Born on June 6, 1981, in Venice, Los Angeles, to a Seneca father and White Mountain Apache mother, Mr. Printup experienced poverty as a child, cycling in and out of juvenile detention and working as a drug dealer, he said in the documentary. Eventually, he wound up in a supermax prison, he said, where he decided to start Born X Raised.
The label, Mr. Printup said in the documentary — part of which took place on the set of a commercial shoot — was born out of the desire to “shine a light” on the Los Angeles of his childhood, especially Venice before it was gentrified, which he described as the antithesis of Tinseltown. “I had an idea and a feeling and an emotion and I turned it into this,” he said, adding that he had never studied clothing design, or dreamed of visiting fashion events in Europe. “There was no plan, there was no business model.”
In the episode, he described his life, starting with the struggles of growing up poor and then watching his hometown change. He worked as a craftsman in the sheet metal worker’s union, Local 33, he said, adding that he had started the brand as a “way to channel my frustration and anger.” In 2013, he and his partner started selling the line at Union, a Los Angeles clothing store.
Shortly after starting the brand, Mr. Printup received a cancer diagnosis. He underwent chemotherapy and lost 100 pounds and his hair, he wrote in a post on the brand’s Instagram in December. He worked all the way through the treatment.
“What I’m getting at is life is hard for everyone and I want anyone to know, that if you’re feeling discouraged or like life has given you too many handicaps – ITS OKAY. you’re going to be fine things will get better,” Mr. Printup said, adding that he had gone into remission.