Worn Magazine Fall/Winter 2013

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wornmagazine washington, dc


ISSUE NO. 6 2014 fall/winter 2013



Worn Magazine is a publication of Worn Creative, a creative agency that helps brands connect with multicultural millennials. The magazine is intended to bring greater awareness of fashion, art, and creativity to the District of Columbia and to the world. The images and stories on these pages were produced by the Worn Creative team and our network of artistic collaborators.

Femme and Homme


Eat Your Heart Out




Hip Hop


Different Distances


A Sound Artist


The Agency


See our work at worncreative.com



Worn Magazine Issue 6 is funded in part by the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.



Front cover and back cover photography by Nicole Aguirre

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editor’sletter A

s I write this letter, I am flying over the Atlantic Ocean on a United flight from D.C. to Amsterdam. Travel is an appropriate metaphor to signify that Worn is going places. We started as a 24 page magazine in 2009 and in 2013 we spread our wings to become a multicultural creative agency. We’ve taken our most closely held values, and applied them to the philosophy of Worn Creative. Back in ’09 I launched the magazine on the premise that D.C. should be portrayed as it actually is, a colorful city rich in cultural diversity. As a Latina woman, I didn’t see that diversity reflected on the newsstands in this city, and it bothered me. I wanted to do something about it, so I did. I launched Worn Magazine and filled it with colorful, fashionable, artistic voices and beautiful pictures to illustrate them. Now with Worn Creative we’ve taken that same philosophy with us and are applying it to new client projects. We’re working on exciting campaigns for companies like Planned Parenthood, Goodwill, and Hailo and giving consumers a more realistic view of our changing world. We’re also breaking the mold in the agency world. In an industry made up of 90% white males (look up the team pages on most ad agencies’ websites and you’ll see a pattern) I’m proud that Worn Creative is currently 100% female and incredibly multicultural. I, the CEO, am Latina, our producer Anastasia is half African American, our designer Behnaz is Afghani, and the list goes on. Our network of over 100 close collaborators adds up to 7 different languages spoken, 12 countries lived in, and innumerable cultural perspectives represented. That may not seem like much to a city like D.C. that is one of the most multicultural in the U.S., but it means everything to have the power to reflect this changing world in the marketing that millennials see everyday, and celebrate the growing diversity of faces around the world. Read more about our adventures in agency life on page 60.

Nicole Aguirre, CEO Worn Creative





ISSUE NO. 5 2013 1

spring/summer 2013

wornmagazine washington, dc

CONTACT US Nicole Aguirre, CEO nicole@worncreative.com Anastasia Thomas, Producer anastasia@worncreative.com

$10.00 US


ISSUE NO. 4 2012 Fall/Winter 2012/2013


Beth Silverberg, Stylist beth@worncreative.com Behnaz Babazadeh, Designer behnaz@worncreative.com For advertising inqueries write to info@wornmagazine.com To purchase back issues visit worncreative.com

THANK YOU to Anastasia Thomas, Beth Silverberg, Behnaz Babazadeh, Peter Corbett, John Edmonds, Christine Sun Kim, Steve Salis, Michael Lastoria, Nicolas Jammet, Nathaniel Ru, Jonathan Neman, Erik Bruner-Yang, Casey Patten, David Mazza, Leslie McConnaughey, Sarah E. Scully, Amber Mahoney, Aaron Bernstein, Juliet Otoya, Kareema and Paul at CDIA, Jim Darling, Tom Pipkin, Shane Alcock, Theo Adamstein, Steven Place, Track, Uno Hype, JFK, Kali Uchis, Beyond Modern, Kelow, DDm, Sheila D Yeah, 7th Floor Villians, Hassani Kwess, Locke Kaushal, Ras Nebyu, Kid Named Breezy, Linda Tocchini-Valentini, House of Sweden, Steve Cummings, Arianna Hernandez, Akemi Kanazaki, Ana Buitrago, Saks Fifth Avenue Men’s Store Chevy Chase, Nordstrom Tyson’s Corner, Hugh & Crye Georgetown, Scotch & Soda Georgetown, Suit Supply Georgetown, Neiman Marcus Chevy Chase, Edens, Courtney Retzky, Relish Georgetown, Lisa Jacobson of Hailo Cab, and the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

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Meet the talent behind the Raw Issue


Nicole Aguirre, Editor-in-Chief & Photographer Twitter/Instagram @nicscoots

Beth Silverberg, Stylist & Jewelry Designer Twitter/Instagram @bethlaurenjewel

Anastasia Thomas, Producer Twitter @AnaAntoinette Instagram @AnastasiaAntoinette

John Edmonds, Photographer Twitter @Johnedmondsphoto Instagram @Aboutfaceblog

Jim Darling, Photographer Twitter @Mr_Darling Instagram @mrdarling

Amber Byrne Mahoney, Photographer Twitter/Instagram @liveitoutphoto ambermahoney.com

Behnaz Babazadeh, Designer Twitter @behnazbaba Instagram @bhnzbe

Aaron Bernstein, Photography Assistant Instagram @aaronohaaron

Sarah Scully, Writer Twitter/Instagram @SarahEScully

Leslie McConnaughey, Photographer Instagram @oolalaleslie

Julier Otoya, Editorial Intern Twitter @sjulietotoya Instagram @juliet_oxox

Steven Place, Designer & Hip-Hop Enthusiast Twitter @Steveplace Instagram @Steve_Place


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Anna, Columbia Heights (14th & Irving St. NW)

worn out


Spotted on the streets



Mayukh, Adams Morgan (Woodley Rd. & Connecticut Ave)

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Femme and Homme

Leslie McConnaughey



When I work with film I consider my photographs an ongoing series, never really ending and never completed. My film work is raw. It is not edited. It is scarce. It is a physical contorted mirror. I do not consider my photography art. It is some sort of meandering record. These images are a series of trust and material.

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or the past three years, I’ve created photographs that explore notions of identity by portraying men on the margins of society as the amorous subject. I work with a demographic that is subject to violence and turmoil: African Americans/Hispanics, Gay/Bisexual/Trans/ Queer identifying & Urban individuals with hyper-masculine, aggressive dispositions. Confronting my own preconceptions of race, beauty, masculine identity and gender, I pursue intimacy with my subjects and create portraits that challenge their mainstream representations.

Another Morning with Darius, 2013

john edmonds photographer



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Armando, 2012



Untouchable, 2012

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watch the making of this shoot at worncreative.com 18



Styling Beth Silverberg Producer Anastasia Thomas Makeup Ana Buitrago Video Behnaz Babazadeh Story Pitch by Steven Place Shot on location at Union Market

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BEYOND MODERN Name: Marcus McCoy aka. Mick Marx Age: 24 Born: Enid, OK. (I know, weird right? Military brat steez.) What was the first Hip Hop album that inspired you? DMX “It’s Dark & Hell is Hot” was the first album I actually purchased with my saved up lunch money. That’s when I first started writing raps, but I was basically copying DMX’s whole steelo and rapping about gangster shit I’ve never done. It wasn’t until my mom’s friend Nicki let me have her Nas “I Am…” album that I started actually getting very lyrical and understanding flow. Then, Lupe Fiasco “Food & Liquor” and N.E.R.D “…In Search Of ” molded me into the artist I am today. When did you decide to pursue music seriously? I would always write lyrics/songs in spiral notebooks for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until my family moved to Waldorf, MD in 2004 that I started actually recording music and letting other people hear it. I lived across the street from two guys who were already into music and one of them had a microphone and some recording software. They found out I could spit and we formed a group that lasted until I graduated (high school) in ‘06. Fast forward to 2009, I decided to quit making music because all my recording equipment being stolen from my dorm room, then I ended up meeting Jazz through a mutual high school friend. We decided to record a mixtape for fun, which ended up getting a good response from our school campuses (Morgan St U & Coppin St U). We got serious about it after realizing people liked our music and haven’t let up since. Name: Stephen Ellis aka. Sur Jazz Age: 26 Born: Brooklyn, NY



Name: Amarree Gray Age: 24 Born: Kingston, Jamaica

Name: Germany Hawley Age: 20 Born: Maryland

What kind of music did you listen to growing up? 90’s Hip Hop & Reggae

What kind of music did you listen to growing up? Back in the day I was a heavy fan of Eazy-E, his persona and lyrics are what got me hooked. From the age of twelve through seventeen you could catch me bumping everything from Red Hot Chili Peppers to Jay Electronica.

What was the first hip hop album that inspired you? Snoop Dogg - Dogg Pound When and how did you decide to pursue music seriously? The first time I performed. What do you hope fans and aspiring artists take from your work? I hope I can paint a picture in their minds of what I was feeling when I was writing or performing the song they’re listening to. When I’m performing I hope that they feel my energy and my dedication for this industry.

What was the first Hip Hop album that inspired you? “The Cool” by Lupe Fiasco. That album is my bible. It embodies everything I look for in a great album. When/how did you decide to pursue music seriously? My mindset was never to pursue music as a career, but it just so happens that my love & desire to make music is full-time. I love making good music!

What was the first Hip Hop album that inspired you? A lot of music inspired me to create when I was younger, but I never had the tools to actually “create.” So it wasn’t until my step Dad gave me a single CD (Those CDs with just one song, the a cappella of the song, and the instrumental) of the Goodie Mobs “Black Ice,” that beat was soooo tight. I was up for weeks writing raps to that same instrumental; it changed my life. I even ended up rigging my stereo to be a make shift karaoke machine to record my verses. When and how did you decide to pursue music seriously? I guess I decided to take music serious when people actually liked the stuff we made in our bedroom. People actually respected what we were trying to do musically. But all in all, I feel like music might be the only thing I’m really good at as well as passionate about. What do you hope fans and aspiring artists take from your work? Creating a life that YOU want to live is, ultimately what I want people to take from our work. Life is short, following your dreams is hard, but anything worth it is worth fighting for.

What are you excited to do next? To keep giving the people what they need, even if they don’t know it yet.



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KELOW Name: Kiara Brown Age: 20 Born: Maryland What kind of music did you listen to growing up? HipHop, Rap, GoGo, Club, Jazz, Alternative Rock When did you decide to pursue music seriously? When I wrote my first verse I fell in love with a passion instantly. I knew automatically this is what I wanted to pursue. Back when I first entered high school I noticed that life has no pause, it continues on no matter (what). Life becomes what you make of it, and hard work pays off so I made my life a journey to enjoy and grow with music. What do you hope fans and aspiring artists take from your work? The emotion between each line and the deeper meaning of what I really vision. Learn from me as a witness of my story, my flaws; listen and grow with me. What are you excited to do next? I’m mad excited to release my fashion line Zilla. I sported a tank I made in this issue of Worn and I have a few pieces this winter that are gonna be POPPIN.

HASSANI KWESS Name: Donavan Day Age: 24 Born: Northeast, Washington D.C. In a group with: Solo Act, (Member of collective Hostile Youth completed by DJ Black Diamond, Uno Hype, Ace Cosgrove and Vaunfe) What kind of music did you listen to growing up? Alternative Rock, Hip/Hop, Electronic, and Experimental. What was the first hip hop album that inspired you? Alternative Rock/Hip-Hop Album “Hybrid Theory EP” by Linkin Park Favorite line from one of your songs? “Kwess, I make cold beats and I rap/ I catch for hell bein’ me than bein’ black” - “Dogma” from the mixtape “Ruthless” What do you hope fans and aspiring artists take from your work? To do what music you feel, shit, even if it ain’t 100 percent you. It’s important to do what you feel. (Pictured above with Sheila D.Yeah in his arms.)



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DDM Name: Emmanuel Moss Age: 26 Born: Baltimore, MD Notoriety: The first openly gay hip-hop artist in Baltimore.

What was the first hip hop album that inspired you? Ready To Die by The Notorious BIG When did you decide to pursue music seriously? I started pursuing music seriously at 18 when I graduated high school. How has the DMV impacted your subject matter? In a time where artists try to sound like what’s popular I stick to the streets that made me who I am. What do you hope fans and aspiring artists take from your work? That if you stick to your guns and believe what you are doing you can be anything you want to be. Sum up what you create musically in one (or two) word(s)? Radiant and raw. Favorite line from one of your songs? “In my city rappers treat me like a tourist but money ain’t long enough to afford my manicurist.” - Marc Jacobs (Tom Ford Remix) What are you excited to do next? I’m excited about touring overseas and signing with a management company.



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SHEILA D YEAH Name: Sheila Young Age: 23 Born: Baltimore, MD What was the first hip hop album that inspired you? OutKast- Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. How has the DMV impacted your subject matter? Baltimore, like most cities has its very pretty sights and attractions in tourist areas, and such ratchet abandoned sights just 3 blocks away. My sound and subject matter are a reflection of that combination- I call it “Ratchet PoP.” Sum up what you create musically in two words. I create what’s missing in music today: My Sound!!

Favorite line from one of your songs? “The amount of times you fall solely depends on what you learn when you hit the ground.” -Intro from Simply Said Mixtape. What are you excited to do next? I just moved to NYC so sky’s the limit. I’m excited to do all NYC brings to the tableModeling, Music, Hosting, Fashion. I am looking forward to getting on the road and introducing my sound to the masses!!! Also EDM. I’m very interested in EDM.


Ubud, Bali

Name: Delroy Plummer AKA Black Zheep Age: 20 Born: Baltimore

Name: Jujuan Allen AKA Butch Dawson Age: 20 Born: West Baltimore

Name: Ryan Johnson AKA Ryan P AKA Proficient Age: 18 Born: Baltimore, Maryland

When did you decide to pursue music seriously? I used to rap on my cousin’s computer mic at the age of 12 and actually had songs. But after 11th grade is when I knew I wanted to graduate and take it seriously. I had a few connections with singer M.I.A, cause of my homie, Robbie/ Whyteboi, and from there I kept networking and traveled a little which kept my drive going to do music.

What was the first hip hop album you that inspired you? “In My Mind” by Pharrell Williams.

What kind of music did you listen to growing up? Growing up I listened to MF Doom and Kid Cudi who I found very inspiring.

How has the DMV impacted your subject matter? Baltimore and Maryland in general have impacted me because I feel nobody could ever have the state of mind that I think in or have the same exact experiences that I have coming from here.



When did you decide to pursue music seriously? I decided to pursue music seriously at 16. I started writing songs and learned to network with the people who could help me better myself.

What do you hope fans and inspiring artists take from your work? I want my fans and aspiring artists to find me inspiring. I also want my fans to know that being different is not a bad thing. Be yourself. Be creative. Be original.

Favorite line from one of your songs? “I even wake up in bed and all of my answers appear. So either I can prepare for life and a rapping career.” It’s from the song “Regrets” on my tape “ChampionShips.”

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Name: Mebracknegodguwad Mahtemework Age: 22 Born: Howard University Hospital

Name: Bradley Hunt Age: 21 Where were you born? Alexandria, VA

What kind of music did you listen to growing up? Reggae & Afro Beat. What was the first hip hop album that inspired you? “It Was Writtin” by Nas. How has the DMV impacted your subject matter? It’s the foundation of which my subject matter is based on. I speak on the truths of the area specifically my neighborhood. Everything from violence to gentrification. What do you hope fans and aspiring artists take from your work? A spiritual experience ultimately influencing their lives positively, directly or indirectly. Sum up what you create musically in two words. “Melanated Slizzatrism.” Favorite line from one of your songs? “Uptown, home of the action/Money stackin, black queens in Bohemian fashion/ posted on U Street like Bohemian Caverns” song: “Uptown Paradise” off “Babylon’s Most Wanted” mixtape.

What kind of music did you listen to growing up? Everything from Miles Davis to Tupac!

What was the first hip hop album that inspired you? Honestly this is going to sound weird but the “Big Willie Style” album from Will Smith was an inspiration for my earlier work. My pops used to listen to that CD everyday. When did you decide to pursue music seriously? I decided when I was about 17 that I really wanted to pursue music. I was watching a show in LA and I just loved how the whole stage and feeling was put together from start to finish. When I left that CJ Hilton concert it was all music after that. What do you hope fans take from your work? I hope they gain a free-minded spirit after they listen to what I have to say. This music will give you no other feeling in my eyes. As far as artists are concerned, just make art that nobody has touched on before. People try to follow what’s dope but at the end of the day if you’re not in it for you then there’s no reason to jump in. What are you excited to do next? Create a few short films or something weird. I’m just excited to create and invent new ways to move people.

LOCKE KAUSHAL Name: Lawrence Locke Age: 25 Born: Fort Belvoir, VA What kind of music did you listen to growing up? A lot of soul and 90’s R&B, until I found my pops’ Rakim cassette tapes. What was the first hip hop album that inspired you? It wasn’t a full rap album, but Lauryn Hill’s Unplugged. How has the DMV impacted your subject matter? This is home. I rap about what I see on a constant basis. A constant fight between wealth and poverty. What are you excited to do next? I recently released a project entitled “The Rise,” which is available for purchase on iTunes, and I am currently back in the studio working on my EP.



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JFK Name: Jason Fleming Age: 27 Born: Manhattan, NY What kind of music did you listen to growing up? The selection of music in my household was very eclectic growing up. My father was a radio DJ back in the West Indies before coming to America and had a large record collection. My mother also had a taste for R&B and Reggae love songs. When and how did you decide to pursue music seriously? It was probably in the 9th grade when I started out as a Mixtape DJ and wanted to be the next DJ Clue. I was making money from selling tapes at school and people were really loving the stuff I was making and the other stuff I would get from New York. I ended taking production seriously about a year later when I started making beats and was pretty much one of the only local producers. What do you hope fans and aspiring artists take from your work? To be versatile and embrace all forms of music. I really don’t like being categorized or sticking to one sound. When you explore different genres and experiment with different sounds it makes your own sound that much more unique. People will sense the authenticity and appreciate it.

KALI UCHIS Name: She’ll never tell. Age: 20 Born: Virginia What kind of music did you listen to growing up? Alternative hip hop/doo wop What was the first hip hop album that inspired you? Reachin - Digable Planets What do you hope fans take from your work? To stay strong, keep their minds open and be whoever they want to be in life Sum up what you create musically in two words. Vibey sounds Favorite line from one of your songs? Your desire, I’ll be the supplier, we don’t gotta talk about it baby let’s get higher. From “Multi”- it will be on my next EP, but it’s also on Sound Cloud right now. What are you excited to do next? Release my EP, and my next music video because I’m going back to Colombia to film it.



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The Cool

Nathaniel Ru, Jonathan Neman and Nicolas Jammet don’t just love salad, they want to spread the Sweetgreen lifestyle – one that balances being healthy and having fun – across the country. “Music and food speak to your soul,” says Jammet, and that’s exactly what they aim to do. SS: You all started working on Sweetgreen while you were still seniors at Georgetown – how did you get started on it? NJ: We loved the idea of solving a problem. For three years we had this problem of where to eat. We thought we could build a place that was cool and that spoke our values, that people would really enjoy and that would be healthy. JN: The idea came from a mix of our lifestyles – something that we wanted that didn’t exist, especially at Georgetown. NJ: And the three of us just wanted to create something. We all come from backgrounds where our families are first generation Americans and entrepreneurs. We saw [our] parents hustle as we were growing up and build businesses from nothing, so we always appreciated the idea of building something from nothing. SS: What did you guys want to be growing up? JM: I wanted to be a hip-hop record executive. NJ: Astronaut.



NR: I wanted to be a music producer, and I don’t think it’s too late. JM: I think because of our love of music, we kind of got into the music business with the Sweetlife Festival. SS: Tell me more about how the Sweetlife festival started. NR: It started as a solution to a problem. When we opened our second store in Dupont Circle, we had no customers. The only thing we kind of knew how to do at the time was DJ and play music. So we bought a big speaker and just put it outside our store. And we DJ-ed every Saturday and Sunday for months. We’d pass out menus and samples, and just introduce people to the concept. And it somehow worked. It was an emotional connection between food and music. So then the next year we did a little block party in the farmers market parking lot – serving food and getting local bands to play. We did that another year and then we partnered with the guys over at 9:30 club and I.M.P. and we did our first full-blown Sweetlife Festival at Merriweather, [in 2011]. So we owe it all to our little speaker that we bought.

Kids NR: The Santorini because I love shrimp.

SS: You guys have been friends since college, you live together, work together – what’s that relationship like? JN: We work a lot, but it doesn’t really feel like work. The conversation can go from very serious work talk to what we’re doing later tonight. It’s a dream come true to work on a life project with your best friends. Editor’s Note: These three have some serious style. We laid out a room full of clothes for them to pick from but they mostly chose to wear their own clothes, except for Nicole Aguirre’s hat pictured here. Right: Jonathan Neman wears vintage hat, Rag & Bone basic white tee and To Boot NY Heron Suede boot available at Saks.com, Nathaniel Ru wears brown cap toe boots by Suit Supply & Nicholas Jammet wears To Boot NY Andrew Venetian loafer available at Saks.com

Photography by Nicole Aguirre

SS: So which Sweetgreen salad is your favorite? NJ: I’m going to cheat and say the seasonal. JN: I’ve never had a Sweetgreen salad without avocado on it. Guacamole Greens.

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The Foodies Taylor Gourmet and Steak & Ice founders Casey Patten and David Mazza are bringing the food of their Philadelphia upbringing to DC with a modern and local edge. SS: How did the idea come about to open the first Taylor Gourmet? CP: We wanted to find a cool space that could be turned into a restaurant. Meanwhile, we figured out that there weren’t any really good hoagie options [in DC]. DM: DC at that time had zero local players. CP: We spent a lot of time as kids pounding through the Italian section of Philadelphia, going into little shops. And when we were in DC we always wished that area were around. So when we first opened the first store I think we were trying to emulate a spot that you could find in Philly. DM: I have some great memories of four or five of my friends, when I was 15 maybe, piling into a small Honda Accord and heading to downtown Philadelphia, Love Park, where there used to be a skate park. And we would just skate all day, we would have no money in our pockets but we would put together cash and go hit up Pat’s and Gino’s – two different dueling cheesesteak houses – and we’d wait in line probably for like 45 minutes and buy two cheesesteaks and split them up. SS: So you found the spot on H St. And you did all the renovations for the first store yourselves? CP: We literally demo-ed and built the space with our two hands. And going through the renovation process we found out that it was an old crack packaging warehouse. We were going through and ripping the carpets out, there were bloodstains on the hardwood floors. Needless to say the place had a lot of flavor. SS: What was your original vision for Taylor Gourmet? Has that changed over time?

The store would be packed shoulder to shoulder on Saturday and Sunday. And we were like, ‘No one’s buying the stuff on the walls, no one’s really looking for the deli counter, but damn, everybody’s jamming us for hoagies.’ DM: We never had a business plan, we kind of just did it from scratch. SS: How do the the stores reflect your personalities? CP: If you take a look at the spaces, they’re industrial, rustic, but there’s also sort of a contemporary piece tied to it. It’s a clash of a bunch of different genres. Kind of this mash-up, mix-up that probably in theory shouldn’t go together. DM: A little bit polished, a little bit edgy. It hits on different materials – some match, some don’t. CP: If you took a look at us, you’d probably say, ‘They’re a little rough around the edges, although sometimes they can get dressed up and pretend to be polished, but they’re really not. I think it’s a good mix of really who we are as individuals. Editor’s Note: Casey and David are really fun, high energy guys. They requested 2 Chainz as motivational photoshoot music. Enough said.

Left: David wears Napoli Grey Faux Uni pant and blue tassel loafer by Suit Supply, available at suitsupply.com, Andiron Tidal v-neck striped tee by Thoory, available at Saks.com, Black leather jacket by Scotch & Soda at scotchsoda.com. Casey wears Copenhagen blue pain suit , taupe suede tassel loafer and red pocket square by Suit Supply, available at suitsupply.com, Hugh & Crye Acadia shirt available at hughandcrye.com.

Photography by Nicole Aguirre

CP: Our vision was a neighborhood place where you could go and buy meats by the pound, cheese by the pound, you could go buy kick-ass pastas, you could find phenomenal imported tomatoes, olive oils, vinegars, pestos, you name it.



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Founder, Taylor Gourmet 40Casey Patten,worncreative.com

Michael Lastoria, Founder, &pizza., wearing his own clothes. Photo by Nicole Aguirre

David Mazza, Founder, Taylor Gourmet

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The Rebel

Fast casual always fit in with Erik Bruner-Yang’s concepts for his restaurants – the much acclaimed Toki Underground, and upcoming Maketto. We talked with Erik about replicating the high-energy experiences of his birth city of Taipei and the Asian street markets he loves.

SS: Was cooking something you were always interested in? EBY: I started working when I was 15, and I’ve always worked in restaurants, either waiting tables, bartending, cooking, or at a coffee shop. Then I started working for Sticky Rice in D.C., and that’s when I began thinking about Toki Underground. SS: And what did you want to do with Toki? EBY : Toki is my ode to Taipei – the décor, the food, the style of eating, the pace, the smells, the colors, the music. It reminds me of the frenetic pace that I love about that city. With Toki, we wanted to do two things really well: ramen and dumplings. Our philosophy there is that anybody can get a great meal without spending a lot of money. SS: What kind of experience do you want to create for people who come into your restaurant? EBY: Every good service industry business should really make you feel like you’re removing yourself from your daily experience. It’s tougher in fast casual because it’s supposed to be fast and casual, whereas when you go to Komi you’re there to be at Komi and you can kind of shut your mind off for a few hours. But how do you do that in a place where you want people to go in and out in 30 to 40 minutes or less? How can we sensory overload someone in the fastest way possible? SS: So how do you do that? EBY: Everything has to have a little bit of punch and a little bit of edge to it, so people can get it really quickly, soak it in and then get out.



SS: But your new restaurant, Maketto, is a very different model. Actually the restaurant will be one element of a mixed-use space called Maketto. What will it look like when it opens? (early 2014)

EBY: Maketto [means] essentially, marketplace. There’s going to be a café, there’s going to be a retail store, there’s going to be a restaurant. It’s mixed-use, so the idea is that you’re going to go there to have your own social experience. It’s still street food, night market-themed, so your food’s going to come fast, but the idea is that you can escape there for a few hours. SS: So until Maketto opens, you’re running a pop-up version on U St. What are you doing with the pop-up? EBY: We’re going to try to do 100 different dishes. A lot of them we’re making for the first or the second time or they’re dishes that come up organically. The food that’s going to be on the Maketto menu after we filter all these recipes is going to be our favorite street foods from Asia. SS: What’s your favorite thing about running restaurants? EBY: I like the grind of it, I like working hard and seeing the results. And, I’m really bad with authority, so it’s nice to be my own boss. Editor’s Note: Erik is a blast to work with and incredibly funny. He got a little hungry during the shoot and grabbed a bag a cheese puffs to lend some casual to the formal suit we had him wear. Check out behind the scenes takes of Erik at www.worncreative.com Left: Erik Bruner-Yang wears a Blue Smoking Suit, Smoking Shoe, white tuxedo shirt, and black silk bow tie by Suit Supply, available at suitsupply.com.

Photography by Nicole Aguirre

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The Idealists When Michael Lastoria and Steve Salis set their minds on the pizza business, they pinpointed H St. as their destination, and made the move from New York to reinvent the mom and pop pizza shops they loved in their childhood. SScully: What inspired you to move to D.C. from Brooklyn to open a pizzeria? SSalis: We love food, and we were looking to do a startup business together. We wanted to find a cuisine that was really near and dear to our hearts, so we thought it made sense to enter the pizza business. ML: We felt like D.C. was where the startup needed to live to be successful. D.C. has a lot of communities that our business is perfect for. There’s a good mix of people that have been living here for a long time coupled with new people moving into neighborhoods. SScully: So have you always loved pizza? SSalis: Pizza’s a product that generally makes people really happy. Mom and pop shops have become a lost art. They’ve lost some flair. We wanted to bring that back. Some of my fondest memories as a kid were spending time with my grandparents in my local pizza shop in New Hampshire. We wanted to find a way to bring a sense of innovation to an industry that needed it. ML: That’s why we did this - we wanted to recreate and reincarnate the old mom and pop pizzeria feel with modern flavors and a contemporary twist. SScully: You both are serial entrepreneurs - what drew you to entrepreneurialism? ML: When I graduated from college, I could have gotten a job, but there was nothing out there that inspired me, that got me excited. So the alternative was to start a company. I love everything you learn along the way, all the interesting people you meet. And once you realize entrepreneurship is in your blood, you just hang on for the ride. SSalis: When I felt like I grasped the operations of a restaurant, the next thing I wanted to do was start one. SScully: How are you modernizing the mom and pop pizzeria idea? ML: We’ve taken the iconic red, white and black color palette and used it in a more modern way.



[Gestures to whitewashed brick walls, black and white photographs and red picnic-style tables around the restaurant.] We’ve also incorporated music that, some is timeless and some is trendy, but it’s all upbeat and uplifting and I think that changes the way people move when they walk into the restaurant, it makes them feel good. SScully: What drew you to H St. for your first store? SSalis: This block, this neighborhood, really mirrors what &pizza is about. It’s innovative, it’s charming, it’s engaging, it’s progressive, and we believe that there’s a very strong community base here. Industry professionals thought we were crazy for coming to H St. but we saw beyond that. We’re really happy to be here. SScully: How do your individual stores reflect their communities? ML: In the H St. store, the modern black and white photos represent where the community is today and who our actual customers are. They’re literally the faces of our brand. [Holds up a napkin dispenser with a black and white photo on it of a customer eating pizza.] If you go to U St., we have darker colors, we have a large brass ampersand that pays homage to the brass and music instruments primarily played by jazz musicians, and the history and tradition of jazz in the U St. corridor. We’ve taken the history of the neighborhood and how it’s evolved and found beautiful black and white photos that represent that. Editor’s Note: & pizza is one of Worn Creative’s most adventurous clients. They’re always willing to try something new, including the dozen t-shirts we pulled for this shoot. Check out some behind the scenes footage of Michael and Steve during the shoot at www.worncreative.com Right: Steve Salis wears a Saks Fifth Avenue Collection Label Tipped Cashmere Cardigan available at Saks.com, Hugh & Crye Piedmont Shirt available at Hughandcrye.com, Napoli Navy Pant and Brown monk strap shoe by Suit Supply, available at suitsupply.com Michael Lastoria wears Marcelo Stay tee by Theory, Hooded leather bomber jacket by Vince, and Cary Chelsea black boot by To Boot NY, all available at Saks.com

Photography by Nicole Aguirre

fall/winter 2013



Steve Salis, Founder, &pizza


Michael Lastoria, Founder, &pizza

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Behnaz Babazadeh Red Burka Fruit Roll-Up Licorice 27in x 40in Photograph in collaboration with E. Adam Attia.

This year must be the year of the burka. Diesel recently ran a campaign directed by the fashion designer Nicola Formichetti that depicted a denim niqab with a slit down the side of the model exposing her tattoo sleeved and body with the tag line, “I am not what I appear to be.” Lady Gaga wore a transparent neon burka with bedazzled underwear singing the lyrics, “Enigma pop star is fun, she wear burka for fashion. It’s not a statement as much as just a move of passion.” Artist and Worn Creative designer Behnaz Babazadeh, originally from Afghanistan, is fascinated by the complexities of the burka and it’s contradictory perspectives in Eastern and Western cultures. In her series Burkaphilia, she uses materials loosely tied to Western culture to depict the burka as a symbol of eroticism and feminism.

resonated with me. I can’t say how many times I’ve thought of how grateful I am to have come to America and have the freedoms essential to my happiness.

We talked with Behnaz about the inspiration behind the project, her own experiences with the burka, and how the women who choose to wear it are often misunderstood.

Much of the color palette had to do with symbolism from both Western and Eastern cultures. Black, often worn by Muslim women to camouflage their figure while wearing a veil. White is associated with godliness and purity. Red is the antagonist element that converges universal imagery of blood, fire, lust and passion. It’s such a compelling color. It may be why my Fruit-Roll Up burka is often the most captivating piece to viewers.

Did you wear some form of veil before moving to the US? I did. I was seven years old when we moved to the US from Iran. I wore a head scarf, which we call a Hijab, while in primary school. It was quite a culture shock when we came to the states and I was told to remove it to avoid ridicule in my new American school. First day at school, without my head scarf, I felt so vulnerable and nervous but it turned out that I was just another foreign kid in the ESL class. What did the choice not to wear the hijab as an adult symbolize for you?




It was a personal conflict between cultures. Did I want to proudly wear my religion on my head or did I want to quietly participate? I chose to participate. Have art and film influenced your work? The film Rapture by the very talented Shirin Neshat was a great inspiration. There is a scene in the film, where 30 women on the beach wearing black Chadors1 push a boat out to sea, but only a few make it into the boat. This scene

Why did you choose sculpture as your primary medium for Burkaphilia? A burka is a worn object, and as such, sculpture was a means of executing a concept. Each individual piece required a unique technique, material or process. There were several failed materials and burkas that never made it to the exhibit, including a Kraft-Singles American cheese burka and another made from sugar cubes. The Kraft-Singles burka reeked and I only got half way through the one made of sugar cubes. I quit after 400 boxes. Why did you choose a color palette of red, white, and black?

You use some fun foods in your work – fruit roll ups, sugar cubes – but at the same time, your work has a fairly serious tone. How do you use these materials to play with the concepts of sexuality and consumption that you’re exploring? Consumption and overindulgence is loosely tied to the work. Some materials I used are explicitly associated with sexuality or fetishism, think Fruit Roll-Ups and edible underwear. The burkas are only half of the story. I want my viewers to see imagery or symbols that ground the work to their lives and experiences. My goal is to break down our perception of the veil as inherently misogynistic and oppressive. I wore a blue Afghani burka in New York City once, and it became clear how uncomfortable people become when a fully veiled women is in their space. We’ve become so programmed by our media to be suspicious of such foreign personas that we forget there’s a human there.

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“Some conservative women turn to the veil as a means to shield themselves from the boob-job, Viagra popping culture.” In your film “Burkaphilia” you specifically name the red velvet cake you chose as a “Western trend food.” Does the trendy quality of the cake lend a certain meaning in the film? I chose red velvet cake for a few reasons. The imagery I wanted to represent in the film included a cake. A white frosted cake represents a pure exterior, and the rich-red interior relates to lust and passion. In Middle-Eastern culture, the virginal bride must become a passionate lover. I also wanted to include pomegranate in the film, but unfortunately, they were out of season. The pomegranate is a symbol of fertility, prosperity and named as the fruit in the gardens of paradise in Middle-Eastern culture. Your burkas take on more visual variety than the typical black burka many women wear. Do burkas eschew fashion? A black veil rarely makes a deliberate fashion statement. Most of these garments are culturally relevant in a particular country or occasion in which they are worn. Many cultures throughout the Middle East and over time have their own means of veiling, decoration and coverage. In Afghanistan, the blue burka is an iconic garment that has changed very little over the last century and is part of the history. However, there are a few other ways veils are worn, so long as they cover the majority of exposed skin. During the Taliban rule, the burka became the sole representation of women’s oppression through the lens of international media coverage of the war. Does Burkaphilia have a decided message? Burkaphilia surfaces complexities in a subject that is taboo in Middle-Eastern and Western cultures. Veils make a strong, political appearance in contemporary society, in the West, when a woman exercises her freedom to wear the veil, and in the East, when she decides not to. It reveals dualities of extreme practices from a culture often misunderstood by the common Westerner. What kind of response have you received about your work, from various points on the ideological spectrum? Interestingly, I have received positive feedback from everyone. Women in my family who wear veils are pleased to see unconventional materials and are intrigued by the concepts behind each piece. They don’t immediately make a sexual association.

Black Latex Burka 40in x 40in | Digital Print Black latex burka costume produced for the short film, Burkaphilia

In theory, a veil is meant to protect a woman from the unwanted advances and gazes of men. But women also express that a veil allows them to show their personalities to the world, without the distraction of their looks. If the veil symbolizes a woman’s need for protection, can it also be a symbol of feminism? It is absolutely a symbol of feminism. Like France and Belgium, Britain is in the process of implementing a similar, Islamaphobic face-veil ban. The ban prohibits the covering of the face in public buildings and businesses. In graduate school, I wore a burka for a week and was required to show my face and ID when entering any of my schools facilities. Although here in the US, we have an attitude that the law does not dictate how people should dress, in reality there are contradictory localized policies. In the West, the veil is not an agent of godliness but a wall that divides people and cultures. And as access to triple-x material is readily available and secular lifestyles are possible, fundamentalism flourishes. As a result, some conservative women turn to the veil as a means to shield themselves from the boob-job, Viagra popping culture around them. You’ve made a personal choice not to wear any sort of veil. For you personally, what are the factors that might draw you to wear one? After working on this series and learning about the ban, I have toyed with the idea of wearing a veil in protest, however not for religious reasons. I have the upmost respect for my Muslim heritage; I do not believe my reasons for wearing the veil are appropriate. Perhaps one day, that may change. And what are the factors that cause you not to? Due to the prejudice associated with the veil in Western culture, I can’t see myself achieving my goals while wearing it. It’s a bit painful to hear someone say that a burka or a niqab dehumanizes a person. Until the perception shifts, to where we feel someone with a veil is just as human as a person without a veil, I don’t see myself in a veil.

Chador, a robe like garment worn by Muslim women in Iran to cover the hair and body in one simple piece of garment, face is visible.



Niqab, a full head and body garment with a cutout for the eyes.

See more of Behnaz’s Burkaphilia project at burkaphilia.com.



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Behnaz Babazadeh, photographed by Nicole Aguirre



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Denise Grünstein Title: Inside Looking Out/ Outside Looking In Size: 123 x 153 cm C-Print

different PHOTOGRAPHY BY DENISE GRÜNSTEIN, JULIA HETTA, MARTINA HOOGLAND IVANOW Photographs courtesy of the Embassy of Sweden



distances This Fall, Worn Creative partnered with House of Sweden to present the opening of “Different Distances - Fashion Photography Goes Art,” a show featuring the work of five of Sweden’s most renowned female photographers: Denise Grünstein, Julia Hetta, Martina Hoodland Ivanow, Elisabeth Toll, and Julia Peirone. Curated by Greger ulf Nilson, the show presents fashion photography, a medium often viewed as soely commercial, as true fine art. Here we present a selection of the images in the show, running from September 27 to December 8th at House Sweden.

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Martina Hoogland Ivanow Untitled Size: 31.2 x 38.5 cm C-Print

Julia Hetta Title: Eva Ionesco Size: 31 x 50 cm Pigment Print Acid free cotton rag paper

Denise Gr端nstein Title: Tied Size: 123 x 153 cm C-Print

Julia Hetta Untitled Size: 89 x 117 cm Pigment Print Acid free cotton rag paper



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“We are multicultural millennials marketing to multicultural millennials.”

worncreative The agency where women run the show.

Why are you better than your competitors? [NA] We’re smarter, faster, cheaper, and more creative. We are able to authentically connect with our audience because we are them. We are multicultural millennials marketing to multicultural millennials. There are no middle-aged white guys on our team. We’re a creative agency made up of all women. That is virtually unheard of in the agency world that is still driven mostly by men. This makes us fast and efficient multitaskers but we’re also incredible at marketing to women, especially multicultural millennial women. We obviously know how they think. [BS] Our agency makeup also allows us to create work that inspires millennials. Everything we do feels authentic and fresh. [AA] We bring a much needed perspective to the agency world. It’s a perspective that represents the majority consumer base that most brands are going to need to target heavily in the coming years. What’s the most impressive thing you’ve done to date? [NA] We cast, styled, and art directed a national ad campaign for Planned Parenthood in 48 hrs. We sourced over 20 models and pulled clothes for each of them. That campaign was called, “The Kissing Campaign” and we cast mixed race and LGBT individuals to kiss and embrace on camera in order to show that Planned Parenthood is a welcoming health resource for all types of people. Those images are now being used by over 700 local health clinics around the country. [BB] We have a talent pool that few agencies have. We can cast photo shoots and videos and have a hand-picked lineup of models that are experienced and reliable. We can cast pretty much anything at a moment’s notice. What’s your vision for the company? [NA] I want to be producing campaigns in multiple countries within the next five years. We aspire to be the leading international agency targeting multicultural millennials around the world. By 2018 we want to be producing campaigns in Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, and Korean. I lived in Seoul and speak fluent Korean so it’s a huge priority of mine to expand into that particular country. Who/what are your inspirations? [NA] Passionate female leaders like Sheryl Sandberg, Marissa Meyers, and Hillary Clinton are incredibly inspiring. All of those women are respected first and foremost because they’re




fiercely intelligent and they obviously never took no for an answer. They also believed in themselves enough to climb to the highest points possible in their careers. I think every woman should strive for that. Why do you think it’s important to market to a multicultural millennial audience? [NA] Because that is what the world is and will become. In a few years you won’t have the option not to market directly to them. Also because they can afford to buy what brands want to sell to them. What’s it like being part of an all female agency? [NA] It’s a dream come true! We go through a lot of trouble to find people who are the right fit for the team. Beth worked with us for a year before she was officially brought on to the core team. Anastasia started off as a model and volunteer, then became my assistant, and now she’s has grown to become an incredible photo and video producer. [BS] It’s incredibly encouraging and refreshing to work with our all female team. Everyone has a unique creative vision and it’s awesome to see that vision morph into a final product. [AA] It’s a rare work environment and incredibly empowering. Why did you start a creative agency? [NA] We were perfectly positioned to become an agency, so it happened very organically. After running Worn Magazine for a year, clients started approaching us to cast campaigns and produce and promote events. One of the first campaigns we worked on was the national ad campaign for Planned Parenthood. Then we partnered with Pepco and Gensler to produce a three-day pop-up shop for Goodwill and capitalize on growing interest in thrifting and vintage fashion to hekp Goodwill reach a broader audience. So, client demand basically decided for us. I think that’s the best way to start a business. Simply put, what do you do? [NA] We produce marketing campaigns and content for national and international companies like NBC/Universal, Planned Parenthood, and Hailo Cab targeted specifically to multicultural millennials. We have incredible developers, designers, photographers, and videographers that produce everything from new websites and mobile apps, promotional videos, launch events, castings, photo shoots, and guerilla marketing stunts.

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Above left to right: Nicole Aguirre, CEO, Anastasia Thomas, Producer, Behnaz Babazadeh, Designer, Beth Silverberg, Stylist



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“We cast a national ad campaign for Planned Parenthood in 48 hrs. Those images are now used at over 700 clinics across the country.”

[BB] We’ve had the pleasure to work with local companies like &pizza and see them grow at lightning speed. We’ve been with them since they opened their first shop on H St. NE and we’re now working on their fifth store opening in Brookland. With each store they open we produce a photography campaign and video series that highlights the new neighborhood and their customers. Anastasia, what is the best part of your job as producer for WC? [AA] The best part about being a Creative Producer is EVERYTHING. There are so many facets of my job. When asked what I do, I usually say, “I make shit happen.” It’s also awesome meeting and establishing relationships with so many different kinds of people. From models to artists to directors to clients, there’s never a dull moment.

[NA] Shooting a fraternity party at Gallaudet University and learning American Sign Language in the process. That was a blast. Interested to do next? [NA] I was invited by the government of Brazil to attend the Fall fashion shows in Belo Horizonte and meet with Brazilian fashion companies. We’re excited to work with companies around the world and create campaigns to reach youth in multiple languages. [BB] We’re also looking forward to working with more startups. This month we’re working with Hailo Cab to produce video campaigns introducing the app to a new local audience.

Beth, what is the best part of your job as stylist for WC?

Most fun/creative project?

[BS] We have incredible relationships with a long list of national and local stores and designers, which makes my job so fun. We’re often pulling top designers from stores like Neiman Marcus, Saks, Barney’s, Suit Supply, and Scotch & Soda that trust us to deliver beautiful imagery and make their clothes look great. Getting to create original looks with incredible resources is the best part

[BS] I absolutely loved working with DC’s rap artists for the Outsiders shoot. Each artist brought such incredible energy and a unique style to the table. The shoot went fantastic and it was just a crazy fun day.

Nicole, describe a typical WC day. [NA] I start the morning in the office or at a very early morning video shoot. I usually have several calls a day with clients, artists or musicians we’re bringing in for a campaign (sometimes on the way to an airport or in a hotel lobby), then in the afternoon I look at layouts for a print campaign, write proposals, then try to squeeze in another meeting or two with new designers and photographers before the end of the day. In the evening Anastasia, Behnaz, Beth and I will hop into a Hailo Cab and head to an event we’re throwing for the city’s creative, fashion, and startup scenes. That or I’m sitting on a panel talking about visual storytelling or judging a pitch competition.


Most fun client request?


[AA] Researching for new projects is always fun for me. In particular, I had a lot of fun producing a community feature project for & pizza. They wanted to highlight real inspirational people, places, and happenings in the neighborhoods they were opening in, and after living in the DMV area for almost 8 years, I really learned a lot about some incredible things happening in my own neighborhood. Learn more about Worn Creative at worncreative.com.

Take a free Hailo cab to the next Worn Creative event using the code: WORNDC

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worncreative See our work at worncreative.com

fall/winter 2013


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