Lethal Threat / Kustom Kulture

At Lethal Threat, we have in-house artists and illustrators for our apparel and accessories. We also use a network of freelance artists from around the world.

Many of these artists are from the Kustom Kulture community. What is Kustom Kulture, you say?

We're glad you asked. Here at Lethal Threat, we're admirers of and experts on this unique form of expression. We will be happy to supply some answers in a brief format that will help you understand this important cultural and design trend.

Kustom Kulture is the name for the works of art, vehicles, hairstyles and fashions of people who drove and built custom cars, trucks and motorcycles in the United States from the 1950s through today. It was born of the hot rod culture of Southern California in the 1960s. Since then, it has been influenced and refined by successive waves of creative cultural movements and types.

In the early days of hot rodding, many fashions and styles developed. Over time, each of these distinct styles of customizing have blended and reshaped everyday life.

Artists such as Von Dutch, Robert Williams and custom car builder Ed "Big Daddy" Roth have been major influences in hot rod style and design. Along with car customizers such as the Barris Brothers and numerous tattoo artists and automobile painters, these creative types pushed the envelope on what could be done with car, truck and motorcycle design and decoration.

Movie and television shows such as American Graffiti and The Munsters exposed these exciting new styles to millions of Americans as well as millions more around the world. All these factors have helped form what is known as Kustom Kulture.

Kustom Kulture shares history with the greasers of the 1950s, the drag racers of the 1960s and the lowriders of the 1970s. Other subcultures that have had an influence on Kustom Kulture are skinheads, mods and rockers of the 1960s, the punk rockers of the 1970s and the metal and rockabilly scene of the 1980's. I the 1990's, Psychobilly had a big influence.

Each separate culture has added its own style of customizations to its cars. Beyond vehicles, they have applied their novel tastes to their own fashions. Their cultural preferences also have influenced their music. They have presented their own ideas of what is cool, what is acceptable and what is not.

All kinds of exciting possibilities have appeared in Kustom Kulture. Examples include wild pinstriped paint jobs, chop-top Mercurys and custom Harley-Davidson and Triumph motorcycles. Metal flake and black primer paint jobs have appeared on trucks, cars and motorcycles. Music, cartoons and monster movies have influenced what defines anyone and anything who is part of this automobile subculture.

In the 1990s and 2000s, Kustom Kulture was reborn as a new generation of American subcultures with inspiration the 1950s and 1960s. Each style is distinct and has its roots in American automobile history. Many styles that would not have tolerated each other in the past now get along as Kustom Kulture evolves and grows.

The Kustom Kulture scene is growing not just in the United States but around the world. Countries such as Chile and Brazil have a burgeoning scene. In Europe, Sweden, Finland and Germany boast their own Kustom Kulture subcultures as well as the Netherlands, Spain, Italy and France.

You will find Kustom Kulture to our north in Canada and south of the border in Mexico. Across the Pacific, Kustom Kulture is alive and well in countries like Japan.

If you are interested in learning more about this incredible subculture, Viva Las Vegas is an event that takes place once a year. It celebrates all things Kustom Kulture, including the lifestyle. This event is worth putting on your bucket list.

At Lethal Threat, we have apparel and products that reflect the Kustom Kulture scene.


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