Music Monday: September 15, 2014
Fool's Gold - I'm In Love (Poolside Remix)
One of our favorite sources for daily inspiration is Sight Unseen, a digital design magazine created by New York-based editors Monica Khemsurov and Jill Singer. From unearthing under-the-radar ceramicists to sharing exclusive studio visits with some of our favorite artists, Monica and Jill are tuned in to just about everything that's interesting in the world of design. And it's not limited to web content — Sight Unseen also curates a number of events and their own online shop, which we're excited to be part of this month with their pop-up at Space Ninety 8. Running September 11-October 5, the pop-up will house a selection of exclusive items created by a wide range of international artists just for Sight Unseen.
Looking forward to the opening, we spoke with the duo about design trends, digital storytelling, and what goes into starting your own publication.
Above: A studio visit with Katy Krantz, photographed by Michael A. Muller
Jill: We were editors at ID for about four years, and the idea slowly came together. While we were there we were always talking about, 'What's next for us.' And in the context of ID, we were really interested in how big the web was becoming. And so the conversation turned into one about having a web project together, and it solidified in a project that was too good to resist.
There was room online for a digital publication that was more focused on ideas we had become interested in: storytelling, the inspiration behind finished objects, helping people see how and where things were made, and the personalities behind them. At the time, design publications were mostly just sharing the finished product, kind of just, 'this is it.' Press pictures of beautiful objects are great but there is another step in the process that wasn't being documented.
Above: At Home With Greg Buntain of Fort Standard, photographed by Mike Vorassi
Above: Hilda Hellstrom Sedimentation Coasters in the Sight Unseen shop, photographed by Cathy Carver
You were right at the forefront of a huge trend of blogs and design publications shifting to share more behind-the-scenes looks at what goes into the creation of objects and art. What have you historically seen readers responding to the most?
Jill: There was a shift right around when we launched [to feature more] studio visits and house tours. People who weren't doing those things at first sensed it was in the air. On a lot of the websites we visit often, the home and studio stories are the most popular. And it makes sense: Readers can see pictures of pretty objects anywhere, but with the idea of voyeurism and seeing behind-the-scenes and how people live is just a point of connection. Maybe people have always been into that and now there are just more opportunities.
Another thing we think about is that people who read media online don't necessarily have time to read long stories. You can almost tell a whole story with images alone, which is a really interesting thing for the format of journalism.
Above: Ashley Helvey's Seattle studio, photographed by Michael A. Muller
What are some other sources of design inspiration for you? Where do you scout new talent?
Monica: We scout talent primarily through four sources: blogs, Instagram, design shows, and through recommendations. We often get told about new studios or young designers from other designers we know, or we see them collaborating or showing together and investigate. Design shows include London Design Festival, graduate shows at schools like the RCA, the Satellite show at the Milan Furniture fair, offsite shows at the Milan fair, and even ICFF sometimes.
What are some design trends you see happening right now?
Monica: Design isn't as trend-driven as fashion is — it moves slowly and has more to do with individual interests than trends. But there has been a lot of geometry, copper, brass, and marble lately. And a general interest among designers in inventing their own processes, materials, and ways of working with materials.
Above: kelly behun | STUDIO at Sight Unseen OFFSITE, 2014, photographed by Mike Vorrasi
How do each of your own design styles differ?
Jill: The very simplified version of this that comes to the floor is that Monica loves monochrome, geometric. My style is more colorful and graphic.
Monica: Really, both of us constantly overlap. And that's what gives the site cohesion.
Above: mobile by Recreation Center
You both still do other things in addition to this. How do you balance making a side project work?
Monica: We are both people who like to have our hands in a lot of places at once, so it's exciting to wear a lot of hats. It widens the scope of your network and you meet more people and create more opportunities. It all comes back.
Above: Jill and Monica, photographed by Elizabeth Weinberg
How has the site evolved since it started?
Jill: In the beginning we were much more focused on long-form stories, coming from the magazine world. That has definitely changed. We've become more comfortable with presenting the site as a place where people come to it for our point of view. It's become more about talent-scouting than a source of biographical backgrounds.
Even from the beginning SU was not just a website: we were curating exhibitions and we had the shop and we were just throwing things at the wall and see what stuck. It's all been edited down into this thing that it is now. It's been really amazing.
Monica: It all fans out from just having a curatorial viewpoint.
Above: Assembly 00 Clock in the Sight Unseen shop, photographed by Mike Garten
Jill: Going into the pop-up, we knew that we needed a shop refresh and wanted to bring in new things, so we basically blanketed everyone we knew asking for submissions.
In the pop-up, we have an amazing range of housewares and jewelry both from designers we've worked with in the past like Ladies & Gentlemen Studio and Pat Kim and then some new ones as well like these cool marbled vessels from this company called Concrete Cat and we have these asymmetrical vessels from Ian Anderson [editor's note: see our studio visit with Ian — who is also a UO men's buyer — here!]. We also had Syrette Lew from Moving Mountains do the buildout. She is amazing and had such good ideas.
Visit the Sight Unseen pop-up at Space Ninety 8 from Sept. 11 - Oct. 5, 2014
This week, we're excited to debut a leather jacket UO made in collaboration with Schott, sold online exclusively at Urban Outfitters. Combining the classic Schott look with an updated UO flair, the result is a timeless jacket that'll look good for years to come. (And we mean years - these bad boys are built to last.) After falling in love with the Schott x UO jacket immediately after getting our hands on it, we wanted to dig more into the history of Schott to find out exactly where our favorite leather jackets got their start.
Joey Ramone, wearing Schott
Founder Irving Schott
Various styles of Schott jackets
After reading about Schott for no more than five minutes, we discovered that, chances are, even if you’re not too deeply versed on the brand's backstory, you’ve seen one of your favorite musicians wearing a Schott Perfecto jacket at one point or another (including on an album cover – hi, Bruce). They're the quintessential American leather jacket, made popular by movie stars and musicians. People overseas know the brand Schott the way Americans know Kleenex - it's become the standard for leather jackets. The company has been around for the last 100 years (since 1913, to be exact), so they've had a long time to build their brand. That's over a century of jackets! Their most popular design, the Perfecto, named for founder Irving Schott’s favorite cigar, was one of the company’s first designs and continues to be produced to this day. An innovative company from the beginning, Schott’s legacy doesn't lie solely with their leather designs - they were also the first company ever to put a zipper on a jacket. Talk about trailblazers.
MCA of The Beastie Boys, wearing Schott
The Schott factory
While the company and their jackets are something of a commodity (and cool-guy status) in 2014, that wasn't always the case. When Schott was just starting out, the coats were positively received but were mainly used by bikers and the military in a utilitarian way up through the '40s. In 1954, though, all of that changed. Marlon Brando donned the Perfecto for The Wild One and, unsurprisingly, having a handsome, young actor wear the coat in a (soon-to-be) cult classic movie made the general public want to get their hands on one, too - even if they weren't bikers. What was surprising, though, was that even after the jacket became the coat to have, the company found that sales decreased – schools were banning the coats for their “bad boy” connotation. (Which is so badass.) As time went on, this image ideally worked in the company’s favor; in the ‘70s and ‘80s, punk rockers embraced the jacket’s outsider status and Schott soon became an important component of the punk rock movement. Look up any picture of The Ramones and you’ll likely see them decked out in Schott.
To this day, Schott is still run by the same Schott family out of the US, and each leather jacket remains tailored by hand – something of a rarity for such a widely produced company in this day and age.
Dee Dee Ramone, wearing Schott
SCHOTT IN MUSIC AND POPULAR CULTURE
After Marlon Brando wore the Schott Perfecto in The Wild One, the jacket became significantly more prominent in popular culture. Around the same time, James Dean was also rarely seen without his Perfecto; when he died an untimely death in 1955 due to a car accident, the coat became even more of a symbol for rebelliousness.
Fast-forward to 1974 - at The Ramones first live show, the entire band showed up wearing Schott leather jackets. This was the brand's first foray into the punk music scene and The Ramones ensured that Schott would be well-respected within that community for years to come; Blondie, The Beastie Boys, Joan Jett, Johnny Rotten and Lou Reed have all been photographed wearing their Schott leather jackets. There's even a rumor that good ol' Fonzie wore a Perfecto in the first season of Happy Days, so it's pretty much guaranteed that you become the coolest person in the world as soon as you throw on a Schott.
Recently, Schott has partnered with artists like Jeremy Scott to produce custom jackets and they show no signs of slowing down any time soon. Schott and their coats are here to stay and we'll be here to wear 'em.
The Ramones, all wearing Schott
Marlon Brando, wearing Schott
Book images originally published with permission and © Schott NYC: 100 Years of an American Original by Rin Tanaka, 2013. Image of storefront, factory and Irving Schott all provided courtesy of Schott.
If you're always on the hunt for new music, head here every Monday for five freshly picked tunes to start your work week off right!
Tinashe - 2 On (Yung Gud Remix)
We've been extremely into unique jewelry pieces and have had so many amazing artists featured on the site lately that we wanted to bring a few of those artists to the forefront to showcase their incredible, handmade jewelry. Below, learn more about the jewelry lines Filili, Metalepsis, Cast and Combed and DIGDOGDIG - who knows, maybe you'll be inspired to get out there and start creating your own!
Photography for Filili by Mónica Félix
Baggu, meaning "bag" in Japanese, came from humble beginnings and has grown into a successful bi-coastal company in just a handful of years. The brand–started by mother-daughter duo Joan and Emily Sugihara with the help of Emily’s childhood friend Ellen–produces the most beautiful and durable bags in the biz at a fraction of the cost – and a fraction of the waste.
We visited the San Francisco studio of Baggu to talk to founder Emily Sugihara about her entrepreneurial prowess, the importance of collaboration, and what it means to be green.
Photography by Aaron Wojack
Can you tell us about the beginnings of Baggu?
My mom and I started Baggu back in 2007 before most people really knew what reusable bags were. It was a craft project that went big.
How did you evolve what was originally a hobby into such a successful and well-respected company?
I have been really entrepreneurial since I was a kid, so I was focused on building Baggu in a way that could scale right from the start. Ellen also saw the potential early on and was a fanatic about making sure the branding looked really polished.
Tell us more about growing your team into what it is today.
Well, it took seven years, one person at a time. It’s also such an ongoing process. Hiring the right people both in terms of their skill set and finding a good culture fit is definitely a challenge – but also something we have gotten pretty good at. Today we are 21 people split across two offices: one in San Francisco and one in Brooklyn. Each office kind of has its own vibe, but they are also strangely similar.
How have collaborations and partnerships played into the growth and success of Baggu?
We LOVE collaborating with other brands, especially Urban Outfitters! It’s really fun to get to adapt our products to different aesthetics. The Urban customer is really fashion forward so we get to go wild with crazy colors and prints. We also get massive exposure from our collaborations – it’s a great way for people to discover our brand.
What were some of your biggest challenges along the way? What are some of the biggest risks you’ve taken?
Starting to work with leather seemed like a big risk at the time. We were known as a really eco-friendly brand and we wanted to find a way to do leather that fit within those values. We really didn’t want to alienate our core customers. We found a way to do it by designing shapes that were really low waste and using only naturally milled hides. It also gave us a chance to try making stuff in the USA.
Can you walk us through the process of making your iconic leather shopping bag? What are the advantages of a simple, durable design like this one?
You start with a skin. We use cow skins, because they are a waste product of the meat industry. Then you use a big metal die to click out the shape of the bag. The leather shopping bag just needs one die and you cut it twice, once for the front and once for the back. The U-shaped cut out from the neck of the bag gets made into a pouch. Then you skive the edges where the bag is going to be sewn together. Skiving means shaving down the leather so it gets a bit thinner so the seams are not too bulky. Then the bag gets stitched together, seven seams in all. Then the seams all get hammered flat. The hammering is the key to having the bag look good – it’s the leather equivalent of ironing. Then ta-da! You have a bag!
What does it mean to be a “low waste” company?
Lots of things! The biggest place you’ll see low waste is in our product design. We intentionally design things that don’t leave behind a lot of scrap and don’t use more material than necessary to get the job done. In the offices, it’s all little stuff that compounds. We are pretty much paper free. Everything is digital, we don’t use paper towels. We compost…
What part has social media and the immediacy of the internet played in the growth and evolution of your brand?
Oh – the Internet is amazing. It’s definitely what allowed us to get so much exposure early on and grow so quickly in the beginning, and it’s what allows us to keep growing. We pretty much only think of marketing in terms of the web, so when we plan photo-shoots we are thinking first about how stuff will look on screens, not printed. On the back end it allow us to do a ton with a relatively small team.
What advice would you give to your 20 year-old self?
Buy more Apple stock! Also – you can teach yourself pretty much anything, and get good at it if you practice.
What is a typical day like for you?
I wake up at 7 and then I eat some chia porridge with fruit and drink a cup of tea while reading on my Kindle - I’m a big reader. Maybe I shower. Head to the office, which is a 3-block walk from my house. I work at a stand up desk now, so picture the rest of my day standing up. When I get to my desk I start with Asana and organize my actionable items for the day. Then I do some email. Maybe I go to yoga. At 1, we all cook healthy lunch together in the office. We do this every day. It’s called lunch club! Afternoons I have meetings or do design work or computer work. After work I’ll go for a surf or go to ballet class depending on the day or the waves. I try to so dome kind of exercise every day. Back home my husband and I cook dinner, usually Japanese-ish food (he cooks, I clean). Maybe TV? Cleaning the house? Kindle, bed.
What are five other things you’re interested in right now?
I’m interested in seven things: ballet, surfing, ceramics, Bonsai, van build-outs, technology, and I’m also really into my husband.
How To: Make a Bag
1. Cutting - measure twice cut once! If I am making prototypes I usually just go from measurements and draw them on the fabric with chalk.
2. Cut your lines extra straight - your whole pattern will go together better that way!
3. Pinning is important for straight lines, especially on slippery fabric like ripstop nylon.
4. Sew your seams straight.
5. Ironing is the most important part of sewing - it makes your project look polished. Press your seams!
6. Pinning in handles.
7. Ta-da! A simple daypack.
If you're always on the hunt for new music, head here every Monday for five freshly picked tunes to start your work week off right!
Glish - Stu Hunkington
We're excited to debut Bohem, a new textile line from the husband and wife team of Adam and Chelsea James.
Based in Salt Lake City, Bohem pulls from the couple's collective backgrounds — Chelsea is a successful artist and Adam worked in design and marketing before the pair decided to pack up their lives and travel in pursuit of establishing relationships with worldwide makers in developing their own line.
Bohem is now produced alongside small groups of Indian artisans, where Adam and Chelsea drew from the country's traditional palette and artistic fearlessness to inspire their textiles. "The style there is so graphic and adventurous," Chelsea explains. "My paintings are about subtlety, so I wanted to really take another route with this."
The couple dove in headfirst to production — prioritizing finding artists they could foster relationships and work with in a sustainable way. Adam explains, "We spent eight months on that trip getting everything ready, sourcing materials, and finding the right people."
Now available, the manifestation of their new venture: Bohem's handmade bedding, blankets, pillows, and rugs, made from hand-dyed, washed, and sun-dried cotton and wool.
Images courtesy of Adam and Chelsea James
Above: Anciente Patternia Rug
Above: drafts and design sketches — "I don't have formal training in producing textiles," says Chelsea. "My background is in painting, drawing, and color theory, so I let that be the guide for our designs."
Above: hanging textiles in production
Above: Chelsea shares photos illustrating color palette and shape inspiration found while traveling
Above: The Stella Shag Rug
With her perfectly disheveled hair, Roma Oeh, art director and wardrobe stylist of creative duo Oak and Roma, channels Beyoncé and makes it look like she "woke up like this" instead of spending any time at all on styling her locks. With a thriving business to keep her busy, as well as two Australian Shepherd puppies, Roma's perfected the art of carefree, disheveled hair. Taking a cue from Roma, we've pulled some of our favorite products to help achieve the easiest, no-heat disheveled hair. Sure, it'll take a little work, but it won't look like you spent any time at all on it.
Get the look:
To get that perfectly disheveled hair, there's a number of things you can do. One of our favorites is to let your hair dry 90% of the way naturally. When it's mostly dry, spritz it with some volumizing spray and then twist it up into two low buns on either side of your head. (Think Scary Spice's buns, except twist up all of your hair.) Sleep with your hair like this and when you wake up you'll have naturally voluminous hair. If you have thick hair that holds a curl really well, it's better to let your hair dry all the way, otherwise letting it set a little damp might give you crazy frizzy, big hair in the morning.
Another way to get natural waves that turn out more defined than the bun method is to braid your hair before going to bed. Doing this and then using a salt-based sea spray after finger-combing your hair once you wake up will make it look more natural than using a curling iron.
If your hair is naturally wavy, spritzing in some leave-in conditioner along with the aforementioned sea spray while your hair dries will give you unbelievable waves. Twist your hair a little bit between your fingers while it's still drying to define things a bit better, and you'll be on your way!
More favorites to achieve Roma's look:
Fatboy Perfect Putty Hair Paste
Not Your Mother's Way To Grow Leave-In Conditioner
Brooklyn Beach Hair Spray
Klorane Leave-In Spray With Flax Fiber
Ardency Inn is creating cosmetics inspired by the different music scenes in New York City and the unique vibrancy that surrounds each one.
James Vincent, Ardency Inn's creative director, talked with us about blue lipstick, his music muses, and "living for black eyeliner."
We love that the line is based on different NYC music scenes. Right now the line is divided into Punker, Modster and Americana. Any plans to expand the themes?
I think Ardency Inn is always looking towards new ideas and introducing new concepts in makeup. The categories Modster, Punker, and Americana are very encompassing for me. I think every makeup wearer can relate to the bold color of modster sometimes or the baddest black of punker for depth and dimension or the easy, laid back look of Americana so I am not sure we would need to introduce a new category.
Can you talk more about how you see the connection between music and makeup?
For Ardency Inn Music and makeup are completely connected. The artisty, the passion the emotion and energy that music conveys is a great inspiration for makeup. I love the idea that musicians use makeup to express individuality and personality or emotion rather than cover and conceal and I think Ardency Inn embraces that idea as well. Makeup as a positive force to show the world who you are and "Here I am" and I think music does the same thing. I start every day with a soundtrack of the day to get me prepared for whatever comes my way. i think people do that with makeup too.
Quick — recommend three Ardency Inn product to us (if we can only have three)
My must haves:
Modster Smooth Ride Supercharged Eyeliner in black. I live for black eyeliner and for men or women it makes a statement as soon as you walk into a room and stays put all day and night.
Americana Custom Coverage Concentrate for the endless possibility it provides in coverage. Complete empowerment because you mix it into your own own favorite moisturizer for east sheer, light, medium or full coverage and then just add more to make it your concealer.
Punker Unrivaled Volume & Curl Lash Wax. The lift and curl it gives to even the skimpiest lash is almost obnoxious. The only think you need to make maximum impact.
What was it like doing Joan Jett's makeup for her Nirvana tribute? Do you ever get nervous doing celeb makeup?
Joan Jett is such an influence on my aesthetic and an inspiration to me as a person. Being part of the Nirvana tribute, Hall of Fame induction, and private after party might be the most brilliant experience of my life. It was monumental. I am such a huge fan and seeing Joan join Dave, Kris, and Pat onstage while I stood a few feet away was an experience beyond words.
I do not really get nervous doing celebrity makeup. I am always excited but never really nervous. It is my job and honestly most celebrities care very little about makeup and the application as they have that experience everyday. I am more nervous when I do makeup for consumers as most of the time women want makeup for the most important days of their lives and it is very intimate.
Are there any musicians you'd like to collab with in the future for the line?
I love Banks right now and Jill Scott is like a dream for me to work with. I think there are so many young musicians out there. I see shows as much as I can and I am always on the look out.
Above: Dee Dee Penny from the Dum Dum Girls, the face of Ardency Inn's newest lookbook
What is your favorite makeup trend at the moment?
The reverse cat eye is so flattering for so many people and I love the lift it provides. Punker World's Baddest Eyeliner makes it super simple for even the most inexperienced makeup wearer.
I also love mined metals on the lid. Ardency Inn new Modster Manuka Honey Enriched Pigments are perfect and long lasting and because they are the first eye shadow to use Manuca Honey to press the pigment into place they are soft and smooth and supercharged with color while providing their own priming effect.
What about your least favorite makeup trend?
Overdrawn eyebrows and instgram cut creases?! Makeup should be about the face. You never want someone to clock your makeup before they see your face. The current eyebrow and crease trend of dark, hard lines is less than exciting.
A lot of the line focuses on experimental, bold color: how do I wear blue lipstick and not look like a fool?
I love blue lipstick as a bold statement. Pair it with a soft eye with a lot of mascara and a bright cheek for the perfect summer look. If you are afraid of the dark, stain it onto the lip for a look that is more wearable but still unexpected and eye catching.
If you're always on the hunt for new music, head here every Monday for five freshly picked tunes to start your work week off right!
Dntel - If I Stay a Minute
We're excited to debut a cool new shoe collaboration from Reebok and Garbstore this week that (literally) turns old-school Reeboks inside-out. The shoes in the collab take the idea of using the materials that are traditionally on the inside of classic sneakers and instead putting them front and center. We're well-versed in Reebok but wanted to dig up a bit more on Garbstore, the awesome British line they partnered with on this.
For nearly 100 years, Champion has been leading the pack when it comes to comfortable, sportswear basics. The brand's influences run deep, and they even invented certain styles that are now ubiquitous in American sportswear; for example, hoodies and mesh uniforms were both born at Champion, which is a pretty incredible feat when considering what staples they've become in the American wardrobe.
Recently, the brand has been finding a following with the younger, more fashionable crowd by blending its classic basics with the more innovative designs of current streetwear labels. In the past year alone, Champion has seen collaborations with Stussy, Supreme and Herschel, just to name a few. Continuing to build its portfolio and reach, Champion's most recent collaboration with Urban Outfitters draws inspiration from archival Champion silhouettes and filters them through a modern lens (think "updated '80s"). The collection highlights classics from the late '70s and early '80s, as seen in the pictured vintage ads, and consists of fleece joggers, a Champion logo hoodie, and a transitional weight letterman jacket in a fabric mix of fleece and wool blend. The Champion x UO collection will be available in stores and online.
For the past two years, our music blogger Maddie Sensibile has been our go-to gal out on the West Coast. With an eye for casually cool fashion and a knack for blending high-end and low-end pieces, Maddie's been a never-ending source of inspiration for us all. Since she's always on top of the latest music releases (she's like the Energizer Bunny when it comes to attending shows), we gave her her own column, "I'm With The Band," to give her the chance to chat to and photograph all the most talked about musicians. For this About A Girl, since we've been so inspired by Maddie for so long, it only made sense to feature her and let the whole world know a little bit more about our favorite girl.
Photography by Emmanuel Olunkwa. Styling by Rachel Ritter.
Hi Maddie! Can you talk to us a little bit about yourself and your background?
Hey! Yes. I’m 20 years old and grew up in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, CA. I’m currently in my final year of college, studying Photojournalism and Anthropology. I’m a bonafide music lover and spend most of my time thinking about that!
Tell us a little bit about what you do for Urban Outfitters. How did you get involved with the Urban Outfitters blog?
I’ve been a freelance writer for the UO blog for about two years now. During the Rookie Road Trip in 2012, I met some incredible people that got me involved with the blog team, and it has been an incredible partnership ever since! I’m currently writing mostly music-related things for the UO blog and have my own column, “I’m With the Band.”
What other things are you working on in your spare time?
Right now in my spare time I am mostly working on my post-college plans which will probably include graduate school, and I also am hoping to start some sort of new lifestyle website or magazine in the next year or so. I really want to evolve my fashion blog, Obsessee into something new.
How do you spend a day off? Can you walk us through a daily routine?
Usually, when I’m not in school or busy doing something else, I like to go around LA to art museums or find new places to eat with my best friend Maggie. She always finds the best places! I’m a total foodie. I also have been really into comedy lately and enjoy going to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Franklin Village. The Cinefamily is also great, over on Fairfax. I just saw The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night there. The theatre itself is an old silent movie theatre, but now it draws interesting crowds for the quirky movies they show. As far as a daily routine goes when I’m not going out, I usually wake up, play with my dogs for a good while, and spend a lot of time on the web blogging or watching Kyle Mooney’s YouTube videos, then I’ll usually go to dinner with a friend or something later in the day. I’m guilty of enjoying being a couch potato from time to time.
You live in California. How has that shaped your tastes?
In the last two or three years I’ve become really close with people who like going to gigs and being surrounded by music. This has really helped me immerse myself in the scene here. There’s always something to do and see, whether it be in Silverlake at Lolipop Records or in Orange County with Burger Records. I think the huge wave of DIY record labels, like Burger and Lolipop, has helped people realize they can play music and be serious about it. These DIY record labels are run by extremely genuine people, which I think allows these young people new ways to produce music and put themselves out there. I think living in Los Angeles has given me a sense of freedom because there are so many creative people here. Someone is always up to something new, which is very exciting. There is a sense of purpose here, which has definitely driven me to be cultured and curious when it comes to music, fashion, art, etc.
Were there any bands your parents turned you onto that made you fall in love with music at an early age?
Funnily enough, I learned about music and everything I currently love through my own research. My parents always talk about Fleetwood Mac, though. I’d say they’re my parents’ favorite band, and one of mine too. My dad actually saw The Rolling Stones with me last year, and he’s been talking to me a lot more about rock and roll since then. We both really love Led Zeppelin, as well.
Who are some of your current/new favorites?
Lately I’ve been listening to a ton of Fleetwood Mac, specifically their Rumours record, and Stevie Nicks’ The Wild Heart. I’m also into the Talking Heads, Television, Led Zeppelin, and The Gun Club. Other, “newer” favorites for me are Arcade Fire. I’ve been listening to their new record Reflektor ever since it was released in October. That record was such a new direction for them and it is so great to dance to. I've also been listening to The White Stripes a lot, since I’m sad I never got to see them live! Seeing Jack White live, though, has filled the void. I can’t complain. The “newest” band I’ve been heavily listening to is SKATERS from New York City. I actually spoke to them last October for UO when they opened for Palma Violets in LA, and I just love their attitude and everything about them. My other go-to bands of the moment are The Babies, Twin Peaks, Mac Demarco, Real Estate, Drowners, Blood Orange, and Angel Olsen.
Your blog Obsessee focuses more on fashion than music. When did you first find yourself becoming interested in fashion?
I really became interested in fashion my freshman year of high school and then it really expanded from there. Initially I paid attention to the runways, and then it grew into a love of couture and all things ornate. I used to be into being really trendy and always wearing the newest thing, but now my love of fashion is more so a love of fashion as art. I don’t post on my fashion blog as much as I used to, but I still love to share my inspirations on the main blog, and I post more often on my Tumblr, which is more of a stream-of-consciousness for me.
How would you describe your personal style? Where do you draw your own fashion inspiration from?
My personal style mostly draws from musical icons and street style photos. British people specifically inspire me; they are so carefree with how they dress and have such a “whatever” attitude when it comes to their style. They’ll look so put together, but really they just threw on some cool leather piece that they’ve had in their closet for years. There is a book by author Sam Knee called A Scene In Between that has really become a style bible for me. The book is essentially a book made up of photos from the mid ‘80s to early ‘90s of the British music scene of the time. Knee shared photos of everyone from Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, Orange Juice, and The Smiths, who all felt inspired by the ‘60s, but the look they created was grungier and all their own. A Scene In Between really explains how I see my style. It is always evolving, and always pulls from different eras, and you want to look like one person from, say, the ‘60s, but you’ll never nail it, so you just add your own touch. Music will always inspire my style because there is also a certain look that goes with a type of music. Bands like The Beatles and Nirvana really solidify that thought, in my opinion. I really love Bobby Gillespie’s style and Mick Jagger’s, from the earlier days of The Rolling Stones. My style is minimal, androgynous, and includes lots of stripes.
You’re also a talented photographer. When did you first become interested in photography? What cameras do you like to work with?
I started learning about photography in middle school when a few other friends of mine became interested in it. I took a liking to fashion photography early on, then moved onto art photography. I mostly like to work with film cameras, usually just little cameras I can take with me anywhere. I specifically like this one Canon AF35M camera I bought for $20 a few years ago. It has never let me down! It was Canon’s first point and shoot camera, which is super cool to me. When shooting film, it is really fun to play with older cameras, and toy cameras, as well. I do shoot digital more often when it comes to my work at school, and I admit, I may be a convert! But right now, shooting film and working in a darkroom is my “happy place”!
Are there artists, photographers, etc that you admire?
My favorite artists and photographers are Andy Warhol, Stephen Shore, Alia Penner, John Altoon, and Nan Goldin. I met Stephen Shore a few months ago and I was so starstruck. I think his work is my favorite because it incorporates aspects of both art and photojournalism and is very open-ended. Shore’s work really focuses on the open-road which I really love. His early color photography is so vibrant and always excites me when I see it.
Do you have any advice for other young girls who are looking to become journalists/photographers?
My best advice for girls who want to be successful in the future is to always let people know that you are willing to work and put out the best work that you can. That will always be noticed and that is what has helped me the most in the last few years. Making yourself and your career goals known will always help you achieve your goals.
What are your plans for the future? How would you like to be remembered?
I’m hoping after college and graduate school I can work as a journalist who focuses on mostly music and art. Right now I’m also very interested in museum studies and becoming a museum curator. I’d love to work somewhere like the EMP Museum in Seattle working specifically on music history exhibits. I’m hoping I can use my studies in anthropology to help me with that. I’d like to be remembered as someone genuine and as a creative professional!
If you're always on the hunt for new music, head here every Monday for five freshly picked tunes to start your work week off right!
Spooky Black - Pull (prod. Kid Hnrk)
Determined to make every design count, ourCaste is setting out to change the way everyone sees menswear. Creating a brand identity that perfectly blends the laid-back California lifestyle with the more rugged design aspects of a sportswear brand, ourCaste creates clothing that makes the wearer's "life easier," no matter how that may be. We spoke to Michael Quinones, one of the co-founders of the company, to learn a little bit more about their California lifestyle.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves and how ourCaste was formed.
ourCaste is a constantly developing idea to create a brand identity and menswear collection around the lifestyle we grew up with. The core group have all been close friends for just about a decade now. At its purest form, ourCaste is a brand built of the sub-cultures and lifestyles that we grew up with. Whether it be pushing down the sidewalks and asphalt, strapping the car with more boards than it can hold to go surf some crap waves, or hopping on the bike and smashing up PCH just to get our knees in the breeze, all these things are pinnacle in developing what we’d represent at ourCaste. As we’ve gotten older, there have been new passions introduced to our lives. An obsession for design and typography, the drive to push ourselves athletically any way we can, and the desire to go farther down the trail than those before us have become extensions of those pillars we grew up with. The lifestyle portrayed is our daily interaction with the world around us, and the product developed is the uniform used to be prepared for whatever it is that we are doing.
How would you describe the brand’s aesthetic?
We’ve always had a desire for clean and timeless silhouettes with wearable patterns and functional details in product. We follow “function over form” wherever we can, and we like meshing functional fabrications and details with more contemporary styling. The dichotomy of something that looks great and performs in harsh conditions is epic. Typography, notably the French and Swiss in the '60s, is the cornerstone for everything we do graphically. The spacial relations between letters and numbers are always interesting and helps to perfect the ability to see clean lines in everything else. We spend a lot of time prepping and developing our print assets to really represent the brand aesthetic correctly every day. Photographically, we lean on a slew of friends to provide great imagery. Guys like Brooks Sterling, Drew Martin, and Mark Underwood are constantly pushing themselves in whatever conditions present themselves to provide epic content.
What makes you guys different from other surf/skate brands out there?
I think we are at a time, both age and experience-wise, where we have a life lived in the late '80s and early '90s with the strong presence of surf and skate, but we were young enough through the 2000s to really have a refined take on product and aesthetics that the era brought. It’s the harmonious balance of these two that separates us mentally. Product and ability-wise, we’ve made the decision to design with a purpose. It’s easy to develop a bunch of wovens just for the sake of needing to sell them, but we try to develop those pieces to make whoever decides to buy them’s life easier. Whether it’s by using moisture-wicking Storm Cotton or adding armpit vents and eyelets, we try to keep a purpose to the product. I think that makes a big difference.
What are some fashion/culture trends happening in the surf world that you love?
I love that surf is going small again. What I mean is that there is a massive influx of young brands that are shaking the trees. For the past decade, it’s been the big guys that control the world. We will always have a massive respect for the giants that paved the way and created an industry for us, but it’s nice to see fresh blood, fresh product, and fresh ideas on the floor. I also really like that product is getting smarter. Like we’ve been developing for over a year, and we're starting to see a lot of new brands (and old brands) adapting to this idea that we’ve been doing of hybridizing the “tech / athletic” categories with surf / skate / contemporary.
We see that your office HQ is right across from the ocean. Is everyone always running out to surf?
If there is swell or warm weather you can guarantee it! A large reason we choose the space is for its location (obviously). We weren’t going to be able to afford a really big or new space up the hill with the rest of the industry, so we said why not be the first one to open shop down the hill in Newport? It’s been great. We get a lot of friends stopping in and it’s just a ripping environment to be in day after day…plus, the surf is consistent!
What are you guys currently really into (movies/music/clothes/etc.)?
Our office seems quite confused musically. We’ve been full bore on Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, El Michels Affair, and the older Horrors albums this week. Every now and then you’ll hear Maya Jane Cole or Odessa find its way in. Wu Tang is always in weekly rotation. ASAP, Trap Lord, Flatbush…lastly, our friends at Youth Machine have been pushing Cashmere Cat hard and it’s growing on us. Clothes-wise…a little looser everything. I think that just comes with wanting a little function out of life. A tech shell with some chinos or black denim is always a good look. Some of us in the office run all that with some Nike Frees, while others still prefer to wear our friend's boot brand, Broken Homme. Just all depends! We mix and match a lot. It’s a genre blurring environment, which we dig.
What are some of your favorite spots to hit up in Newport?
Ooooooo, I’m gonna get crucified for bringing the underground above on this first one, but I couldn’t care less. The morning banger is AL CAP! Almost every morning someone in the office is at Al Cap for an Almond Power, bagel special, or Acai bowl and some coffee. Lunch is spread amongst a ton of spots. Trader Joe’s is a good call, so is Mother’s. There was a pretty bangin’ BBQ spot on 17th but it went out of business. Malarky’s has a good burger, too. Bear Flag is pricey, but always worth it. For nighttime stuff, I guess the Goose is back on the deck of fun stuff, and so is Mesa. Pitfire has a “speak-easy” if you can imagine that, but they actually make super good drinks there.
What’s next for ourCaste?
Head down and keep plowing. We got a ton of work to do…ain’t no time for slowing down anywhere in the near future.
After growing up around beauty products her entire life, the next logical step for Lisa Winarick was to co-found her own beauty line. Keeping only the most natural ingredients in mind, Lisa's brand Doll Face focuses on making beauty products that work well with all skin types, using as few synthetic ingredients as possible. We spoke to Lisa about her favorite products, the brand's secret cocktail of ingredients, and her own skincare routine.
Tell us a little bit about how Doll Face started. What's the story behind it?
Our family has been in the beauty business for three generations, and taking care of my skin was passed down from my grandmother and then reinforced by my mom and aunts who all have taken amazing care of their skin. I have so many memories of special beauty days spent around the kitchen table with my mom and sisters. My dad would come in and say, “Wow, look at my beautiful doll faces!”
There are so many clinical brands out there and I thought that taking care of your skin should be a positive, feel-good experience. I've always felt that skincare should be about beauty and glamour, not medicine and problems. Because of that, Doll Face was born! We want women to feel empowered and good about themselves starting from the moment they wash their face in the morning.
You emphasize thinking "outside of the obvious" in sourcing ingredients. Can you share some examples?
Each product contains its own “cocktail” of ingredients, a blend of both natural and scientific, that have been carefully chosen and blended to provide the best possible results. We created our own skin brightening and exfoliating fruit enzyme complex called FruitActiv that we've formulated into all of our cleansers. We discovered Buriti Fruit Oil on a trip to Brazil. It’s an amazing fruit extract that acts as a super anti-oxidant. In its native Amazon basin, it’s called the “Tree of Life” because of its healing properties. We feature it in Nourish, which is our everyday moisturizing lotion.
What three products are in the Doll Face "starter kit," i.e., three products you'd recommend to a new customer, and why?
That’s easy…our Invigorate gel cleanser, Nourish lotion and Soothe under-eye serum. It’s the perfect "little black dress” for your skin; you can’t go wrong. This combo works on all skin types, takes only minutes [to apply] and your skin will look and feel clean and fresh!
What is your own skincare routine like?
I do the 3-step “starter kit” myself, plus I alternate our Brilliance face polish with our gel cleanser 2-3 days a week for extra exfoliating power. I also use our masks once a week to make my skin feel super smooth and glowing! The Reveal peel is loaded with pumpkin and papaya enzymes to maximize its gentle, yet highly effective exfoliating power. It's yummy to put on.
What are your top three tips for skincare, either improvement or maintenance?
I’m a big believer in exfoliation…it really is the secret to keeping skin smooth and radiant. Also, every skin type benefits from a moisturizer; it’s what keeps skin soft and supple and helps fight lines and wrinkles. Lastly, once a week you deserve a little “break," so indulge in a great mask. Put it on and just relax and let the stress slip away…if only for a little while! Also, never go to sleep without taking off your makeup and cleansing your face. It’s absolutely the worst thing for your skin.
Bottom line: easy, menswear-influenced style is always cool. Inspired by classic muses, we asked for expert advice from writer Lizzie Garrett Mettler, the founder of Tomboy Style whose eponymous blog and book chronicle women who blur gender lines by mixing rugged sensibility with understated elegance.
We challenged Lizzie with a daunting task: to share her own top five tomboy style icons. As she explains, her picks pull from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, and all "relate to each other in some way [with] a style that is boyish, unfussy, and seamlessly balances masculinity with femininity. Most importantly, what I love about these tomboy icons is they never look like they’re in costume or trying to make a statement; they just always looks completely themselves."
1. Tina Weymouth
During her tenure as the bass player for The Talking Heads, Tina Weymouth was subtly androgynous. Her paired-down punk wardrobe of tight t-shirts tucked into high-waisted jeans, a New Wave hair cut, and that Fender Precision bass guitar over her shoulder just made her oozed cool.
2. Jane Birkin
Jane Birkin embodies the French tomboy look, the je ne sais quoi that most tomboys’ style seems to envelop. Her hair was always tousled and her style always minimal, yet somehow with little adornment and effort, Birkin always looks the height of chic. The fact that one of the most coveted ‘it” bags (the Hermes Birkin bag) is named after her and she casually adorns hers with stickers and worry beads and wears them out until no longer usable, is another example of why she’s the ultimate tomboy.
3. Ali MacGraw
Ali MacGraw has that girl next door look that makes her super relatable and so incredibly classic that her look will never be irrelevant. On screen she was known for playing tomboys like the sporty tennis racket-wielding Brenda Patimkin in Goodbye Columbus, the tough-as-nails Jennifer Cavallari in Love Story, and bank robbing Carol McCoy opposite of Steve McQueen in The Getaway; off screen her tomboy style and spirit are just as present.
4. Jean Seberg
What the late actress Jean Seberg did for the striped boatneck shirt and short hair may never be fully credited. Seberg was originally from Iowa, but embraced French style in a way that charmed everyone, even the hard-to-impress Parisians. Her gaze may have won the hearts of her lovers, but those outfits won over tomboys the world over.
5. Patti Smith
Patti Smith’s style is both authentic and incredibly purposeful. Everything she wears is always just so, from the bandana tied around her wrist to the pins on her lapel. She has noted that she even made early choices as a child about what cloth she preferred (flannel and not polyester). Even though Patti Smith looks like the type that couldn’t care less about fashion, she read French Vogue and would shop on Fifth Avenue. Once she bought a green silk coat from Henri Bendel and then immediately threw it in the washing machine to complete the look. She knows how to make things her own.
Book images originally published with permission and © Tomboy Style: Beyond the Boundaries of Fashion by Lizzie Garrett Mettler, 2012. Top image of Patti Smith performing at Cornell University, 1978. Licensed under Creative Commons.
I used rubber artist’s blocks and a carving tool (both can be easily found at art supply stores) to carve the designs. Then I rolled ink over the carved pieces and printed them onto paper. The patterns were recreated by hand again in India for printing the fabric yardage.
Can you share more about what went into the second step — the traditional block printing that you developed in India?
All textiles in this collection use traditionally simple yet beautiful Indian cotton sourced from smaller local mills.
These textiles have been printed with a block-printing technique that dates back over 400 years in this remote area of India. We carefully created hand-carved wooden blocks...which were then hand-printed on narrow, seven meter tables; the printing process, techniques and materials are what is traditionally used to print Indian saris. The look and feel of this hand-printing process is wonderful and consistently inconsistent, providing a warm human element.