ex-oh by Love Brigade // Spring 09 Video Look Book from Love Brigade on Vimeo.
What do Kurt Cobain, ancient Egyptians, and Bob Dylan all have in common? Give up? Well, they were all inspiration behind Brooklyn-based design team Love Brigade! Blending musical influences with up to the minute trends, their Fall '08 collection named "Love Kurt" featured nature motifs and sexy asymmetrical cuts, slits, and straps all without baring too much skin. Not to be outdone, their Spring '09 presentation of their "Ex-Oh" diffusion line was probably one of the most unique out there! The presentation featured models hanging out on hammocks and dining with oversized cutlery rather than strutting down the runway. We got a chance to talk to Creative Director Christopher "Tinypants" Dang about Love Brigade's background and what's next for them. Read on to see what he had to say, and be sure to check out the slideshow for a look at their Fall collection- then watch the video for their newest Spring '09 looks!Stylehive: Give us a mini-background of your beginning.
Love Brigade: Love Brigade had its humble beginnings in the UK in the Spring of 2005. Jamie and Alyssa are what you would call the "founding fathers" of our collective - although Alyssa would punch me if she knew I called her a father. Love Brigade was relocated to New York in 2006 and that's when I came on-board and eventually took over responsibilities as the Creative Director. Even though we have clearly defined roles on paper, the three of us are Jacks of all trades and often find ourselves working on every aspect of the company together. You can even find me getting coffee for our interns!Love Brigade is the mother company made of several smaller (but equally important!) entities. I'll keep it short and sweet: Love Brigade is our clothing line, LB+Friends is our retail store in Williamsburg, Love Brigade Music Merchandising is our stylist team, and As We Are is an experimental project we will be launching soon. To make it all happen, we have a dedicated team of assistants, interns, and a puppy. We work hard and play hard - it's kind of like having our cake and eating it too.If I could describe us in one sentence, I would say that we are a culturally aware and musically inspired fashion label based in NYC.Stylehive: What are your inspirations?
Love Brigade: Jamie, Alyssa, and I have very different backgrounds and have led wildly different lives, but we have somehow converged onto a unifying path. Family, tradition, and life experience have shaped the core of our existences. We really are a "love brigade," as we function like a family and are an emotional support system for each other. Here's a little peek into what gets our creative juices flowing:
Alyssa Key (CEO/founder)
Inspirations: beauty, thought, and building
Jamie Rockaway (VP/founder)
Inspirations: music (1965-€™78 rock & roll and old country music), woodcut, the South and the Old West, concert posters, landscapes, moments in time, photography, soul, lost family, love and hope
Christopher "Tinypants" Dang
Inspirations: pursuit of happiness, self-awareness, and time
Stylehive: What's next for you?
Love Brigade: A lot can happen in 3 years - we have the scars and trophies to prove it. We have done really well amidst the current economic situation and we will continue to stay the course as creative thinkers. Our Spring '09 collection was conceived as a diffusion line just at the right time. We ensured that our fans and buyers would be able to weather the financial storm with us and still get their hands on Love Brigade clothing. As a result of our strategic foresight (yes, we can see into the future!), our Spring '09 collection will be carried in 12 cities and 3 countries (North America, Canada, and Japan). We are currently finishing up our 7th collection for Fall 2009.Aside from designing collections, there is a lot of activity that happens outside the four walls of our studio. We are a collaborative force with other creatives (artists, musicians, and lovers!). Just recently, we were included as a featured designer in Performa's Metal Shop in Issey Miyake's Soho location. This is a pop-up shop that will allow attendees of the Metal Ball (huge metallic party!!) to get dressed up in amazing metallic gear.Keep an eye out for us and sign up for our newsletter at firstname.lastname@example.org. Every month we have a slew of events and collaborations that keep us from getting cabin fever. We will be a part of LVHRD's next fashion duel and throwing some of New York's best parties with Alex English of GBH and No Big Deal.Stylehive: How do you feel about being The Next Big Thing?
Love Brigade: We have always thought of Love Brigade as a lifelong project. Being mentioned as the 'next big thing' is nice and we are deeply honored. From the very beginning, our growth has been deliberate and we have calculated paths to ensure that Love Brigade is not simply an overnight trend. We have our our eyes on the prize: longevity, success, and outright fun.Stylehive:And of course, anything else you feel like including.
Love Brigade: We turned 3 years old on November 8th! From the bottom of our beating hearts, we would like to thank everyone for their continued support. As we grow older we learn to balance our friendships, relationships, and our dreams. We will always strive for honesty and do what is right. All your ice cream cake belong to us!!! Photo credit: Brad Walsh