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Dreamers and Doers Come Together: Mark and Daisy McNairy

Here are a few things to know about Mark McNairy:
-Even though his nickname is "McNasty" and he designs shoes with "Fuck off" stamped in gold on the soles...he's actually a pretty nice guy.
-He once owned 20,000 records but sold them all.
-He loves Popeye's fried chicken.

Here are a few things to know about Daisy McNairy:
-She simultaneously thinks she should get out of New York and that it is the greatest place on earth. And is aware of the irony.
-She is convinced something shady is going on underneath her Chinatown apartment ("There should not be a Range Rover parked outside...")
-She doesn't want to be asked what she wants to "do with her life," not because she doesn't know what she wants but because she wants to do everything.

When we met at the McNairy showroom in NYC, 20-year-old Daisy McNairy is freshly-enrolled at the New School after taking some time off college to figure out what she wants. Self-aware and articulate, Daisy grew up between New Orleans and New York City, a mash-up she's quick to identify as providing her with perspective and far-reaching interests from women's studies to writing. 

Mark McNairy is a designer who plays by his own rules. Eschewing traditional collections, McNairy's work is incepted by moments — random bursts of inspiration that originate from, say, race cars or a guy he sees on the street or, perhaps most importantly, his constant exploration of, "What would happen if…" It has resulted in a style that speaks to both hip hop artists and Southern dandies — lucky for us, this month McNairy is taking "everything [he does] and putting it in one space" with a pop-up at Brooklyn's Space Ninety 8.  

We spent a morning with Mark and Daisy to learn more about what makes them both tick. 
Photographs by Clement Pascal.

Daisy, you basically grew up in the fashion industry and must have a pretty deep understanding of what goes into it. Is it something you're drawn toward pursuing at all?

DM: Fashion has been a constant in my life. It's always just been there so I've never had to make a "decision" about it. I remember going through the "I want to be a designer" phase when I was younger, but now, I don't feel that same pull toward it. I've been thinking about, what is it that I gravitate toward? Thinking about, you know that saying: "you should do what you procrastinate with"? Or whatever you find yourself procrastinating with is probably what you love…?

MM: I've never heard that.

DM: What? You haven't?

So what do you procrastinate with?

DM: Oh, a lot of things!

MM: You like to shop.

DM: It's true.

MM: I was a shopper too. I loved clothes growing up and I spent all my money on records and clothes. I started with athletic clothes, when I was working at a sporting goods store and making T-shirts. I had access to all the tools we used back in the old day to make team uniforms with the numbers and the letters. Then, I started becoming interested in thrift stores in high school. 

Is that still something you do?

DM: We used to every weekend, any free day, any road trip! Lots of pulling over to every roadside thrift store. 

MM: Whenever I travel, that's my main goal. I rip out the thrift store page in the yellow pages. I don't have as much time to do that anymore, though. I do still go to flea markets pretty often — there's a good shitty one in Jersey on Saturday mornings. 

What are you looking for?

MM: I'm just treasure hunting. But I'm always looking for old clothes, military stuff, records.

Are you a record collector?

MM: I used to be. I got rid of them twice but I had between 10,000-20,000. I refused to get a CD player. But I finally gave in, and records became stupid. You just have to get up every 15 minutes to flip it!

You've collaborated on clothing pieces with hip hop artists, like Pharrell and Cam'ron. Do you listen to it?

MM: I never listened to hip hop until I started working with Pharrell. I hated it! It just wasn't for me. I didn't get it. Singing about me me me, and money and hoes and gold chains didn't appeal to me. But then my brother turned me on to Kanye and I started listening to that. There was just a lot of good stuff that I missed and didn't know about. 

It's cool that you've been able to collaborate with a wide range of people and kind of make your own rules in how you approach your brand. It seems like your collections are the same way — more inspired by moments. 

MM: I like that. I'm going to use that to explain myself…my "inspiration is moment-based."

Can you think of any of these specific moments?

MM: One recent thing is looking at pictures of vintage race cars, with the circles and numbers. I see that and it's striking to me in a way that can work with graphics. I do a collection with Kazuki Kuraishi from Heather Grey Wall and I remember in Paris we were scheduled to meet at the trade show. I had thought of absolutely nothing; I had no ideas whatsoever. I saw a guy walking by in a red nylon jacket and James Dean popped into my head. So my idea was, tape seam jacket in red nylon. I've also been infatuated with the Stetson Open Road hat, so that vision of James Dean with the cowboy hat down.

And then, I had to do this European presentation, and I asked my assistant to draw these trousers in gray with a navy blazer. And I got the sketch and it was reversed — he'd made the trousers navy and the blazer gray. At first I was like, "you idiot!" And then I was like, "Oh… wait a minute." And so then the idea came together about, let's just reverse everything. Let's do gray blazers with navy pants. Let's do a military shirt in blue oxford cloth. Let's do a button-down shirt in khaki poplin, let's do a jean and khaki twill. Let's do a military chino in denim. The whole thing is reversing. It's taking things I see and turning them into something else. 

Daisy, do you think in a similar way?

DM: I relate to it. I'm not producing anything. There's nothing tangible for people to see. But when I think about ideas they are sparked by random things that I have trouble explaining. 

You've taken some time off school to figure out what's next — do you think that's a product of a new generation's way of thinking about careers? That there's not as much pressure to just "make a choice" about what you want to do?

DM: The past two years for me have been about branching out and seeing what else exists — I know so many people my age who just don't really know, and I know that comes with being young. But it's confusing because when I talk to older people who have had success I feel like they say, "Well, I just kind of fell into it." 

Maybe some of that has to do with location? You talked about how you feel that opportunity more when you're in New York.

DM: Yeah, exactly, that's one of the best things about living here — you can just really let it happen that way. Traditionally, and still in a lot of places, there's a lot of pressure to make a choice. I feel like here there are so many opportunities to pull you in different ways. Whereas other places there's not as much temptation. 

MM: That's what happened to me. I didn't know what I was doing. I moved here and things just happened. 

DM: Here I feel like I can do anything. I have such a broad range of interests that I haven't been able to pin down. . . yet. 

Mark McNairy pop-up is this month at Space Ninety 8

Brands We Love: Le Specs

If you’re always on the hunt for the next best shades, then your search may have finally come to an end. (We know, we’re just as surprised. We also thought finding the perfect pair of sunglasses was a never-ending quest.) 

Enter Le Specs sunglasses. As a company that launched in the mid-‘80s, Le Specs really knows their stuff when it comes to sunglasses. The brand has had their fair share of collaborations over the years, the most recent one being with renowned pop culture illustrators Craig and Karl. The shapes the duo came up with are exaggerated and colorful, very similar to the graphic design work they've been working on together ever since college.

While Le Specs continuously makes sure to stay on top of the current trends, their sunglasses are far from “trendy.” Their “classic shapes injected with sleek, modern attitude” ensure that Le Specs sunglasses will be as easy to wear now as they will be ten years from now. Plus, with people like Beyoncé and Solange Knowles, Cara Delevingne, and Rihanna rocking the brand, you know they must be doing something right. (And if wearing these takes us one step closer to looking like Beyoncé, then we're totally on board.) On top of all that, the packaging is just as cute as the sunglasses themselves.

UO Beauty: Beach Hair

It's fiiinally almost summer which means it's almost time to start packing up and heading to the beach. YES. Aside from eating those amazing Spongebob ice cream pops, we all know the best part of the beach is being able to go home with easy, breezy mermaid hair (even if it does sort of smell like fishy sand). Sadly, we can't all sit on the beach 24/7 to keep up the hair of our dreams, because life is cruel. Luckily for us it's 2014 and beauty companies are now giving us plenty of options to keep our hair lookin' beachified without needing to go to the beach. Read on for our top hair inspiration pictures along with our fave tips and tricks for beachy waves. Katie

1. For more defined waves, it's necessary to use a curling iron and a whole mess of products to keep your hair looking extra voluminous and tousled. Something like this iron from Not Your Mother's makes it super easy for you to give yourself loose waves. (Like, I am a beauty product infant and even I can do it.) For a natural look, make sure to leave the bottom inch or two of hair out of the curling iron and gently brush out your curls afterward; if you don't, there's a strong chance you'll end up looking like Shirley Temple.

2. To make sure your hair stays voluminous and very "I just rolled out of bed like this" even when it's 5 p.m., it's always a good idea to use a volumizing spray (duh) or one of those wacky plumping powders. The plumping powders can be a little trickier to get the hang of (and they feel sooo weird on your hands), but rubbing a tiny amount into your roots will give your hair a lot of textured volume. It'll look like you spent hours letting your hair whip around in an ocean breeze, when really all you did was sit on your bed and watch Netflix.

3. If you're looking for tousled waves that take almost literally no effort, this Beach Babe Texturizing Spray from Not Your Mother's will be your new best friend. It's supposed to be used on damp hair, but I've found that it works just as well on dry hair (in case you're running out the door), and you don't need a lot of it. If you have super straight hair, spritzing some of this onto dry hair and then using a curling iron before setting with a light hairspray is a good way to help waves last longer.

4. If you want to do everything you possibly can to get beachy hair, this Beach Babe Shampoo (also from Not Your Mother's) has Dead Sea salt mixed right in it, so it gives great volume and texture, even before putting any products in your hair. Anything with salt as a main ingredient will obviously give that perfect beachy look, so using these sprays from Captain Blankenship and Brooklyn Beach on top of the texturizing shampoo will do wonders without having to fry your hair with an iron.

5. If you're not in a rush, another good way to get beachy hair is to spritz on some of the aforementioned sea salt sprays or a texturizing spray and then pop your hair up into a few buns. After sleeping on them overnight, you'll be left with perfectly tousled hair with minimal work. Great for those of us who are not morning people.

Shop Beach Hair

Editorial: Devil's Harvest

Riding high with a truckload of new gear from our newest Men's label, Devil's Harvest, these friends spent the day cruising the sun-soaked roads of Southern California, stopping only for gas, girls and a chance to cool off at the local lake in the valley town of Ojai.

Studio Visit: New Friends

Using a handmade frame loom and wooden comb, Kelly Rakowski and Alex Segreti of New Friends design studio craft weavings, textiles and housewares that combine historical tradition with contemporary visual culture. We visited them at their space in downtown Brooklyn to see where they weave their magic. Read the full feature here.

Happenings: You & Baggu

To celebrate our new exclusive collaboration with Baggu, we're throwing a party in NYC and you're invited! We caught up with Baggu founder Emily Sugihara and asked her to introduce the collection and spill the contents of her own Baggu (or six)!

Hi Emily! How would you describe Baggu in a nutshell (or small pouch!)? 
We are a brand that puts a tremendous effort into making bags more simple!

What would we find in your Baggu?
Ha, definitely more bags! I always have a leather pouch filled with my fave lip balm (Earth Tu Face), hand lotion (Aesop), and sunscreen (headhunter); two or three of the Standard Baggu shopping bags, and a 3D Zip bag with an extra pair of shoes. I also usually have a small knitting project—I like to keep my hands busy during meetings. Right now I'm making some deeply weird angora mittens.

Tell us about the new collection you have created with Urban Outfitters… 
We were so super excited about the latest Urban collection. We played with a lot of fun patterns both on canvas and leather: Eyes, waves and leopard and snake prints. I love how the vibe of the Duck Bag and leather styles seem more playful or serious totally based on the prints.

What's your favorite Baggu style at the moment? 
I've been rocking the Basic Tote for the past year, but I just switched to a Duck Bag this week, because it finally started raining here in California.

What are some of the people, places and things that inspire your bags? 
Japan! The Japanese have mastered the art of simplicity. We have some old field guides with animal illustrations that have been awesome inspiration for the animal prints. People: The team here! We are mostly designing to fill our own needs.

How has Baggu grown and evolved since you founded the brand in 2007? 
So much! In the last seven years we have done a ton of experimentation, both with products and the way we run the company. Every time we make something new, we learn. I feel like we really know who we are and what we want to make now. We are way more focused.

What are your current obsessions? 
Surfing, surfing, surfing, surfing, surfing, surfing, surfing, surfing, surfing!!! 

What can't you live without? 
Projects! I'm happiest when I'm making things. Right now I'm focused on re-modeling the inside of our van.

Get Gifted: Natalie's Wish List

Get Gifted: Natalie's Wish List!

My holiday wish list combines everything that satiates the rambling, barefoot hippy in me, while helping me adjust to the bright lights, big city of my new Philadelphia home. —Natalie

1. The 2 Bandits Sunshine Daydream Cuff Bracelet
I collect turquoise jewelry and this cuff is calling my name. I also have my eye on this ring by Rejoice The Hands and these earrings, also by The 2 Bandits.

2. Polaroid Z2300 Instant Digital Camera
A digital camera that prints instant Polaroids and fits in the palm of my hand? Whoa, it’s like I’m living in the past and the future at the same time. Plus, it’s a rather pretty looking piece of tech.

3. BAGGU Small Leather Zip-Pouch
Small. Suede. Understated. Just the way I like my accessories.

4. Ferm LIVING spear vase
I’m on a ceramics trip right now. Until I start pottery class in the New Year, this hits the spot nicely.

5. Sole The MANHAPPENIN Bike
I am yet to graduate from wanting a bike for Christmas. Please Santa, can I have this pretty green fixie?

6. Anchal X Urban Renewal Zigzag Quilt
This beautiful one-of-a-kind quilt is made from vintage Indian saris, but my favorite thing about it is that a portion of its proceeds go towards the Anchal project’s effort to provide alternative careers in textiles to marginalized and exploited women in India. The greatest gifts are the ones that pay it forward.

7. The Wild Unknown Tarot Card Set
This Tarot set has become cult amongst both lovers of Magick and design. I happen to come from both camps, so I’ll be gifting these as well as wishing for one of my own.

8. Musi O Tunya Wings Of Africa
I am proud to say that I work for a company with a seriously expansive and eclectic vinyl selection. This 1974 Zamrock pioneering gem will be a delightful addition to my record collection and I'll likely display the gorgeous sleeve somewhere prominent.

9. Antler & Co. Sacred Sage Campfire Cologne

I just moved into a new apartment, so I’ll be using this sage bundle to clear the energy and set positive vibes for the year ahead.