Monday, August 22, 2005

Brand names popular with hip-hop shoppers

Daily Republic // Aug. 22. 2005

By Brad Stanhope
SUISUN CITY - Alfredo Herrera likes P.J. Mart so much he keeps going back.

"I come here all the time - usually at least twice a week," the 18-year-old Suisun City resident says of the hip-hop clothing store in the Sunset Center near Highway 12.

How often does he buy?

"Probably once or twice a week," he says as he looks through T-shirts.

P.J. Mart - called P.J.'s by many customers - features Sean John, Ecko and other brand names. There's a huge display of K-Swiss shoes and a large number of shirts featuring the image of slain Vallejo rapper Mac Dre.

Herrera has plenty of company in the store on a weekday as school approaches. As hip-hop music plays on the store's speakers, several younger customers look through the brand-name shirts, pants, jackets and shoes.

"Everything is brand names," he explains. "That's the main thing that everybody wears nowadays."
Herrera usually comes with his friends - "this is the first time in awhile I've been here by myself," he says.

"This is close (to my home)," Herrera says. "I don't have to go to Fairfield to buy clothes like this. When you come in, they have everything. You don't have to walk all over the mall."

On the wall, there is a poster for Sean John clothes, featuring rapper Diddy. Along one wall are jerseys for Shaquille O'Neal, Michael Vick and Larry Bird, among others.

Herrera wanders the store, then stops to check out a Philadelphia 76ers shirt and talk to P.J. Mart employee Nayelli Trejo.

"He made two bets," Herrera says of a friend. "One on the Raiders, one against them . . ."

Herrera graduated from Rodriguez High School last year, so he's not worrying about back-to-school shopping like most of the other shoppers.

Young kids filter in and look around while Herrera continues to look. Just another day at the store for him.

Reach Brad Stanhope at 427-6925 or

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