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Remembering Chester Bennington with Pink City

by | Aug 9, 2019

A group of people singing passionately to Linkin Park, wearing merch at the Chester Bennington Tribute Party

Chester Bennington of American rock band Linkin Park struggled with addiction and mental health challenges throughout his life. His death on July 20, 2017, shone the spotlight on the dire need for increased mental health awareness.

Tributes to Chester have since been held all around the world. Toronto-based streetwear company Pink City held its third Chester Tribute party in partnership with Power Up Bar, a downtown console-gaming establishment. Proceeds from which were donated to Stella’s Place.

Owned and operated by brothers Mike and Chris Tung, Pink City is a cutting-edge, eclectic clothing brand. 

We sat down with Mike and Chris to find out more about Pink City, their passions, and why they chose to support Stella’s Place.

A wide angle view of Power Up Bar at the Linkin Park tribute party. A large group of people in bright purple and blue neon light.
D. Fundano Photography

“Pink City started out as a fun little clothing project that grew. We aimed to combine the spirit of pop culture, the geeky things we loved and edgy street fashion to create a one-of-a-kind look. Through organizing events, parties and markets, we’ve grown an amazing community of local talent. Supporting local talent is often overlooked, so in addition to promoting art, fashion and geek culture, we provide a platform to help showcase our peers.”

When asked how their platform works, Mike and Chris explain:

“Collaborations are a huge part of Pink City. Chris designs most of our garments, but he has so many ideas that could never be realized without the collaboration of others. We love working with various creative personalities to bring wacky ideas to life in our clothing.”

Linkin Park fan singing passionately into fake microphone in front of a music video
D. Fundano Photography

At Stella’s Place, we know that creativity and self-expression can be linked to reducing mental health challenges. Mike and Chris agree.

“Self-acceptance and expression are two major themes that have influenced our aesthetic since the beginning. We grew up being ‘weirdos’. Pink City embraces that.

We live in a world where everything pushes us to follow a certain crowd (especially young people, who are under the most pressure). We believe everyone should feel free to express themselves however they want. We want people to feel like it’s cool to be weird and different–because it totally is. In fact, it makes all of us special in our own way. Often, feeling “different” can cause people to view themselves negatively. Pink City embodies accepting your weirdness, which we hope leads to positive self-esteem and mental health.”

Person writing message for Chester Bennington on board that says #RIPChester at the Linkin Park Tribute Party.
D. Fundano Photography

“Linkin Park was the first band we started listening to. The first concert Mike attended was Linkin Park. Their music kick-started our musical tastes and ultimately shaped who we are today. We were totally devastated by Chester’s passing. We cranked up some old Linkin Park tunes and got lost in the music. A friend suggested a “Linkin Park tribute party” because there was a concert that got cancelled. So, there were all these Linkin Park people with nowhere to go.  

We hosted our first event on the night they were supposed to play in Toronto. It seemed like our city really needed it; people had a lot of emotional energy to process.”

DJ spinning on turn table behind a sound system at the Linkin Park Tribute Party
D. Fundano Photography

“Our friends at Power Up Bar suggested supporting Stella’s Place. They felt that Stella’s offered a “one-of-a-kind” resource for young adults in the city. After looking into it ourselves, we had to agree! From all the amazing services to the welcoming space itself, we knew it was a place we wanted to support.

Chester’s lyrics were very indicative of his mental state. Those words touched our hearts when we were young. Now that we’re older, their impact is clearer. Linkin Park fans always knew that Chester had mental health challenges. His shocking, tragic death was a wake-up call for people to be more cognizant of their loved ones and what they may be experiencing. We’ve noticed a lot of issues surrounding depression and anxiety have come to the forefront. There’s a lot more encouragement to seek help. We hope these dialogues become more common and society’s perception of mental health is sharpened. It looks like the stigma is finally lifting.

A board of messages for Chester Bennington at the Linkin Park Tribute Party. At the top it says R.I.P. Chester
D. Fundano Photography

When asked if their Chester Tribute will carry on, Mike and Chris say:

“Definitely! When we organized the first one, we had no idea that so many would become so invested. We were constantly asked to bring it back (monthly, even!). So of course, since the proceeds go to such a meaningful cause, we’re more than happy to keep doing them.”

Thank you, Pink City, Mike, Chris, and Power Up Bar! Stella’s Place is so grateful for your support…and all the good vibes! 🙂

Check out some Pink City style here:

A collage of pictures from Pink City's website. 12 different people modelling the streetwear brand, as seen on Pink City's Instagram page.
2 people wearing Pink City streetwear clothing