Shit happens for a reason.
Perhaps the underlying root of “Carrot Field: Pick, Packed, Shipped” an exhibition of product by Anwar Carrots last week at Scion AV, is the mantra of “Live & Grow.” In nature, things happen, for the bad and for the better, and Anwar clearly understands that – like the events that happened nearly two months ago, which foreshadowed the growth of something bigger. It wasn’t until we met that I learned that “Carrot Field” should be read literally. Anwar explained that there was no deeper meaning encrypted in words, and no esoteric theme to the installation. “Carrot Field” shares its platform with those who’ve built relationships with Anwar, and also the debut of “Carrots by Anwar Carrots.” The artificial green grass laid out, the woodwork, the neon, the artwork, the clothing – all for Carrots. He explained on his blog that the concept of the show is to show parallels between farming and fashion – and growth:
“Since is the debut of my new venture, I felt that the concept should display where I am today: A small-scale farmer bringing product to market… I am a huge believer in what you put into the universe will come back to you, so why not think huge. I was put onto this earth to see how far I can go in life.”
“Carrots” was his answer to my first question of what was to come. “Everything happens for a reason.” This time, it was Anwar who would say this. I said that everything seemed okay, and in the next half hour, I learned that everything was more than just okay.
We were sitting in the newly renovated The Hundreds store, but on his way there, Anwar allowed some of his time to passers-by that spotted the familiar orange hair. Off top, the conversation was about clothing. “What got me interested is when I went to Union, like back in ’05. A lot of brands I knew then aren’t even around anymore,” he told me when I asked why he had such an interest in clothing. I admitted that I’ve actually never been inside of Union, a store that I too have known since the early 2000s. We were in middle school almost around the same time, and since then, it was all about the clothing culture. The only difference was that Anwar was around the culture in LA during a crucial period that many regard as the sweet days of streetwear. “Since I was young, it was the only thing I was interested in other than basketball. I just wanted to be a well-dressed guy. Since then, I moved out there; it was literally when I was 15 when I walked into Union… It was a store that had stuff people never had. When I walked into school, I never told people where I got what I was wearing – [there] was like a mystique thing to it.”
“THAT’S WHAT YOU HAVE TO FOCUS ON – OUTING SOMETHING OUT INTO THE WORLD.”
Anwar Taj Washington was born in Trenton, New Jersey, by a Nigerian mother and a father from the Virgin Islands. “I’m a worldly person. I’m more than LA based, that’s like outing you in a box. I’m not about to box myself in… Themes are good, but if it’s cohesive. My brand is themed on me.” Anwar isn’t like a media-shy Jebbia, nor does he embellish the limelight. He’s transparent with himself and his brand. But there’s more to him than Carrots, and perhaps that’s how it should be. Who he is can be a number of things, and will develop in the hours. There came a point where a mantra or theme began to feel limiting. Anwar is someone that has a lot to share, and he understands the results and importance of sharing yourself. “That’s what you have to focus on – outing something out into the world. Bills come later. I just went for it – even with this [“Carrot Field”]. This happened in 2 or 3 months. I know I sit in a certain space where I can balance in a corporate and street world because there’s nothing left of where I came from.”
Everything is a risk. Growing a brand that is based on yourself is undoubtably a risk. “Whether you do it or not do it, just do it. Don’t stop, there’s no such thing as failure. There’s such [a] thing as trial and error,” Anwar concludes, as I felt our official conversation was coming to an appropriate end. I stopped recording, but the conversation continued. We spoke more on Carrot Field and what more I could expect. He told me it was a simple matter of appreciating, and to “respect your taste.” This was clearly the same guy that allowed Peas N Carrots to be worldly – and international.
My favorite piece from the show by Stella Blu.