Tag Archive | "Interviews"

Interview | Tim Padilla of T&A Showroom

By Beckie Lynn, Editor

BL: Where are you guys from, and how did you get started in this business?

Tim: Alfred and I are both Los Angeles natives, Alfred grew up in Highland Park, and I grew up in Whittier. We both got started in the apparel business about 10 years ago at the retail / wholesale levels and things progressed from there.

BL: How did you meet, and how did T&A Showroom come about?

Tim: We met at Park Showroom 7-8 years ago; we were both sales reps there. We got introduced to a brand new line called Alkemy (whom we still represent at T&A!), and decided to handle sales with them exclusively. We then rented space at Park, and signed up to man a booth at the upcoming Project Trade Show in Las Vegas.

The show proved extremely successful for us – we were getting hit up left and right by new brands wanting representation from us, and it was shortly after then we realized we needed more space.

T&A Showroom opened its doors in late 2008.

BL: You have a really extensive collection; your products range from men’s & women’s apparel, shoes, jewelry, even eyewear. Stylistically, or in terms of your target customer, what’s one thing all of your lines have in common?

Tim: Our common thread is our ability to be diverse. Most of the showrooms around here are categorized very specifically (i.e. women’s surf / sport or men’s shoes) and because of this, most brands will get overlooked or even lost in the sea of showrooms.

We have successfully placed numerous lines from many different categories into a one-stop-shop for buyers, and through this manner of strategy we have gained a higher advantage above our competitors.

BL: How do you go about choosing new lines? What are the top criteria?


We are very thorough and precise with our selection for design lines.

We cater to mostly private label brands, and the top key factors we will look for when a line is pitched will be: Marketability, Profitability, Production Capability, and Accessibility to Media (i.e. PR / Marketing communication).

BL: How has the economy changed the fashion business, and in particular how has it affected your clients?

Tim: Everyone in the industry has definitely been more cautious. On the buying end, orders have been shorter, but are now better thought out. This actually turns out better in the long run, because it reduces the risk of over-production / order cancellations.

BL: What are your long-term plans as a company?

Tim: Our main goal is to become an international showroom. We plan to extend with 5 showrooms around the country (in all of the top trade show locations), starting with New York City.

BL: Any last remarks, comments, quotes?

Tim: This is a motto I have been carrying with me since I decided to start my own business, and I proudly stand behind it:

No one is ever going to pay you what you’re worth, except for yourself.


T & A Showroom









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Interview with Kristi Moon, Age of Aquarius

By Pablo Breton | Facebook | Twitter
Editor, IndieFashionDaily


IFDaily: I don’t know a whole lot about hip-hop culture, but I’m from New Orleans, which is a huge R & B town.

I grew up listening to stuff like Parliament (Mothership Connection) and Funkadelic (One Nation Under a Groove), Curtis Mayfield (Super Fly) and Sly & The Family Stone (Fresh), etc. etc. Except for The Beatles, this was basically the stuff I considered “music” growing up. And with all of that stuff comes a very strong sense of visual style, as well. (I even remember watching Soul Train every Sunday. You really saw some great clothes on there.)

A lot of the clothes on Soul Train for example were so intense with colors, cuts and materials; completely unapologetic about saying “here I am.” I love that so much.

Anyway, my impressions may have nothing to do with where you were coming from. Obviously funk is ’70s and hip-hop is ’80s – ’90s.

Can you tell me a little more about your influences; materials. Where do you get your inspiration?

KM: Being a ’70s baby I grew up listening to the same music as you plus I loved the blues, jazz, soul/R&B and funk as well! Soul Train was a must-watch in my household! The outfits those kids wore were so creative and fly, you have to realize that

those teens who danced on Soul Train were from the streets, this was really who they were!

It wasn’t a gimmick, there were no choreographers, no wardrobe stylists, they were REAL and that’s what I believe was so appealing back then, there was no limit to their creative expressions and I LOVED it!! Also, being from the Midwest, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which is approx 2 hrs north of Chicago, in my community and household dressing to the nines was about making a statement and status. Looking back, fashion and style became important to me in elementary school. If I didn’t feel comfortable in my clothes on any particular day, my entire day was ruined, LOL. In the early 80’s MTV hit the scenes with all the pop music videos which heavily influenced my sense of style and then

in the late ’80s, Yo MTV Raps aired and female rappers that I could totally relate to hit the scene and I wanted to look like Salt & Pepa, Mc Lyte and the Real Roxanne.

IFDaily: Your first line was skirts made from deconstructed denim jeans, and silk screened t-shirts of musicians (from Hendrix to the Beatles). How did you get started deconstructing garments and sewing? Were you always interested in fashion, or did it come from a love of music?

KMOne of my best friends introduced me and the other members of our crew to tearing apart jeans, and at this time I was already altering t-shirts and embellishing anything I could get my hands on with rhinestones. So eventually I continued to experiment on my own with these deconstructed garments. Using my old concert t-shirts as part of my design process just made sense to me! So this is how I created my 1st collection of deconstructed denim skirts, Kristi Moon Originals. I was limited on cash, so I shopped at resale shops to find more materials to add in creating my deconstructed denim skirts. I ripped apart bright colored suede skirts, used leather jacket, leather pants, etc. My love for fashion honestly came from my parents, my community and my peers.

IFDaily: Tell me more about the eco-consciousness of the brand. And what inspired you to “go eco”?

KM: It was natural for me to become an eco friendly designer once my lifestyle and health became important to me in my late 20s. At this time I started being more conscious of what I put into my body; I worked out 5 days a week and started eating organic foods, soy products and cut most meats from my daily diet. Once I discovered organic cotton knit fabric, I started researching how the textile industry was impacting the environment and made a conscious choice to do my part as a designer by reducing my carbon footprint.

IFDaily: There’s an almost futuristic element to some of your garments. The robes I saw in a couple of combinations at Project EthosCarpe Diem show almost reminded me of Luke Skywalker’s robe; or maybe it’s more of a Japanese kimono look. But the fedora reminds me of old Hollywood, sort of a Fred Astaire vibe. Anyway, these are such inventive, killer combinations. What other influences combine to make the Kristi Moon “look”?

KM: Both of my parents were really into clothes and appearances. I remember my Dad’s double-breasted, wool, camel colored trench coats, spectator shoes or Stacy Adams. My mom and my Aunt were glamorous! Wide lapel leather coats, flowing dresses, full circle skirts and London Fog coats were worn frequently. They would dress up and practice dances before going out to party at the local discos. My love for outerwear and coats came from growing up in Wisconsin; this was a necessity, since the temperature drops below zero in the winter months.

My mom shopped for me all the time! She said it was easy to find the cutest trends in my size, since I have always been “tall & skinny.” Often, I would wake up with complete outfits laid out on my bed. My favorite fits that I can remember that I wore in jr. high school were an Esprit plaid, pleated ruffle mini shirt, a white buttoned-down collar shirt and an argyle sweater vest. Then there was my four-piece leopard printed, brushed fleece ensemble, which consisted of a long sleeved crew neck sweatshirt, stirrups, a long pencil skirt and a blazer, LOL. My shoes became important as well, since my mother would only allow me and my sisters to wear leather shoes and boots; she always said that quality was the most important thing.

I like to design structured, tailored garments, with specific silhouettes in mind, plus I have an obsession with pockets! So I challenged myself to design a trench coat made from knit fabric which I call the “Marsha” named after my mom. In my current collection, the look worn with the fedora hat, I used bamboo fleece to design this coat and bamboo velour for some of my other pieces, which includes British military-style jackets for my “Luxury Suit” tracksuits and a feminine version of a men’s “smoker’s jacket”. The fuchsia pink jacket which I call “Kel” was made from raw silk and for the denim version the fabric that I used was hemp denim. This jacket was definitely inspired by Japanese girls that were influenced by urban American culture.

I started sketching my Fall 2011 collection in 2007 and I was also inspired by the movie Mahogany which stars Diana Ross as fashion design student, who lived in Chicago in the late ’70s. Her character was classy and there was a simplicity in the way she designed the costumes. It always bothered me that I could never really relate and see myself wearing urban apparel. To me the styles were overly embellished and somewhat gaudy for my taste, so I started designing pieces that I wanted in my wardrobe that would appeal to my generation and not just my community. I like to call myself the Urban Minimalist, since my design style is definitely inspired from the streets in which I grew up, yet my pieces are a toned down version to suit active women, with busy lives, that take pride in their appearances and want to look great, feel great and take pride in what practices and fibers are used in making the clothes that they wear.

Since I only use sustainable textiles, there are more knits available then woven fabric, so I use what I can, to make my sketches come to life, when creating my vision.

IFDaily: You pioneered the first fashion-related program for Woodcraft Rangers, a non-profit youth development program. How did that come about? What was it like? Why was it important?

KM: I had a family member that was the event coordinator at Woodcraft Rangers and we brainstormed to find a way for me to get involved with the non-profit organization. So we came up with the idea, she pitched it to the director, we met and they loved the idea. I was so anxious to get involved with inner city youth, so they created a job for me, as a Fashion Traveling Specialist. My job was to teach after school, fashion related workshops, to elementary and junior high students to expose them to the various creative job opportunities that exist in the fashion industry. It was so fulfilling and my students were willing and ready to learn.

IFDaily: “Age of Aquarius” generally refers to the idea of a new world: generally a better world. Why did you decide to call the new line “Age of Aquarius?” Is this a reference to the idea of a new eco-consciousness, growing social consciousness, the freedom of the hippie movement, some of these, or none?

KM: Yes, the fact that it was foretold by astrologers that human consciousness will shift and we will evolve in the Age of Aquarius definitely impacted my decision in naming my line Age Of Aquarius Apparel, plus my sun sign is Aquarius, so it just worked.

IFDaily: Anything else you’d like to tell us? Any fun personal plans (for example, travel), or upcoming events or brand news?

KM: Well, now that I have officially launched my 1st collection at Project Ethos in LAFW and have received a lot of positive feedback about my collection and my design skills, at this point my goal is to have AOA Apparel in high-end speciality boutiques this fall in all the major cities. I am focused building my brand and designing my next collection for Spring 2011, which I would like to show at New York Fashion Week. I have also decided to relocate to NYC this summer and continue to pursue my dreams as a fashion designer there. You know the saying “if you can make it New York, you can make it anywhere,” so my journey continues.

One more thing: The utility belt with pouches worn with the bilberry (dark teal) velour Luxury Suit is one of my designs, as well. I found a manufacturer who makes Eco Leather, so in the near future I am planning to introduce a line of accessories to Age Of Aquarius Apparel!

IFDaily: Thanks!


Age of Aquarius | Web | Facebook | Twitter

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Interview with Gypsy ’05 Designers Osi & Dotan Shoham

By Pablo BretonFacebookTwitter
Editor, IndieFashionDaily


IFDaily: What inspired you to be one of the first brands to “go eco” in such a profound way?

GYPSY ’05: We were in the dye business for some time before we started our line. Being people that love and feel connected to nature, we were always looking for ways to be friendly to the environment. We were always looking for ways to make a difference. In December of 2009 our Southern California headquarters went green. A true revolution for the garment industry, we were the first completely solar-powered dying, printing, and manufacturing facility in Los Angeles. It’s been our goal to make a mark in the fashion world, without leaving a carbon footprint on the rest of the world.

Jessica Alba in Gypsy 05 Farra Dress

IFDaily: You have so many celebrity clients, from Kate Hudson to Jessica Alba. How has the line caught on so strongly among celebs? Is it word of mouth; press? Do you think the line offers an opportunity for celebrities in particular to relax a little while still looking fashionable? And / or do you think that’s essentially this same factor that appeals to everyone?

GYPSY ’05: We feel that we make clothes for the people. We don’t design particularity for celebrities; but we take pride when they wear them. We’re making clothes that are colorful, comfortable, unique, and fashionable; therefore, they appeal to many different clientele.

IFDaily: Obviously you both share duties. You also have slightly different, but complementary backgrounds: Osi’s being advertising / marketing and Dotan’s being garment and dye. How do you divide the work now? How have your roles evolved? How do you work as a team?

GYPSY ’05: We are a brother and a sister team that grew up in a tight-knit family. Not only are we close, but there is a mutual deep appreciation and respect for one another. Our partnership compliments one another’s strengths with Osi being the designer and Dotan handling the business side. The roles do however cross over from time to time.

IFDaily: How does Osi’s background influence the marketing of Gypsy ’05 today?

GYPSY ’05: Osi has developed a great eye for visuals and a great understanding of advertising, which definitely helps in the course of our business to expand strategically.

Osi & Dotan Shoham

IFDaily: How did Dotan’s work with color innovators Pacific Blue spark some of the earlier inspiration behind the current colors and eco-consciousness of the brand?

GYPSY ’05: As it is we still develop washes and dye techniques on almost a daily basis. We’re bringing back some of the old washes we used to do years ago and we are trying to give them new looks and interpretations. As well in Pacific Blue we are always trying to find ways to use eco-friendlier chemicals and materials in processing of garments. Some will include soy-based softeners, seaweed based discharge paste, low-impact dyes, and we use solar energy as a power supply.

IFDaily: What’s the “one sentence” that describes your brand?

GYPSY ’05: Gypsy ’05 is a colorful, fashionable and EVOLVING brand.

IFDaily: It seems, roughly speaking, the evolution of the brand so far has been t-shirts to maxi dresses, and now sweaters and even footwear. Where will the brand expand to next? Is the sky the limit, or will it stay close to a core concept?

GYPSY ’05Embodying the “gypset” lifestyle, Gypsy ’05 is an ever-changing brand that will continue to grow to evoke our free-spirit. Gypsy ‘05 is an artist brought to life, through interpretations of beauty, life, and culture. By gathering motivation from our surroundings — both Los Angeles and our native land — we tend to focus on elements which revitalize nature through fashion. This is apparent in our contemporary collection for men, women, and children.

Gypsyz knit stocking / boot hybrid

Our shoe collection, Gypsyz, launched for fall / winter 2010 as a new and unparalleled type of footwear.  A hybrid between a knit stocking and a boot, Gypsyz are meant to be worn both indoors and outdoors and are offered in various heights, prints and colors. For fall 2011 we have created our Gypsyz Clogs in knit, as was seen on the runway.

We are very excited about the launch of this new style and are expecting it to do wonders in the market.


GYPSY ’05 | Web | Facebook | Twitter

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Interview with Jonny Cota, Skingraft

By Pablo AvionFacebookTwitter
Editor, IndieFashionDaily


IFDaily: First of all, I love you guys’ designs. “Retro future” is the term that springs to mind for some of it. Please tell me about this picture.

I can’t get enough of this wide-brimmed 1940s-style hat in fuzzy, futuristic material and synthetic emu-type … what is that? A collar? Shoulder ornament?
 What is this, what’s the material, where could I buy it (if I was a woman … or a more-daring man). How much does it cost? What’s the name of the collection?

JC: This photo is from our recent presentation at LA Fashion Week. The collection was sort of inspired by the grace of death and dying and the idea that when we die we can live forever in whatever vision we make of ourselves. My vision for these models was to create them as they dark spirits from some other planet and time. The head piece was made by my good friend and longtime collaborator Rick Gradone. He used human and synthetic hair that he painstakingly coated in layers of latex to create something otherworldly and in my opinion incredibly unique and fashion forward. The head piece is complimenting the Skingraft jacket with giant exaggerated shoulders covered in goat and human hair.

IFDaily: Okay now on to picture 2.

Photo: Apparel News

To  me this is like Gone With the Wind meets Star Wars. It’s odd for me to be gushing like this about women’s fashions, simply because I usually reserve my intense spasticity for men’s stuff I probably can’t afford. What’s this called? What’s the inspiration / story behind this look?

JC: Though Skingraft primarily focuses on designing ready-to-wear collections, we have always invested a lot of time into making one-of-a-kind ornate garments like the one in this photo. This was the finale piece for our spring 2011. The entire show was inspired by African folklore and the concept of ancestry. The oversized hood and armored hips and shoulders was my take on an African warrior-type but coupled with the flowing silk skirt I believe the look became much softer and feminine while still maintaining its power.

IFDaily: It’s hard for me to see your designs without thinking of Philip K. Dick (who wrote the book that became Bladerunner, among many other surreal science fiction classics, for anyone unfamiliar). Or hear a song by Daft Punk. Where do you get your inspiration? Do movies, music or books play a part?

JC: I pull my inspiration from everywhere but there are definitely some iconic movies from the past that have burned lasting images in my memory such as Dune, Bladerunner, Mad Max, and Fifth Element. Ideas of future, apocolypse, and re-imagining how we dress and relate to a different world are always reoccurring in the Skingraft aesthetic. Also music is a huge inspiration to me. I have always been very active and social in nightlife settings so everything from electronic music to punk rock has had a deep impact on the way I imagine Skingraft.

IFDaily: You’ve done quite well in the celebrity arena (understandably, given the theatricality of your garments). (Yes, “theatricality” is a word: I just looked it up and I’m surprised myself.) More recently I see you have Britney Spears, for example, wearing a Skingraft graffiti jacket and shorts in the “Hold it Against Me Video.” How did that come about? Do you ever design looks for celebrities by request, or do they get wind of your looks, somehow?

JC: Being based in Los Angeles has granted us many great opportunities to work closely with celebrities and interesting projects. For the Britney video, we were asked to especially design pieces for Britney that would help recreate her image to fit with the future aesthetic of the video. Bea Akerlund was the stylist for that video and she had worked with us through the Black Eyed Peas and other musicians, so she came to us directly because she felt that we would be good candidates to create a rock-n-roll futuristic look for Britney.

IFDaily: Adam Lambert came to the show at CONCEPT LA during LA Fashion Week, and apparently has been a Skingraft fan / friend going on a couple of years, at least. How did that come about?

Photo: mjsbigblog.com

JC: Adam was actually one of the first new friends I made when I moved to Los Angeles 6 years ago. We met in the kinda freaky club scene in LA and have known each other for years. It has been such a great experience to watch him explode into worldwide fame because he is damn talented. It is also convenient and lucky that our aesthetics are very similar so he has come to us for a number of custom pieces during his time on American Idol and then later on his national tour.

IFDaily: Skingraft is both Jonny Cota (designer) and Chris Cota (brand manager). Does Chris ever share design thoughts, and do you ever get involved in marketing the brand? Or are you happy keeping duties separate?

JC: We both crossover a lot. I am very very specific about how I want the brand to by presented and perceived in the public so I contribute a lot to the “voice” of Skingraft and Chris helps maintain that voice and grow the brand. I design the collection but I love having Chris’ opinion on all the designs because he comes from a more marketable and mainstream point of view and he will ask me important questions like “do we really need to produce perforated leather pants that show everything? I mean, is anyone going to buy this.” He brings me back to earth a lot and I think together we really make a great team.

IFDaily: Anything else you’d like to tell us? For example, any fun personal trips coming up, events or other news related to the brand?

JC: We have some really exciting things coming up for the brand this year that I can’t really talk about yet but it involves everything from more celebrity projects to designing a lower priced sub-label. Definitely keep an ear out because we will be making some big announcements this summer.

IFDaily: Thanks, can’t wait!


Skingraft | Web | Facebook | Twitter

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Interview with Matthew Waldman of Nooka: We Are Already Machines

By Pablo Breton | FacebookTwitter
Editor, IndieFashionDaily

Matthew Waldman is a New York based artist and designer most prominently known for creating Nooka Inc., a lab dedicated to exploring universal communication via form, language and fashion. Founded in 2004 and best known for its patented timepieces, Nooka continues to provoke deeper thought on fashion and everyday objects.

Alert readers may have already noticed my near-obsession with Nooka from the first moment I saw their stuff at the Class Hollywood Trade Show, where I posited that Pac Mac had been put into a blender as part of their signature look. This made me both sad and happy. (I also explained, briefly, time travel.)

I have also enjoyed their signature scent and this cool wallet.

Nooka Mercury Glow-In-Dark Sunglasses

Like I said: obsessed.

IFDaily: Your watches remind me mainly of a cipher: a puzzle with an open-ended solution. Do you like puzzles in general? Do you see time (or physics) as a puzzle, and is that reflected in the design?

MW: Physics is quite the puzzle, even the specialists can’t agree or find unifying principals yet. Time, to me, is not a puzzle, it’s just the side effect of living in a 4-dimensional universe. Also, I’m not terribly interested in puzzles like sudoku or crosswords; I’m far too impatient a person to get into any.

IFDaily: As a musician, I’m a bit obsessed with the future of music. The far future. What will music sound like in 500 years, if the human race still exists? 10,000 years? 5 million years? If you grew up in the 16th century, the music of John Coltrane would seem unthinkable, just pure noise. But obviously such a thing is appreciable by the human mind, once it’s found and the context is established. So it stands to reason there are more, “unthinkable” forms of music and art that exist, in a sense, all around us, but we can’t see them. Or maybe they truly haven’t been created yet (the intuitive explanation), but I guess the point is that some new ideas seem obvious, and some take acclimation and context (certain delicacies; jazz), but the evolution of new ideas is not only possible, it’s inevitable. What possibilities do you think exist for the future of art? How can we get there? And: do you see (or hope for) any specifics?

Nooka New Zub Zenh

MW: I think no matter how far in the future [or past for that matter] you go, we will maintain the ability to appreciate all musical forms as harmonics will not change. I think the main areas to be explored are within the mind itself. Manipulating how music is experienced in the brain itself will create new technologies and ways to enjoy music. Synesthesia is now treated as a medical disorder, but I can foresee a world where one can choose which set or senses to engage for any experience. It will open up a multitude of new art forms and ways to interpret and enjoy audio and visual stimuli. Even on a simpler level, genetically altering the human to hear a wider range of frequency will expand the palette for aural expression, and this too is exciting.

IFDaily: According to General Relativity all time has already happened. We’re more like an eye, roving over a swirling pattern in wood. Time seems to move, but in fact it’s already etched, beginning to end, with parts revealed to us incrementally. As a result — because each part of the pattern is, in fact, shaped by the whole — we experience echoes from the future as well as the past. Our future, in a sense, is always shaping our present. I wonder how you could make a watch that suggests echoes from the future. But as a broader (or really separate) question, how do concepts of physics and time shape your designs artistically in general (not just with watches).

MW: If I had access to the technology I would certainly be right on it! I guess Nooka really does look like a bigger company than the reality! I am intrigued with the idea as an art project, so give me some time on that. I am quite obsessed with physics as a subject, but my designs are more informed by a search for a universal language. For example, the time pieces are the product of an exercise to find a universal interface that transcends the language and the math. For example, the fact that time is expressed in base-12 while one’s banking etc. is done in base-10 is lost on most people. Instead of trying to be pedantic with math, I chose visual language as my tool. So though higher-based math is used in physics, it is way beyond my brain’s abilities.

IFDaily: In The Future Perfect, Walter Abish wrote: “The immediate future, the immediate, immaculate future, lies mapped out in the brain cells.” In Future Shock, Alvin Toffler wrote: “Future shock is the shattering stress and disorientation that we induce in individuals by subjecting them to too much change in too short a time.” Which is it, do you think? Are human brains capable of creating an ever-better future using technology / our imaginations, or are we doomed to become more and more alienated from our own humanity? Should be become more alienated from what we’ve considered “humanity” so far, and strive to be something even less animal? Or do we then risk becoming machines ourselves? Is there a middle ground?

Nooka New Zub Zirc

MW: I do agree that the future is mapped out already in our brains. Have you ever read The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin? It’s a story about a man whose dreams alter reality and he becomes a speed addict to avoid sleep when he sees the imperfections of his dreams negatively affecting mankind. And what happens when his psychiatrist actually believes this phenomenon is actually occurring.

I believe that it is the collective dream states that drive all human advancement whether artistic, biological or technological, and it is the imperfections in the collective dreams and personalities that cause all the problems in the world. On the other points, I don’t think we are any more alienated from our humanity than people were in any other point in history; there are always optimists and pessimists, people who experience connection as normal, those who see it as spiritual and those alienated by it. To me, technology is part of nature. How is a skyscraper any less “natural” than a beehive? Humans source the materials for the skyscraper from the earth just as bees do for their hives. Really, we are already machines. The carbohydrates in our food are much like the hydrocarbons in our machines fuel. I don’t make a clean cut distinction. Also, not to over-complicate the discussion, but I believe this potentiality exists in the very molecules of matter itself and not just the human mind.

IFDaily: I haven’t read that particular Le Guin, but I’ll check it out. I recommend Ubik by Philip K. Dick (if you haven’t already read it). Any new product announcements or news, or anything else you’d like to mention? (Fun personal plans, for example?)

MW: We recently expanded our glow-in-the-dark range to include sunglasses and our redesigned AO (asset organizer), which is fun. I’d love to remind everyone that we produced a fragrance that very much follows the themes above, mainly as a challenge to see if I could tell the nookafesto story of optimistic futurism in a sexy scent. So support a crazy independent design entrepreneur and buy one of everything on nooka.com! I may launch a kickstarter page to raise money to hire an assistant and team to develop a truly global language [Esperanto 4.0!] As universal communication is an obvious obsession of mine. Always lots of “noo” stuff to talk about!

IFDaily: Thanks!


Shop Nooka

Nooka Asset Organizer

Nooka Strip

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Interview: Musician Laena Geronimo

By Pablo BretonFacebookTwitter
Editor, IndieFashionDaily

Laena Geronimo is bassist for LA band The Like and a multi-intrumentalist in her own right. On March 20, Laena will perform with one of her many side projects, Raw Geronimo, for an LA Fashion Week event in support of Popomomo. (You can also catch her around town performing in Swahili Blonde and Dante Vs. Zombies.)


IFDaily: You play violin, bass, guitar, drums, and sing, so obviously you’re a “musician’s musician.” What draws you to fashion lately, or has it always been an interest?

LG: Fashion is a form of artistic expression to me. I’ve always had a strong sense of my own personal style, and often it’s related to the music that I’m obsessed with at the moment; there was a two-year period when I only listened to punk music recorded before 1983? I fully dressed the part, with short white hair I cut ‘n bleached myself. As a kid my mom worked at boutiques and was a total art punk. My first job was at a vintage clothing store and, other than being a musician, I’ve always worked in fashion. So fashion has definitely always been an interest.

IFDaily: I don’t know much about Popomomo, being newly transitioned from music to fashion myself. How did you get involved with them?

LG: Designer Lizz Wasserman actually found my profile as a total stranger on a modeling website! We met at the shoot location for this Fall 2011 line, and throughout that day we did a lot of talking about art and music and realized we had a lot in common. So we decided to work together.

IFDaily: The Popomomo press release cites you as the “muse” for the current collection. What do you think that’s referring to? How did you work to inspire (either wittingly or unwittingly, in your opinion) the Fall-Winter looks?

LG: I think that this reference is not to me as a specific individual, but more to what I represent as an ambitious female artist. The Popomomo Fall collection is inspired by unashamedly sensual women in music and literature: like Patti Smith and Eva Babitz. And I think when we met, perhaps she saw what she had been referencing in me, and retroactively cited me as muse? It is an incredibly huge compliment.

IFDaily: Tell me about Raw Geronimo. Who’s in the band. What’s the muse for the new music?

LG: Well I’ve been playing various instruments in other people’s bands for years, and all the while writing and recording my own songs sort of secretly / shyly. The time just seems right to take the plunge and start my own band. I’ve assembled an incredible group of amazing musicians: Andrew Scarborough (Black Apples), Ellie May Carpenter (Some Days), Michael Rudes (Cactus Pricks), Lauren “Feather” Fay (Amanda Jo Williams), and Marty Sataman (Upsilon Acrux). (Dante White-Aliano of Dante Vs. Zombies will be filling in for Marty at the Popomomo show.) I’m just going to front the band and sing. I’m very very excited.

IFDaily: Tell me (wait, am I starting every question with “Tell me”? I suck) about the upcoming event. What would you like us to know?

LG: Raw Geronimo is really looking forward to playing this Popomomo event. All of us are excited about Lizz’s awesome clothes, and it will be interesting, especially as a first show, to be doing a slightly more stripped-down set in such a unique setting. It’s also building the anticipation in a healthy way for us to really get crazy and let loose at our first fully electrified show: Friday, April 8th at The Bootleg Theater.

IFDaily: Anything else fun or noteworthy coming up? Any fun personal plans?

LG: This band is my heart and soul, and I’m gonna give it everything I’ve got! For me, “fun personal plans” is to get the Raw Geronimo ball rolling with live shows and recordings and keep the momentum building with videos and tours asap. Art is life for me, and performing songs that I’ve written is the most exhilirating and rewarding experience possible.


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