Tastemakers thought it apropos to run an interview on the co-owner of Backside, Eric Flores. After all, he did give us our own blog. I owe a lot to him. He’s provided countless opportunities to get my feet through doors, yet I’ve never given him proper shine. This was my chance.
After working with Backside for so many years, I understood how things work. There’s the seasonal buying, there’s the PR, there’s the signing of new accounts, there’s the online arm of the operation. But we wanted to know how Eric got to that point - how he became the face of two retail locations, and the guy that everyone in streetwear knows. So we spent a couple full days with him, not on an interviewer-interviewee level, but as colleagues, and more importantly, as friends.
And I’ll say this not because he is my friend, but because I really believe it - Eric made Backside what it is now. Prior to working in retail, all he knew was music. He worked for labels like Sony and Bad Boy, even managed artists riding the American Idol success wave, until he got fed up. He moved on to a more humble role and became a sales associate. By and large, Backside is a music store, and Eric arrived when music was transitioning to digital platforms and it needed to adapt. So he brought in fashion, and did it without experience. He did it by going to trade shows and collecting catalogs, by walking up and down Melrose Ave with his flip phone taking pictures of brands he thought would work, by turning the internet upside down to find contact information of sales reps, by bugging those reps until they gave him five minutes. The clothing aspect of the store started with three brands and now it’s up to 20+. Eric started on the floor and now he’s co-owner. He is testament to working hard, to learning by doing, to passion and patience.
It really was a pleasure to profile him in Tastemakers. Check it out HERE.
About a month ago, I blogged about Umamicatessen in DTLA. We geeked over their donuts, and I featured it here with iPhone photos and a whole spiel about the foie gras ban. I promised I would go back to actually try the food, and I did.
We found out more about the restaurant and what separates it from the regular Umami. Turns out that there are actually three restaurants in one. There’s a kosher deli, there’s Umami Burger, and then there’s one that serves all things pork. I also found out that each Umami is known for a different burger. So in an effort to try everything, Shelly (Rick & Ray, Tastemakers) ordered the pastrami from the deli, Eric (Backside) ordered a burger from Umami, and I ordered the different burger (the shrimp burger!!!!). I guess I’m just going to have to go back to try something from the pork menu…
And of course we ended it with donuts!
Peace to everyone that came through to Nola’s last Thursday for the first edition of EYES UP. The live music scene in Los Angeles is too vibrant to not recognize. Stay tuned for details on the next one.
Germ Free and Sam.
Kixxie Siete with some new Bambeeno heat, and Artie McCraft.
More (and better) coverage coming soon.
went like this…
My first stop was with Garfield Adams. It’s been a minute since I’ve caught up with this guy. For the last six months, he’s been spending most of his time working with Shafiq Husayn and the Dove Society camp. He said this about it, “The ceiling is now the floor. I made it.” Reflect on that.
Next up was DJ Muggs. We talked the success of the Soul Assassins spring 12 line, how fall 12 is going to be the best collection out, how Karmaloop is making money, and how important it is to hone in on tech skills these days (I caught him while he was learning new production programs).
It was a nice surprise seeing producer Asi Friedman there, even though he was camera shy.
When I got back home and went over the next several things I had to do, I saw two words that I wrote that morning. They are important reminders, important actions, to get me through more “running around” days like this, to get me through these passion projects.
I was back with the home team last night. We have EYES UP tomorrow, LiFESWELL next Friday, and a bunch of talented people to get you hip to. This time, though, we ditched the office setting and opted for dinner. It was my first time at Shin-Sen-Gumi Hakata Ramen (the name might be the other way around, I can’t remember).
Wella ordered for me. I didn’t know whether to get hard noodles, strong broth, oil in my soup, or whatever. I also didn’t know what toppings to get. We went with egg, pork belly, garlic, and crunchy pig ears. I highly recommend all of that.
Then we spent a little time along Central, recapping, acclimating to the rhythm of Little Tokyo, taking stupid photos…
When we were interrupted by this gentleman and his rat.