Hey is that Usher over there? Nope, that's Rufio. No, wait, even better... it's Brian Tong! If you are even remotely involved in the tech community, or simply a fan of trendsetting news correspondents, chances are you've laid eyes on CNET host Brian Tong and his stunning collection of DBH t-shirts.
He's been rockin' our gear for years, and Brian even took some time out of his busy schedule as senior editor and host of The Apple Byte to chat with us. Wanna know what makes the Tong tick? Read on...
DBH: First off, tell our readers a little about yourself: what you do, how you got started, hobbies etc.?
Brian Tong: What's up DBH community? I'm a tech obsessed geek pop-culture freak. I read comics, I'm a sneakerhead, I love everything basketball, I'm a gamer and I collect kidrobot urban vinyls. I'm a video host for CNET.com and I cover everything from Apple to Google and more.
DBH: What do your friends call you? Got any nicknames or gamertags to share?
BT: The most timeless nicknames I've had are "B-Teezy" and "Asian Usher". Asian Usher was given to me in high school and to this day people I meet will say something like, "You know, you kinda look like Usher?" I'll take it. My mom called me "Bee Bop", a teacher called me "Bri-Guy" and I was also called "Walking Grass" when I had a flattop in elementary school because I was so short and all you could see was my hair.
DBH: What brought you to DBH, and what was the first design you picked?
BT: I found DBH years ago. I've been rocking their tees since 2009. One of my first tees was called "Japanese Autumn" and I loved how they had shirts that printed all the way to the bottom and used a lot of unique artists. Things you've never seen in store. People would always ask me where I got my shirts and I'd always say DBH.
DBH: How do you pick your shirts? More specifically, what are your criteria for a 'good design'?
BT: I have a distinct thing I look for. I do like things that have an artistic feel, whether it looks like it was painted with brushes, very detailed intricate designs, and some Asian themed designs are really nice too. Sometimes I pick a shirt because it resonates with something I'm passionate about like the ocean.
DBH: You obviously are a bit of a t-shirt connoisseur, what are your top 3 favorite designs and/or designers?
BT: Top Three designers? That's tough and could change at any time because there are constantly new designs to look at. Off the top of my head, I'd say I like kdeuce, mankeeboi, and Hydro74. But I collect tees from anyone. I don't ONLY get tees from a specific artist.
DBH: I noticed you wear a lot of DBH shirts in your clips, ever get any funny or interesting feedback on this dynamic? Comments from fans, etc?
BT: I get a lot of comments every week where people ask me, "Where did you get that tee?", but then I've also had people say, "Do the show shirtless!" Two VERY different lines of thinking. I'm waiting for DBH to make a shirt that's a print of my body on it. That will satisfy everyone.
DBH: As a major presence in the tech community and an influential stylemaker, are there any designs or themes you'd like to see more of from the talented legions of DBH designers?
BT: I don't think I should influence artists and their designs, I just like to search and organically hunt for the stuff I like. I enjoy being inspired by their art that I can wear and show off to the world. I like the ocean life, dragons, galaxy prints, geometric prints, pandas and waves. I miss the comic book themed shirts that used to be done by independent artists the most.
Style wise, because DBH shirts can draw a lot of attention, I like to contrast them with simple solid color shirts on top, and then a pair of kicks that complement the shirt. I'll sometimes mention the shoes I wear with the shirts with in my monthly picks.
DBH: Any parting advice/suggestions/tips&tricks for our artists and readers out there in t-shirt land?
BT: My parting advice is to do what you love and let other people find your work. When no is watching, still do what you love until you become an expert in your craft. Be different and be passionate. I'm able to find some amazing shirts and these are created by people who are passionate about what they do. People find my videos because they can tell I'm passionate and enjoying what I do as well.
DBH: Thanks, Brian. Keep up the good work in the tech world and we'll keep you looking fresh for your show!
You, too, can put some celeb-approved style in your life by adding a few of Brian's favorite T's to your collection. Check out our Brian Tong Picks Page, with regular updates from our favorite style-maker, Brian Tong!
Interview by: DBH Guest Blogger, Robert L