So in preparation for the “Forever Summer” collaboration release between The Hundreds and Diamond, Hypebeast shot both Nick Diamond and I a joint interview to be featured on their website. Well, Nick never got around to doing that interview, so instead of letting the background story die, here’s my side of the collaboration, and a more in-depth look at how “Forever Summer” came to be.
What was the whole concept and plan for the collaboration?
Nick and I sat down one afternoon in the back of his shop and a simple conversation turned into a big idea. This is the essence of a true collaboration. Being able to build a concept with a friend, for it to unfold organically, and develop into a reality that makes sense for all parties involved. All I knew was I wanted to bring back the all-over-print, since we were investing so heavily into camouflage, and I thought it was an appropriate throwback for two brands who have gained some notoriety in modern Streetwear. Nick turned the idea up another notch by looking at it from the Aloha-print perspective. Considering we’re both L.A.-based, where it’s still sunny in the winter, we wanted to rub that in everyone else’s faces by creating a colder-seasonal line that incorporated summertime themes.
Both of you guys are obviously no strangers to collabos, how do you approach each and every project these days?
It’s a blessing and a curse because so many brands and artists are open to working with us right now, but we still have to be smart and strategic with who we align our name with. Collaborations mean you are vouching for the other party involved, and each time you do that, you’re changing the image and credibility of your brand, even if slightly. So we have to weigh all the ramifications and positives that come out of co-branding with someone, and if it doesn’t help us in the end, then we don’t do it. This project should be benefiting us as much, if not more, than the other. It sounds arrogant, but to upkeep our brand and maintain a certain level of name value, we need to follow the philosophy that we don’t need to work with anybody, we don’t NEED to do a collaboration, the majority of the time the other need us to stay relevant.
That’s why this Diamond collaboration is a no-brainer. Both The Hundreds and Diamond are equally leaders in our respective fields. We can only help each other by working together, and the true winners are our customers and supporters.
Can you talk a little bit about the design? How do clothing and fashion collabos differ from say collaborations you guys may have done outside your realm on non-apparel based projects?
They’re not so different, they can provide unique challenges as far as styles to properly represent both sides; but for the most part, it’s still about translating a collaborative idea to a cross-pollinated audience.
How has Fairfax changed over the years? Do you think there’s any similar options in regards to creative hubs that are on the come-up in LA?
Fairfax has kinda become it’s own autonomous nation. It started off as a retail mecca for Streetwear kids, but now it’s a breeding grounds for creative youth from all walks of life: street culture, graffiti, art, music, design, fashion… It’s our generation’s Haight and Ashbury, and I’m proud to have watched it grow to this point. And then there’s the whole Odd Future element, and what those kids have done for our block – whether people like it or not, it’s created a whole new facet to Fairfax, Los Angeles, and the West Coast as a whole. Los Angeles has always had a strong cultural vibe, look at skateboarding and surf, Chicano culture, even the gang culture of the ’80s… The warm weather, the glory of Hollywood, the beautiful women… it’s the promised land out here, manifest destiny.
Any last words?
We hope the collaboration resonates with our fans, because we really did this one for them. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we wanted to create some serious noise. Fingers crossed that we pulled it off…
And don’t forget, “Forever Summer” is available right here in our ONLINE SHOP. And more importantly, our video-submission contest continues to win a 1 of 1 custom The Hundreds x Diamond surfboard: