The ever-burgeoning Gordon Square Arts District will get another new tenant on December 10 when I Love the Hype, a Clevo-based clothing brand founded by Glen Infante, opens its first flagship store there. (5304 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland; Hours: 12-7pm Tuesday-Saturday)
iLTHY, which had previously only been available online at ilovethehype.com and select retailers like NEXT, has enjoyed astronomical growth and support in the two short years since its birth. Infante — who had previously pushed carts at K-Mart, washed dishes at The Cooker, and plied his graphic arts talents at another local company, HotCards.com — struck a chord with apparel and sports fans unlike with his first tees, which were centered around the then unstoppable and hugely entertaining Wine and Gold squad. A Delonte West shirt got national attention, as did any number of LeBron duds.
The huge break, however, was Infante's billboard campaign to get King James to stay in Cleveland. Designed himself, purchased with funds raised through his site and a Cavs message board he helps run, the downtown billboard drew widespread coverage. "The brand and myself took in some notoriety and awareness worldwide with that project," he says. A slew of orders followed, as did his handywork in the national spotlight of street culture, with rappers like Wale, Wiz Khalifa, and Machine Gun Kelly sporting his wares.
"I would have never thought my ideas and art would become so accepted nationwide," the 30-year-old says.
And now, a brick and mortar home for his brand, and his continued mission to make Cleveland a factor in the apparel game. "I do feel something," he says. "I'm just not sure if the word 'excited' justifies how I feel."