Where are you from? / Where do you live? / Favorite places around the globe?
I was born and raised in Encinitas, California and since graduation from USC in May 2019 I have been living in Santa Monica. I’ve traveled many corners of the world, but I always dream of Bali. I’ve never been anywhere like it.
What did you study? (if you did) / What were the best lessons you learned (doesn't have to be about your major but overall what you got out of it?
After beginning my studies at USC learning mechanical engineering, I finally found my way into the school of design. I realized that I needed to fill a creative void that has always burned inside me. I learned that the road we travel is a constantly evolving path, always veering, always changing. Life can be fun when you open yourself up to the opportunities you didn’t expect.
Any mantras or beliefs that you live by?
My grandfather always used to say “Patience is a virtue, often sought yet seldom found.” Things happen when they are supposed to. When you force it, when it doesn’t feel natural, you’re avoiding life’s natural progression. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my lifelong commitment to surfing, it’s that you’ve got to have patience. Your wave will come.
How did you get started with STAN?
I have held an art practice my entire life. I began experimenting with fashion as an art form in a “Design Thinking” class at USC and I wrote out an in depth personal design manifesto. I became interested in sustainably creating fashion and telling a story through the hand bound threads of historical textiles. Things started to fall into place when I listened to my intuition and kept experimenting with art. I used a vintage Hawaiian quilt from my childhood that lived on my bed to make my first jacket. Recycling materials. Telling an interesting story. A hint of surf culture. The stars aligned.
Did you always know what you wanted to do?
Oh no! Definitely not! I struggled to figure it out. I thought that what I studied in school was going to be my destiny. But after finding a trust for my passion in being creative, I realized that as long as I love what I’m doing now I don’t need to worry about what I’m going to be doing in the future. I luckily realized my passion towards the end of school. I don’t think that enough of my colleagues were able to follow their passions.
What motivates you? What keeps you inspired and keeps you creating?
I’m motivated and inspired by something new every day. I’m an easily distracted person, so if I’m able to keep moving and seeing new things, cool design, rad art, I stay motivated. I get really excited about really really old quilts. I never would have thought this for me only a year ago. But I have found some inspiring stories of antique textiles around the globe. Pieces that are a part of a families history. Quilts and textiles that have brought families together. Older women in my quilting groups that have spent years sewing together a quilt for their loved ones.
I know the fashion space is changing rapidly. People are more conscious. Fashion hurts our planet, destroys our oceans. It’s motivating knowing that what I’m creating is helping, not hurting our planet, by recycling the old.
Do you consider that you live a healthy more conscious lifestyle or perhaps are interested in transforming more into?
I’m very health conscious, or at least try my best. Moderation is key. But when you feel good without any aches or pains, nothing can stop you. I care what I put in my body and only work on improving it. I’ve always been conscious physically, but only realized recently how important it is to be health conscious of the mind as well. Even though I’ve been an avid yogi for years, I’m working on practicing more mindfulness, meditation, breathing, etc. I think that there are things I haven't discovered about myself yet because I need to work on more mindfulness.
What does nature give you? Do you feel that you give back to nature in your own way?
I have always been very connected with mother nature. Our oceans, our mountains, our forests and the vast openness of nature and its unique intricacies. Nature does not stop giving, but I realized it needs some reciprocation. It deserves more than we give it. I try my best, in my life, in my business, to give back to it, and avoid harming.
Tell us more about STAN? What are your favorite parts? Challenges? What is the mission behind STAN?
I have three visions in mind right now for STAN. One, to create a sustainable clothing brand that gives back to the planet rather than harm it. Two, to be the conduit of stories found through antique textiles and found throughout the world. And three, to create an alternative in high fashion that crosses couture with a coastal surfer. That’s the STAN mission for now.
I love that because I started Stan as an art practice, not intended as a business, it was naturally created and not forced. Everything that I create is not consumer centric, rather it goes along with my design choices and taste. I’ve been able to create what I want when I want, and I’m so lucky that people have been attracted to it, and want to buy stuff!
I also love how I’ve been able to connect with people in a way I've never imagined in terms of stories. I have become friends
with 80 year old women in quilting groups and we bond over stories of 100 year old quilts.
Do you think living a more conscious lifestyle goes hand in hand with consciousness towards the environment? How about with STAN and all the quilts that you transform?
100%. How we treat our lifestyle affects the environment as well. The food we choose to eat. The products we choose to buy. Being aware of those things in your life means you’re being environmentally conscious. That's why it's so important for me to create something that has a neutral, or even positive effect on the environment. Using a textile that already exists and not adding more to the pile of waste.
How do you view the fashion world? Do you think it needs to change? Are there any parts that should be kept?
The fashion world is changing. A lot of people are realizing a more environment conscious life, which relates to environment conscious brands and products. People are thinking sustainably. Brands have to realize it.
Besides that I don’t pay attention. I’m an outsider to the typical fashion world. And I’d like to keep it that way.
I don’t have any desire for the stigma around high fashion and designer fashion. I don’t believe in trends. Never have followed them. I’ve always started my own. I remember wearing bow ties to second grade. And pink shirts (crazy for a boy at the time). And then hot pink pants and bracelets up my arms. That’s why STAN creates timeless pieces with everlasting stories.