In 1994, at the age of 13, I moved from Boise, Idaho to Bel Air and attended the Buckley School – a private college preparatory school in Sherman Oaks. Alumnus include: Matthew Perry, Alyssa Milano, Nicole Richie, Laura Dern, Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Rashida Jones, The Jackson family, the Disney Family, The Strokes, Phantom Planet, TEVIN CAMPBELL etc. Oh, one last name to drop – Brett Easton Ellis attended Buckley, and his book Less Than Zero is based on his experiences there. I only attended Buckley for one year, before switching schools, as I wasn’t (how do I say this?) tonally in tune with Buckley. But its amazing to me that attending a school for one year, at the age of 13, would provide me with many life long friends and acquaintances. One of those friends is a guy named Chad Braverman, who was one year below me at Buckley. Its funny, because we were never close friends while at Buckley, but when you go to a K-12 with only 750 kids you tend to know everyone in your age range. Also, when you move from Idaho to LA in 8th grade – everyone has a profound impact on you, and being the kid who moves to LA in 8th grade – you have just as big of an impact on everyone. Lets be real, I was the first person any of them had ever met from Idaho – lets not forget that half of the kids didn’t even know what or where Idaho was. Anyway, I reconnected with Chad, a few years ago, through my good friend Dr. Romanelli, and discovered that he is now running his family business Doc Johnson – the world’s largest manufacturer of sex toys (dildos). So a few months back I asked if he would give me a tour of his manufacturing facility, to take photos for my blog. Lets be real -how often does one get the opportunity to tour a dildo factory, let alone the biggest in the world? Chad, being the bad ass that he is, of course said yes and let my friends Bryan Ray Turcotte and Cali DeWitt tag along. The one stipulation was that I had to promise to not show his employees faces, as many of them are heavily involved with the Catholic Church and/or don’t want their family members to know where they work. I hope you enjoy the tour as much as I did.
Every once in a while you meet a person so dedicated to something, that it makes you truly believe. This dedication can be towards a job, a religion, a person, a place, or even a lifestyle. Los Angeles designer Matt Winter is so incredibly dedicated to his turn of the century to pre war lifestyle, that it brings about an uncanny feeling of inspiration. Aside from housing his office space inside of two WWII Quonset huts on first and La Brea, Matt has no mode of modern transportation. His daily driver is split between a 1941 Ford pickup, a 1928 Ford Roadster, and a 1939 Indian. You can reference musicians or TV shows from modern pop culture and Matt will give you a genuine blank stare.
In September of this year Matt married his high school sweetheart Tara at the Frank Lloyd Wright Ranch above Malibu, CA. Matt handled the design and the build out himself, and gave it no other than a turn of the century theme. This is the most beautiful wedding that Ive ever attended. Among the various activities set up for guest to enjoy were bocce ball, croquet, and horseshoes. The music was provided by a local band that played covers of current day songs in blue grass style. They even have a blind fiddle player. The circular Native American style ceremony took place on a hill top over looking Malibu and the Pacific Ocean.
More photos and videos below
Check out Dr Romanelli’s latest collection of one of a kind vests and jackets, which I photographed a couple of weeks ago. Produced exclusively for Recycled Union Japan, the majority of the collection consists of reconstructed vests as well as DRx’s newest jacket model: the Summit 2 (which will be released this coming A/W at select stores worldwide ).
One year ago when LA natives Adam Moonves, Dan Regan & Gio Artiga opened up a pop up tattoo parlor, inside Miguel De La Barracuda’s “Barracuda” on Melrose, people were anxiously awaiting to see how it would perform.. With the surprise of many, it did exceedingly well, and was the stomping ground to many of LA’s fashionistas and hipsters, who once a month filled the back parking lot to enjoy live music, art, style, and culture via branded events (including Dr. Romanelli’s Sobe Squamata).
I came across this a few weeks ago, and promised the owner that I would not release their name, as this is privileged and confidential information (or at least was). Lets hope i dont get in trouble for this.
The “Lingo” page cracks me up
A few months back, I met a very interesting fellow named Bob Chatt, who is one of the top vintage clothing dealers in the world — Period. At first I thought Bob was not fond of me, but he turned out to be one of the nicest people I know in the vintage business, and on top of that, he is a walking talking clothing encyclopedia — just like the person who introduced me to him, Eric Schrader. Bob’s “Vintage Productions” showroom, located in Huntington Beach, California, is open by appointment only.
Upon arriving at Vintage Productions, located in your average industrial complex that looks like a strip mall, you have no F*&king idea what youre about to step into. Once you step foot inside, you have entered a time warp. To the untrained eye, the clothing that lines the walls of this multi-room warehouse, seem like your average vintage clothing. Think again. This is the best of the best, Bob doesnt play games. I walk up to the eastern wall of the main warehouse, and point out a jacket to Bob “sir, how much is this piece here?”. Bob responds with “well thats about $5,000″ Thats pretty much what took place all day long. In addition to the many militaria items they carry, you can also find high-end vintage clothing; with an emphasis on men’s clothing from the 30′s through the 60′s. Their stock includes, but is not limited to, denim, work wear, souvenir jackets, bowling shirts, hawaiian shirts, etc.
Getting to know Bob, over the last couple of months, has been a pleasure. I can spend 8 hours there with him talking about everything. He surrounds himself with great people as well, so its always a highly entertaining trip. Bob is also shopping a TV show about the vintage military world, so look for it on your TV in the coming months.
If you would like to set up an appointment to visit our showroom, you can contact me.
***PHOTOS TAKEN ON iPHONE, NOT A LEICA. SORRY FOR THE POOR QUALITY***
Back in about 2004, I was cruising the inter-webs of MySpace, when I came across a familiar name. Growing up as a skateboarder, Rob Dyrdek, was one of my idols. They guy bled street skateboarding, and seemed to always be the center of attention. His profile photo threw me off. It was a guy in baggy clothing, standing in front of a blacked out SUV, with a black Jason mason on, holding an ak-47 in the air. I thought, this could be anyone, but i tried to add him anyway. Unlike facebook today, MySpace would show you if somebody denied your friend request. Before I tell the rest, keep in mind that my MySpace name and profile pic were the “Sultan of Brunei.” When I saw that Rob had denied my request, i tried adding him again. This went on about 2 or 3 more times, until i wrote him and said something along the lines of “You keep denying my requests? I am the Sultan of Brunei, youre just a pro skateboarder, i could buy you 10,000 times over and piss on everything you own”. I had to stay in character. We wrote back and forth about 5 or 6 times, until he said “give me your #, im calling you”.
We ended up talking on the phone for a few hours, about life, women, mutual friends, etc. At the end of the conversation he goes “bro, i feel like ive known you forever, who are you really?”. Fast forward a few months when I was living with Andy Milonakis (when his show just hit MTV). At the time, Rob was shooting his pilot and really wanted to meet Andy, so i set up a lunch. He brought his boy Nino Scalia, who ended up becoming a friend of mine too. Nino is a really cool guy who was skate team manager of ZooYork, then team manager for IceCream, and is now right hand man to Pharrell Williams. Nino tells it the way it is, more so than almost anyone I have ever met.
Getting back to Rob. After I had gotten to know Rob and his crew, and after Season 1 was a huge success I gave Rob a gift for his show. A custom mini Circle J horse trailer, for his miniature horse. The trailer ended up becoming a character on the show, was featured on 3 or 4 episodes.
Me with Rob in front of the trailer (back when i was a fatty)
If you spend a little time in Los Angeles, you will surely stumble upon some fine things. But lets face it, for the most part, Los Angeles has been raped and pillaged of its antiques and collectibles. Every once in a while you stumble on a collection that makes your jaw drop, and your mind “treadmill” the thought “shit, how can i afford all of this” because you know that you will never come across any of this every again. A few months ago I found one of these places, and its location will remain my secret. If you are a real buyer, and I know that you can afford these items, then contact me and I will take you here. This is by far one of the finest collections of mid century modern furniture in the state of CA, if not the west coast. Spread across 7 acres of land, located 40 miles east of Los Angeles, this sprawling cluster fuck of packrat-ness contains cars, scooters, bicycles, furniture, 100,000 pairs of Levi 501s, 200,000 pairs of shoes, etc. This man has got everything from a little eye Joe, to damned if I know.
A mostly misunderstood mixture of natural history , objects of desire and relics of day long past.
not the home of a hunter
not a lair for an eccentric heir
not a bold baphomet stronghold
A modern mix of interests in categorical cultures….the culture of man, animal, Deity and delights The regression of the modern museum . The rebirth of the microcosm and theater of the memory,
A revision to what it was to be worldly and a volte face reply to modern living.
It is the death of the living room and the reincarnation of the parlor. A modern cabinet of wonder, a retreat for pixel burned eyes and smog laced lungs. A place where science and spectacle smoke and converse over shots of Bourbon while discussing the days events.
In the tradition of Wunderkammer the line between whats real and fake is blurred.
Contradictions make for good stories and the depth of your tour is judged by your reactions.
Please enjoy the sights, the wonder, gazing into the eyes of unimaginable beasts, touching history, listening to details, and relaying what your eyes collected to friends
Retell the stories of red herring, tigers and polar bears. but leave understanding what you think you’ve just seen just might be obscured by the devils details or lack there of.
***BEFORE YOU READ THIS, PLEASE NOTE THAT THE ARTIST IS BLACK. THESE PAINTINGS ARE NOT FROM AN ACTUAL KKK MEMBER***
Tonight my buddy Grant Zee introduced me to a very special person. Casay aka Eklipse aka The 7th Letter, the founder of legendary graffiti crew AWR as well as the prestigious Known Gallery on Fairfax. I sat with Casey, and talked for two hours. We discussed everything from West LA (OG back in the day West LA), Graffiti Crews, the 1990s, The Westwood Arcade, Biker Gangs, our mutual love for Lowriders, etc. We are in the beginning stages of discussing a possible collaboration, but we shall see what happens. Here are some photos:
The Known Gallery is currently featuring the artists GEORGE THOMPSON – REVISIONIST HISTORY featuring new works by DAVID CHOE
441 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
As you drive south on the 19 Freeway, from Tucson, you notice yourself getting further and further away from society. Once you reach the town of Nogales, AZ you feel as if youre smack in the middle of No Country For Old Men. Yes, you will find many trees here with men slumped underneath them, but unfortunately they dont have $2mil in a briefcase. The border crossing in Nogales, is one of the heaviest of all the border crossings, which makes drug and human smuggling high up there as well. A third world country, bordered by a 1st world country. Until you pay a visit to Sam Saunders & Eddie Holler of Holler & Saunders, LTD. Their 14 acre compound, down a dirt road, right along side the border, is reminiscent of a first class resort — as if aliens, and ancient goddesses furnished it. For years Sam & Eddie have provided furniture for the billionaires & celebrities of the world, and occasionally open their house up to famous performers who need to find those creative juices once again that were lost up their nose.
Holler and Saunders, LTD. is the leader in Spanish Colonial antiques, decorative arts, and reproductions throughout North America, if not the world. Along with their 14-acre compound in Nogales, Arizona they also have a 25,000 sq ft residential showpiece in Morelia, Mexico.
This residence, if you can call it that, is nothing short of magical. Six houses surrounding a circular courtyard filled with antique statues & fountains, as well as 40 peacocks, chickens, and cornish hen. From great master rooms, to hidden nooks and crannies, you will find yourself in awe no matter which room you walk into. The pictures speak for themselves, but really dont give the house the justice it deserves.
When I was 16, and living in the Lesser Los Angeles Area, I was kindly asked to leave my high school. I was a rebel without a clue, and my mom could no longer handle my teenage angst. Her only option was to send me back to Idaho to live with my dad. Keep in mind, this is Boise Idaho in the mid 90s, and I came there from Los Angeles — the center of street culture at the time. Needless to say, I wasnt immediately accepted at my new private Catholic high school. I drove a 64 Impala and wore a Wu-Tang jacket (cough cough). One of the first people I met, at this new school of mine, was a kid named Tyler Cenarrusa. We quickly formed a brotherly bond, which still exists today, and will continue until the day we die. He is the realest and most honest person that I know. One thing that Tyler has always been OBSESSED with is motorsports, of all kinds.
Censport Graphics became an idea in August of 2005. It all started when Tyler bought a new helmet for racing and wanted a custom paint job. He called a few places to learn more about it and was about to send it off when he realized that he could just do it himself. What started as a hobby painting helmets for friends and fellow BMW enthusiasts has become a full blown business.
A few months ago I became friends with a guy named Caleb Clark, who has quickly become one of my best friends. Caleb is creative director of MMI (Motorsports Management International) out of Charlotte, NC and also does creative work for Scott Speed (NASCAR). Since I was in Boise this weekend with Caleb, I HAD to take him by Tyler’s shop. Not only so he could see the quality of his work, but also to see how clean & amazing his operation is. Needless to say, Caleb was VERY impressed, and is working to link Tyler up with his many Charlotte/NASCAR connections.
Enjoy the photos.
If youre not into motorcycles, then chances are you dont know who Jeff Decker is. Thats ok, thats what im here for. Jeff is THE officially licensed sculptor for Harley Davidson. The 18 foot tall sculpture in front of Harley Head Quarters is a Jeff Decker piece. Jeff is also one of the top motorcycle historians in the world, and rebuilds classic bikes based on his knowledge. What interests me the most about Jeff, isnt any of this. It isnt the fact that he lives in a small town in Utah. Nor is it the fact that he has half a million dollar motorcycles spread throughout his house the same way that many of us have plants or chairs in our homes. What draws me to Jeff is his collection of Motorcycle Club Vests / Cuts / Colors. These are what biker gangs wear, and to get one off of them you have to either: A.) Beat them into submission and take it off of them B.) Kill them. The guy has 270 of them, and just released a book about them called “Hell’s Union”. He made a limited full sized color version of this book that runs $7500 per copy, and there are only 10 made. Jeff is also a family man, and a hard core Mormon. Pretty unique combination.
My friend Eric Schrader (Junk Yard Jeans) took me to visit Jeff on our way from Las Vegas to Boise. Here we go:
A few years ago I took my friend/client Ben Baller (Icee Fresh), and Jonas Bevacqua (CEO/Owner of LRG clothing) to Club 33 at Disneyland. My ex gf’s father was a member, so i had the privilege of going a couple of times. If you dont know what Club 33 is, its a private, members only restaurant at Disneyland. It was Walt Disney’s passion project, and he didnt live to see it completed. Most people think that its named Club 33 because its located in retail location #33 at Disneyland….thats partially true… Walt Disney made sure it was located inside of retail location #33, because he was a 33rd degree Mason. T here’s a $20,000 initial membership fee to join, a $5,000 annual fee each year, and there is an 18 YEAR WAITING LIST TO BECOME A MEMBER! The only way in is if you are a member or a guest of a member! READY FOR THE CRAZY PART? Its inside Disneyland. you’ve probably passed it 100x before and never noticed it. it’s one of the many mystery’s of Disneyland. IT IS THE ONLY PLACE IN THE ENTIRE PARK THAT SERVES ALCOHOL AND THEY HAVE A FULL BAR . You have to make reservations far in advance and they have a strict dress code. So the restaurant/club is located just outside the exit of the Pirates of the Carribean and you can see it from one part of the ride… with a dinner reservation to Club 33, you get full vip free admission and park jumping privileges from California Adventure and Disneyland all day long if you want. You even get free parking as well as all your guests to the park.
I first moved to Los Angeles in 1994, and quickly became accustom to the street culture that the residents of this great city pride themselves on. Our first residence here was in Bel Air, but as Tupac said “Ever n*gga in LA’s got a little bit of thug in em.” I remember purchasing my first Lowrider Magazine during my first summer in Los Angeles. We took the drive across Mulholland drive, over looking this city which was so new to me at the time, and down Beverly Glen into the valley, to purchase my Buckley uniform. On the way down we stopped at the most legendary new stand in LA, in my opinion, to purchase some magazines. While browsing through the “automotive” section, I saw something I had never seen before (keep in mind that prior to this I lived in Boise, Idaho), a Lowrider Magazine. On the cover was a red 1964 Impala with roses airbrushed all over the car. I was in love..with the look of the 1964 Impala, not the paint job, but to each his own. What i eventually learned is the most legendary lowrider on the planet, more or less, aptly named “Gypsy Rose” – an award-winning Chevy Impala admired for its elaborate floral paint job, was known in the world of cruising lowriders as one of the most tricked-out muscle cars of a generation.
I woke up this morning, and checked kcal.com on my blackberry, to read the basic local news before reading the LA Times. One of the headlines read “Lowrider Funeral Procession Honors Impala Owner”. “Why is kcal.com discussing the owner of an Impala,” I thought. As I read on, I learned that it was the owner of the famous “Gypsy Rose” who had passed away – Jesse Valadez (co-founder of Imperials car club) I thought to myself “Jesus, thats going to be a ridiculous funeral procession.” Unfortunately the article did not mention where the funeral would take place, just the time. I immediately sent a text to Ben Baller “Yo will you please ask Toons and/or Estaevan where Jesse Valadez’s funeral is today??” But by the time he responded, I had already found it on Google. I woke my ass up, and drove to church in Whittier..but shit….parking lot was empty. I immediately sped off to the cemetery, hoping to catch them there… I pulled up and this is what i saw
Also, i have to mention that my first car was a 1964 Impala 2 door hard top, which i still own to this day.
Last summer I joined some friends for a river trip in Idaho. It was one of those “bonding” summer trips that you will never forget. My friend, Eric Schrader (Junk Yard Jeans), is an Idaho native and has been riding the river for over 20 years. Luckily he has his own raft, which saved us thousands of dollars in guide fees. Eric invited a few of his designer friends from Los Angeles, Nathan “Nacho” Cabrera and Dr. Romanelli, who I had heard about for a long time via mutual friend Dan Weisman (manager of Wale and Mike Posner). I invited my friend Ed, who unfortunately is “out of the country” for a while. This was the beginning of many great friendships. Because of this trip I ended up shooting a pilot on Eric Schrader, which I co-created with Dr. Romanelli, Andy Weiss, and Rob Weiss. Its been a long journey, that started on a the river.
Starting in Boise, we drove 2 miles north to McCall, and stayed the night (4 hours of sleep – hardly a night). We woke up bright and early at 5am, and drove to an hour and a half north to Riggins, where we dropped off the Van, and all loaded into Eric’s tiny pickup truck “Frankenstein”. After a 30 min high speed burn up the dirt road on the side of the river, sitting in the back of Frankenstein, and on top of our raft/equipment, we arrived at our load in equipment.
Our journey begins:
It was the end of June on the Salmon River. While most of the lower 48 would consider this summer, its the end of spring for most Idahoans. The temperature was over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but the water temperature was still below 50 degrees. This made an interesting transition from raft to water, and vice versa. Since it was our first day on the river, we took our time. While Edward any myself enjoyed some Old Crow Whiskey, the rest of the crew worried about sanity, sobriety, and goals in life. After all, we were drinking bottles of $8 whiskey out of plastic jugs.
This is about the time when Dr Romanelli decided to throw out some of his famous “what ifs?”, beginning with “Hey Nacho, what if you took a great white shark and dropped it in this river, what would happen?” you can only imagine the conversation that ensued ..
About half was down the river we came to a 50 foot bridge….yes I said 50 feet tall. This is where Dr Romanelli yelled out “Lets jump off this bitch”, a silly attempt to make us believe he actually would. Apparently this bridge us normally 70 feet tall, but because the snow was melting in the mountains, the water level of the river was at an all time high. I guess we lucked out. Eric, who i mentioned before has been riding the river for over 20 years, has jumped off of this bridge when it was 70 feet, so 50 feet was nothing to him. He climbed up the mountain side to the top of the bridge, and without hesitation, jumped off. Behind him, Romanelli stood on top of the bridge for about 30 min, looking down at the running river below. Every 5min he would look down at us, all looking up at him with anticipation, and say “IIIIIII DONT KNOW BRO, IIIIII DONT KNOW”. Ed, being “whiskey drunk” called him a pussy, ran up the mountainside barefoot, and jumped off the bridge. I have always had a fear of height, and have never been able to cope with it, until now. It was one of the biggest rushes of my life, and also imperative to me overcoming my fear of heights.
The other day I spent some quality time with some old friends. On my way to have lunch with two of my favorite homegirls, Barrie and Lauren, I stopped by Hotrod Skateboard Shop — a classic OG skate shop located in Westwood. After buying some new boots, I drove right up the street to Fresh Corn Grill, to have lunch with Barrie and Lauren. After catching up with these lovely ladies, we drove into Bel Air for a little photo shoot. I then went skateboarding with one of my oldest friends Alex Kudo. I met Alex at 3rd St Promenade when I was 14, and I remember it vividly. I was skateboarding on the 3rd block (where Fatburger is located), our old stomping grounds, when out of nowhere I hear “East coast steez!” Alex was referring to the way I was wearing my shoes. Back in the mid 90s skateboarders would cut the tongues off of old shoes, and stuff as many as they could underneath the shoes that they were wearing. This would add not only an aesthetic effect, but also comfort and function. Strange way to meet somebody, but it was the beginning of a friendship that will last a life time. Here are some photos, enjoy.
Every summer I make it a point to take a road trip to Idaho. There is nothing like driving through/by the deserts, mountains, valleys, rivers, and lakes of this beautiful state. A few years ago, i took a trip from Boise to McCall to Sun Valley to Las Vegas with my ex gf and a few friends. This is the first week I had my Cannon camera, so the photos are a little weak and over-saturated, but you’ll get the point. Also, these photos are in no particular order.
Disclaimer: When i started this blog, i made a point to not post photos of myself. I dont not want to make myself out to be some elusive or mysterious person, i simply want to show the world through my eyes.
Today was monumental. I spent the day with my good friends Caleb Clark (www.enemy2fashion.com), Eric Schrader (Junkyard Jeans), and Darren Romanelli (www.DrRomanlli.com). We started the day off at DRx’s booth at the Project NYC trade show. There was great energy there, and a lot of great clothing lines. Next, we went to Indian Larry Motorcycles, in Brooklyn, which was one of the greatest experiences of my life. If you dont know who Indian Larry is then read his Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Desmedt . We were picked up in SoHo in a 2 ton dully with Indian Larry Motorcycles on the side, drove over the Brooklyn bridge, and pulled up to a dilapidated warehouse that was covered with graffiti by Ewok . My friend Eric has been his Indian Larry’s #1 fan for years, and was allowed to sit on Larry’s personal bike. Pretty amazing. We ate lunch with Bobby, and then headed to the Capsule trade show. Lets just say this…street wear vibes…attitude…douche bags..some cool styles though. Now back at the SoHo Grand heading to a Persian restaurant in Mid-Town.