The inspiration for this issue came from many things. Partly, the area I live in the energy and beach city vibe keeps me in a positive, creative state of mind; in part from my amazing, supportive boyfriend, who never tires of acting as a sounding board and idea man; and in part by artwork I found on a site filled with design inspiration. The sketches on the original images in this issue are worked to make the photos pop, and I am truly excited about the results. The people I chose to feature are making it happen in fields we are exploring for the first time here at NUDE. Check out the beautiful photos of a barber in LA, and meet a hat designer, no less. (His pages are phenomenal, donâ€™t miss them!) Shout out to all of you who showed up at our successful NUDE. "Midnight Glitter" event in January! Big thanks to the crew who helped make it happen. Check out photos on the last few pages of this issue. I sincerely hope the February issue makes you feel inspired to create! See you next monthâ€Ś
Editor in Chief
Interviews revised by Sarah Curr
Sidelines (Ellusive remix) - blackbear X 4e Falling (Whethan Redo) - Opia Gold - seanleon Suicide (Whethan Remix) - Midnight To Monaco Fold - Laakes Hopeless - Always Never The Rig Monkey - Fixate & Skeptical Tiger Blood - graves & MYRNE Malibu Sleep - Col3trane jungle waters - sam gellaitry Fukuro (feat. Jamvvis) - Lege Late Nite - RD$ Tengo Mas - Louis The Child & Whethan
Photographer | Marcus Ibarra
Photographer & Stylist | Elise Dantec Model | Alicia at Supreme Muah | Natalia Stracieri
Photographer | Max Thompson
How long have you been making music? H: All this music I'm releasing now, I've been doing for the last two years. Wow, so this has been sort of curated! H: Yeah it's been a whole plan in my head. It's like I didn't want to make music until I had a message and story behind it so I didn’t want to release it until now. I've been making music since I was 17 and I'm 24 now. From that time I just kept trying different sounds. I listened to an artist and was like, “I like Drake or I like Eminem”, but I kept trying to make my music sound like other people, while trying to figure out who I was an artist. You were trying to find your yourself in that process? H: Yeah about two years ago I was trying to figure out who the fuck I was. I dove into a spiritual journey, as well, and then I wrote the music. So, you don't have to go back later and say wait, this doesn't feel right, this isn't me? H: Yeah I definitely didn't want to do that. What's your genre? H: I would say it's like folk-pop. It's more of like whoever vibes with it because it's meant for everybody and that's why it's like folk-pop. It can live in a mainstream world and it can live in an indie world. What inspired your new song “yellow lights”? H: Relationships...and living. Everything is a piece of my journal that I have been writing since 2013; the year I was diagnosed with cancer. Throughout that time, it was like, “why me?”. I’m going through all this shit, very confused, but also making music at the time. Actually, I got a record deal the same day I got cancer. My dream was taken away and I was given my worst nightmare. I lived my dream and my worst nightmare in the same exact day.
So, my whole life was like what the fuck just happened. The only thing left to do is step back and think about what's actually important. I started thinking about everything. I started realizing I didn't live my life true to myself. I went through a spiritual journey and realized that I did want to live and I had to fight for something bigger. A bigger purpose. I needed to find mine to be able to show people there’s.
about a week later they called me and said we got a guy so I flew back to LA.
I fought through it and I beat cancer. Everyday it's a fucking fight and I didn’t know whether or not I was going to wake up every day. So, I put music before the cancer. Once I was done with all the treatment, I went through really bad depression because I was so prepared for this, “I don't know”, and then I was like, “Oh fuck, I have my life back. Do you want to get married? Do you want a relationship? Do you want to go to school?”.
I came back and met with this composer, Tim. He's really talented with every instrument. I sat down with him that day, and we were supposed to make a song. I told him the story behind the song and explained everything. I was even telling him about my journal. Then he asked to make an album with me. I was like, “Yes, I'm fucking down”. I've never put out an album before, or a project. So, we broke down my journal and made chapters, and the whole album is based on my journal.
Back in 2013 someone told me to write in a journal every day, so I could remember everything about my twenties. The next day I got a journal and I wrote it in every day until this day. You can see the whole process of me at my lowest, until being really happy again.
I just wanted to do… nothing. I just wanted to chill.
You're really good at articulating so I'm excited to hear everything you’ve put together! H: I'm really excited for people to hear it because it's just true. You know, it's just shit that I went through and it's not just a story. It's like the last three years of my life and it explains everything I went through. From the dark to the light.
So after that, I just needed something new. I was waking up and doing the same thing everyday. So, I decided I had to move. One of my best friends booked an acting job in New York and he told me to come with him so I could just get out of LA and get my mind off of shit. I bought a one way ticket and went.
You had a blessing and a curse all in one day - your story has to be heard! H: The whole point is to be a role model for kids and everybody honestly. Everyone has a purpose to do some shit, people just don't know or they're insecure or fearful. Just don't be scared.
I'm out in New York, I start taking the subway, I find new restaurants, I get into a relationship. And so, this whole New York lifestyle is happening and I have a whole new group of friends. I did different things every morning.
Let's say you couldn't sing again. What would you do? H: I would honestly write movies, poetry and books. Or maybe I would be a public speaker. I want to climb rocks...I was watching Planet Earth 2, and there's a goat that walks on the side of the mountain. I want to learn how to do that. I want to be a goat.
For timeline purposes, when exactly was this? H: All this was in 2015. But then, I started watching a lot of film. Like two to three a day, and I was with my friend, who's an actor, so I was on his set all the time, watching what they do. I started studying composers, writing TV shows, poetry and movies. I was actually doing stuff that was making me feel good about myself. Now I was feeling something. So, I payed attention to that and then realized “oh my God, I need to start making music for film”. And then I did. I start making music to create for films. But I also need a composer. So I called my manager and told him everything I needed. Then,
What advice do you have for upcoming artist? H: The whole thing is just RELEASE IT and release it with confidence. Release it once you know who you are. Find truth, read books, meditate. Do it for yourself. Write poetry. Do things that YOU push yourself to do. Just fucking release it. If you don't, you won’t move forward in life. Whatever you do in life, just don't do nothing.
Photographer | Rebecca Slaughter Model | Stevis Harrison Stylist | Deborah Gunther Clothing | Ruckus Apparel
Photographer | Jacob Barri
Photographer | Drew Castaneda
really because I am obsessed with that song! When I cover it I really am just trying to pay respect to the original artist, and it’s wild that people will try and compare it to the original version. I think the biggest compliment I can get is when the original artist sees my version and shouts me out that they enjoyed it!
Did a certain person or event happen to you that
made you want to pursue a career in music? Or did you come out of the womb performing?
A: For real though, I can’t really remember a time
that I didn’t love music. It was always playing in the house, and my family and I were always singing, harmonizing, or doing something musical. My mom
What’s the most memorable memory you’ve had
always tells me that I even used to sing along to the kid’s shows I watched when I was a toddler, so not a lot has changed I guess.
from your career thus far?
A: Not even to hype my own tour up, but I just finished the Feels Like Tour and that has definitely been one of my proudest accomplishments so far! My first ever North American headlining tour, and the fact that anybody showed up, let alone sold out shows across the country, is such a proud moment for me. Getting to look out in the crowd and see amazing fans who have been on this journey with me from different stages, and they are standing next to my parents and sisters and old friends and new friends and my team. It’s so gratifying for me to get to play these amazing shows night after night.
When you made your first YouTube video did you feel more pressure to upload then than now? How has your confidence level evolved over time?
A: It’s funny that you ask that, I was just thinking
about what song I should post next. My favorite thing about YouTube is that I can always kind of just have fun with it and push myself and make the best mashup or post I can make. I’m always trying to up my game and grow creatively and when I look back at my YouTube posts from years ago, until now, I can really watch myself evolving, growing, etc.
If you could give one piece of advice out there for a young Alex Aiono, what would it be and why?
What’s the hardest thing about writing your own
A: I actually was just having this conversation with
original music compared to doing covers?
my manager last week, and my answer for this question is so clear. When I first moved out here from Arizona, I thought to myself, I can’t wait to be a millionaire before I turn 18. I told myself I can’t wait to be a superstar under the age of 20. Now while I am grateful to be in such a healthy career place, I get that this journey is so much more of a marathon than it is a sprint. It’s been an amazing learning experience to figure out that most greatness does not necessarily come quick and easy. So if I could talk to 14-year-old Alex moving out to Los Angeles with the biggest dream in mind, I would tell myself to trust the process, and enjoy every single day, whether it’s incredible or terrible, and be patient. The greatest things could be right around the corner!
A: Ironically, it’s actually a lot easier for me to write
my original music compared to doing covers. Songwriting is how I express myself. It’s how I tell somebody how I feel or tell the world what I think about certain situations or topics. Recently I’ve been writing a lot not just straight from the heart, but saying a lot of things openly that I might not say normally. You upload a good amount of covers to your YouTube channel and they all are amazing. Have you ever done one and thought like oh crap, I think just did that better than the original?
A: Ha! Honestly, when I cover somebody song it’s
When did you first know you wanted to be a designer, and what attracted you to the headwear design field? C: I suppose I’ve always been creative. But to be honest, I don’t consider myself a designer, really. At least, not in the traditional sense. I’m a maker, a craftsman when I feel fancy. I never sketch anything out before I get started. Maybe it has something to do with not having any formal training, and instead doing what I’ve always done, which is dive right in headfirst, become obsessed and practice like a maniac. Same thing as when I taught myself how to sew.
super talented hat maker a couple years ago, and wore that thing just about every day for a few months. Then, I realized that there’s just no way I’d be able to afford another hat with my income as a preschool teacher. So, the only solution was to do it myself. I made all of my own tools — some I cut and sanded out of an old stump in my backyard. I used a drum cymbal to straighten the brim, and whatever else I could find lying around. I found some fur felt online and got to work. This stuff’s in my blood…. I come from a family of doers, builders, artists, and just downright hard workers.
I watched a YouTube video a few times to understand how a sewing machine works, ripped apart some clothes to see how they’re constructed, then just got down. By no means was anything wearable during the first couple months, but I was developing muscle memory so I could focus solely on the creativity of what I was doing. Soon after, I started making clothes for myself, and now about 95% of what I wear, I make myself.
Do you have a favorite piece from your hat collection? If so, what is it? C: That’s a tough one. Whether it be food, color, or song, it all depends on my mood. Same goes for my hats. I’ve got to really love a hat before I let it go. But if I had to choose, it would be the dark moss green, 100% Beaver felt wide brim. It’s really simple, with a cognac brown band and a gradient of green to brown stitching along the front of the crown and 3 small “x’s” branded on the side. I made it with the intention of selling it, but it’s not going anywhere.
The same goes for making hats. The short version goes like this: I was gifted a hat by a 51
Photographer | Dillion Shook
favorites is James Goldstein. He’s a respectable man, who keeps things a bit mysterious. He’s got an incredible way with texture and color that can be pretty bold without being the least bit obnoxious. There’s an obvious intention behind each detail.
Do you remember the first hat you ever made? What did it look like? C: Of course. But I still consider it one of my practice hats. The first hat is something that very few have ever seen. First off, the felt I used was cheap, floppy, and royal blue. The crown was about two inches too tall, and to make up for the ridiculous shape, I put white stitching all over it. I included a strip of floral fabric for the band, and topped it off with a feather I found (disinfected!), and placed standing straight up on the right side of the band. Then, I ripped out a leather sweatband from an old hat and hand stitched it inside. As for the aesthetic, no, I’m not proud of it. But the joy it brought me is ultimately the catalyst that’s responsible for driving me to pursue the craft and it’s what keeps me driven to work to my fullest potential.
Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to pursue a career in design? C: You can’t worry yourself with what everyone else is doing, and you can’t let anything hold you back. I didn’t know how to sew, or even create a hat at one point. But I learned and mastered each process. Unconventional doesn’t mean impossible. Make your own tools, and be a designer. The fashion world is guided by trends, but even with that, I think it’s important to stay in your own lane. You really have to keep your intention in mind. If your intention is to be a designer, then you can’t be afraid to design, which means coloring outside of the lines, and making the grass purple. That’s why I believe in being “traditionally untraditional.”
Where do you get your ideas and inspiration for designing new hats? C: I get inspiration from everywhere: music, sounds, patterns, colors, etc. It’s really about just going with the flow, letting the creativity at that time mold itself into something tangible. Step 2 doesn’t happen until I’ve completed step 1. Staying in the moment and not overthinking it is key. This is my career, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Without a serious passion for your craft, the final product can be good, but not great. Even when there’s a custom order, you have to make what the client envisions, but I still find ways to infuse my creativity into their vision. Visions from others are a source of inspiration, and this always ensures my clients are not only happy, but even a bit surprised to see that they’re getting even more for their buck.
What are your plans for the near future of your company? C: I’d like to expand my business to have “click-to-buy” hats available to purchase online pretty soon for those not interested in the custom route. On top of that, my good friend, Julius Caesar, who’s one of the most talented barbers to ever cut hair, has been a huge influence throughout my journey. It seemed a bit ironic at first, but hats and haircuts go together in such a sophisticated way. I’m hoping that we can create a new trend, because together we’re giving “hat hair” a completely new meaning. And over the past year, barbers and their clients have become one of my largest market segments. So I’m hoping to have my hats sold in some premium barber shops around the country, then over to the U.K., Australia, and Japan.
Take us through your creative process when designing a new hat. C: I first decide on the color and quality of the felt. Then, once I have my canvas, I go through the process of turning it into a basic wearable object. This consists of steaming and stretching the fabric, sanding it down, setting it on fire (to burn away stray fibers), more sanding, and creating the crease with a foot tolliker. Sometimes, I’ll heat up a piece of metal with my blow torch and burn the edge for a more distressed look. Once all these steps have been completed, I turn on some tunes and let the creativity take over.
In addition, Charity work is on the horizon — especially with kids — having been a preschool teacher. I taught them a lot, and they taught me a lot, so I’d like to continue touching the lives of children. And another big expectation this coming year is collaborations with more influencers, stylists, models, fashion bloggers, and celebs. In fact, we’re already in talks with a couple of notable guys. Besides that, opening up a brick and mortar location would be pretty sweet, but at the moment I’m very content in my little downtown LA studio.
Who is your favorite designer? C: There are a few designers I truly admire… One of my
Photographer | Rebecca Slaughter Stylist | Deborah Gunther Model | Natalie at Newmark 58
How did you come to be a barber? J: My mom came home with a Wahl home clipper kit one night. As a family chore and a way to help save money, she said I was going to start cutting my own hair, and on top of that, my father, grandfather, & little brother as well. 16 years later, here I am, living my life through barbering all thanks to my Mom. If you weren't a barber, what do you think you would you be doing? J: I would probably be involved in visual arts, or something in the fashion world. These are two passions I keep constant in my life regardless. What do you think a major factor in all your success has been? J: A major factor has been the consistency in the willingness to keep learning. I will forever be a student of my craft and of life. With all that being said, a mixture of manifestation and evolution of self is strong points i live by.
Photographer | Dillion Shook
What are your upcoming plans for your business this year and the upcoming future? J: I’m working towards really expanding my knowledge into women’s haircutting and building strong lifestyle relationships outside of the hair industry that I can implement a men grooming factor into. What's been your all time favorite haircut so far and why? J: My favorite all-time haircut has to be the retro high-top with a smooth clean skin fade and a sharp edge-up. The artistry of meticulous structure and precision gradient and lines are such an eye-popping image. Do you remember what you're first haircut you gave was? Who was it for? J: Besides myself being the first guinea pig, my little brother was my first client. I tried giving him a fade and a design. If you could work anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? J: I’ve been blessed with opportunities to cut in some of the most amazing places including London, Paris, & Tokyo...but to plant my feet in, nothing beats working my magic here in beautiful Los Angeles, California. They don’t call it California Dreaming for nothing!
Photographer | Fernando Montenegro
Photographer | Kanya Iwana Model | William Arthur at Wilhelmina Producer | Ella-Pauline Franklin
Photographer & Stylist | Camille Rice Model | Alexandra at Frank Model Management
Behind all the followers, subscribers, and money there is an
unbelievable true talent in our society today. Today is all about the “Next Big Thing,” and NUDE. Magazine embodied that theme on January 26, 2018, celebrating their 2-year anniversary with an over
the top gala, “Midnight Glitter”, at the esteem Highlight Room in
Hollywood. Not to disappoint, as expected, NUDE. Magazine brought together the entertainment industry’s influentials, photographers,
models, singers and many more. The guest list abound with the industry’s “who’s who” graced the room.
As you departed the elevator stepping foot on to the rooftop of this luxurious night, an original Michael DeAngelo live painting greeted you to this upscale venue. NUDE. complemented the electric
atmosphere with make-up artists working glitter stations, an open bar and a DJ that had the guest dancing on the tables. As the night
unfolded, exciting trends graced the Highlight Room while the line billowed downstairs with anxious guest waiting for the chance to
experience the glitter in full swing. Together, everyone celebrated and delighted in the alluring an awe inspiring event, envisioned by the one and only Raylene Pereyra.
Guest, friends and family all left with the latest issue of NUDE., as well as incredible dog paraphernalia uniquely created by the unrivaled Nandog Pet Gear. With new friends and valuable
connections our guest departed from the dance floor still jubilant and looking forward to what NUDE. Magazine has in store for 2018.
Article | Danielle Steves Photos | Sam Dameshek and Matty Tae
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