Editorial Staff REESE HERRICK
The California Issue
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End of Summer 2012
Letter From The Editor
It Runs in the Family
CHAOS Model Watch on The Radar
The One They Re:Quest by Name
An Adroit Artisan
Man Against The Sea
Get Down and Dirty with Dirty Ghosts
The Violence of Violens
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR As we all get ready to say goodbye to the warm weather and welcome the brisk fall breeze, I thought to myself: “What better way to end the summer with a bang than a killer issue representing the West Coast?”, and that is why I am thrilled to bring you The California Issue, End of Summer 2012, Vol. 15. Gracing our cover is one of my favorite male models and close friend, Arthur Kulkov. Inside this issue, you’ll find a killer interview with Arthur where he opens up about his personal life, career, and insight on what it’s like being one of the most recognizable faces in the modeling industry.
You might be asking yourself why the issue is “California” themed. For those of you
who don’t know, I am from California, born and raised. I wanted to share a bit of myself through this theme, and give you that “laid back, no worries” vibe us Californians have come to be known for. Throughout this volume, you’ll see a slew of fresh fashion editorials that all feature a distinct and irrefutable “California” vibe that I am sure will have you yearning for a beach house on the West Coast. We hope you enjoy viewing The California Issue and that it helps you hold on to those last few days of summer. Just remember, California is a state of mind too: it’s that happy, loving, chill, stress-free mentality that we all should try to grasp when we can!
Enjoy the issue! All my love, Reese Herrick Founder + Editor-in-Chief
It Runs in AUSTRALIAN SIBLING DESIGNERS JONO AND SAM COTTEE ARE REDEFINING THE REGION’S STYLE WITH A REFRESHINGLY MODERN TAKE ON RETRO-INSPIRED STREETWEAR THROUGH THEIR VANGUARD LABEL.
text JASMINE SONG
It began with the Marcianos, then there were the Versaces, and now there are the Cottees. The cultural foundation of fashion has long been assembled by powerful, innovative sibling duos. In an industry where it’s tough enough for creative minds to single handedly get their foot in the door, brothers who successfully manage to make a shared name for themselves in the fashion world surely stand out from the crowd. Meet the latest double act of siblings who are not only reshaping Australia’s fashion community, but also the fashion scene on an international level. Jono and Sam Cottee had never imagined they would be working together in the cutthroat world of fashion.
Go back seven years, and the Cottee brothers were happily managing a small business in the backyard of their family garage, printing unique graphics onto T-shirt blanks, making their own screens, and putting a little line of prints together to show a few local boutiques for their own personal enjoyment. “What drew us to the fashion industry was that we felt disenchanted with the direction of these [lifestyle] brands as they hit the mass market, and essentially dumbed down their designs,” Jono said. With a large, silk-screen printed tee, featuring four “punk heads” on the front as their very first finished product, the business savvy brothers merely wanted to create a few unique T-shirt designs to wear for
themselves. They were both still students during the time, with Jono studying architecture and Sam pursuing business. “As an architect, I have been in the design field for a long time, but there are obvious differences between being an architect and being a fashion designer,” Jono said. The Cottee brothers essentially grew up loving all of the iconic Australian brands, from Billabong, Rip Curl, and Quiksilver, to Hot Tuna and Mambo. “I think that I always loved clothing and design as a child, but it probably wasn’t until later in high school where I really considered it as a career path,” Sam said. “All of a sudden, we just threw a little range together and it just kind of started.” Inspired by their geographical location and the surf lifestyle, Jono and Sam dove straight into creating their own label right from the start, teaching themselves how to manage a steadily growing business along the way. After receiving positive feedback from their very first set of custom T-shirts, Jono and Sam began to procure offers from local stores to stock their merchandise. By bringing something new to the table, the Cottee brothers wanted to redefine the aesthetic of lifestyle brands with their own modern rendition, which included a stronger fashion element. “Obviously, lifestyle brands are on the rise at the moment, and while we don’t go out there to deliberately separate ourselves from them, we feel that we have been in this territory since the inception of Vanguard,” Jono said. “But I think the beauty of the ‘lifestyle’ category is that it is far from saturated out there, and everyone is carving out their particular niche at the moment.” Originally a term used to refer to the frontline of an army going into battle, the Cottee brothers named their brand Vanguard in an effort to showcase their cutting-edge creative works as the forefront of the fashion industry. Growing up in the warm climate of Queensland, with worldclass beaches on their doorstep, certainly made a significant impact on the direction of the Cottee brothers’ brand. “We get our inspiration from everything around us [and] where we live is one of the most amazing places in the world,” Jono said. “We try and draw from those creative people around us.” Their line’s vibrant, earthy color palette, along with its focus on comfort, special attention to wash, and relaxed cuts, definitely exudes the laid-back, urban-inspired feel of their environment. With a plethora of opportunities available to them, Jono and Sam Cottee have aligned themselves with a variety of talented artists who helped contribute their ideas to the
brand over the years. Working together with their design team, the Cottee brothers wanted the Vanguard aesthetic to be casual and comfortable, with a heavy focus on wash, print, and color. Although the brand’s overall style goes through transformations from season to season, their pieces mainly exude a mix of retro surf with what Jono and Sam like to call the ‘Dogtown’ skate style. “We have always loved design and creating, so starting a fashion label has given us the freedom to create an aesthetic that we can call our own,” Jono said. Since its birth in 2005, Vanguard has become an internationally well-known lifestyle brand, geared towards young, freethinking, and progressive individuals. In Sam and Jono’s recent autumn 2012 collection, they welcomed a new direction, taking a more refined approach to the laid-back style for which the Vanguard label has become commonly known. Key features of the collection included chinos in a wide variety of colors, oversized short collar button ups, heavy-duty denim jackets, and vintage striped jersey tees, which looked as if they came straight out of the wonder years. “At the moment, I am loving the cheesy fluoro surf movement of the late eighties, the seventies UK punk culture, and the nineties Afro-American reggae culture,” Sam said. Their fashion inspiration also stems from a few of their favorite designers, including Jeremy Scott, Alexander Wang, and Isabel Marant. The Cottee brothers have once again collaborated with some amazing graphic designers to put together a broad range of killer prints on super lightweight treated cottons, as well as hefty models. “We use a lot of cottons in our collection, and particularly washed cottons, because we like our clothes feeling like they are your favorite things that you have had in your wardrobe forever, and that you feel comfortable in it,” Jono said. The prices of the label’s merchandise range anywhere from $25 for a basic print graphic tee, to $99 for denim and chinos, to $120 and up for some fantastic Australian-made jacquard knitwear and jacketing. With it usually taking about eight to ten weeks for a finished design to be made into a sample piece, and around three to four weeks from concept to design, the entire process is certainly time consuming. The majority of their garments are then manufactured across various locations in Indonesia, China, and, of course, Australia. “Our favorite part of the design process would have to be collaborating with artists to come up with fresh print concepts, applying the prints to our garments with different wash techniques, and getting the samples back to see the results,” Sam said.
VIBRANT, EARTHY COLOR PALETTE,
THEIR LINE’S ALONG WITH ITS FOCUS ON COMFORT, SPECIAL ATTENTION TO WASH, AND RELAXED CUTS, DEFINITELY EXUDES THE LAID-BACK, URBAN-INSPIRED FEEL OF THEIR ENVIRONMENT.
OUR CLOTHES FEELING LIKE THEY ARE YOUR THAT YOU HAVE HAD IN YOUR WARDROBE FOREVER...”
While the Cottee brothers have created some women’s collections in the past, their strength predominantly lies in menswear, as it is what they have lived and breathed since the beginning of their business ventures. Jono and Sam said Vanguard is entirely a men’s label at the moment; however, they are currently looking into expanding back into women’s fashion, especially since they have been able to successfully establish a brand and an aesthetic. In an attempt to reach a much wider audience and expand their brand even more, the Cottees dedicate their time to effectively marketing their label. Sam and Jono make sure to shoot a bunch of campaigns and clips each year, which they use in-store and online. They also have a handful of team riders who assist them with spreading the word about their brand. “We plan on increasing the number of followers via social media channels, working on a more comprehensive online store, as well as plans for a flagship store within the next year or so,” Jono said. “We are also in talks with new accounts and distributors to spread our current account base in areas where we sell in.” Aiming to create a product and a brand for likeminded people to identify with and be inspired by, the Cottee brothers have certainly made some significant accomplishments. “I suppose the definition of being ‘established’ probably changes as you go along,” Jono said. “At the time, we thought we had launched a pretty cool concept, but looking back it was very much a hobby business until probably three years ago, when we quit our ‘normal’ jobs and began doing Vanguard full time.” The label’s recent success has seen some of the biggest stores across the United States, the United
Kingdom, Australia, Hong Kong, and Indonesia. In the U.S. right now, the Cottees are selling into Urban Outfitters, Zumiez, Nordstrom, Kitson, Wasteland, Swell.com, and a few other key independents that have supported what Vanguard has to offer. “We are excited with our current account base and are keen to grow through these and other selected accounts in the coming season,” Sam said. Since the launch of their brand, the Cottee brothers have openly admitted to having learned countless lessons along the way. “For us, I think ignorance was bliss, and we were able to throw ourselves into a very tricky industry without realizing how little we knew,” Jono said. “But in saying that, I think it was that lack of exposure to the traditional way of doing things that enabled us to create a product and a brand that didn’t fit the stereotypes out there.” To Jono and Sam, running a label is essentially a sum of thousands of little skills you have to learn. Ultimately, there is nothing that anyone can do or say that can replace real industry experience. “In the next 12 months, we are really looking to establish a solid base in the U.S., expanding into the ASR market, and increasing our brand awareness there,” Sam said. Most of all, the Cottees are keen to continue expanding while producing quality products that represent the Vanguard brand. Rest assured, these talented brothers are not just all about work and no play. “Our professional lives are very much aligned to what we do outside of that,” Jono said. “We try to live a creative lifestyle, enjoying ourselves while inspiring others to do the same.”
photographer & stylist DĂ NAE CUESTA model KYLE @ fleming
PREVIOUS tshirt UNIF shorts MINKPINK belt VINTAGE necklace ASOS rings FASHIONOLOGY + STYLIST OWN ABOVE shirt VINTAGE body INSIGHT metal bra ANILLARTE shorts BITCHING & JUNKFOOD necklaces FASHIONOLOGY rings & bracelet STYLIST OWN chaos 20 UNIF shorts MINKPINK belt VINTAGE necklace ASOS rings FASHIONOLOGY + STYLIST OWN RIGHT tshirt
LEFT cape MINKPINK tshirt H&M shorts MINKPINK helmet VINTAGE belt ASOS necklace + bracelet FASHIONOLOGY ABOVE tshirt THE ORPHAN’S ARMS skirt AMERICAN APPAREL accesories FASHIONOLOGY, H&M ASOS 23 +chaos
BELOW shirt VINTAGE body INSIGHT metal bra ANILLARTE shorts BITCHING & JUNKFOOD necklaces FASHIONOLOGY rings & bracelet STYLIST OWN RIGHT dress HORACE jacket VINTAGE necklace FASHIONOLOGY bracelet ANILLARTE rings STYLIST OWN
cape MINKPINK tshirt H&M shorts MINKPINK helmet VINTAGE belt ASOS necklace + bracelet FASHIONOLOGY
make-up & hair RUBÉN MÁRMOL styling assistant DIANA ARBIOL special thanks to SQUARE FORMAT
THANK YOU FOR PREVIEWING! The California Issue, End of Summer 2012, Vol. 15. To view the complete issue please visit the CHAOS Store here: www.chaos-mag.com/store and download your own copy of this issue in high resolution. Thanks for viewing, and enjoy the CHAOS!