Last December, on my yearly recap post, I listed GPPR as one of my favorite brands. I was sold when I saw their camo leopard denim jacket. Needless to say, I’ve gained a few more favorites with their spring line. They killed the button down and pattern games.
Freshjive. If you read the post yesterday on Rick Klotz, you’d know that he creates a balance within the brand. 722 featured a lot of their cut and sew pieces mixed in with some basics.
Loved this Tsubo boot.
I was most taken aback by the US Army brand. First off, I didn’t know that even existed. It’s mostly outerwear, and Camille told me that everything is made with old army surplus material. The brand was first featured at the Project show in NY this year. It’s so new they don’t even have a website yet.
And now I wait for a womens showroom invite…
Rick Klotz is the creator of Freshjive – the sometimes provocative, always thoughtful, now logo-less clothing line that has been deemed Los Angeles’ first streetwear brand. He began Freshjive in 1989 as a senior at Otis-Parsons, wanting a fashion outlet for those influenced by the skate, surf, hip hop, and rap cultures. Since then, the brand has maintained relevance with graphic tees, raunchy ad campaigns, cut and sew pieces, an op-ed blog on the world’s problems, and social commentary tees that make you go hmmm. Rick even started another brand during his 20+ year tenure – the surf inspired line called Warriors of Radness (WOR).
He’s up next in this Tastemakers series I have going on.
Over the last decade, Rick’s been called a rebel artist. He’s even quoted that he does what he wants with design. Case in point - Arafat and the Palestinian child soldiers, Obama and No Hope, and the China tee with the American flag inside the block letters. Rick has no problem integrating politics with fashion, and finds it to be the best medium for awareness. He had Run DMC help him understand, we have t-shirts. With that, Rick is starting to think of Freshjive as a for-profit capitalist machine whose main intent is to encourage minds to pay attention to what’s really going on in society. (Note: From now until Election Day in November, Freshjive is dropping a social commentary tee once a week.)
Although he does consider how a design would perform on the sales floor, he doesn’t feel the need for every design to be focused on the quickest sale. A balance needs to be considered. So, they make some designs that are easier to sell, and then throw in some screwed up shit that’s really fun and meaningful.
WOR is a different beast. It’s the total opposite of Freshjive. It’s sold at premium prices with no political tendencies. Just waves, beer, and chasing chicks, inspired by the vibe of surf culture and surf fashion in its most creative time. It has nothing to do with today’s commercial surf market. Part of its ethos is that it’s made right here in Southern California.
Some of Rick’s inspiration for work include a vision board, a closet full of vintage pieces he has collected over the years, and reading material. Lots of it. On that particular day, though, Rick was inspired by the California sunshine and his brand new pack of colored Sharpies.
Rick was young and naïve when he started all this, yet he figured it out along the way. I asked him some of the lessons he learned and he said, “Oh, so many. Your word is your reputation, your reputation is everything, the more time goes by, the less designers know how to draw, a design on a computer screen is not the same as the same design on paper, cash moves everything around us, ideas are a dime a dozen, I actually have to be concerned with the bottom line to some extent, don’t believe the hype: research it yourself, and a few others I’ll tweet about now that I’ve figured out how to use our twitter account (@freshjive).”
I completely forgot I had a bunch of un-shared Blackberry snaps, so here’s a photo dump entry for you. These are turning out to be my favorite kind of posts. They remind me what I did, where I’ve been, what I saw, who I thought of. It’s fun to see them after a period of time as oppose to sharing everything right away. Yah I’m talking to you, Twitter users! Just kidding. Maybe not.
I saw this CA sticker on Ventura and Cedros in the valley. I think I dropped that one in 2008?
I can never go wrong in these.
I conquered NYC without a proper smartphone. Meaning, I had no apps to help me get from point A to point B. Shout out to my friends out there who sent me picture messages like this.
I’m thinking I go back to NYC for her.
I was pretty excited to see this on Bleecker in West Village.
Family time is the best time.
Rick & Ray throws a monthly event called LIFESWELL. It has evolved from a platform to feature the management firm’s roster of talent into a medium to highlight industry related events. We’ve been at this for over a year now, starting off at Blu Monkey in Hollywood and now at a new venue - Nola’s in DTLA. This Thursday, March 29 is the first LIFESWELL at that location.
A few months ago, Eric (co-owner of Backside) revealed plans to start up a publication called Eight x Ten Magazine. It was a marketing tool, a way to build a team of talented Backside supporters, a quarterly effort to keep print alive. He asked me to be a part of it and write about fashion and streetwear, and I immediately obliged. I hadn’t written for print in years, and any chance I get to revisit it, I take. The first issue drops this Thursday.
LIFESWELL is hosting the official Eight x Ten Magazine launch party on Thursday and I couldn’t be anymore hyped. Two things I work for are coming together and I get to celebrate twice. Join me; I couldn’t be any more proud of both entities.
And here’s the eating part of my NY trip.
Pictured: Clinton Street Bakery, Joe’s Shanghai, Momofuku Milk Bar, Grimaldi’s, Shake Shack, Antibes, Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, Wolfnights, Wafels & Dinges, Meatball Shop, and a serendipitous sighting of a sticker at Penn Station.
(Not pictured: Halal cart, Donut Plant, Iron Chef House, Magnolia Bakery, and the bagel I had from a bodega in the Bronx.)