Sold-out ‘grease pole’ t-shirts will be available in Old City

Hog Island Press partnered with Philadelphia Independents as the exclusive provider.

Courtesy Mark Adams, Hog Island Press

Update Feb. 2: After two batches of shirts sold out at Philadelphia Independents this week, Adams has relisted the shirt online. Important caveat: It won’t ship until after the Super Bowl.

Philly graphic artist Mark Adams knew he was onto something when he created his latest t-shirt design. But he was not prepared for the onslaught that occured after he put it up for sale.

The shirt, an homage to the Philadelphia Police Department’s move to lather up city lamp posts with Crisco in advance of the Eagles NFC Championship win, sold out in record time, a response that was triple what Adams expected.

“It maxed out in a really fun way,” said Adams, who launched the Hog Island Press clothing line back in 2011.

Demand for the tee — which features a heathered kelly green background imprinted with a shield bearing the words “Grease those poles” — has not slowed. (No surprise, as it was featured on the front of Saturday’s Inquirer print sports section, on many online news sites and in a ton of social media posts.)

But Adams was wary of relisting the shirt, because he worried about fulfillment. If customers ordered online, he couldn’t guarantee they would receive delivery before the Super Bowl. So instead, he partnered with a local gift boutique to offer the next batch for sale in person.

Starting at some point Wednesday, Jan. 31, Adams’ grease pole shirts will be available exclusively at Philadelphia Independents in Old City for $28 a pop.

What time on Wednesday? Jennifer Provost, one of three co-owners of the shop, couldn’t exactly guess.

“Afternoon,” Provost said, explaining that once the shipment came in, she and her staff would first have to inventory and tag each individual shirt before setting it out on display. Considering the demand, she said, they’ll do their best to work fast. “Obviously, it’s a priority right now.”

Asked if she plans to staff up for a potential rush, Provost wasn’t yet certain.

“We may have more than one person working the counter,” she said, noting she’s already gotten multiple calls about the shirt from eager customers.

The store, which is located at 35 N. Third St. (between Market and Arch), carries many other Hog Island Press designs. Most of those — several of which feature commentary on social issues — are currently available to purchase in person, as well as online.

Adams does most of the screenprinting for Hog Island Press himself, he said, but sometimes partners with other local printers when demand gets too intense (like now). For the grease poles tees, he roped in Philly’s Good Penny Printing to help.

Eventually, when the batch at Philadelphia Independents inevitably sells out, Adams will again offer the shirt to internet customers. Exactly when that will happen he couldn’t say, except that it would be after Super Bowl Sunday. The best way for interested customers to keep abreast of new developments, he said, is to follow @hogislandpress on Instagram.

Pressed for details about timing, he offered this tease: “I will relist them online before the parade.”

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