One. More. Day.
We sent our accessories designer, Vito Nguyen, who also happens to moonlight as an automotive photographer, to the LA Auto Show for a rundown on what’s to come in the auto industry. Here are his photos and takeaways from LA’s biggest car exhibition. Words and photography by Vito Nguyen. For more car porn, follow @photographybyv
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The LA Auto show opens its doors to the public starting Nov. 22nd through Dec. 1st at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Lucky for you, and me, I got the opportunity to step away from my normal job of designing accessories and was able to capture what’s to come in the automotive world. The first room I hit was the exotics room which held the likes of this Galpin Ford GTR1 concept.
I was hoping to see more in this room, but what this room lacked, the other rooms made up for. Entering the West Hall, the first thing I saw was the new Honda FCEV concept. I’m not sure about the covered rear wheels, but as long as we’re trying to push the envelope for cleaner cars, I’m all for it.
Nothing else was too exciting in the West Hall, so I headed on over to the South Hall where I was eager to see the BMW i8.
And the Mercedes AMG Vision Gran Tursimo.
On the Japanese concept front, Lexus was displaying their LF-LC.
And Infinity with their Q30
The highlight of the show for me definitely lied in the Petree Hall, where year after year has been occupied by Porsche. Inside was the brand new Macan, a couple 911′s, and a GT3. But the real gem of the exhibit was the 918 Spyder hybrid. Porsche is really setting the tone for the future of automotive racing with this car and hopefully we’ll see more advances from other car manufacturers in the future.
On Sunday night, the Those Folks crew hosted their annual Thanksgiving homeless outreach in Venice. Even bigger and more positive than last year’s food drive, the line was over 200 deep with nothing but smiles and gratitude coming out the other side. Big ups to Richard, Tiimo, and everyone else at Those Folks who chipped in to make the night memorable…
The Hundreds is pleased to announce the release of the “The Hundreds X V/SUAL by Van Styles” collection for Winter 2013, available at The Hundreds flagship locations (THLA, THSF, THNY and THSM) and select stockists Friday, November 29th, 2013. The line will also be distributed through The Hundreds’ Online Shop beginning Tuesday, December 3, 2013.
Van Styles is a Los Angeles-based visual artist specializing in photography, directing, and editing. As chance would have it, Van was operating a children’s skate camp out of the San Fernando Valley when a student’s parent caught wind of his propensity for shooting amateur skate videos and offered him the opportunity to explore other areas of video production. Since then, Van has forged a reputable name for himself in the adult film industry and Streetwear culture alike, having worked with such brands as DGK, HUF, and The Hundreds. The “The Hundreds X V/SUAL by Van Styles” collection marks The Hundreds and Van Styles sophomore venture together, following in the success of our first collaboration, #NotBadForAPhotoShow.
“I am really happy that the first collaboration for my brand V/SUAL is with The Hundreds. To work on a project of this magnitude with Bobby and Ben was awesome, and it was great knowing they back my photography to the point that we were able to work together in this capacity. From the initial concept to the final product, everything came about so naturally.”
The “The Hundreds X V/SUAL by Van Styles” collection combines The Hundreds’ and Van Styles’ mutual interests in photography, skate, and Los Angeles culture. A series of photographic T-shirts, a decorative 12″ x 20″ rectangular pillow, and a 24-exposure disposable camera make up the collaborative effort. The “The Hundreds X V/SUAL by Van Styles” collection marks an exclusive Black Friday release, and will be offered in limited quantities at select premium retailers nationwide.
The idea of a genuine Streetwear brand to us – back when we started – was one that was limited, exclusive, and rare. So we wanted to stave off selling The Hundreds to any chain or mass-distribution stores for as long as we could. We pulled it off for a few years. At the time, there were about 50 proper “Streetwear” boutiques worldwide and we knocked ‘em down one by one. Outside of our own e-commerce, it was just Digital Gravel. Our brand was cool and special, hard to find (almost impossible, actually)- exactly what we were going for.
A few years later, I was visiting my parents out in Riverside, a suburban pocket an hour inland from Los Angeles. I’d grown up in this town, where everything was brown: the air, the dirt, the people. When I started skateboarding in 7th grade, there was only one skate shop in the area called Rebel with a few t-shirt racks and dusty decks on the wall. Then a store called Color Crazy (eventually C&C) opened, but that was about it. So when that initial wave of Streetwear started hitting in the early ’90s – Stussy, Jive, 26 Red, Sjobeck, GAT – there was nowhere else to find this stuff outside of the mall. A store called Beach Access at the Tyler Mall (now Galleria) stocked Jive, Nordstrom had Stussy, and 40 minutes west, a Pacific Sunwear at the Montclair Plaza was a goldmine.
And so, all this time later, I wanted to sell The Hundreds to my ‘hood. My community. But where?
I visited Active in the Riverside Plaza, and one of the staff, Graham, approached me. He was familiar with The Hundreds and asked why we weren’t carried in Active yet. It had crossed our mind on a couple occasions, but again, we thought it served our brand best to be outside of a commercial distro channel. But Graham was a smart kid, he obviously knew what was up in Streetwear, educated and cultured on it all. In fact, a couple years later, he’d leave Active to start his own brand called Us Versus Them. And I wanted someone like Graham as my customer. After I left the shop, I started thinking about my own history and how even I wouldn’t have had access to The Hundreds growing up in Riverside.
That not only seemed a little unfair and arrogant, but stupid. Some of the most impactful tastemakers, innovators, cultural leaders, skateboarders, artists, and musicians come from small towns, not the big city. In fact, our Sales Director (and third musketeer) Scotty iLL started off his career at the Active in Valencia. So it only made sense.
Let’s open Active.
That was years ago and since that time, The Hundreds has obviously evolved. We obviously don’t sell to the same 50 doors anymore, but we maintain our “special” factor by releasing limited product through our 4 flagship stores and through partnerships with our stockists. And Active has grown and changed as well, pioneering the diverse Streetwear selection that is now commonplace in skate-oriented doors, and setting the tone for what a lot of the bigger mall chains are just now catching wind of.
This past week, Ben, Scotty, myself and our Marketing Director Albie, paid unannounced visits to ten of our Active accounts across the Southland with boxes of donuts or In-N-Out or coffee. The goal was to not only cement our longstanding relationship with this retail partner, but to make a personal connection with the shop staff, who are ultimately the face of our brand to the end-consumer.
A longtime sneakerhead feeding grounds, the skate/snow/street retailer recently stunned the action sports community by dropping Nike from their shelves beginning 2014. The move was intended to question the Swoosh’s dedication to skateboarding as a culture and lifestyle, confront it’s mass commercialization, and maybe most importantly, bolster the platform for authentic skate shoe companies and indie brands like ours who have been eclipsed by the corporate giant over the past several years.
Obviously it was a controversial decision, one that goes against the grain, incites discussion, and makes kids think. No one knows if this will prove the right decision in the end, but from a PR and internal company morale angle alone, I feel it was brilliant. And necessary. It’s moves like these that keep the Active brand exciting and progressive. And that’s what Skateboarding is all about, right?
The first Active we visited was Active Escondido, and this was the morning staff (with some Active Temecula in there):
Next, we headed down to San Diego to check on Active Mission Valley:
(Doesn’t Active have the best socks program?)
We had heard so much about the Active Temecula store that we added it to our list:
Back to square one: Active Riverside:
This is Active Rancho Cucamonga:
and maybe my favorite of them all, the new Active Pasadena pop-up shop. And why’s it my fave?
Because it feels like a core, independent, underground, off-the-radar boutique, of course.
Behind the scenes of The KAYO Corp. Distribution in San Diego. The KAYO shop is one of our newest neighbors in the Fairfax District, so we figured we’d take you straight to the source.
Chris DeFarkas is Design Director at DGK, and Nick Lockman is DGK Marketing. Along with Dirty Ghetto Kids, KAYO is also home to Expedition, Organika, and Gold. And watch KAYO TV here.
Our good friends over at Ben-G in Amsterdam (you may recall them from our COOL STORE, BRO earlier this year) have shot this candid editorial featuring Public Label Fall/Winter 2013, arriving today at Ben-G. All photos provided by Boris Postma.
Four years ago, Dave McKinney was still stuck in an office job. Dave’s quite known in the skateboarding world – not just for ripping – but for his work as an art director and designer for various brands. But he had reached the end of his line and was searching…
Today, he owns Edison MFG Co.and is a respected leathersmith. This is Dave, the guy who had never sewn a square up until he started this adventure. YouTube videos, whatever it took, he sought and learned and created. The Edison shop and workspace now holds down the North Park neighborhood, showcasing all sorts of unique creations by Dave, from wallets to belts, aprons to lighter cases. He does it all himself. Right now, he’s in the midst of constructing 40 bags. How does he do it? He lives right upstairs, so there’s no real separation between career and life. As soon as the shop closes, he begins the real work, sitting down at the machine and cranking through the night. Dave works harder and happier at this than anything that came before, and you can see it in the quality goods.
Whenever people ask me for advice on a project they’re starting up, I just make sure that they’re passionate about what they’re doing. As long as you are madly and blindly in love with your work, it’s never really work. You’ll immerse yourself in it, the results will be personal and meaningful, and people can tell the difference. By the end of Dave’s story, I wanted to take something home with me, a piece of Dave’s dedication, and a memento of his workmanship. I chose a wallet and already, it’s been the centerpiece of several opportunities to share Dave’s life and message. It’s only inspired me to continue to make product that shares a piece of ourselves. That’s what it’s all about anyways, right? Connecting.
Black Friday is dead anyways, right?
So this Thanksgiving night, we’re gonna play a different game. For starters – in a couple weeks, we’ll be throwing our 10-Year Anniversary party at the “Happiest Place on Earth” – shutting it down just for our guests to enjoy.
And you are invited to come celebrate with us. Here’s how.
Thanksgiving night, starting at midnight, we will draw lineups at The Hundreds Los Angeles, The Hundreds San Francisco, and The Hundreds Santa Monica. Buy anything in the shop and you’ll get one free ticket to “LOOKING BACK / MOVING FORWARD” (taking place the following week), while supplies last. Remember, you gotta be 18 or older, and the tickets are non-transferable. That’s it.
So while everyone is sleeping on the sidewalk for DVD players and bucket hats, you’ll have your 1-way ticket to Tomorrow. Come with us as we step into the future…
I’m not sure if it was seeing strangers scream every word of songs I’ve never performed before at me, the indigo stage lights piercing through the billowing fog, the first green room I’ve ever had with less than 20 people in it or the drunken cypher session to close out the set; but my album release party last Saturday made its way to being one of the BEST nights in my life.
After the show I went outside to have a cigarette I probably didn’t need. With exception to a couple drunk strangers spewing networking tactics that will eventually fade to nothing into my face; as well as drunk homegirls and brethren eager to find drugs and an after party with me; I was barely bombarded with any paradigm of post performance stardom. My charismatic relationship with the world existed solely during the hour and a half duration of my time on stage.
There’s something about that lackluster irony that I’m proud of. (email your hateful responses to my pride to firstname.lastname@example.org)
My music connects with certain people and their lives when they hear it. Who I am connects solely with those who do what I do.
At the end of the night I stood on La Brea on my solo; with the same unfuckwitable glory you’re gonna feel tonight if you complete everything you NEED to get completed today.
by Alexander Spit
Video directed by Roman Koval
“Dillinger” available now via Digital Download / Piracy/ Theft at www.alexanderspit.com