Here are some of my favorite shots from my photo shoot last week with a good friend and extremely talented photographer, Kat Bartlett. I styled it to my liking and kept it boyish which is usually my first instinct when styling myself. I pulled from the likes of Volcom, Freedom Artists, American Apparel, Throwback Quiksilver, Converse, Coal, Forever 21 and select vintage pieces.
Hola ladies, I’m back so get ready for usual updates! I have a wedding in Malibu tomorrow so Sunday be expecting a grand outfit update. I put together some shots on the plane from the industry party I attended last Friday night for the Water House Project, enjoy!
I woke up to the best news this morning! The Transworld Business Magazine just came out for the quarter and the company I work for, Freedom Artists, was featured and voted the next up and coming brand in the industry. It’s an amazing feeling and it does show you that hard work, dedication and drive can really get you somewhere in life and today was the day that proved me right. A celebration will be in store after work but for now you can view the whole article HERE.
"Circle LA" by Keegan Gibbs
When was the brand born?
Tell us about the idea for the brand and how you got things going.
The idea is that art would be an active and functional part of everyday life displayed on one of the most versatile canvases—the t-shirt–not just passively hanging on a gallery wall. Art on tees is nothing new, but art is timeless and there can never be enough art on shirts and we felt that we had a different story to tell. We started with a 4 color manual press and a small conveyer dryer in a little warehouse and began printing local artists’ work onto tees–now we have an automatic press and a wide range of artists both local and internationally recognized. Screenprinting is an art in itself and we take pride in the entire process.
How would you describe your product and its design aesthetic?
The aesthetic is very similar from piece to piece even though the medium changes between different artists. The art we like and are drawn to always seems to have a great sense of freedom incorporated into its subject. Whether it is a hand drawn sequence of a surfer or a watercolor painting of a sunset or a photo of a skater wallriding, most of the artists that we work with have a strong tie to surfing, skating, music, street culture and the environments that we grew up surrounded by here in Southern California.
How about your target customer?
To be honest our stuff appeals to a wide audience–we design things that we personally would want to wear and people from all ages and walks of life seem to dig it. The nice thing about the concept behind Freedom Artists is that different artists from different scenes are all contributing so we have a wide range of subcultures being represented.
What makes your gear different from everything else out there?
We try to stay away from big branded company logos and let the art be the focal point.
What makes your retail strategy stand out for shops?
We are moving to more of a pre-book schedule but since we own and operate our own printshop we have the ability to fill quickly, always meet ship dates and produce bigger orders quickly if we are out of stock. This also allows us to keep a close eye on the quality and consistency of everything that leaves our warehouse. Having our own printshop gives us the freedom to do collaborations with stores and small specialty runs with artists from different areas. We also try to give each shop as much personal attention as possible–each shop that we deal with is like family to us. Lately we have been doing a lot of private label t-shirt printing for shops that like our quality and attention to detail. We realize that shops’ bread and butter is their own private label gear because their margin will always be the best with their own tees so anyway we can help them with full t-shirt design and print solutions we are more than happy to because in the end if they do well then we do well and vice-versa. The small specialty boardshops are the core and backbone of the whole action sports industry and our goal is to help them thrive as we come out of the Great Recession.
How many people are on your squad? There are 5 of us day-to-day not including all the artists, surfers, skaters, musicians and tribe members that make up the whole of Freedom Artists.
How many shops are you in?
Since our first account, Val Surf, picked us up in 2007 we have focused on opening quality doors and dealing with shops that treat us with the same respect and attention that we have given them. In the end of the day we consider each of our accounts to be close friends and its quality over quantity. Recently we have expanded our distribution internationally with Beachlife Distribution in Australia, Oneskyinc in Japan, and Private Agent in Canada.
What’s been the most fun or interesting part of launching this company?
The most interesting part about launching Freedom Artists is all the people we have met along the way who have believed in, contributed, and helped us become who we are. We also enjoy working with close friends who have similar passions, love to have fun, enjoy life and create good shit.
What are you most proud of to date?
Being independently owned and operated, having a great group of core supporters, and being able to help showcase artists that are otherwise unknown. We are also proud of the fact that we have grown this brand without any marketing budget on a completely grassroots level. Thanks again to all the retailers and customers who have supported and believed in us since the beginning!
In a perfect world, where will you be in three years as a brand, and what will your line include?
In three years time we foresee our company having a full line with an entire range of cut and sew pieces that reflect the vibe and commitment to quality that our tees have. There are other plans we have but we can’t say because people in the industry rip us off all the time–so stay tuned… the revolution will not be televised.
Agenda, you have done us good once again! I pretty much just made an Agenda blog so I hope you enjoy it! The new Freedom Artists line will be available soon, I’ll send a shout out when that time arrives!