Stussy x Neighborhood | Boneyards
The Stussy x Neighborhood Boneyards project is a collaboration of friends from Tokyo to Los Angeles, inspired by a real geographic location by way of a mythical time and place. This is the best of the many worlds we comfortably move through out and intersect. The ocean, the streets. Lowriders, bombs, motorcycles. Skating, surfing. Oldies, Punk Rock. High art, Low art. Defiantly undefined, we create freedom by cutting through the fences THEY have given us to live behind. We want more. Shinsuke Takazawa Creative Director Neighborhood Paul Mittleman Creative Director Stussy Rob Abeyta, Jr. Stussy
Boneyards is territory, claimed and marked. At the tail end of a cliff-faced peninsula dotted with secret surf spots, Boneyards is the last of them before the coastline gives way to breakwater and port. Boneyards is an in between place, a brief, ragged borderland between the isolationist harbor town of San Pedro and the 24/7, diesel fueled machinery of The Port of Los Angeles. Boneyards is far, far away from the contemporary caricature of surf culture. No soulless DayGlo, no Woodie wagon in the parking lot. Surfer graffiti mimics the deconstructed Old English of classic Los Angeles graffiti, tracing an endless narrative or territory, pride and dispute, etched and then erased by time and the layering power of history. Embracing an insider lexicon, a line is deliberately drawn between those who belong and those who are outside. The iconography is nihilistic, veiling threat and reveling in an aesthetic that embraces piracy and the classic icon of the American rebel.
LOCATION: Neighborhood Offices- Tokyo, Japan
DISCUSSION: Paul Mittleman, STUSSY; Takishin, NEIGHBORHOOD; Tonomori Tanaka (RIP), Rob Abeyta, Jr., STUSSY
PAUL MITTLEMAN: So when did you start Neighborhood?
TAKISHIN: 94 in Harajuku.
PM: And that was the brand or store in Harajuku?
T: Both brand and store. At first there was no office.
PM: The store was called Neighborhood?
PM: And from before this you were interested in motorcycles and punk rock?
T: Of course. We (TET from WTAPS, Mochan and others) always rode around on motorcycles and it started from there. At first, t-shirts were the main item. We used to go to outlets in the States and buy bodies like Ralph Lauren's chambray and did silk screens on them.
RIP: Why did you choose this route?
T: We didn't have money to make our own bodies yet.
RIP: Was there a team concept?
T: It just happened that we all rode bikes. We all liked many things like punk rock and hippie culture. TET also liked skating. It originally wasn't a biker brand.
RIP: Clothes became the item for your group. Whose ideas was it?
T: TET already had started 40% Against Rights around a year before Neighborhood started. I was doing the official designs for the record label Major Force. We liked clothes to begin with.
RIP: So was it like making stickers and putting it on your bikes?
T: Well, we all really liked bikes but honestly... isn't bike apparel kooky and cheap? We rode around on our bikes, but we really had a lot of stuff we were interested in so many different elements were taken in.
RIP: What kind of people were you trying to reach out to?
T: For example, back then biker fashion was a black t-shirt, leather vest, leather pants and boots you know.
PM: It is really hard to explain Neighborhood's clothing. In America, when you would normally think of motorcycle, it's either more Euro or Rockabilly. But for the Neighborhood look it is more mechanic, workwear. Like you said, when people think of motorcycle it's leather jacket, but Neighborhood's look is kinder looking. So it is hard to explain to people, for example when I say I have a friend in Japan who does a motorcycle apparel brand, they would think more pompadour and rockabilly, but I have to say that is what they don't like. Looking at your bikes, there is a definite look. When you start to build bikes, after a while they end up having a certain look. How did you get to that look?
T: That is a hard question. I really have a loose concept, no matter what scene whether it be biker, military, car, music or whatever, I feel that I can understand what is considered cool in that scene. Not just what is on the surface, but really understanding it. I try to take in all these aspects. Not just being a hardcore biker or car guy, because sometimes you want to eat at a place for example, like Roppongi Hills, I wanted to be able to go as I was. Wearing what I made anywhere.
PM: So back to Harajuku in 1994, what kind of stores were there.
T: Nowhere, Neighborhood, Hectic, Bounty Hunter. I think that was about it. No huge corporations. No Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior. Rent was cheap too.
PM: So what other kind of stores were there?
T: It is kind of hard to say for Harajuku on the whole but I think it was more residential than commercial.
PM: So why Harajuku then?
T: Well since I was a kid, I really liked punk so it was Harajuku. It was more of a middle class/artistic area.
PM: When did Japanese fashion magazines start getting popular?
T: I think the magazine that started off Ura Hara was Asayan in 95 or so.
PM: Was that important to spread ideas to other cities in Japan?
PM: And then other magazines came like Smart, Popeye?
T: To kind of go back about Harajuku, the generation before us was very creative. This goes to the 70s. They had roads blocked off on Sundays, etc. Comme Des Garcon started off in a one tatami mat sized place. If you didn't have money but had talent, it was not Shinjuku or Shibuya, it was Harajuku.
PM: But now in 2008, there isn't much residential left?
T: Yeah it has really dropped. I really don't think you can live there. Rent is really expensive now. Cat Street was residential. I really don't want to say it is our fault, but from when we started, Harajuku has really changed dramatically. No one could have imagined a Louis Vuitton in Harajuku.
PM: You all lived in Tokyo but did you travel to America often back then?
T: Yes, because America is the land I have idolized.
PM: How did you gather so much information from here? Was it magazines, books, record covers?
T: Magazines, etc. But Japanese like us (not all Japanese) extensively look stuff up and research. All of it. Whether it be music or about a certain scene.
PM: It's sort of like what Skate Thing said, where he doesn't go to America. He doesn't even want to. It is all what he thinks it is. Is it the same with WTAPS and Neighborhood where these ideas (skateboarding, motorcycles, muscle cars, etc.) have been made into a fantasy of your own?
T: In my case, I think the best of what was American is non-existent in America now and we are trying to pick up these essences and find them again. This filtered through us is what is released.
PM: So you have Stussy which is a California brand that the Japanese could relate to where it was like if they can make a brand we can and now there is Boneyards which is a fantasy brand inspired by tattoos, motorcycles, etc. But we work with the best artists, go to the best to make clothes, etc. We are serious about it. I think it is kind of the same thing.
T: Yes I think so. It is a really weird feeling to be able to work with a company like Stussy, because I bought Stussy way back in the day and wore it and now, I guess because I am older, I am able to work with them. I really feel honored.
PM: Good brands are good brands. It's like a band I think. They could get popular and next thing you know they are on MTV, but you can care less if they are a good band. I think it is kind of like that where you can't really get depressed about oh the scene is dead because it is not like we are late comers into it. The same shit since day one. We just really wanted to explain the history because people have no idea. T: People always seem confused and say that they really don't understand the market for us. For example, I listen to punk, hardcore punk and even techno. I really like bikes but I also check out Ralph Lauren. I study about military uniforms. It's all mixed up. I really think that this is Japanese. I think that not just liking it in a fashion sense but really liking it causes us to dig deep.
Interview with Jesse Leyva What is your position at Nike? Global Footwear Design Direction - Nike Sportswear.
What drew you to this project? My relationship with Adam Weissman and Paul Mittleman. I remember having lunch with Adam, Paul, and Christian Parkes from Nike in LA. It was very low key, as most projects I've worked on with Paul and Adam are. The mutual respect between Stussy and Nike has always been strong so I was stoked to be asked to be part of this project.
How was this collaboration with Stussy different from previous ones? 3 brands, multiple creatives, West Coast vs JP time zones. Lots of firsts.
How were the shoe styles chosen? Me and Mittleman going back and forth. Then Paul and Fraser serving it up to the Neighborhood crew. The Blazer was a natural choice, as it's been a long time favorite of the Stussy Crew and fans of Nike x Stussy projects. The Original Nike Terminator shoe was selected because we think it's a shoe that real sneaker connoisseurs respect. Plus, this year, we really focused on the Nike Dunk and for those heads who know, the Terminator was on the original BE TRUE TO YOUR SCHOOL poster. Early on when the discussions first started from a product standpoint, we all wanted to have at least 1 new shoe to the Nike x Stussy portfolio. Check out the Nike Terminator and all other Stussy x Nike old school shoes.
Stussy was one of the first labels Nike collaborated with but this was the first time you guys worked with Neighborhood. What was that like? Cool. Collaborations are such a large part of streetwear. What do you think the future of collaborations will be? Innovation and Authenticity.
Interview with Fraser Cooke What is your position at Nike? Global Energy Marketing Leader.
What drew you to this project? I have been working with Stussy on all of the Nike collaborations since the first one even before I was a Nike employee. I used to work with Stussy UK and Gimme 5 in my previous job. Paul from Stussy is an old friend as is Shin Takazawa from Neighborhood. When Paul presented the opportunity to be a part of this collection as the footwear component, it felt like a very natural project for all 3 brands to participate within. Nike is a part of this culture even before we decided to participate. We were adopted from sport to the streets and this project is a celebration of that.
What kind of impact do you think this project has had so far? I think that it demonstrates the natural link between 3 big (in terms of stature within the street fashion scene) brands and a first in terms of an integrated collection with such major players on this scale. So far people seem to really like the story and the products that are spawned by that cultural insight.
How was this collaboration with Stussy different from previous ones? Purely in the sense that it is a 3 way collaboration that forms a total holistic collection. It's a really rounded concept rooted very much in LA street culture with a resonance across the globe. Very much an Americana feel but in a modern, edgy way.
How were the shoe styles chosen? They were chosen purely on relevance to the brands we partnered with and the context to the scene that forms the Boneyards back story. Basically they are real shoe styles that were worn by the street kids and skaters who hung out at that beach spot.
Stussy was one of the first labels Nike collaborated with but this was the first time you guys worked with Neighborhood. What was that like? It was great. They really infused the Neighborhood aesthetic into the Terminator and made that shoe look very unique from other applications we've seen before.
Collaborations are such a large part of streetwear, what do you think the future of collaborations will be? Well I think there are probably too many these days and what I feel we at Nike will endeavor to do is seek to work with partners that elevate each project. This was part of a collection so it was not just a color up. They need to be more than this guy plus this guy equals a cool, limited shoe. You need to be able to say that the efforts of both parties lead to an end result that could not be achieved by either one alone. More thoughtful...
Artist Profile: Jeremy Carnahan Like most people born and raised in Southern California in the early 80s, Jeremy Carnahan grew up with skateboarding and BMX as part of his daily routine. While this may be a common story for many 20 somethings these days, his story is a bit different. The Southern California Jeremy Carnahan grew up in is off of a two lane highway in the middle of the desert. There were no skate shops, the bike shops sold mountain bikes and the skate spots were few and far between. It is called Joshua Tree and is known by most people for its rock climbing. Nonetheless, it inspired Jeremy to seek out all things skateboarding and BMX all the more. Though it was a stretch from LA and the coast, Jeremy jumped at the chance of traveling west to more spots, more people and a greater understanding of all things surrounding the culture. It was this same desire and drive that got Jeremy a job working in the print department of Palm Springs Life Magazine under Rob Abeyta, Jr. Time would pass and through this same connection he would end up becoming a part of the then expanding art department of Girl Skateboards known as The Art Dump. He managed the creatives for their truck company from 2002-2006 and decided to make a short stint designing for Stussy and is now back at The Art Dump. Throughout all of this, he has been a part of numerous art shows around the world, traveled a fair amount and decided to settle down in Long Beach, CA where he currently resides. He surfs (probably a natural attraction coming from such a dry place), skates and rides his 24" BMX on a regular basis.
Artist Profile: Juan Puente Juan Puente, a southern California native, has been a tattoo artist for over 16 years. During that time, he has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Japan and Europe. Being able to travel has helped broaden his skills. Along with this, he has been able to do his other passion, photography. In 2005, he published his first book on the famous Japanese tattoo artist, Horiyoshi 3. After many years, he has been able to use both tattooing and photography to express himself artistically. Juan presently works at Spotlight Tattoo in Los Angeles, where he continues to learn and grow along his fellow artists.
Artist Profile: Estevan Oriol Estevan began his career in the entertainment industry in the late 1980s as a club bouncer at Los Angeles' most popular hip hop clubs and infamous Hollywood hangouts. It was there that Estevan first linked up with his Soul Assassin brothers from South Gate, Cypress Hill. Eager to expand his knowledge of the business, Estevan secured a job as tour manager for the rap group, House of Pain, in 1992. Estevan has used his unique photography style to capture the raw essence of street life. His work has been featured in many magazines including: COMPLEX, FHM, GQ, Flaunt, Details, Vibe, The Fader and Rolling Stone. In 1995, he would begin a partnership with Mr. Cartoon. Their collaborations fostered the creation of Joker Brand Clothing. He has also recently entered the film industry as a director. Partnering with Brian Grazer and his company, Estevan is set to direct three movies of his choice. The first one will be the life story of his partner, Mr. Cartoon, set for release in 2008. In late 2007 and 2008, Estevan Oriol will release three separate publishing book projects that he has been working on for the past decade: Ink, a retrospective of his last ten years with Mister Cartoon, Adidas 1979, a collaboration with Adidas originals chronicling street ball through his lens in an 80 page custom book and East of Havana, a book about Cuban hip hop.
Artist Profile: John Hall Born August 31, 1981. Raised in San Pedro, CA. Resides in Los Angeles, CA. Likes to draw and take pictures. Has a dog named Simon. There is nothing else.
Artist Profile: Jack Rudy Jack Rudy is an icon in the tattoo business. Under the tutelage of Good Time Charlie Cartwright, they came to develop the single needle style. Although few artists choose to do single needle tattoos today, Jack still continues to rule it. He is also known for his unique styles of lettering, stylized portraits and black & gray work. While Jack can still be found tattooing at the legendary Good Time Charlie's Tattooland, he continues to involve himself with various art projects as well.
Artist Profile: Jesus "Chuey" Quintanar Chuey is a professional tattoo artist. Born in Mexico City, the 28 year old tattooist came to North Long Beach, CA at a young age. He converted his passion for drawing, painting, tattooing and the arts into a lifelong career. Currently working at Good Time Charlie's Tattooland (GTC), Chuey specializes in fine-line realistic black and gray, religious tattoos, color and traditional. In addition, he also works with various genres such as Japanese. Chuey appreciates every opportunity he has to take part in conventions around the world. He has in the process spread his well renowned ink and won various tattoo awards. His future goal is to continue tattooing, design for companies, travel and expand his love of art in hopes that one day he might create his own company.
Artist Profile: Eric Dressen A native of Los Angeles, Eric spends his time skateboarding, hanging out at tattoo shops and being around his friends. The truth is that Eric expresses himself through his skateboard and he does it loud, fast and in control. Off the board, he's a quiet, mild mannered guy that would rather not be placed at the center of attention. Eric has been featured in Skateboarder magazine since age ten, turned pro at the age of twelve and years later became the back to back World Street Champion in 1987 and 1988. He can skate any type of terrain with confidence: pools, pipes, streets, ditches, parks, ramps, you name it. Just give him the chance and you will be sitting down watching in awe. Eric is currently working at Yer Cheat'n Heart Tattoo and riding for Santa Cruz Skateboards.
Artist Profile: Mister Cartoon Born and raised in Los Angeles, Mister Cartoon began his career as a graffiti artist in the 1980s. Cartoon went on to grain notoriety for his logos, advertisements and custom lowrider car murals. His richly detailed, hand-rendered designs are inspired by the style of tattoos that originated in the hard streets of 1970s Los Angeles. Cartoon's art embodies the true soul of Los Angeles street culture and has taken the fine line of black and gray tattoo culture to the masses. Cartoon's unique position within the art world helps bridge the gap between corporate America and hardcore Los Angeles street culture. Enjoy the Stussy x Neighborhood Boneyards Dusted Oldies Slow Motion Mix. Created in 2008 for in store release of the Stussy x Neighborhood Boneyards project.