My name is Kyle Ng. I'm originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and then about seven years ago I moved to LA. My brand Farm Tactics, is based out of LA and we have a location in San Francisco.
How did Farm Tactics begin?
Farm Tactics got started when I originally had a T-shirt line that I shared with a partner. After that, a year later, my friend who owned the store 181 Martel in LA (which was called Naked Gallery) was basically like, you should start a clothing line again and do a solo line. He took me to Paris once and got me inspired to do a whole line.
What WAS the idea behind Farm Tactics?
Before it started I was doing a lot of film work, art directing, and art sculptures, so a lot of it was in the same vein—telling narrative stories. I realized that clothing was a new interesting way to tell a narrative that I was interested in. Like, vintage clothing has a history to it. It's already from someone. Like with a World War II jacket; someone wore this. My whole thing was how could I tell the same story with new clothing? So whether it's through the feel of the clothing or the look or the styles that make you think of the past or the future, I like to create that nostalgia, that feeling.
So what is it about vintage that you love?
A lot of people think we're just about vintage but the reason why vintage is so inspirational to me is because it's all about the feeling that you get right off the bat. The feeling of clothing; if you touch a really good t-shirt, or jacket, and it has a certain feel, it will give you some memory. It doesn't have to be a past memory, it just makes you feel good.
What was the craziest vintage material you've
I think gas masks are probably the most interesting. You'd have people's dates on them. This one guy was located in Hawaii and had hand written messages inside the back. Every one had a real story. I had a Pearl Harbor one, which was insane.
So WHERE DID YOU GET the name Farm Tactics?
The name was actually from a long time ago. I've used that name for about eight years. It kind of just fit in the mix, which is funny. I think people think it's a work-wear reference, but it was never that at all. I think the reason why I called it Farm Tactics was from the idea of what a farm is. Like, being local and doing it yourself, and creating a world around you where you're really living off what you're doing. A farmer plants his crops, does it himself, and sustains his lifestyle with a community around him. The "Tactics" part is almost a military vibe, like a mentality, a strategy, and the idea of tactile and the touch.
Who is the type of man that you design for?
Hopefully it's for everyone. I'm not like, "Oh man, this guy has to be a cool guy." Some things are crazy but I try to make pretty simple things so everyone can understand it. Art is about people having different perspectives of it. Someone might like this for a certain reason and someone might like it for a different reason. Joe Shmoe can come in and buy one of my things and not even know my inspiration and just like the T-shirt. Then someone who is really knowledgeable about fabrics can enjoy it just the same. I think that's really important.
You have a Fall/Winter collection that you
COLLABORATED ON WITH US CALLED FIELD STUDY.
HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT?
I did a pop-up store at Space 15 Twenty with Levi's and from there, Urban Outfitters asked me to collaborate on a collection for them. I thought about what I wanted to create and it's similar to Farm Tactics, certain pieces definitely it, but it's definitely a lot of pieces that I wanted to make that before didn't fit in. Some are more out there and some are basic. I just wanted to create a basic line that said the stuff I wanted to say for fall and winter. Nowadays it's about letting people wear stuff and making them the individual.
What is your favorite piece in the collection?
We did a barn coat that looks like a vintage barn coat but the fabrics we picked were just more premium and have a softer touch. A lot of it is about the touch in this collection. So, I think that's my favorite piece. When I got the sample back I wore it a bunch until they asked me to send it back.
What are your five favorite items of clothing?
- I made a natural indigo cardigan that I wear almost every day.
- I have a lot of weird African jewelry that I wear almost every day too.
- I have a really crazy hand-beaded Native American vest. It's insane. It's beautiful.
- I have a Canadian vintage letterman jacket. It's a basketball varsity jacket.
- My North Face hiking boots
What's a typical weekend night out with you and your friends like?
That really depends. Sometimes we'll go see some weird B movie. We like to watch really shitty movies. We saw Real Steel a few nights ago. That's pretty funny, we find humor in weird movies. Where I live we can walk everywhere so we'll hang around town. A lot of times we'll eat a big dinner and go to a bar or something.
What's your favorite part about living in LA?
I love LA. LA has a very casual lifestyle. Because of the weather you're not dictated to any type of lifestyle. It's also not really a city. It's like a big suburbia. The difference between LA and New York or a different city is that you're forced to live a Cosmopolitan lifestyle. Here you can live a city lifestyle but also have a yard and just hang out. You can have a dog and you can have animals just running around. You can take advantage of everything.
Where are your five favorite places to buy
- I live in the Melrose/Fairfax area so I live right by the flea market. So it's like the swap meet is seriously outside of my house and I can just walk there. That's one of my favorite things in the world: to get up some mornings and walk over to the flea market.
- New High (M)art in Los Feliz
- Union LA
- Driftwood is really cool.
Aside from clothes, what are some other things you're into?
I'm really inspired by the California lifestyle so: surfing, skating, and mountaineering. Every morning I try to go rock climbing. There's a place called Stoney Point in Chatsworth, so we'll get up at seven and go climbing and go to work afterwards. I skateboard pretty much every day. I DJ a lot so I'm non-stop collecting music and records. I play a lot of basketball and I collect taxidermy.
You collect taxidermy?
Yeah, I have a huge collection of taxidermy. I have a baby leopard and a mom and baby sloth. I have probably like, 30. They're in my apartment and spread around town too because I can't fit it all in my place.
If you could live in any other generation, which would you choose and why?
I would probably live in the '60s or '70s. I'm not a hippie but I like all the progression of the DIY culture that was building at the time. Almost like that psychedelic lifestyle of moving into a geodesic dome in the forest. That's kind of what I want to live in now. I'm really inspired by that, the idea of living in futuristic homes, or building around your farm with your family and just hanging out off the grid.
What are your hopes for the future?
With the brand I want to get my story to more and more people. I think it's always evolving, the message you want to tell, and it's about portraying that in the best way possible. It's all about refinement, the craft, and making things better and better. I don't think I'll ever get bored of it because there's always something to work on.