Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pittsburgh-Grown Streetwear Brand Gld Is on the Move

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pittsburgh-Grown Streetwear Brand Gld Is on the Move

Article excerpt

Growing up in Shaler, Jake Sieber, Dan Folger, Christian Johnston and Evan Francen were inseparable.

They'd bike through the city, with Mr. Folger documenting their adventures on a Flip Video camcorder, and hang out in each other's basements.

Nowadays, these friends are also business partners and creators of GLD (thegldshop.com), a lifestyle brand specializing in jewelry and streetwear fashion inspired by their Pittsburgh roots. This month, the brand relocated its offices to Soho in New York City to explore new partnerships and focus on expansion; it has evolved rapidly since GLD's launch in November 2014.

"We wanted to avoid the whole 9-to-5 job," says Mr. Sieber, 23. "All of our parents were a little skeptical of our decisions."

Upon graduating from Shaler High School, he studied business at Penn State University. Mr. Johnston attended Duquesne University, while the others followed less traditional paths. Mr. Folger focused on photography, shooting concerts back when Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller were still considered just Pittsburgh hip-hop artists. He eventually caught the attention of Wiz's team and was invited to tour with him as his photographer.

Each of their talents and experiences complement the others, Mr. Sieber says. Plus, they shared a love of art and the music scene. Out of all of this and a couple hundred dollars, GLD was born.

"We want to be the best of the best," Mr. Sieber says.

The brand's name - gold without the o - is a nod to that commitment.

They started selling only jewelry at first. Customers can order unisex pendants (everything from crosses to coins and lion heads), chunky chain bracelets and necklaces in their choice of gold-plated, Vermeil and solid gold, allowing for a range of price options. …

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