What made you decide to start a clothing brand?
I’m friends with James from Supreme. He said, “Oh, we should do some t-shirts with artwork from the magazine.” And I had never even thought about it before. We did that, and then I didn’t do the magazine for about seven years. When I came back, I thought, “Let’s do a few t-shirts!” I have a background in fashion and I’ve always sort of enjoyed it.
In an interview, you once described streetwear as being “paramilitary.” In a way, when you create a streetwear brand, you’re creating uniforms for a fictional gang.
When I was a kid, there were mods, punks, teds, rockers, skinheads, and rudeboys. And there was no Internet, so if you were young and you wanted to establish what you were into musically and culturally and politically, you could dress a certain way to show everybody what your affiliations were. I think maybe that’s changed, but I still feel like there’s a place for wearing certain types of things that express who you are and what you’re into. Like secret codes. It’s sort of reassuring that you can represent yourself through these choices about the way you look. And that’s what we’re trying to do. It’s like a uniform for somebody who’s into the culture of the brand.
What are some things that you’re working on now that are intriguing you?
I’m very excited about some of the things that have come out for Fall/Winter 2016. We’ve done this whole thing on the American Standard, like the graphics on the toilet. And we played around with some stuff about dazzle camouflage. We’ve done this whole thing about the Midwest. There’s something about the Midwest that is dark and fascinating.
The toilet idea sounds apt. Because American Standard is such an iconic thing that everyone sees, but it’s covered in piss.
It’s sort of weirdly sexual. Even though it may or may not be for different people. What’s so much fun about doing a streetwear brand is that there’s all these ideas in your personal vision that give you a little inner smile. And then it’s about being able to manipulate the idea so that it actually connects. This incense burner, for example, is one of my favorite things that I’ve made. I had this Nymphenburg ashtray that had a large central column. Somebody was at my house and said, “Oh, that would make a really cool incense burner.” But as it was it wouldn’t have worked. And then I looked at a vase that Ettore Sottsass made, and I looked at those Tibetan lingams that are kind of these phallic symbols, and so you put these three or four elements together and come up with this weird incense burner ashtray.