With all the hype artists often give their own clothing lines — from P. Diddy's Sean Jean to Jay-Z's Rocawear — it seems strange that Creed's Scott Stapp hasn't been making the rounds trumpeting his Screamline clothing company.
Outside of a logo shirt Creed guitarist Mark Tremonti wore on the cover of Rolling Stone last February, the connection between the boutique clothing line and the band has been so underplayed that some don't even know there's a link at all. And that's just the way Stapp likes it.
"Some of these clothing lines are configured upon the success of the person, the celebrity, rather than standing on their own," Stapp's longtime friend and business partner Thad Thompson said. "Yes, it takes longer to build as opposed to being in every store across the country, but that's not our style. We're geared toward the action-sports crowd — the surfers, the skaters, the snowboarders. Our goal is to produce a line of clothing that's comfortable. Wearability is our main objective."
Meaning no leather pants? "This isn't just about what Scott might wear," Thompson said with a laugh. "It's not just wife-beaters."
The Orlando, Florida-based Screamline was founded in December 1998 to operate and manage the sale of Creed T-shirts and the like. The company expanded to produce and sell products for other bands as well, and in the last year grew to become a clothing line in its own right.
Since its launch, Screamline has kept it simple, striving to be as low-cost as it is low-key. Most of the items available on the company's Web site are cotton T-shirts — both short- and long-sleeved. Other items include hooded sweatshirts, hats, visors and beanies, most of them around $20.
Though growth has been slow, the company continues to expand its reach, Thompson said. Screamline has upped its distribution from the national Gadzooks chain to include more coastal mom 'n' pop surf shops — about 60 stores on the East Coast and 10 on the West Coast.
The line itself is expanding, too, adding accessories such as backpacks, key chains and wallets, all of it aimed at appealing to the rock world as well as the action-sports crowd. Screamline already counts members of Sevendust and Tantric as fans. Eventually, Thompson predicts, Creed won't regret not having played the shill — because it won't have been necessary.
"To be fair, if Scott's doing an interview, it's about the band," Thompson said. "It's not about pimping out the line. If this works, it works whether Creed are involved or not."