Lately, I had gotten and was tired of the “experience of fashion” becoming so incredibly formulaic. Yes I admit it, it did get to me, found myself perplexed, and yes even saying those dreaded words I pride myself in not saying……..”It used to be……”. Ugh, not being present and wistful and reminiscent of a time long gone by? A time where fashion was steeped in craft and art form. Where collections were born from pure creative inspiration and not some paid trend reports. Where buyers were all encompassing unbelievable curators, visionaries and analytical wizards….. And buying decisions were made mostly from passion, gut instinct as opposed to gross margin dictations, comparative sku counts and unit densities. Ok yes, I said it…..admit it…..wistful of the past? A time gone by? So not me….so, I decided enough and kicked myself in the bootie and said to self ” enough and this is not you and by the way, what and who are you waiting for? Get on it and inspire yourself! ”
Soooo, I decided to look at what was bugging me and it was really the experience of looking at fashion was feeling so formulaic. Thought a lot about how I could add value to our industry as opposed to addding to the erosion. After all, by staying in one place and not doing anything in my opinion is not value adding. Pushing forward, upward and taking chances is where my focus has always been.
I decided to look at each brand as an “installation” and the idea of aligning art and design and integrating them into the communication of the brand, enhancing the brand communication and creating hopefully a much more aspirational elevated experience all the way around.
I also really enjoyed the idea of aligning with another creative culture (art) and being able to support our friends who are artists and give them a forum to showcase their work which they never would have before. I think the cross pollination is value adding….initially, just tossed the idea out to a few amazing friends of mine in the art community and the response was so overwhelmingly positive. Now, how do I figure out what artists to integrate and what would be the best way in addition to dealing with the remodel of our LA showroom, moving offices and changing our space shape and function with Betsee (10eleven). I decided to work with the uber talented and brilliant jeannine braden in figuring out the artists and curating the right art and messaging with specific brands. Since it was the first time I felt working with a few artists was a good idea instead of working with a gynormo list. We decided to work with some incredible, diverse and dimensional artists as that integrated into the branding of HATCh….. The work we have is just unbelievable. From the Amazing Alison Van Pelt, to Grant Rohloff ;one of the most iconic surf photographers or all time. We even had Jeff Ho (who is one of the most significant board shapers in surf); he is also one of the original zephyr and dogtown founders and an all around gem and humble giant of a human… He loaned us one of his museum boards to us for the soludos installation. Also included are the yarn bombers who are a group of guerilla knitters that “bomb” installations all around the country, often times using their art to shed light onto a cause or issue. Their latest work is right in skid row where they knitted letters and strung together beautiful words of hope, inspiration and inclusivity. I love everything about what they stand for. Especially that they are using the humblest of all textiles/ acrylic yarn and the inclusivity of their work; that anyone can knit, you don’t need a special skill or schooling or a degree to create. Its for everyone….Nick egan, a brilliant graphic artist who also simultaneously did a very cool collaboration with JET / John Eshaya.
We also redid “the vault”. Design goddess Kelly wesrstler did an installation in the entire back half that is just gorgeous….
In all aspects of life its really the “meaning” we attach to things that create our experience. I think that when the inception of an idea comes from a place of truth, integrity and purpose the experience is one of positivity and elevation of all sorts. It sure is my hope that this adds a bit of lift…fashion is art and part of our industry has come away from that so we all do need to keep on our craft and celebrating, raising the bar and elevating our industry in every way we can.
Now, onto NYC……Our NY renovations will begin at the beginning of November. The iconic Cristina Grajales (one of the most significant design gallerist) and a privileged dear friend loved the idea so much she is curating all of NY (lucky us) and we will eventually include art shows in the NY space that will be also curated by Cristina.
We are in the midst of LA fashion week and the initial response has been overwhelmingly positive – hooray!
The biggest thank you really goes to all our unbelievably talented designers and manufacturers… For without their beautiful collections that get us all excited, inspired and motivated absolutely none of this would be possible. I remain committed to continuing to raise the bar on behalf of and for all of you.