten back to early pandemic patterns of closing shop) what are you doing for your mental health that has been important to you?
Although it may sound cliché I really feel like creating has helped me balance out my energy and my mental health. I’m a Virgo and I push myself extremely hard so finding something I’m passionate about has helped me find a happy place.
Have you been able to reconnect with a new sense of intimacy and the practices to connect with friends and community?
I’ve kept myself very safe and only been around people that I’m very close with and close to you. This time has made me look through a different lens that I never stared into before. It’s been beneficial in helping me understand who my real friends are vs people who are people that are just hanging around to leach off of you.
With QooA we really focused on wellbeing and intimacy and all of the ups and downs. Is there anything else you want to discuss creatively emotionally socially?
If anything I’d say that I’ve used this time to understand and learn more about myself. I can say that I am in no rush to be in a physical and or emotional relationship with any human beings right now instead I am looking to just enjoy myself and my business and helping Black people succeed in a creative way.