Over the weekend, I had the privilege of attending Behind the Hustle: Hustle and Sew, an interactive talk with some of the top guys in the streetwear industry. Along with some inside stories of their rise through fashion, they answered questions from the audience, mingled with the crowd, and ate lunch with us at the Herman Miller headquarters.
“Changing to be different isn’t being true to yourself.”
- Jerry Lorenzo
Due to a long night out and a faulty GPS (thanks google maps), I missed the first keynote. I walked in as Jerry Lorenzo and Chris Gibbs were setting up to speak. Jerry is the owner of a brand called Fear of God, most notably dawned by Kanye West. He explained how his brand came to fruition, the importance of following your own voice, and carving your own lane if necessary. Chris is the relatively new owner of a legendary streetwear shop called Union. He spoke about what it takes to get the attention of major retailers in the industry and how he has helped evolve Union into a major player with the changing times.
We took a brief lunch sponsored by Free Range with awesome sandwiches and endless coconut water. I had the pleasure of unknowingly speaking candidly with Peter Lee about his future plans.
“Do not underestimate the power of your knowledge of production.”
- Emil Soriano
Next up was Emil Soriano (Crooks and Castles), Spencer Nikosey (Killspencer), and Peter Lee (NYCPARIS). They all spoke about the importance of production. Emil spoke from the perspective of a design director that works with overseas manufacturers. Spencer spoke from the perspective of overseeing production directly in his Silverlake workshop. Peter spoke from the perspective of a designer who freelances for many major brands such as Quicksilver, Roxy, and Puma. They all had amazing stories about running around downtown LA connecting the dots to complete their vision and shared valuable insight into the production process.
The day was closed out by Kellen Rolland (NTWRK) who talked about how to successfully set up a booth at a trade show. He was an amazing speaker and gave some real insight into what is needed to milk a trade show for all its worth. Afterwards, he and his team spoke with the audience individually about questions they have.
Along with some great advice and insightful stories, I left with a renewed sense of inspiration to create dopeness. Thank you Spencer, Kenny, and Don for helping make this happen and I hope you all check out Behind the Hustle.
Photo credit: Don J Kang