The Dutch Tulip Financial, aka DTF.NYC, might sound like an investment firm or hedge fund based in the heart of the Financial District. But it’s actually a disruptive fashion and design startup based in the creative mecca of Brooklyn, New York.

Founder Moon Park says this unique approach was intentional. “We went about addressing sociopolitical issues using this conceptual framework of a fake firm and use directional graphic language with layered pop culture references.”

The company name is loaded with symbolism. DTF.NYC is inspired by the Dutch Tulip mania of 1637, the first recorded speculative bubble. Park uses the world of finance as a lens to convey pressing ideas, using clothing as a medium.

Park owns up to his company’s edginess. Although the company doesn’t actually provide financial services, DTF adopts design decisions from real-world events from the finance industry.

For example, his bestsellers include a sweater with “Debt Jam Refinancing” emblazoned on it, referencing the iconic Def Jam recording music label. The design is meant to raise awareness about the student loan debt crisis, with alarming factoids outlined in his ecommerce site: Student loan debt stands at $1.5 trillion and outstanding balance is at $34,144 per person – up 62% over the last decade. It is responsible for 1 in 8 divorces as well.

Furthermore, on the DTF.NYC Team page, you won’t find much biographical information about Moon Park. Instead you’ll see a cast of fictional characters typical of a financial firm, all generated by Artificial Intelligence, with humorous allusions to the hip hop industry: “Sean Carter” as president, “Misty Elliott” as CFO and “Farrell Williams” as chief creative.

Here, Park shares more about how modern and postmodern culture and society influences his designs, company culture and more:


Can you tell us more about the story behind DTF.NYC?

Dutch Tulip Financial aka DTF.NYC is a product of my influences from art, pop culture, and the corporate world. We recognize the power of money as the motivator for a lot of our social ills and wanted the Dutch tulip name to reflect the exploitative nature of extreme capitalism and the volatility of hype culture. My aesthetics and final looks are informed by and reflect current events and contemporary culture.


Name other designers and artists who have influenced your unique approach to streetwear fashion.

Like the late great Virgil Abloh, I subscribe to the belief that streetwear can be art and chose t-shirts as the medium. That's why I constructed a conceptual context inspired by works by Marcel Broodthaers, Bruce Nauman, and Claes Oldenburg with the imaginary financial firm Dutch Tulip Financial, which is inspired by the Dutch Tulip bubble of the 17th Century and use it as a vehicle to tell stories.


What kind of societal issues has DTF addressed through the lens of fashion?

The subject matters I've addressed so far range from Off-Shore Tax Evasion, Class Structures & Their Implicitly Coded Signifiers, Student Debt Crisis, Space Travels, and to Audi's Diesel gate and more. I plan to touch on topics such as Cryptocurrency, Deepfakes, and dangers of unregulated DNA modification and more in the upcoming collections.


Why pick DTF.NYC as your web domain and company nickname?

I liked how its acronym DTF has a very different meaning in contrast to the serious-sounding fully spelled name. I thought finance could be a useful lens to examine contemporary culture, as monetary motivations are the levers behind so many aspects of modern society. We aim to envision scenarios where money plays the role of facilitator for new developments that would advance the human race as well. Plus, we didn’t mind that the acronym happened to be DTF.