Culture Shock brings alternative wear to Rockford

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-112369401810708.jpg’, ”, ‘Culture Shock carries a wide variety of graphic T-shirts for men.’);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-112369406610710.jpg’, ‘Photos by Holly Myers’, ‘Culture Shock also carries a variety of tops for women in styles ranging from tank tops to T-shirts.’);

New business on Charles Street offers alternative clothing, accessories and music

Tired of driving all the way to Chicago to shop for alternative wear and accessories?

As of June 20, the time and gas money can be saved by shopping at Culture Shock, a new business located right here in Rockford.

Store owner Hassan (Sam) Haddad modeled the store after some of the specialty storefronts he used to find in Chicago when he and his wife lived there.

“The location and proximity of the business to the Delicious Ink Tattoo Parlour also provided some of the inspiration behind the store’s concept,” Haddad said. “We wanted a business that would complement Delicious Ink and fill a unique retail niché.”

The store’s name reflects the line of merchandise they sell. Most of the artwork on the merchandise is inspired by the elements that influence the alternative subculture including music, art, cars, motorcycles, tattoos, B-movies, Vegas, lowbrow and vintage/retro style.

“Some aspects of our culturally complex society are shocking,” Haddad said. “Hence the name Culture Shock.”

Culture Shock carries a variety of alternative wear and accessories that cannot be found anywhere else in the stateline area.

“Our merchandise is unique, custom and from the heart,” Hassad said. “It pushes the limits of traditional apparel and speaks for a generation of people that believe strongly in living your life like there is no tomorrow.”

They offer T-shirts, tanks, hooded T-shirts and jackets from labels such as Lucky 13, Rebel 8, Felon, Poster Pop, Tattooed Kingpin, Sourpuss, Strhss and Jinxed.

The accessories include belts, belt buckles, lighters, flasks, jewelry, biker chains and money clips with emblems from Red Cherry, Tattoo Star, Gothic and Celtic collections.

They also carry fun items like unique buttons, stickers, patches, hats, bags, sunglasses, socks, Cookie Puss cosmetics, hair dye and an unusual line of cologne sprays that smells like everyday life. These scents include laundromat, brownie, sex on the beach, rain, dirt, tomato, angel food and pink lemonade.

Future items include pants, skirts, shoes and an expanded line of purses and bags. They are also hoping to carry CDs from local alternative, punk and rock bands.

Customers of Culture Shock have ranged from ages teen to 40-something and sometimes beyond.

“We have already had many customers just by word of mouth, people that have wandered over from Delicious Ink and curious customers that have driven by and noticed the storefront,” Hassad said. “The response and support from our customers has been great.”

In the future, customers will be able to find Culture Shock online. They are in the process of expanding via cyberspace.

For those who prefer real life, the actual store is at 2308 Charles St. Info: 229-2997.

From the Aug. 10-16, 2005, issue

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