– Designing Snoop Dogg’s weed line.
– An exhaustive report of the American Apparel factory workers in LA.
– When in doubt, ACT!
– Korea’s love affair with Spam.
For the last 3 years I’ve exhausted both sides of my brain, my blood, sweat, and tears to running and operating a garment factory. That’s right, a more humane friendly sweat shop at the heart of the garment district. It’s been nothing but stressful and grueling trying to take a internal war-torn company from devasted shit show into a stable business that meets its margins. There is plenty of back story and drama and unnecessary stress associated with the everyday trials and tribulations of this experience in the past 3 years but I’ll spare sharing that with you by telling you bits and pieces along the way.
I haven’t had much heart or confidence to actually write thoughtful posts, or at least meaningful posts other than the silly links I find exploring the internet once a month if I’m lucky. Whenever an idea arose for a potential post I was lazy and distracted, lacked the oomph to get my ass on the computer and get my fingers typing a mere few paragraphs to complete a post. It became a daunting task that I couldn’t fulfill. The biggest obstacle for me was that I couldn’t stay focused enough to thoughtfully sit down and write a post about anything I felt passionate about, anything that I felt was important enough to share. Not that I have all that many readers coming through this website as it is, I’ve let it collect webs and get lost in the ether. And I’m disappointed about that.
Feedly and pocket, reader posts and the blog in general over the last 3 years became a crutch, a constant nudge in the back of my head, a compulsion to appease, a hunger to ease but can never quite satisfy. The constant information absorption, the overwhelming amount of data to consume, it became uncontrollable and I just kind of fried out and lost all passion to experience and document my experiences.
I became stuck in an 8am – 6pm gig running this factory and all my energies were poured into that. I can’t say I’ve come all that far other than learn a shit ton about garment making, construction, quality, and the designers and companies than rule the scene here in New York. Where before I couldn’t pronounce Givenchy and couldn’t give two shits about DVF’s dress and the Birkin bag I know covet Marni coats and can name the most recent CFDA winners.
Where I might have skipped out on a social life attending this art opening, seeing that dance performance, networking and meeting new people and productively skipping through my feedly and pocket feeds I successfully have learned how to run a fashion development studio and production facility. I’ve learned how to read patterns, communicate with designers in a way they can trust me and connect with me, win their sales and work orders, talk about the technical aspects of a garment to the client, cutter, sewer and presser, and gain a mild reputation for being an anomaly in this industry as a manufacturer. I see the gritty side of the fashion industry and there is so much to expose and improve.
There is plenty of work to be done. Running a factory is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my short life and I don’t know how Johnny or any other factory owner has done it over the last 5 decades in this country. It’s not fun nor is it very gratifying, it’s not fruitful nor is it at all appreciated. It’s slowly changing however, consumers are becoming more aware and educated, designers are slowly realizing the importance of having a manufacturer that is more collaborator, less of an unappreciated vendor.
I’m constantly looking for new ways to add revenue streams to my repertoire. I care about money and business more than I ever have before. It’s no longer about art and dreamy designs, it’s about turning those pieces into a fruitful business. I’ve never considered myself an entrepoopooer but I’m sure as hell now trying.
I’m launching updownacross as a fashion brand that will hopefully garner enough attention and revenue to become the next martha stewart of fashion. I want to do it consciously, little by little, with minimum viable product high on my mind. I want to do it fairly with wise decision making along the way, with transparency and fair practice. I want to create garments that people like me will wear: no frills, no bullshit, no fancy shit, simple, minimal, easy, comfortable. Let’s also insert elevated luxury, streetwear, sportswear, athleisure, normcore, and whatever other buzzwords you feel will convince you that I am relevant. I want to turn my personal brand into a lifestyle brand. I don’t have any klout or heresay in any industry but it’s ok. It’s ok. I’m going to start somewhere and just build it as I go along. Minimum viable product. I hope to stay encouraged to post, to share my experiences, and I hope it will be interesting enough for you to join me in this journey.
– Every season Tomas Maier of Bottega Veneta collaborated with fine art photographers to shoot seasonal campaigns including Robert Longo and Collier Schorr. They’re chronicled in this book, what a great Christmas present it would make, for me. Also, I want this art + fashion book.
– The emotional labor and stressful 80 hour work weeks of fashion bloggers: “Bloggers’ emotional labor takes a different form—glamorous living is documented frame by frame—but remains, like Hochschild’s service workers, concealed. Bloggers look like they have fulfilling careers, financial success, flexible schedules, and fun lives. But these creative mavens are ostensibly also regular women. As such their digital images of perfection make it seem accessible to everyone: just a lot of passion and a few social media accounts away.”
– If only I were so lucky. Lucky for lucky charms.
– 25 Frenchies.
– 50 best tech PR people you should know.
– Danny Meyer eliminates tipping from all his restaurants. Outrage ensues.
– Owner of $70 mil company Drybar on disrupting the beauty industry. “A large part of that formula centers around catering to her consumers, and staying true to the brand’s mission: beautifying the hair. In other words, Webb will never expand into other categories.”
– On creating a billion dollar fashion brand using Jessica Simpson. “It’s a moderate brand and most of America is a moderate consumer. The key here is moderate pricing in moderate stores, offering good fashion on a consistent basis. It sells to the middle-class consumer in Middle America that is looking to the department store to tell them which brands are fashionable.”
– The eyebrow dictionary.
– Class action lawsuit against LinkedIn. So that email I got this morning is real.
– Sweden adopting the 6 hours workday. I was actually thinking about just the other day, that if I’m not a freelancer, I would be far more productive working at a company for 6 hours, no breaks, no chit chat, just productivity. That’s how it should be.
– Nanette Lepore and Robert Savage turn their NYC townhouse into an art gallery open to public through rsvp.
– Pharell visits Murakami’s studio. He’s awkward.
– Project Jacquard headed by Google and Levi’s is working to not slap a smart watch or an LCD screen on you, but rather to integrate fibers into fabric to create endless opportunity in manufacturing wearable technology in garment form.
– Asian pop-stars redefining cool.
– Rent the Runway is launching an accelerator program for women entrepreneurs. I’m signing up.
– I want all the books in the fashion and art section.
– I need to travel. “Exploring also just serves to remind you of what’s important in your life; you don’t need a million outfits, you don’t need gourmet dinners or TV or Facebook. Excess is whittled away. Everything is simplified. There’s some kind of special bond you develop towards the small amount that you bring with you on a trip—because those are the quality people and things that you realize you really need. You’re all experiencing this adventure together, everything else is secondary. And you’re perfectly happy.”
– Ellen Degeneres launched a lifestyle brand. I’ll take this Dachshund pin, thanks.
– Nicola Tesla on women: “This struggle of the human female toward sex equality will end in a new sex order, with the female as superior. The modern woman, who anticipates in merely superficial phenomena the advancement of her sex, is but a surface symptom of something deeper and more potent fermenting in the bosom of the race.”
– Buy less clothes, buy Made in America.
– Interview with Steve Kolb of CFDA.
– Wonder if American Apparel will survive with new branding and a new CEO.
– If you’re in Korea, don’t miss Henrik Vibskov’s exhibition of hanging flamingo necks, shiny boobies, and disturbing baby puppets.
– The story of Stance, an $86 million dollar sock company.
– Then, the story of Lola, the subscription based all-natural tampon brand.
– For the first time in the two whole years I’ve been in the fashion industry I am truly inspired by the respected streetwear brand Pigalle. Mr. Ashpool successfully brings his humble roots to high fashion without bland imitation, phony or glitzy performance, or cocky yet bland design jargon.
– Cool lookbook video for Bekpro SS16.
– The story of Peter, the Meme Whisperer: “Agencies breathlessly begged him to take fantastic sums of money for even the most oblique #spon for their clients. Influencer networks emailed blindly, pleading for the opportunity to represent him. Everyone had budget for @lauer_pauer. They hardly had a choice. His microcontent was impeccable, original and utterly unrivaled.”
– The Man Repeller interviews Rosie Assoulin, very relaxedly.
– Joan Didion on self-respect: “In brief, people with self-respect exhibit a certain toughness, a kind of moral nerve; they display what was once called character, a quality which, although approved in the abstract, sometimes loses ground to other, more instantly negotiable virtues.”
– I envy this man traveling for a living.
– Nude female athletes on their body: “I don’t look in the mirror and think “slim”; I look in the mirror and I’m like, “Whoa, beast!” It’s just crazy how much the body changes. Looking in the mirror I get surprised like every other week. It’s like I’m Wonder Woman.”
– Is Men’s Fashion Week really necessary? Is it backwards and anti-disrupting a fashion calendar that needs much disrupting? “NYFW: Men’s directly follows the much more prestigious men’s fashion weeks, adding considerable work for designers during a time that has traditionally been reserved for tanning in Mallorca or eating lobster rolls in Amagansett.”
– 90s fest is coming. I love their website.
– LINE launched an emoji keyboard. Less typing, more cute faces!
– Didn’t think Miley could actually be inspiring. #instapride.
– Alfred is like Task Rabbit but much smarter.
– Pussy Riot gets photographed by Terry Richardson, upsets people.
– I guess at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter that your clothes were made by a 7 year old Indian girl forced into child labor in Bangladesh because it costs $25.
– I’m in love with these collage works by artist Charles Wilkins. Opening Feb 5 in Brooklyn.
– Interview with Band of Outsiders’ Scott Sternberg: “I wanted to create a super fresh, clean environment that didn’t draw upon retail cliches but created sort of a blank slate for the collections and other projects we plan to display and launch in the shop.
– I want to go to Tokyo!