Lockdown in LA: homegrown brands on staying sane

The founders of high-end streetwear label 424, SoCal’s go-to uniform kitter Noon Goons, and zine publishing imprint-turned-clothing brand Total Luxury Spa weigh in on creativity pre, during and post-Covid-19.

Guillermo Andrade, 424 co-founder

Adidas Originals by 424

How are you staying creative while in quarantine?

I’m finding it hard, to be honest. We make most of our collections in Italy and they have been hit so hard. Seeing how resilient my colleagues have been has been the inspiration to stay strong and focus on forward momentum. 

What are you finding inspiration from? 

I have been recharged by time [spent with] my family and close friends. I’ve been working nonstop for years, so I’m finding it very fulfilling reconnecting with those close to me in a real way. The happier I am, the better the flow of creativity, so I’m not forcing it. When it’s time to work again, I’ll be fresh and ready to go. 

How do you think (or hope) Covid-19 will change the fashion industry?

Less BS is my hope. 

What’s your go-to WFH fit? 

Well, this adidas collaboration was postponed so I’ve been wearing it as a home uniform. 

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Have you taken up any new hobbies? 

I’ve always enjoyed running. I take it more seriously and running every day feels great. Also Fifa Soccer on XBOX – it’s the best game ever.

How are you keeping busy while self-isolating?

I started to rewatch Game of Thrones, then I found Westworld. It’s incredible! Reading Behold A Pale Horse. I’ve eaten enough Kale to cover my veggie intake for at least a year, and Ray Dalio is the man, so I listen to him. 

Hands down my favourite hobby is to sit and just think for hours on end. It’s very liberating. 

What is the first thing you will do when lockdown lifts? 

Fly to London and go to an Arsenal match.

Do you have any inspiring words for our quarantining readers?

The universe only rewards clarity.

Kurt Narmore, Noon Goons founder

What are you finding inspiration from? 

With the beaches and trailheads closed, I found that the best (and safest) way to get my endorphins flowing was to run. I modified one of my snowboard face masks and used dirt bike gloves (meant to breathe while sweating, try it!) while running through downtown LA. The uninterrupted architecture has provided a new, calm and inspiring perspective of downtown in a way that I have never seen before. 

How are you keeping busy while self-isolating?

I’ve found myself listening to records from all genres – punk, country, hip-hop and jazz – in their entirety from start to finish. I feel that you are better able to grasp the entire story or message from the artist. Beyond that, I’m always a sucker for books and vintage magazines.

Have you taken up any new hobbies?

I’ve never played an instrument of any sort with continuity until recently. As soon as everything started closing up, I felt there was no better time to learn how to play the guitar. I’ve been pretty adamant about practising, so as soon as I master Under the Bridge by the Red Hot Chili Peppers I’ll Zoom you for a live concert.

What was your last non-essential purchase?

Gas. I’m going nowhere fast.

What is the first thing you will do when the world goes back to normal?

I really miss all my friends. Cruising. Hanging out. Socialising… And a HAIRCUT! I saw an old [Dennis] Rodman picture that inspired me to go neon green, which will be bright enough to keep people six feet away.

What’s your go-to WFH fit?

I’ve been doing everything I can to do all the normal things I used to do, so I still lace up the docs and get dressed. Today I’m in my Noon Goons SS20 Vertigo Hoodie and soon-to-be-released FW20 Fully Pinned Stripe Suit Pants.

What’s your go-to WFH fit?

I’ve been doing everything I can to do all the normal things I used to do, so I still lace up the docs and get dressed. Today I’m in my Noon Goons SS20 Vertigo Hoodie and soon-to-be-released FW20 Fully Pinned Stripe Suit Pants.

Daniel DeSure, Total Luxury Spa co-founder
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How are you staying creative while in quarantine?

Spending a lot of time in the studio reading. Working on what the new collection means in this new landscape we’re living in and what culture will look like in the next few years. 

What are you finding inspiration from? 

I’m excited and inspired about the shift that’s happening. The complete and utter mess we call government is fumbling the play, which in turn is creating a lot of transparency. I think with that transparency comes a shift in consciousness by the people. That consciousness is inspiring and I’m excited to see the change it’s bringing. 

How do you think (or hope) Covid-19 will change the fashion industry?

I think most industries will change. Fashion specifically, in terms of waste. I think these giant fashion shows that cost millions will find other ways. I think men’s and women’s fashion will begin to merge more. Designs will have to be in direct conversation with this change otherwise it will feel stale. 

What’s your go-to WFH fit?

GREY SWEATS ALL DAY

What was your last non-essential purchase?

A book [bought from] eBay called Fantastic Architecture.

How are you keeping busy while self-isolating?

Working out, listening to NTS Radio, cooking, researching, reading Waco – the story of the Branch Davidians. 

What is the first thing you will do when the world goes back to normal? 

It’s not going to go back to normal. 

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Do you have any inspiring words for our quarantining readers?

Trust your gut and look inside. 

Mindy Le Brock, Stylist and Costume designer

How are you staying creative while in quarantine?

I cook an insane amount and create elaborate tabletop settings for myself dreaming about parties and gatherings with close friends. I have also been collaborating with my good friend James Flemons (Phlemuns). We share a team of sewers here in LA and many of them are not able to get any assistance at this time, so we have been giving them small sewing projects to keep them earning some wages.

What are you finding inspiration from?

Brain freedom. I like to spend an hour or more sitting outside first thing, sometimes listening to a podcast. Getting sun but mostly not thinking, making space for ideas to drift in and out.

How do you think (or hope) Covid-19 will change the fashion industry?

There is going to be a reduction; Covid has shown us rapidly and without nepotism that there was just too much happening, too much consumption that was unsustainable. I hope there are more businesses that are just based around creativity and community. No more exclusivity in fashion, things that everyone can experience and be inspired by. That is the role of an artist and always has been.

What’s your go-to WFH fit?

It’s pretty hot in LA so I usually just wear underpants and a Come Tees T‑shirt. I have been enjoying trying out hairstyles and makeup, which I would usually have no time for.

What was your last non-essential purchase?

Natural wine, I think it’s essential but I guess it’s not really.

Have you taken up any new hobbies?

I have been doing ceramics – very cliché. It’s a frustrating time here in the US, so it’s good to have a mound of organic material to beat up.

How are you keeping busy while self-isolating?

I have been reading Pleasure Activism by Adrienne Maree Brown and listening to the audiobook of Art Sex Music by Cosey Fanni Tutti. Playing a lot of vinyl and listening to mixes on NTS. Watching lots of Les Blanks documentaries on Criterion and my good friend Will Boston recommended The Great British Pottery Throw Down – I’m obsessed!

Do you have any inspiring words for our quarantining readers?

Keep creating, keep loving and keep fighting for better wages for creatives, more job security and sustainable business practices. Let’s focus on rebuilding and putting systems in place that can protect more people!


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