Welp, it’s officially September, meaning the inevitable is upon us: cooler weather. Thankfully, there is a certain something that makes chilly weather bearable: majorly awesome hoodies. With that in mind, we launched our Zip Hoodies challenge, and after zippin’ our way through a whole bunch of super sweet submissions, we’ve landed on a winner: “Ninja vs. Ninja” by Brooklyn artist Daniel Stevens. Read on to learn more about Daniel, and if you want a totally badass hoody (‘cuz obviously you do), snag his new design here!


Congrats on your winning design “Ninja vs. Ninja” for our Zip Hoodies challenge! Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a Graphic Designer/Illustrator based in Brooklyn, NY. During the day I create graphics and prints for a sleepwear company and at night I work on personal projects, freelance, and of course, Threadless stuff. I watch cartoons, collect comics, and love procrastinating.

What inspired the concept behind your design?

My inspiration for this comp was actually through research. While I was at work, not working, I checked out all the hoodies Threadless sold. By the time I got home, the idea just popped into my head.  

You mentioned that you wanted to “create a design that told a story”. What exactly is the story behind this design?

The story is just a simple interaction between the two characters.

Why were these badass ninjas fighting in the first place?

Shhh… I can’t say or I’m next.


How was designing for a hoody different than a typical tee?

I think when you design for a hoody, what works best is minimal color and a clean design. There’s so much going on with a hoody between the hood, pockets, and the zipper, that less is more when it comes down to graphics.

Did the idea of integrating a zipper play a part in creating your design?

Using the zipper was the biggest part of the concept. I needed that fun interaction.

Please walk us through the process of creating this design.

For this particular design there wasn’t much of a process, more like design freestyle. The visual was so clear in my mind that all I needed was a few ninja references to get started in Illustrator. I didn’t even sketch the concept.

What do you think fellow ninjas on the street will think of your new hoody?

Ninjas will probably feel like i’m exploiting their careers to sell products and send their best men after me.  


If you so decide to enter the dark arts of the ninja world, do you think this hoody will give you special powers?

Ummm… I hope it gives me some kind of power so I can defend myself for when they come for me. They will come!!!

Any other shout-outs?

I want to give a shouts to my mom and dad for the excellent creative genes, my lady for being so supportive, and my job for being soooo lenient with what websites we can go on at work. I would also like to thank Threadless for choosing my design. Being printed has been my dream for awhile and to finally achieve this goal makes me feel truly honored.