Virgil, Creative Director of DONDA, founder of PYREX, #BEEN #TRILL DJ, RSVP Gallery heavyweight, need I go on?
Virgil’s exploded his Tumblr into the most exclusive, elusive, (and maybe expensive) Streetwear brand in the game, silkscreen blasting all over expired Rugby flannels and Champion sweatshirts, the aesthetic that defined his youth. Hitting strange and unorthodox placements for prints not seen since the Fiberops days, like across the front of basketball shorts… But PYREX isn’t here to stay, it’s all a lead-up to his more substantial project…
Anyways, Streetwear comes in all shapes and forms. High and low. Trickles down from the top or springs from the underground. But it all plays a part, all contributes to this subculture, all keeps it fresh and innovative. Not many individuals in Streetwear in this man’s position, with the network he has, or with his capabilities; it’ll be fun seeing where he goes next and what happens from here.
CLOT and Frank 151 are working on an issue together, so to educate the readers on the brand’s story, they asked me to interview Edison and KP on camera for a future featurette on the co-founders. We met late this afternoon at the Pancake Epidemic, where business and pleasure were on as usual.
Michael (LAMJC), his secret strength: carrot juice, and Brandon:
Willie T captured stills and schooled me on photography (nothing new):
Oh yeah, so Sunday night, I broke right out of the Coachella sandstorm and evaded the culturally groundbreaking MTV Movie Awards to attend my friend Kelly‘s book release party at Craig’s in Hollywood. If you’re a Twitter junkie or just into beautiful, stylish Canadian moms-of-three who get super duper famous by blogging and tweeting hilarious stuff, then you probably already know who Kelly Oxford is. At half a million followers, she’s gone from a sweet suburban housewife to a New York Times Bestselling author via her social media presence and celebrity connects.
Like Michelle Branch. And who else was here? Geoff Ross, Kevin Nealon, Adam Scott, Busy Phillips… but it’s cool because Kelly was the biggest star in the room.
Anyways, I’m perpetually mesmerized and inspired by what Kelly’s done and doing with her writing. It’s the American dream, personified. Or the North American dream for her. And it proves how non-discriminating the Internet is in who gets to build success off of it. It’s the great equalizer, an accessible springboard for most everyone. Pre-web, the chances of someone like Kelly getting this far in the writing circuit would have been slim to none, but today, it’s not that rare of a success story. Not too far from what Ben and I did, how we used the Internet to get where we are. Could we have done it without the web? We’ll never know, but probably not! Even without all the network and know-how, we still established an audience by connecting directly to the people.
And then TMZ pounced on Kelly. True Hollywood story.
Hey, it’s Jane. Bobby’s pretty bad at introducing his friends, but if you haven’t noticed by now, I’ll be chiming in on the blog…
Last night, I attended the opening exhibition for Hanni El Khatib’s “Family” at HVW8, featuring badass work by Hanni El Khatib, and fellow artists, Nathan Cabrera, Keith P. Stone, Nick Walker, and Dr. Woo. In keeping with the show’s title, I am going to open with a personal anecdote about my friend Hanni and I. Once upon a time, on a quaint residential street in Los Angeles, Hanni and his lovely girlfriend lived in the apartment above mine. We are both pitbull owners, and when our dogs would play fight, it would cause quite a disturbance. Since meeting Hanni, I’ve had the privilege of seeing him play at some of the best venues in Los Angeles, but the most memorable performance was in his living room.
One summer night, after day drinking and getting a little psychedelic on our old shared front lawn, I coerced him into singing for us. He’d just gotten this shiny-gold-crooner-style microphone, and I wanted to see it in action. Needless to say, it was one of the coolest musical moments I’ve ever witnessed. We’ve since both moved out of that apartment complex, but our lives still intersect quite often… like last night, to celebrate the opening of his perfectly executed “Outlaw Americana” art show, which was complete with a live Mariachi band, and visuals that make you want to tattoo every surface of your body. The artwork was red, white and manly, there was PBR o’ plenty, and the vibe in the room was intimate and friendly, thanks to libations provided by good friend Sean B. Congrats to the guys on a successful evening! (Insert sound of motorcyle engine revving to signify the end of this post.)
So much to blog, so little time. Steven Harrington is the man responsible for that mural behind our ramp at The Hundreds Homebase. It was pretty frustrating for the artist to sit there and paint while everyone else was taking turns chopping up the half-pipe, so now it’s his time:
Jessie Andrews with that manual stimulation.
CBG‘s album drops the Tuesday before 4/20. This is your first look at our official collaboration t-shirt with the Chill Black Guys:
I’d always heard of Meggs, but didn’t get to fully appreciate the depth and breadth of his work until I was in Melbourne a couple years ago. Back when I was speaking at Carbon in Australia, I became familiar with his Everfresh crew, wrote about them, and my eyes were opened to an entire new world of street/gallery art.
Well, Meggs is in Los Angeles at the moment, working on his solo exhibition opening this Saturday at Thinkspace, entitled “Heavenly Creatures.”
“Heavenly Creatures” showcases Meggs’ diverse and prolific style across multiple media – from paintings to sculptures and installations. The theme is that of mythology and belief, with this dichotomy between good and evil. Personally, I’m drawn to all his work incorporating skulls, because I’m really into skulls, and because I had to stop putting so many skulls on t-shirts because MMA brands ruined it for everyone, and apparently streetwear kids are afraid of skulls, but I digress… So yeah, the skulls… Wait, what was I saying?
So yeah, this was my favorite piece from the show:
“Heavenly Creatures” doesn’t actually open until Saturday night and it runs until April 27th at which time Meggs is off to D.C. to work on a mural, up to SF, and then back here.
We sat down and interviewed Meggs about the show. Be sure to watch the video to get a better understanding of what he’s working with, instead of just reading me complaining about skulls…
I didn’t even realize that Dabs and Myla were painting inside the bathroom, which can be a dark place to be if Meggs has eaten too much spicy Indian food.
These three are all Melbourne transplants and that brought up the point that there is so much incredible talent coming out of Australia these days. Back when I spoke at that Carbon conference, there was a question asked by an audience member about how Aussies could break through to the greater world. And my response then sorta foreshadowed what was to come. Forever it seemed that Australia was at a disadvantage from a geographical standpoint. That gap not only meant that Aussies could fall behind, but also that they had to work harder to prove themselves and make their unique, creative mark. Which they did.
And then it all exploded forth once the Internet and social media brought everyone together and closed the physical disconnect. For the first time, I feel, Australia is finally getting the recognition they truly deserve. Just look at the Popular Page on Instagram and see how many top pix are coming by way of Down Under. Dabs, Myla, Meggs, are just a few of the examples of how Australia is gradually taking over – not only from an art perspective, but fashion, popular music, skateboarding… You can easily name Aussies at the pinnacle of all those fields in 2013.
Anyways, this year’s Carbon conference will be held August 13th and 14th in Melbourne with not only Dabs Myla speaking, but Barry McGee, PM Tenore of RVCA, Eddie Huang, Jeff Hamada, Martha Cooper, Shawn Stussy… The fact that the premiere Street culture conference happens every year in Australia should be a slight indication that this is the region to watch for the next 10 years.
San Francisco is the kind of eccentric city with surprises around every street corner. Literally. Walking through the Mission District, you never know what kind of crazed, costumed character is going to jump out and start rambling at you about the bible and Tony Bennett. And we hope it never changes. Last weekend, while visiting The City By The Bay to celebrate five eventful years in SF, The Hundreds hit up the grand re-opening party and first-ever art show of good friend of the brand and tastemaker, Benny Gold. The newly re-modeled shop was wall-to-wall with attractive people convening to enjoy free beer and the sharp-tongued work of 90′s pop culture satirist, Justin Hager, whose unexpected mash-ups, like Top Ramen and the Ramones, and PBR and R. Kelly, are basically adulterated genius. Big congrats to Benny and Justin!
L.A. guys always speak disparagingly of coastal Orange County but every time I’m down here, I can’t hate. The weather is room temperature with a sunkissed breeze, the food is fresh and poppin’, the people are all smiles, stuck in vacation mode, and the girls are blonde, bouncy, and bubbly. This neck of the O.C. also bounds the “Velcro Valley;” all walks of the action sports industry have set up camp in the industrial parks like Quik and Hurley. RVCA is the black sheep in the community and I like to come down here often to play in PM Tenore’s world.
I’ve taken you behind the RVCA walls before, showed you all the amazing art that decks the hallways. Perhaps the best part of RVCA though is the intersection of personalities that engage here. The RVCA brand is pretty all-encompassing when it comes to cool subculture and it reflects in the circle of advocates that Pat endorses. Like Marcus Buchecha, literally the best jiu-jitsu fighter in the world, and pro sufer and waterman Mark Healey:
I’m so hungry. But we have to wait for Pat to finish his meeting.
So Tal and I wait. And wait. And wait some more in Pat’s office. Impatiently.
Meanwhile, Pat is downstairs in the sewing room, situating the RVCA patch on Buchecha’s gi:
Finally! Lunch. We’re saving Bear Flag for dinner, so how about Jan’s Health Bar? This is my favorite Huntington Beach haunt for vegan, clean eats, but I guess they now have this one in Costa Mesa?
Just down the street is one of Pat’s newest ventures, the Art of Jiu Jitsu Academy. Over the course of this afternoon and night, 150 students will be rolling around in here, in pursuit of the mastery of jiu jitsu.
The project is actually a joint venture with the world-renowned Mendes brothers who lead the instruction. People move here from all over the world to train with them.
Our friend Rich taught me how to lay down the perfect rear-naked choke on Mark Healey. I felt tough until he kinda did one on me and I almost passed out like a schoolgirl (Tal has the phone pix to prove it).
Here’s some awesome skateboard-created Alex Olson art on the wall:
Each one of these belts takes a couple years to train and earn. So, overall like 10 years invested to get to the black belt. Or you can buy a The Hundreds belt right here if you’re in a rush and just need something to hold up your pants.
Back at RVCA, it’s business as usual as the team runs through budgeting:
All the while Pat’s upstairs telling another trademark “Tenore story.”
I like the Tenore stories that also incorporate fighting techniques.
Here’s a cool story, bro. Another one for the bucket list, got to train with Pat in the RVCA octagon this evening:
Anyways, I love Pat and I love RVCA. I’ll be honest, I never completely understood this brand – as much as I admired and respected it – until I met the people behind it. And I guess that can be said of almost anything substantial and authentic. It’s not just about clothing. We don’t just sell fashion. We don’t just dress bodies and keep people warm. We sell lifestyles and attitudes and personalities. We sell ourselves!
As an Asian-American youth, it’s challenging to find identity in the States. It’s tough enough when you’re a skateboarder or a punk rock kid but when you have a Mongolian face also, it’s like you’re one of the obscure mutants from X-men, the random dude that can turn into a tree or make really complicated knots. What’s harder is finding icons and idols to look up to when you’re tight-eyed. Growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, I didn’t have much beyond a Daewon Song or Kien Lieu or the sexually ambiguous guitarist from the Smashing Pumpkins to model myself after. Barely any mainstream athletes, absent in politics, missing from the big screen: Asians are typically tigers crouching in liquor stores or hidden dragons in med school.
In 2013, it’s sorta better. Asian-Americans have pretty much figured out that since mainstream Amerikkka isn’t gonna let ‘em sit at the cool kids’ table, that they’ll just set up a cooler table somewhere else (or buy the entire cafeteria). I’m proud to be of the same genus as kickass Asian-Americans like Dave Choe, Eric Nakamura, Asa Akira, and all 300 of the Crooks & Castles crew. And this guy, Eddie Huang.
I’m kinda stuck in my The Hundreds bubble so I was late to the party with Eddie Huang. The first time I heard about him was when my little brother sent me screen-grabs from Eddie’s Vice show to remark on how much he looked like our cousin Don. I had to admit, this guy looked EXACTLY like Don. I started watching Fresh Off the Boat religiously after that and I usually can’t stand food shows. Then Eddie made me Chinese New Year dinner and threw in his new book as a party gift. It’s kinda funny to write a memoir when you’re 30, but not when you’re this dude. He takes it all the way back to his childhood in Orlando, his beefs and battles as a teenager, from jail to law school, his first set of pink nipples to munch on, there’s even a chapter on Streetwear history where he shouts out The Hundreds’ “Paisley” hoodies!, and eventually how he came to be one of the most talked-about chefs with his popular Baohaus restaurant. The language volleys between hoodspeak and scholarly, somehow Eddie plays to the Wu heads and the literati. It’s basically the perfect read for the ’90s rap fan, sneaker junkie, minority, college student, that is seeking inspiration and a good laugh. And probably hates reading as much as I hate food shows.
But underneath it all, Fresh Off the Boat is a striking commentary on race in America and how to turn all your disadvantages into your greatest strength. Eddie proves that when it comes to the cool kids’ table, you can also wrap it in M80s and blow it up.