Shirt Created To Counter Controversial Old Town T-Shirt

By: Parrish Alleman Email
By: Parrish Alleman Email

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Less than 24 hours after we first told you about a shirt that pokes fun at the recent string of shots fired in Old Town, a second shirt has hit the streets. This one shows a completely different side of Old Town.

The original shirt has struck a lot of nerves. The creators of a new shirt hope to shed a more positive light on Old Town.

The two shirts have a very similar layout. The guys behind the new Old Town shirt say their goal was to mimic the original but with a more positive message.

Michael Johnson and Meko Mihalakis say they were inspired to get into the T-shirt-making business after seeing the first shirt in a story on KAKE news.

"We kind of looked at each other and were like 'No, we're not having it. No more, this is it,”' Michael Johnson said.

The original shirt features a pair of guns and profanity. The creator told us he hoped the shirt would raise awareness about violence in Old Town. But Johnson and Mihalakis say they don't think he had the right idea.

"Well, I mean you're trying to clear a negative with negative advertising of the problem,” Mihalakis said.

"It's doing more harm than good,” Johnson said.

So the pair came up with their own design. It's something they say shows off what Old Town has to offer. The shirt reads “Welcome to Wichita. Enjoy: Shop, Play, Dine, Stay.”

The pair also went door-to-door trying to sell the shirts to Old Town business owners.

“I think it would just boost everyone's morale about Old Town - make people want to go to Old Town more and that's what we're about. We're here to let people have fun, hang out and that's what we're all about,” Club Indigo owner Bradley Steven said.

Johnson and Mihalakis say what money they make from the shirts they will donate to both Wichita public schools and the Old Town Association.

We spoke with the creator of the original shirt that sparked the whole controversy. He told us he wasn't offended and said simply he wanted to wish the guys good luck.

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