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Fashion Quarterly




Letter from the Editors


Like a lamb before attaining nirvana, Fashion Quarterly is reborn. Taking a brief hiatus after our last issue, our team has been hard at work on the reorganization of our mission statement and magazine as a whole. We at Fashion Quarterly believe that our platform should be used take a more educated look into the lives and livelihoods that comprise the world of fashion. Like Susan B. Kaiser so eloquently said, “fashion is the social process of negotiation and navigation through murky and yethopeful waters of what is to come” and we are excited to share in this journey with you. Without further adieu, we at Fashion Quarterly present to you a smorgasbord of pieces that analyze the various climates of current movements. These topics span the expanse of the issues of diversity highlighted by Rihanna’s Fenty palette range to ACD Gallery’s eclectic streetwear collection. Free the mind, Seize the now. We hope you enjoy this issue. Truly yours, Sean Cai & Maggie Sean





Lone Pair

On the Need for Diversity in the Beauty and Fashion Industry p12-15:


On Sustainability




Keith Marzo

A Common Denominator p34-39:


Interview: Lone Pair Interview by Phu Diec and Leanza Ellacer Photos by Claudius Ansah and Dora Wang


Lone Pair is an experimental sci-fi film about clouds, cones, and cranes, shot on 16mm film by UCSD student directors Ryan Bradford and Emily Butler. Lone Pair is set in a world where the Earth has stopped spinning causing a nonstop sunny day. Ryan and Emily sat down with us to talk about process of creating an original universe and bringing the concept into reality.

FQ: Introduce yourselves!

world that we live in, like La Jolla/San Diego.

RB: I’m Ryan. I’m a fifth year, Visual Arts major at UCSD.

RB: But it is more about… EB: Movement, entropy,...

EB: [waves] I’m Emily. I’m a fourth year, Human Biology major at UCSD.

RB: Chaos…

What is your experience thus far with creating?

EB: Constructions…

EB: I think I’m really interested in the process of sciences, that conveys thoroughly to my relationships with art and film-making specifically.

RB: Cones, like theres like things that there’s objects and ideas that will still will be in our films no matter what because everything is revolve arounds those things and we’re just kept adding to the mix of ideas.

RB: So I did a lot of acting on theatrical and plays. I was in some TV shows. That was like, I don’t know, before puberty. Five or six years ago, I decided to pursue of making films. With this films, we’re co-owning it together and it started with our ideas and its very much based on who we are. It’s been what we were thinking in the last couple of years.

Is there anything that sparked an idea for this film? EB: There are two women that walks around La Jolla, probably everyone, especially UCSD has seen them. There these two elderly women, and they’re dressed either wearing floral or pastel colors. They are always together. Ryan and I were like, “God damn, this is… we have to make a film that branches out completely from these two people that are… I don’t know… they’re the epitome!” {laughs} What this film we are trying to get at abstractly…

What is the “Lone Pair?” EB: Lone pair itself, it comes from the phrase or term lone pair electrons, which is widely understood to be kind of like chemistry, biology. There is lone pair electrons on like every atom and I remember telling Ryan, “I think it’s the most romantic part about chemistry, you know, there is these two atoms like inseparable.” The world of “Lone Pair” is like very idiosyncratic to ourselves and the

RB: They are mysterious… EB: They’re always together. I don’t think anyone…


I don’t know!

RB: That’s what the motion picture film is…

RB: I think there was that seeing them so many times that made us start thinking about making “Lone Pair”, but it’s just like that and other observations as well.

EB: Captures it really well.

What do you want your audience to gain after viewing your film? EB: It’s about, it’s about us! It’s about our own minds and how confusing our everything is, like this world we live in like La Jolla/San Diego is so strange! I think a lot of people share that same view. RB: [contemplating] Yeah! [laughs] EB: [laughs] This not a message!

RB: When you make a film, it should be hard. There is nothing easy about making something, so like from raising the money to imagining how we are going to use forty-five minutes of material in the most efficient way possible to produce something that’s a third of what we get, which is not a lot. It’s just a challenge that forces us to do something about it, to face the challenge. EB: To really take the best of every single skills you have, to do something for the great of it. ■ Follow Emily and Ryan at:

Why film? EB: I think we decided to shoot in film for this project because it offers a concrete material. Everything is really colored brightly… RB: There is also lots of movements, like linear movements and… EB: [making slippery noises in the background]



On the Need for Diversity in the Beauty and Fashion Industry Words by Leanza Ellacer Illustrations by Marsha Rosales


For individuals of all skin colors, navigating the fashion and beauty industry has been a struggle. Trying to find products that match and complement your own skin tone is difficult for many people all around and the fact that this is not a simple task is telling of a larger problem that exists in the fashion and beauty industry—a lack of diversity and representation. Clothing and makeup brands alike have neglected the existence of many individuals when considering their customers, and have most often focused on only one kind of consumer; one that fits the standard model of beauty. Despite various cosmetic and clothing brands becoming more aware of the many skin colors that comprise society, underrepresentation still continues to permeate this industry. The demand for makeup and clothes that represent people of all skin tones is one that companies are trying to satisfy, though some have been successful in answering the call to provide products for a consumer base as vast and diverse as the spectrum of skin color. Singer and pop-culture icon, Rihanna Fenty, has been at the forefront of this change. When

Rihanna released her greatly anticipated cosmetic line, Fenty Beauty, earlier this fall, people took to the internet to praise her for creating an all-inclusive makeup line. When creating Fenty Beauty, Rihanna has said that she not only wanted to produce products for beauty gurus and makeup enthusiasts, but she also wanted to create items that people of all skin tones could embrace. Fenty Beauty successfully caters to demographics that have been disregarded in the beauty industry— people whose skin colors are on the extreme ends of the color spectrum, and people whose distinct undertones have not been accurately reproduced in cosmetics. Of her efforts to make an all-inclusive collection Rihanna told a reporter from Refinery29, “In every product I was like, ‘There needs to be something for a dark-skinned girl; there needs to be something for a really pale girl; there needs to be something in-between.” The most notable Fenty product is the Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Foundation available in 40 different shades. Individuals of darker skin color commended the range of undertones the foundation offers for deeper colors, which includes neutral, warm, and cool undertones. Many other makeup brands are limited in their products for darker skin tones, leaving these individuals to settle for what is clos-



est to their color, never having anything as exact as what Fenty has been able to offer. The darker shades of foundation were the fastest to go out of stock, further emphasizing that there is a need for a variety of skin colors to be represented in cosmetics. Fenty also brings awareness to much lighter skin tones, notably those of individuals with albinism: a genetic condition that results in little or no production of the pigment melanin. Krystal Robertson, a woman with albinism, took to Instagram to express her gratitude to Rihanna for developing a foundation that matched her light pigment, as with many light foundations she “ended up orange.” Fenty Beauty does not simply sell makeup; it provides representation in a sphere that has long dealt with a lack of diversity.

“In theory a “nude” item should match the skin of whoever is wearing it and should not be limited to a singular color as its universal definition.” While many skin tones are underrepresented, the needs of those with a darker skin color has been significantly overlooked. Society has long regarded lighter skin as the ideal standard for beauty, which has resulted in an abundance of products for the consumer with lighter skin, and a neglect to design items for individuals of darker tones. This notion is even prevalent in the clothing industry, especially concerning the concept of “nude.” Clothing brands have failed to acknowledge that there is more than one type of nude color, and have typically produced nude pieces having only lighter skin pigments in mind. Because of this, the beige/pink color has been widely accepted as the standard nude tone. I personally have come to associate the term “nude” with the standard beige/pink color, not even recognizing that my own definition of nude should be associated with a darker, brown color—my color. This standard definition had been so engraved into my understanding of nude that I didn’t even notice I should be approaching the term in a different way until brands were making an attempt to disrupt this very notion. In theory, a “nude” item should match the skin color of whoever is wearing it, and should not be limited to a singular color as its universal definition.

Luxury shoe designer Christian Louboutin took this pressing lack of variety into account and in 2016 extended the Louboutin line of nude shoes to include a total of seven shades, ranging from light beige, to warm caramel, and dark brown. Promoted as a “Nude for Every Woman,” the shoes were well received by the public, as Louboutin not only provided a quality product, but took an active stance in the fight towards an all-encompassing concept of nude. As a high-end brand whose shoes are some of the most coveted in the world, Louboutin set an example for the rest of the industry by showing that delivering merchandise as diverse as its consumer demographic is the right move. As with all consumer-based industries, it takes an understanding between the consumer and producer in order for the products being sold to be successful. The consumer must be able to communicate what is needed: what works, and what doesn’t. And equally, the producer must be able to hear the concerns of the consumer and take action upon them. In regards to matters as sensitive and urgent as that of representation and inclusivity, special care needs to be taken—people need to know that they’re being heard. The production of makeup and shoes may seem trivial in the overall struggle to ensure people of all skin tones are embraced by society, and the ability for these companies to participate in larger societal changes can seem unlikely. However, clothing and makeup is something that we as a society engage with everyday, and the influence that these spheres have on our worldviews is more significant than we think. The efforts of brands bringing more attention to the many existing skin tones have proven to be successful in disrupting the bias surrounding one particular appearance, while also helping people of all skin colors look and feel good in their own skin. Underrepresentation and exclusion can make a person feel less than, or even more so, that they are not valid members of society. It is our responsibility, producers and consumers alike, to actively contribute to providing representation for all people, and to make sure that no one’s existence is overlooked—in fashion and beauty, and in all aspects of life. ■


On Sustainability Words by Phu Diec Images by Yeji Shin


New wardrobe means new clothing. What does it mean to have new clothes to replace the used clothes that we already have? As I found myself digging through my closet, I always wondered what it was like to have new clothes. My lust for new clothes and to change the style of my wardrobe was demanding and tempting. I could not afford it and looking back at the environment, it was not necessary for me to replace my old clothes. New clothes are constantly being produced by clothing companies leading to overproduction of unwanted items. With the mass amount of unwanted items, there is no place for it to be thrown away. My desire for new clothes causes for higher demands of clothing production which can lead to more fabric being thrown out and bring poor work environment to the labor of the manufacturing. We can see the impacts through the factors of globalization, consumerism, and the operation behind the fashion industry.

producing horrendous chemical landfill. Living in an environment filled with harmful chemicals is detrimental to our health, especially to the respiratory system. While fast fashion industries are answering the demands of the growing population, they are subsequently producing a large number of hazardous waste generators.

High consumer demands of clothing gave rise to the inflation of globalization, consumerism, and recycling. These factors lead to more production of clothing at an increasingly lower price that many consumers could consider as disposable. This mass production is known as “fast fashion,” where clothes are equivalent to the production of fast food. The “must-have” reactions of consumers are insatiable, leading companies to produce mass amount of clothes to satisfy consumers. Since clothes are cheap, more purchases are made leading to disposable fashion.

“We believe sustainable fashion should be available for everyone… both the H&M group and the industry must look for new ways of working. That is why we are taking a circular approach to how fashion is made and used. That includes a more effective use of resources, support of innovations within recycling technologies as well as an increased use of existing or new sustainable materials.”

Fast fashion companies with their large manufacturing production create pollution footprints that emit harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. The materials used to produce clothing such as polyester, cotton, and etc., are leaving these pollution footprints in landfills, creating toxic environments. As societies grow, the demand for clothing increases, therefore doubling the production of these materials to create clothes. In an online article, “Waste Couture: Environmental Impact of the Clothing Industry,” it describes the Clothing Industry production of clothing ethics of materials used to make clothing and its impact in the environment. The writer of this article stated, “Polyester, a widely used manufactured fiber, is made from petroleum. The manufacturing of this fiber is an energy-intensive process; it requires large amounts of crude oil and releasing emissions including volatile organic compounds, particulate matter and acid gases such as hydrogen chloride, all of which aggravates respiratory disease” (Claudio 1). This displays the horrific impact of just producing polyester alone. The production of polyester creates wastewater, thus

Although many clothing industries continue accelerated production for the demands of the population, some are recognizing the harmful effects of their production. Giant clothing brands are changing their practices in producing clothes to ensure a better, safer, way to create clothes and to ensure a sustainable environment. Popular companies such as ZARA, H&M, and many others are reducing their pollution imprints by evaluating their use in technologies and labor. H&M CEO, Karl-Johan Persson, stated in H&M’s Sustainability Report 2016:

Persson’s idea for H&M’s strategy is to reduce the wastes in the landfill by reusing existing materials. He claims to use innovative recycling technologies to reuse existing or produce new sustainable materials to tackle this problem of the fashion industries, that will lead to better practices for themselves and the future generations. For a company to employ sustainable practices, many factors are included, such as recycling clothes, using organic materials, reducing water consumption, etc. However, this is not the only way of changing reforming production practices of these companies. Sustainability practices also include safer labor environments. Big brand companies are competing against each other to build a monopoly of textile factories to produce articles of clothing for cheaper deals. This leads to overworked the textile laborers, low-wages, and the safety of workers put at risk in poorly ventilated work environments. The intense labor violations are a major issue in the fashion industries, which are a result of globalization. Globalization is the process in which businesses operate at an international scale. As fashion companies compete with one another to


produce clothing, they are putting Third World workers into harsh, working environments. The fashion industries seek cheaper options to produce more clothing in order to satisfy the First World’s demands, by asking Third World parties to supply their needs. For example, the Rana Plaza incident, an event which took about 1,100 people’s lives from a collapse of a shabby garment factory on April 24, 2013. It was one of the most tragic incidents that took the lives of many textile workers. The cause of this incident was due to the globalization of fashion industries looking for cheaper labor for their productions of clothes. As the Rana Plaza delivered the lowest cost of production to the First World countries, it puts the worker in harm’s way. The building’s owner, Sohel Rana, is also the blame of the construction of the textile. In a report from the New York Times, a journalist reported: “Mr. Rana illegally constructed upper floors to house garment factories employing several thousand workers… Large power generators placed on these upper floors, necessary because of regular power failures, would shake the poorly constructed building whenever they were switched on” displaying the unethical practices of Rana that caused the death of many workers (Yardley 1). The textile workers, receiving extremely low wages, was put into unstable and illegal work environments leading to their deaths. However, this horrendous event gave rise to laws that gave protection rights to the workers, providing better wages and safer environment. Sustainable fashion practices should strive to provide better work environments for workers, and not to solely globalize textiles manufacturers.” Globalization and consumerism are factors that prevent the introduction of sustainable practices on today’s clothing companies. The production of clothes within foreign countries slow down the changes from becoming sustainable. However, if fashion industries implement stronger and more effective alternatives to their practices, sustainability will occur and lead to better work environments. What do we consider as eco-friendly and long lasting? Sustainability does not only include recycling clothes but finding alternative ways to reduce pollution footprints. For example, a way to reduce pollution footprints is by donating unused materials and clothing to second-hand stores. Thrifting is a great way to recycle old clothing, it resells used clothes, electrical appliances, and kitchen wares without having to be thrown out. Second hand/thrift stores are beneficial to becoming sustainable because it accepts used clothes to donate to third world countries or

“Sustainability does not only include recycling clothes but finding alternative ways to reduce pollution footprints.” poor communities. Also, it is an enjoyable way to find vintage clothing that aren’t selling in any other fashion stores. Another way to practice sustainability is by tackling unethical work labor practices of the textile industries. Providing better work environments for workers and regulating technology’s impact in production and manufacturing leads to stability in the fashion industries. Using the advanced and innovative technology, we have now, will lead to a pathway where we can solve the problems of wasteful fabrics in landfills. For the future generations, sustainability is possible if clothing companies work to reform their labor and production practices. Consumers would become more aware and engage in the movement toward sustainable practices of manufacturing and consumption of clothes. Therefore, fashion industries should use the advantages of technology to minimize chemical contamination and unethical practices to create a more sustainable environment for not only the workers but for the clothes as well. ■

Citations: Claudio, Luz. “Waste Couture: Environmental Impact of the Clothing Industry.” National Center for Biotechnology Information, PMC1964887/. Accessed 11 Feb. 2018. Yardley, Jim. “Report on Deadly Factory Collapse in Bangladesh Finds Widespread Blame.” The New York Times, report-on-bangladesh-building-collapse-finds-widespread-blame.html. Accessed 11 Feb. 2018.




[y].a.w.[y].w. Words by Zach Roberts Images by Carter Duong

Wearing clothes is shorthand for being human. Like it or not, we experience fashion everyday in how we dress, how we speak, how we act…how we present ourselves to the world. Dress is the principal way of sending and receiving emotions, experiences, and meanings. Fashion is not merely commercial, but a quintessential element in life.

individual autonomy. Artist Adam Harvey, for example, has produced a makeup called CV Dazzle which camouflages the face, protecting it from facial recognition technology. He has also created clothing which reduces the wearer’s heat signature to evade drones using thermal imaging, as well as pockets which can instantly block all unwanted signals from eavesdropping on cellphones.

For the most part, people wear what they wear because they like how it looks. But what if aesthetics were entirely stripped away from fashion? What if the purpose of fashion was solely functional? The answers are uncertain, but one thing is clear: this is inevitable in our modern world.

Invisibility has long been a concept dismissed as magic, but Susumi Tachi’s Invisibility Cloak is a recent development which brings this fantasy closer to reality. Using retro-reflective projection technology, the wearer of this garment becomes transparent. In this case fabric does not just become the skin, it erases the skin. And while designed originally for military and medical use, it is only a matter of time before this tactical garment is made available to the public.

If art can mean the mechanization of the natural, a controlled representation of the world within the canvas, then fashion can be viewed too as an art. Our bodies are the canvas on which we depict the world we live in. And lately, that world has become more and more mechanized. The line between human and machine is blurry, and fashion is making it blurrier. Fashion adapts to its era. In our fast-paced technological time, the separations of hardware vs. body are quickly becoming less clear. Functional clothing is a concept that advances the idea of anti-fashion, which maintains that clothing must be minimalized, standardized, and muted. That clothing must become another aspect of the body. Some of these advances are spurred by necessity. In today’s contemporary society of surveillance, dominated by unseen cameras and powerful computers that track, record, and control our bodies, fashion is a tool that can be used in defense of

And at Cornell University, designers and researchers have created a line of garments which can protect its wearer from pollutants in the air. The fabrics of the “Glitterati Line” are coated in Silver and Palladium nanoparticles, giving it antibacterial qualities. We have begun to move beyond Nature in conjuring the superpower of immunity, and here: you can wear it. Clothes are being stripped o1f cultural connotations and returning to their original form of functionality. Barriers that once existed between aesthetics and functionality are being obliterated. And the possibilities for our regeneration include the utopian dream not of destroying the machine, but becoming the machine. ■


Interview: Keith Marzo Interview by Sean Cai and Carter Duong Images by Carter Duong


Since graduating from UCSD in ’99, Keith Marzo has kept busy working at intersection of fashion, music, and commerce. Opened in 2014, ACD Gallery has become a hub for streetwear, skate, and music in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood. We sat down with Keith to get his perspective on his postcollege journey and the state of retail in the e-commerce age.


FQ: When did you graduate from UCSD? Did you do more schooling after that? KM: No, I graduated in ‘99. I was a transfer student, did community college for two years, and did two years at UCSD studying Visual Arts Media. We were the first graduating class for the major. It was very loose and different from what I hear it’s like today, but it was cool since we were the first. I hear about what you guys are doing these days, it’s definitely progressed into something that’s different and useful. I feel like it was kind of in its infancy where we missed a lot of stuff that future students got, but it was fun, you know, being at the beginning and being able to say you were first. Did you meet any people that are still in your life now? You know, when I was going to UCSD I was very focused on getting in and out school as fast as possible. I was very focused on academics at the time so I had a small circle of friends and most of them were in my major. There’s a few that come into my life every now and then, but it’s always at the perfect time. We’ll lose touch for four or five years and then I’ll reconnect with them. Are they also in a similar line of work? A lot of them went into fashion and film, those are the two avenues where most of us ended up. Some started their own women’s clothing label, one started a footwear line. Do you feel like school helped you? Yeah, I think school gave me more confidence and made me feel like I could actually do something if I put my mind to it. I think it definitely set me up for situations later in life. I was a very shy kid and then I look back at some of the projects where I had to really put myself out there. I feel like UCSD was the turning point from shy Keith to [laughs] out-in-public Keith. What did you imagine your life to be like when you graduated? What was young Keith thinking about? What was the path from then to now? [laughs] There’s been so many different avenues that I would’ve never expected to go down, but as a graduating student in ‘99 I thought it was easy. I thought I was gonna graduate, take a month off, get a job at I knew I was gonna do something in music or even graphic design, but there’s been those routes in such different forms than I thought. Immediately out of college I got

an internship at Big Bang Idea Engineering which was San Diego’s second largest advertising agency at the time. I did the internship for a month and then they hired me to run their new media design department, which was me only. It was funny because then it was early web motion graphics, so I was doing a lot of banner ads for our clients like Qualcomm and Reebok. How long did you work in advertising? It was a little less than two years. It was a fun little ride and I’m glad I experienced it, but at the time it was very stressful—being in that atmosphere and being told you need to finish this ad by four, submitting it to the client and having it sent back at six o’clock. They’d say “Yeah, you built it exactly how we wanted it, but we don’t want it like that.” Then I’d stay a few hours more, get out of the office at 10 or 11. You pretty much were at the mercy of the client; it was whatever they wanted. We wanted to do good work and we wanted them to be happy but it meant a lot of extra hours that I maybe wasn’t getting paid for—but you gotta do what you gotta do. How did you transition out of the ad agency? 9/11 happened. All of a sudden, budgets for advertising got cut so I saw our agency get smaller and smaller. I was a part of the last wave of employees to get laid off. I knew it was coming so I started putting feelers out for freelance gigs, but I also started focusing more on music and DJing—that was my passion. At the time I was flying all over the West Coast playing San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Vancouver. By default I was always in and out of record stores, so a store up in Encinitas asked if I could come on board and do some hip-hop and electronic music buying for them. So I did that for a while, DJing and working at a record store. You worked at Blends for a bit too right? Yeah that was much later, but one important connection was RDS, a skate shop in Encinitas. They were based out of Vancouver but one of the owners Colin McKay lived in both Carlsbad and Vancouver. They sent Syd Clark down from Vancouver to open RDS Encinitas. He became a good customer at the record store so we became friends. He always saw what I was wearing and I’d see what he was wearing, and we’d talk about sneakers because we were the only guys wearing Dunks in Encinitas at the time. He was moving back to Vancouver and told me a position was opening up at RDS. I made my way over and basi-




cally got hired the day I talked to him—we ended up being one of the first Nike SB retailers ever. It was a skate shop, but it very early streetwear too, very forward thinking for Encinitas actually. A lot of our customers were international—we had Japanese customers driving down from LA. At that time San Diego was the mecca for the surf and skate industries so there were a lot of people coming to meet with companies like DC Shoes. Most of the top companies within the surf/skate/ snow industry were located in North County. At RDS, we pretty much became more known as a limited edition footwear retailer and at that time I became friends with the guys from Blends in Costa Mesa; but they hadn’t set up shop in San Diego yet. They wanted Dunks, so I’d bring Dunks. I wanted Air Maxes, so I’d drive up and get Air Maxes from them. But in 2004, Blends San Diego opened and Edwin of Gym Standard got a gig there right off the bat, a month in I caught wind that they needed a manager. Right at this time RDS was closing to focus their business in Canada. Blends opened, I went in and said, “Hey I heard you need a manager” and, again, pretty much got hired that day. It was cool because Mike, one of the owners, was like, “Cool, let’s start right now.” I worked there for a good six years—me and Edwin worked together pretty much everyday. Those were very fun times, I feel like it was an important part of all this because it got me up to speed with really running a store, being able to do buys I thought they should be done, and managing the budget. Just really getting to know the ins and outs of running a retail store—it was very good practice for what came later on. Was the path from then to now predictable? It wasn’t predictable. A lot of it was a surprise, at the time there were some turns where I thought, “Wow, I didn’t think I’d go down this avenue.” For example, I helped start up an independent headphone line out of San Diego. That company flourished for a while and then was sold to a much larger corporation—that company just wanted to have their own way with it and pretty much cut the whole team that started that company. At the time it sucked getting cut from a company you helped build from the start, you kinda take it personally but you just have to learn to let it go. It motivated me to work towards creating something where I could work for myself. I started the agency after that. I was doing my brand development agency which is A Common Denominator, that’s where “ACD” comes from. I had that going for a couple years working with a lot of independent accessory brands and even some interna-

tional audio brands doing marketing, specialty sales, and brand development. That was the precursor to this, then in 2014 we opened up here. My wife gave a big push, this space was where her old business was located before she moved it, so she basically donated this space to the greater cause. [laughs] She pushed me to do this because I was always like, “It’s not the right time.” That out all times felt the most right. We had the space, she really pushed me to do it and I went for it. I could not have done it without her! We opened up real fast, like within a month it was like, “Ok so we’re doing a store” and we were scrambling to get brands and fill the shop. When we opened there were only a few things in here, with some of my own collection decorating the shelves until we got our first orders in. What’s the difference between running your own shop verses working within a team? Things add up real quick, whereas before I was able to do buys with essentially other people’s money. When it’s your own, you really want to make sure it’s going to sell. Especially with starting with very little, we were very cautious, there wasn’t a lot of money. And you know, it’s San Diego, so it was a slower start than what I anticipated but for me it’s been slow and steady. This is the long haul for me, I want this to be around for a long time so I was alright with slow organic growth. For us, I wanted to open a cool store with great brands that have never been available in San Diego, but it comes with good service and being able to tell the story of why everything is in here. When I would travel I’d go into other store and ask them about a brand and the employee would know nothing about it or even the service would be poor, and there’s no room for that in this day and age, so I make sure we kind of “kill them with kindness” when people come in. I remember the first few customers would spend hours in here just because they wanted to know why I did this and I felt like I had to tell them the whole story from the start kind of like this. [laughs] It’s been fun—almost four years now. The shop has definitely gone through different stages. There’s been a nice evolution to it because there’s some brands I always envisioned being here, but I didn’t think San Diego was ready. Cav Empt is one of them, I feel like with the issue [intelligence Magazine #2] that was the turning point for CE in the US, more people started asking us and it just felt like the right time. People are ready. San Diego is thriving for something like this. We’ve had stuff in the past that was always a little too ahead for San Diego. We’ve had some great retailers down here


with some amazing brands, but it was San Diego.

required and if you wanted something you knew you’d get it in a couple days, weeks, or months. We’re in a day and age where people are obsessed with the immediate, and people need to take a step back and relax. At the end of the day, it’s just stuff and it brings a moment of happiness, but what’s really going to make you happy?

How do you gauge whether a city is ready? Especially when everyone has access to the internet. It’s about how you sell it and how you present it. One store could sell a product this way, but it’s more about the lifestyle. We’re not just selling a t-shirt, we’re selling what we listen to with that, the visual aspect of it, the conversations that come with selling that t-shirt. We try to present everything in a different package than other stores. It’s hard in this day and age to compete because anyone can get the same brands, but it’s definitely about how you present it.

I think a lot of people are very impatient, at least with the mentality of fresh undergraduates. They expect that they’ll have a job immediately, they’ll be instantly in their dream field and life will be one big cruise.

I definitely appreciate the fact that everything in here holds some personal meaning, it’s not just some brand you think is hot right now. Pretty much every brand has a story of why it’s here. There’s a path it took, whether it be that I knew the owner of the brand many years ago before they even had the brand, or guys that I worked with that were sales reps for other brands. All these avenues intersect and I have a personal relationship with every brand in here. They’re brands that I wanted to see in San Diego too.

Hey, for some it is, but for most of us it’s not. Also, we’re in a day in age where everyone’s an expert about everything and it bums me out when people are quick to address something they know nothing about, so, do your homework kids and educate yourself. ■ Follow Keith at:

I feel like in most big stores, there’s a lot that gets lost. At that point it’s focused on churning out product and having people snatch it up. Even with a lot of the smaller independent stores, I feel like it gets lost. I’ve seen stores that I used to look up to change recently because it looks like they’re trying to chase a trend, whereas I was always trying to be on the other side. A lot of this stuff is forward thinking for San Diego, but I feel like people finally get that the stuff we’re gonna bring is the future of what’s going to be hot. So ACD is about taste making. [laughs] Yeah, hopefully! It’s hard, a small independent retailer taking risks like that, but it’s one of the most fun aspects of this: taking that gamble and saying “this is tomorrow’s hotness right now.” Do you have any advice for people (the kids)? Have a little patience. I feel like everyone, not just the kids, but people have become obsessed with the instantaneous. I come from a background where if you really wanted it you had to seek it out and put in work, whether it was a pair of shoes or a record. There was a lot more effort



A Common Denominator Styling by Mathew Alviar, Sean Cai, and Abraham Ortega Images by Carter Duong











Editors Sean Cai Maggie Sean Creative Direction Yeji Shin Art Direction Carter Duong Design Amina Balgimbayeva Carter Duong Writers Phu Diec Leanza Ellacer Zach Roberts Victoria Wegener Photography Dora Wang Lily Tang Contributing Photographer Claudius Ansah Illustration Sean Cai Marsha Rosales Finance Donald Kwan Social Media Shelly Chiou Events Kaithleen Apostol Special Thanks Keith Marzo Abraham Ortega Emily Butler Ryan Bradford young boop squad Web Contact Fashion Quarterly is a student-run publication that celebrates the intersection of style, art, and design.





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Fashion Quarterly #14  
Fashion Quarterly #14