And some mood music by one of our favorites: Washed Out
Maybe some of you warm blooded people can relate to having a "summer butt" all year round -its hard for you to pack all your leather, printed, denim shorts for warmer days. You just want your butt to look like summer all year.
But things are getting easier!
Printed denim and funky bells are out there in any print, color, fabric imaginable. You'll always be banned to carrying around a light sweater in San Francisco :( but the fur collar makes it more exciting to have to put on your jacket.
One problem....now I don't have anymore normal pants. But then again I don't think my Bay Area babe front woman, Stevie Knicks, wore normal, non-flared pants either.
Sunnies//Ray Ban, Jean Jacket// The Reformation, Shirt// Brandy Melville, Printed Flares//Free People, Belt// Vintage Mom, Boots// Dolce Vita.
Photos by Madison Heying.
California natives Brian Nussbaum and Marcelo Lima are the dudes behind up and coming independent millinery brand Shade + Slouch. With a few collabs under their belt and a lot of projects planned for 2014, these guys are sure to take the hat world by storm. Scroll on down to read our exclusive interview and check out their studio in the heart of Brooklyn.
How did SHADE + SLOUCH come to fruition? Have you always wanted to design headwear?
BN: I never thought I would make headwear… ever. That said, my first fashion endeavor was a line of headbands called “By Brian” that I made in my freshman year of high school. Maybe that was subliminal foreshadowing or something. Either way, Marcelo is my best friend and has been watching me make these hats over the past year. Finally in May, we put all our cards and cash on the table and founded SHADE + SLOUCH.
ML: It’s all about scalable manufacturing. People think it’s more important to scale up but the ability to scale down is vital to the success of a small company.
You were originally interested in apparel design, why the switch to millinery?
BN: I’m definitely in a hat phase right now – I’m working on my senior thesis at Pratt Institute, so I’m constantly making clothes and hats simultaneous. The switch to millinery was very abrupt but not entirely unexpected. After interning for a couture milliner in the spring, I spent the summer of 2012 working in Los Angeles while living in a crazy house in Laurel Canyon (it was actually formerly John Mayall’s house) with Ashley [Mahmoudian, of NORTH // SOUTH]. The whole summer was a transformative experience for me in many respects but either way I just started to draw big, wide-brimmed black hats on all my sketches. Ashley and I were always talking music and fashion and from there the hats seemed to just happen organically. I had taken a basic millinery course in my freshman year at Pratt and decided to enroll in an independent study during the fall of my junior year. I told my professor I wanted to make three, wide-brimmed black felt hats. Her response, “Black felt hats? For spring? Well, it’s your call.” I was insistent and two weeks later, my friends spammed my Facebook with links to the first Saint Laurent runway show: every model was wearing the same, extra wide-brimmed black felt fedora… apparently I was on to something. From there, it just became my thing.
ML: For me, I saw a great opportunity to create a product, made-to-order, rendering zero financial risk and I seized it.
You and your business partner, Marcelo, are both from San Diego, CA. How did you two meet each other?
BN: Marcelo and I met through a mutual friend while living in Brooklyn. Marcelo had just left Parsons The New School for Design and I was in my third year at Pratt Institute. We lived in the same building, and eventually became really close. Oddly enough, this winter will be the first time Marcelo and I will be in San Diego at the same time.
Do you think San Diego influenced your style aesthetic for SHADE + SLOUCH? If yes, what kinds of things from SD influence you?
BN: I grew up in La Jolla next to Windansea Beach and I was always surrounded by my two older brothers who never stopped surfing and skating. I think watching them from afar definitely gave my design aesthetic a bit more street edge… San Diego is a laid-back city… I think I wore flip-flops every day to high school. Either way, California has and always will be my primary source of inspiration.
How has living in New York inspired you? Is there anything about New York/Brooklyn that CA doesn't have? Vice versa?
BN: New York and California are polar opposites to me, but as a designer, I always make it my challenge to merge the energy and aesthetics of both locations. I will say that New York can bring it… I’ve lived here for nearly eight years and I see something new every day. That said, there is nothing I love more than the token California girl in a pink Juicy Couture sweatsuit tucked into a pair of Uggs.
You currently attend Pratt. When can you expect to finish school? Why are you still in school?
BN: No comment. After transferring schools, majors, and taking time off, I will be receiving my BFA this May at long last.
NYC Bagels or pizza? Which do you prefer?
BN: Neither of us eat either gluten or dairy… but I would definitely say bagel.
ML: Bagels with cream cheese and lox.
Beach town or city living?
BN: Beach town. It’s a well-known fact I simultaneously love and hate New York.
ML: Where I’m from, the beach and the city are the same place.
How do you get inspiration for your designs? What is the SHADE + SLOUCH design process like?
BN: Living New York is such a visual experience so I’m constantly watching the people around me - what they wear and how they wear it. A lot of the time, I’ll see a hat that I like and I’ll find myself redesigning it. From there, I generally sketch out some ideas and go to our factory and sift through the blocks. All our hats are felts that are blocked over a wooden form and our factory is over 60-years old. The assortment of blocks is unreal - I’ve been going there for almost 2 years and I’m still constantly blown away by what I see coming out of there.
Music seems to play a large part in your inspiration and design – what songs/artists are you currently listening to?
BN: Music is everything to me. Currently, I’m listening to a lot of Haim (always and a given), Lorde, BANKS, Iggy Azalea, Angel Haze, Naked and Famous, Nightmare and The Cat (the new EP is amazing), Miley Cyrus (yep, I said it), Superhumanoids, Jesse Woods, and when I’m in the studio, always Destiny’s Child Pandora station or Katy Perry (for motivation).
ML: “Year of the Cat” by Al Stewart.
A lot of people are afraid to wear hats; they feel like they can’t pull them off. Do you have any hat styling secrets to share with us?
BN: When we were starting S+S, I found a quote that said something along the lines of “you aren’t fully dressed without a hat.” That’s something that’s stuck with me. I love the idea that you can literally the most basic outfit, throw on a hat, and you’re set. Literally, I’ve seen one of our hats paired with a gray sweatsuit and it looks sick. I think wearing a hat is kind of like how you first feel wearing sunglasses: awkward. Once you get over that feeling, hats are so awesome as there are so many options and the possibilities are endless. As for styling hats, I prefer them to be worn with a bit of a tilt. Also, pick a hat that’s well made, even if it isn’t S+S. Cheap hats look bad and you look like you’re trying too hard… It’s honestly not worth your money.
Your hats are named after girls, who are these girls?
BN: Marcelo and I have been obsessed with girls from a very young age, for different reasons of course. The first hat I designed, The Elson Boater, was named after Karen Elson. I had been listening to her first album while living in Laurel Canyon, so it only seemed right to pay homage to her. The Ashley was named after you, because you were with me when this whole idea was born. The Julia Fedora came next, and was named after one of my best friends and actress, Julia Larson. Julia is very theatrical, and I felt like the drama of the hat fit her personality so well. The Alexandra was named after my good friend, model, and muse Alexandra Stephens. We’ve been friends for over ten years and been shooting together for seven. Alexandra is the epitome of a badass, so a sharp fedora felt like the perfect hat for her. The last hat is The Emma Boater, named after one of my best friends, Emma Hastil, and Marcelo’s girlfriend of two and a half years. The first day I met Emma, she was wearing a straw version of The Emma Boater, hence, our version.
Who is the iconic SHADE + SLOUCH girl? And guy?
BN: That’s a really difficult question, as there are so many people that inspire me. I’d honestly say the iconic girl would be any of the Haim sisters or really any babe that’s strong and badass: Abby Brothers, Malia James, Alisa Xayalith, Claire Acey, Kylie Cusick, Philippa and Smiley of Guns. Germs. $teal... The girls we’ve been dressing so far have been a dream come true. As for dudes, I would love to see the skate rats of Venice Beach rocking our hats – they have such an easy way of dressing that would look sick with some S+S. If I had the money, I’d seriously give them all a hat: Those Folks, one day I got you. Also, maybe my brothers, but like me, our heads are just too big.
What celeb, musician, model, etc. would you LOVE to see in one of your hats?
BN: Lykke Li, Patti Smith, and any member of the Carter family (Blue Ivy included).
ML: Elon Musk and Sofia Vergara.
What’s the most difficult part of starting your own company?
BN: Money. If we had a lot of money, we would be doing some crazy shit. But right now, we’re taking it slow, one day at a time. That, and finding someone you can trust and depend on. I trust Marcelo completely, and I know he’s there for me whenever I need him.
ML: Human capital.
Anything you wish you had done differently?
BN: I wish I hadn’t stressed so hard in the beginning of the company, but besides that really just the times I turn into a gay bitch queen and yell at Marcelo for no reason just because I’m in a bad mood. Sorry bro, love you.
ML: Tough question.
What makes SHADE + SLOUCH special/different than other millinery companies?
ML: We kiss every hat before we put it in the box.
What’s next for SHADE + SLOUCH? When can we expect something new?
BN: We have so many ideas but without giving too much away, let’s just say this spring should be pretty colorful. We’re working with a couple of private clients on some pretty exciting collaborations. Made For Pearl just used our hats for their latest campaign which was like a dream come true. We’re working with Malia James of the Dum Dum Girls on a couple of custom hats for their upcoming album and tour. Malia is the best - she’s been our number one fan and supporter since day one. We're also working with our friend Leo on a project for Art Basel with Ohmahyra Mota.
ML: Hats for cryptocurrency.
The guys hand sew leather details.
Each buckle is hand painted in the studio.