Neverland opens custom printing shop in Chicago, anchored around RuPaul's Drag Race

Thu. February 21, 2019 12:16 PM by Ross Forman

Chicago, IL - Anthony DiFiore and the team at Neverland Events & Artist Management have taken a major business step in 2019 – beyond the dance parties for which Neverland is known.

"Many people know about Neverland because of the dance parties but are surprised to learn about the other parts of our business, such as our management agency or Elite Queens," said DiFiore, the Neverland founder and president. ", which also is an Apple/Android app, is a marketplace for fashion and merchandise from many queens who have appeared on RuPaul's Drag Race, such as Naomi Smalls, Monique Heart and Miz Cracker, as well as queer public figures, such as writer and poet Alok Vaid-Menon and Dominique Jackson who plays Elektra Abundance on POSE.

"Elite Queens had such a growth spurt in 2018 that we saw an opportunity to take control of the manufacturing of the fashion that we were selling online for our celebrity clients."

To that, Neverland opened Method Printing in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood.

Method is a custom t-shirt and apparel printer, providing a variety of screen printing, embroidery and retail ready finishing services for all industries. The company focuses on client relationships, high-quality products, and brand recognition.

DiFiore co-founded Method with his business partner, Brigham Duelfer, who for years has handled Neverland's screen printing and embroidery needs. "His hard work and expertise helped us grow Elite Queens because we were able to design and release new fashions quickly, capitalizing on the demands of drag fans while maintaining a high standard of quality in our products," DiFiore said.

"We opened in a warehouse that formerly was occupied by an auto mechanic, so when we moved in, we had to spend an entire month deep cleaning."

DiFiore said that, for years they wanted to expand what kind of fashion could be created for queens and clients on Elite Queens. "Back when we first started, RuPaul's Drag Race was on LOGO and we were just pumping out unisex t-shirts with a design on them. When the show moved to VH1 and gained a much bigger, more mainstream audience, the market changed from gay men to women," he said. "Suddenly sales were coming in from all over the world for anything bearing the likeness or brand of our clients. They wanted clothes, accessories, keychains, whatever they could get their hands on. With each year we'd add newer and more interesting fashion elements to Elite Queens, testing the waters to see what the new customer base wanted to wear.

"Now, with Method Printing, the goal is to completely elevate merchandising for our clients. Rather than making products that look like (basic) 'merch,' we can now make actual fashion collections, with cuts, fabrics and styles that are wearable, in-season, and that people are excited to dress up in."

Method is like Neverland's idea laboratory that is open to the public, DiFiore said. "Every day we're in there brainstorming new concepts and creating exciting new fashions for Elite Queens side by side with merchandise we're customizing for local Chicago businesses. The idea of elevating merchandising, which is what built Elite Queens and what gave birth to Method Printing, is sewn into the DNA of everything we do, and every project we take on. I'd love to see Method eventually become the go-to in our community for apparel design and printing for businesses, influencers and musicians."

Neverland and Method Printing will be releasing a new capsule collection of t-shirts in early-February, designed by Chicago-based artist Josh Davis. The collection is a symbiosis between Davis's imagination and the monsters that have appeared in Neverland's events and photoshoots in the past year.

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