Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I was born in Mystic, Connecticut, but I grew up all over the Tri-state area. I went to Blair Academy, and then at 18 I went to the school of hard knocks, aka modeling during the heroine chic days, which was my first real playground in the fashion / art worlds where I was surrounded by creatives of all types who mentored me and allowed me to realize opinions about aesthetics… Besides an 8 year stint in LA, I’ve been in NY since I was 18. I live on the Bowery now, right above one of those old school lighting shops, and next to a tattoo parlor.
For those who are not familiar with the line can you describe your aesthetic?
A little gritty, a little wrong, but still very elevated and sleek. Think Robert Downey Jr. in the 1987 hit Less Than Zero.
What is your design process?
The process happens organically and is honestly different every time. For example, I use this herringbone pattern throughout the collection. That started because I was raised in a traditional sort of family but was more of a black sheep… I took the traditional herringbone pattern and tweaked it into more of a graffiti. I painted swatches of canvas with it, my sheets with it. It’s now the signature on each piece.
More often than not, it’s the environment that a utilitarian object exists in that gets me going. I love the transition from a useable, necessary object into a luxury good. Like a horse bit – its a utilitarian thing, which when it’s being used is covered in slime and dirt, but it’s become such a symbol of luxury. I love the irony of that.
For example, the carabiners started because I kept seeing these hot guys and girls on their bikes whizzing around the city. They keep their keys on these carabiners that would ever so slightly tug down their pants. It’s sexy – and I thought, why not make that everyday thing into something super luxe, and even sexier?
Where did you learn how to design and produce your objects?
Its just happened over time – I decide to make something, and then I find a producer here in New York so we can work together easily. I love being able to be involved at every stage – and also always learning ! That’s one of the big benefits of making everything locally.
How do you decide what to produce, you stock a very eclectic mix of things?
It’s really about the story of each thing – the irony or humor in a piece, something that catches my eye really. I think of JvdF as a lifestyle brand, so I want every piece to fill a corner of that lifestyle. I love the idea of a guy being out and whipping out a silver toothpick for his date, or carrying floss in a JvdF case that also matches the toothpick…. and his one hitter 😉
Can you tell us a random fact about yourself?
I had a perm once. I was 17, she said it would be body wave… next thing I knew I was a poodle. It was absolutely not a body wave.
Any advice for young artists?
Everyone is calling themselves an artist today…. Step outside the box if you can.
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