wetheurban su e 6
is su e 6
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nicola formichetti in bed with
By Kevin Amato
+ Tegan and Sara, Paloma Faith, Flume, Charli XCX, Sexy Sweaters, Theophilus London, Cannabis Culture and more!
Acid wash jeans: De chemin Archie shirt: Valissa Yoe Archive Necklace: Theresa Dapra ring: lariucci 18
4 thingsthatareperfect 8 four 19 y.o.â€™s 14 paloma faith 16 5 international acts 18 tegan and sara 20 something about america 22 hot child in city 30 maxine ashley 34 audrey kitching 36 cannabis culture 42 theophilus london 43 perfect unfinished thought 44 charli xcx 46 streetwear 48 aforementioned desire 56 kim ann foxman 57 bombs away 59 nicola formichetti 68 micah gianneli 72 flume 74 boy wonder 76 the other side
letter from the editor
f there’s one thing I’ve learned while continuing to make these magazines and peruse my dreams, it’s that you have to be able to accept the fact that things will inevitably fall through the cracks/not go how you originally planned. Sometimes, even though we try our best things still go wrong. Sometimes shit happens that we did not foresee, and it’s all OK. Being able to acknowledge that these said setbacks are stepping stones to your bigger picture is powerful enough. As with most advice, this is all relative, but you get the idea. Keep going. Sure, you may need to adjust your plans a little (or sometimes a lot.) But if you keep going, you will get there eventually. There is no such thing as an unrealistic goal. For this issue, we really focused on highlighting the movers and shakers of not just the fashion, art, and music industries, but who are also a part of my very own young generation; people who have withstood (and passed with grace) the test of the grind and people who are still currently being tested. As an 18 year old who falls in the latter category, I hope this issue inspires you as much as it inspired me.
Our CreW Editor in Chief: Willie Greene Chief Operation Officer: Eileen Doniego de France Publisher: Koko Ntuen Art Direction / Graphic Design: Ben Slater www.benslater.co.uk Executive Editorial Assistant: Jillian Mercado Contributors: Rachel Schwartzmann Dio Anthony Jason O’Toole Gordon Holden Danny Roche Ricardo Cifuentes Cover: Nicola Formichetti
Ricardo Cifuentes http://rcrdosocks.tumblr.com/
Photographer: Kevin Amato
www.wetheurban.com www.facebook.com/wetheurban www.twitter.com/wetheurban Editor-in-Chief Willie Greene
Photographer: Aaron Feaver Hair/Mua: Yasuko Shapiro Model: Alysha Nett Stylist: Eileen Doniego de France
Beanie Babes! Based out of London, Beanie Babes is the most awesome indie beanie store you’ll find on the internet!
Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2013 Accessories Monsieur Lagerfeld really outdid himself with this one! Hula hoop bags, oversized pearls, Lego clutches, and three tone accessories make up the quirky and chic collection.
a$ap x raf It looks like A$AP Rocky has finally had the chance to collaborate with his fave designer Raf Simons – a photo has surfaced earlier in February on Instagram of the rapper wearing a ‘RAF A$AP’ hoodie while smoking a blunt. The photo is a grimpse into what the A$AP x Raf Simons 1995 line will entail. At just 22, Mr. Rocky is doing pretty damn good for himself!
AREPERFECT: What started out as a quirky Instagram tag we often used is now a full-fledged feature in the magazine! A random collection of things, people, ideas, and images we love and think you should know about: Coco & Breezy’s “Omorose Collection” Super coo sister eyewear designing duo, Coco & Breezy’s, latest line shows an a jaw-dropping progression from their starting designs. Need everything!
Valentino’s Spring/Summer 2013 Couture Show This collection was hands down our favorite of the Spring/Summer 2013 couture season. Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri, the Creative Directors at Valentino, keep stepping their game up as each season continues. The attention to detail, colors, fabric choices, shapes, prints, and generally everything was perfect to the t.
Celine ‘My Phone’ Mini Bags
Factory by Erik Hart
Céline bags have become the timeless “it” bag among stars and fashionistas all around the globe. These cute mini Céline “My Phone” bags are headphone plugs for those on a mini budget. The mini Céline can be plugged in various iPhones, Samsung and other phones aswell as MP3 players or iPADs. Get it at celinemyphone. bigcartel.com.
Last June, designer Erik Hart will be transformed the PRIMITIVE Art Gallery by juxtaposing the premise of personal and public spaces using the base concept of survival and comfort. The result left the gallery in hundreds of Mylar thermal blankets and a sound sketch, juxtaposing the premise of personal and public space while creating that dialogue on the ideals of the base concept. Pretty sweet.
The Silence Room @ Selfridges London department store Selfridges have now opened “The Silence Room”! Designed by Alex Cochrane Architects, the ground floor space is part of their No Noise campaign and offers a place for shoppers at the store to find peace amongst the bustling emporium.
Tattly Tattly creates temporary tattoos (that look anything but) and they’re all really awesome. In July of 2011, Tattly Temporary Tattoos launched online, featuring an all-star lineup of professional designers and illustrators. There are now over 250 designs available both online and in select retailers worldwide. Since launching, Tattly has shipped millions of tattoos to more than 90 countries.
You might just know him from Rihanna’s smash hit “Stay”, but that’s only a taste of still what’s to come from Mikky Ekko in the mainstream as he lends that sweet as sugar voice of his to his fourth upcoming studio album this year.
Lomography’s New Film Scanner Conceived as a way to offer photographers and enthusiasts a solution to scan 35mm negatives, Lomography has developed a device providing users a simple way to edit, print and share 35mm film via the company’s integrated ‘LomoScanner Smartphone App’. The project smashed its funding goal on Kickstarter with two weeks to go and is due to be released in March 2013.
Tracy Emin in Times Square How can you not love this? Three minutes before midnight every evening next month, a neon romantic message by Tracey Emin will appear on 40 video screens in the heart of Times Square in New York. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the lovelorn phrases include “Love is what you want” and “I can’t believe how much I loved you” and will spell themselves out as if being written by an invisible hand.
Name: Aly Silverio age : 19
Location: Cary, North Carolina Occupation: Owner & Designer @ Jawbreaking Aly has been running Jawbreaking since the summer of 2008 at just 15 years old (oh, the good old Myspace days). Originally starting as a handmade polymer clay jewelry line, Aly has since turned the company into a booming clothing business worn by celebs like Kyle Jenner, all the boys from One Direction, + Ed Sheeran and it’s sold online and in retail stores (like Zumiez) across the nation. Aside from designing all of the clothing, Silverio also single-handedly takes care of packaging orders, handling customers, site design, and runs all 6 social media accounts for her and Jawbreaking (all adding up to a whopping 61,000+ loyal following as of early February). Her hard work and stylish eye have just recently allowed her the opportunity to buy her first office space for Jawbreaking in North Carolina and the sky is only the beginning for this inspiring young fashionista.
WeTheUrban: What do you love most about what you do? Aly Silverio: Obviously I love everything about what I do and I love that I’m living out my ultimate dream. But when people tell me how my story inspired them to do go after their own dream? That’s something that will never get old to me. The fact that I was able to make an impact on someone else’s life is a great feeling and I know I’m doing something right here. WTU: What are two main things you’ve learned while pursuing this career? AS: Well, for one, you can’t just expect success to fall into your lap because nothing comes easy. It doesn’t work like that. You have to kick ass at what you do and keep kicking ass to reach your goals. I’ve had my fair share of failures, trial and errors, and obstacles, but it’s all a part of the process and you have to know how to work for what you want. Secondly, people are bound to be mean, people are gonna hate you, and people will criticize you. Yeah, it sounds bad but if anything, you should be using the negative comments as the fuel to your fire to prove them wrong. It’s good to keep this mindset that people who try to bring you down will be dead wrong when your dreams are becoming a reality. The rush of accomplishment is that much more satisfying.
FOUR NINETEEN YEAR OLDS ABSOLUTELY
KILLING THEGAME W All photos: Danny Roche
hile most nineteen year olds are in college trying to balance partying and keeping up with grades, these three millennial’s have all bypassed that stage as they’ve all built their own mini empires - building resumes to that of people twice their age and making true names for themselves from nothing but passion, talent, and good ol’ hard work. Individually, they are surprising, stylish, and extremely hard working. In sum they represent the entrepreneurial, creative and intellectual best of their generation. This won’t be the last time you see these names.
WTU: Has your family played a big role in your success? AS: My family has played a HUGE role in my success, especially my mom. My mom is the best mom-ager a gal could ask for and I think I would have been a hot mess if I didn’t have her around to help me out. Without her, Jawbreaking wouldn’t be half as the successful company it is today and I’m so incredibly thankful for her putting up with me and my antics on the daily. It’s so much fun for me to work with my mom because she’s definitely my best friend and she keeps me on my toes at all times. WTU: Just how much has your career evolved over the past few years? Did you ever foresee this? AS: My career took a complete 360 in the course of like, a month last year. It’s absolutely mad. All the things that happened in the past year alone: One Direction in Jawbreaking, getting into stores across the US, expanding to this worldwide customer base... it all happened so quickly but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I’ve had these goals pinned up on my ceiling for the past year and it says “REMEMBER YOU WANT TO” and it lists all of my goals. Well, I checked off almost half of them and they were even the unrealistic ones. “Get into (at least) twenty stores by the end of 2012” was still unchecked in December, so I kind of gave up hope on that one... Until Zumiez
picked us up to be in FORTY stores across the US that month. All I’m saying is that if you told me last year that I would have what I have today, I would have been like, “Ah oh my god, I wish! Maybe one day! We’ll see, that’s crazy though!” WTU: What is it like knowing so many people look up to you? Ever feel pressured to keep up? AS: It’s crazy to think that so many people look up to me and are so inspired by me. Just five years ago, I was your average high schooler trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, where I wanted to go to school, chasing boys, and floating amongst the every “clique” possible. Now it’s like I’ve got over 20,000 followers on twitter and all of these people telling me I’m their biggest inspiration or that they’d cry if they met me because it would mean so much to them. I just think to myself... “When did this become my life?! These people look up to ME?” Nothing makes my day more than seeing a tweet or an e-mail about that kind of stuff. WTU: What would be “the dream” for you? AS: I’m living it. Minus my penthouse apartment in NYC, of course... but I’m working on it ;)
Name: Arabelle Sicardi age : 19
Location: Jersey City, New Jersey Occupation: Writer @ Rookie Magazine + Fashion & Beauty Blogger Feminist fashion blogger, Arabelle Sicardi, is nothing short of a bad ass. Getting a head start in this now almost over saturated game, Sicardi started her fashion blog “Fashion Pirate” in 2008, quickly garnering an almost cult-like following of girls alike, drawn to her unique fashion sense and valiant writing style. Already, she has written for publications like Teen Vogue and Lucky Magazine and is now a resident contributor at her BFF Tavi Gevinson’s juggernaut teen girl publication, ROOKIE. Sicardi also often shares her personal musings on feminism and gender identification, something very real to her life and much different from the fashion blogger “status quo”, which also explains why so many of her readers are personally drawn to her. We predict big things for this girl and can’t wait to see her take the industry by storm... one lipstick shade at a time. WeTheUrban: What do you love most about what you do? Arabelle Sicardi: Having the opportunity to hang out with people who really get my obsession. When you’re in a room with someone who is just as obsessed with beauty and fashion as you are, talking about the trade is a lot like talking another language. It centers me. WTU: What are two main things you’ve learned while pursuing this career? AS: To not be jealous of friends and to learn it’s ok to say no. Jealousy can eat you up, and it’s so easy to buy into. Focus your energy on something productive and you will be rewarded. As for saying no -- it’s so important to be discerning. WTU: Has your family played a big role in your success? AS: No. My parents were very adamant about me not being involved in fashion for years and were actually one of my biggest obstacles when I was getting started. My dad dyes my hair now; that is about the extent of their involvement. WTU: Just how much has your career evolved over the past few years? Did you ever foresee this? AS: I feel like it’s all happened in a cycle because there have been so many I’ve had to turn down as a minor whose parents felt negatively about my involvement in fashion. Now that I’m an adult I’m stretching my legs so to speak and grabbing the bull by the horns and I’ve got some cool projects planned, but I’m okay with taking them slowly. I mean, I started out on top -- I was one of the first teen fashion bloggers in 2008. It’s been a matter of taking advantage of the opportunities my luck has offered me since then. WTU: What is it like knowing so many people look up to you? Ever feel pressured to keep up? AS: It’s terrifying honestly! I totally feel the pressure; I don’t know how Tavi does it. Growing up with her as a friend and now as her employee at Rookie has been strange but she’s taught me a lot about grace under the spotlight. WTU: What would be “the dream” for you? AS: The ultimate dream is my own makeup line. Can you imagine the pride you’d feel applying lipstick that you dreamed up yourself? I can.
Names: Jon Williams & John Mosley age : 19
Location: New York, New York Occupation: Founders & Designers @ Will&Rich Will&Rich are a wunderkind of their own. After being friends throughout grade school, these two Houston, Texas natives joined forces when they were both 18 to create Will&Rich LLC, a luxury clothing line filled with snakeskin and leather jackets, shirts, backpacks, and everything in-between, all made with from fabrics of the highest quality and designed with the utmost attention to detail. With both in hustle mode, dedicating all their time to designing and working on the business aspects of the brand this year, it won’t be long now until Will&Rich is an iconic title gracing runways and magazine spreads around the globe. WeTheUrban: What do you love most about what you do? Will&Rich: What we love most about what we do is that there are no creative boundaries; whatever you can foresee can be done. Fashion also plays a big part in everyday life which gives each piece a chance to inspire each day. WTU: What are two main things you’ve learned while pursuing this career? W&R: The first thing we’ve learned while perusing this career is that it takes 100% dedication. The second thing is to never let anyone tell you what can and can’t be done - just prove them wrong. WTU: Has your family played a big role in your success? W&R: Family definitely has played a big role and still does! Fam is always first. WTU: Just how much has your career evolved over the past few years? Did you ever foresee this? W&R: If we actually sat back and thought about it, we would say it has evolved a lot! But we are far from the level foreseen, the world has yet to see our full potential. WTU: What is it like knowing so many people look up to you? Ever feel pressured to keep up? W&R: Pressure is definitely present, but not to keep up, just to make sure we stay ahead. WTU: What would be “the dream” for you? W&R: The dream would be 3 storefronts in the US while selling through many online stores and high end boutiques like Colette, Barney’s, Jeffery’s, RSVP, etc.
I can’t wait for you to have fully conquered the US once and for all, Fall To Grace definitely has the ingredients for it. What’re your influences; musically, in fashion, everything. Who are your icons? Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, hands down. Musically; certainly my biggest influence is Etta James. I’m influenced a lot by strong females solo artists like, Billy Holiday, Annie Lennox, Tina Turner, Grace Jones. Then down the line, I think Erykah Badu is pretty amazing. Fall To Grace is filled with these ultra cool and fast pacey, yet moving love songs. What is your stance on men, dating, and all that good stuff that wonderfully inspired your latest album? [Regarding love & relationships] Well, I guess I always try my absolute best, because I’m a hopeless romantic. But I’ve been quite disappointed, because in the past I’ve given a lot and put so much in. I’ve been let down a lot of times. How would you describe your music? I’d say it’s cinematic. I’m massively into films, and they influence my writing a lot. I think in scenes. I think like a storyteller, I enjoy narratives. Why “Fall To Grace”? Because I wanted to basically inject some hope into tragic situations. I tend to feel like life is quite difficult. And I wanted to say; “well I’ve come out of bad situations, gleaming of hope.” What would you say is the all-around theme of the album? I think it’s about what connects us. I think the overall theme is what makes us all the same. I know that I’m quite often perceived as someone who’s an outsider or somebody who’s got a very strong sense of their individuality. But at the end of the day, we’re all the same. You’re such a rare-breed. I know dozens of people are dying to get a peek into your head. What makes a certain hairstyle or piece of clothing stick out to you? I love color. Color always draws me in. And I just love things that fit my body-type. Usually, a thin waist, and something that accentuates the curves. Has your unique style always been with you? Or has it developed as you grew as an artist? It’s always been with me. I’ve always been an outsider. Is it too soon to talk about your next album? I’m about to start writing it. But I haven’t started yet so I’ve just been messing with ideas. I haven’t actually written anything, and probably wont till I finish with my UK tour, March 17th. I’m having the best time; It’s my favorite part of my job. Any themes in mind for the next album? I never really consciously lead towards certain themes. But I always think of the human condition, and my thoughts and feelings. It’ll be something with a great deal of entity. I wouldn’t really want to restrict myself to a theme. Who is Paloma Faith? I’m just an ordinary girl, with big dreams. By: Dio Anthony
ORDINARY G I R L 15
Country: United Kingdom Pop’s next big hope, Chlöe Howl, has recently released her latest single “Rumour”. The Columbia signed singer is (what we believe to be)Pop’s next big thing after releasing the gorgeous viral hit “No Strings” last month. Like all the best pop music, her sound is sonically relentless: melodies, counter-melodies, synths, and rhythms explode, slither, and glow. She is one amazing display of talent.
TO KNOW WETHEURBAN
Country: (West) Ireland Aaron Lipsett is a 22-year-old producer from Sligo, West Ireland, whose knowledge towards music and what sonically sounds great is completely mind-blowing.; a wizard of simple synth and smooth transitions in every sense of the words. Seeing that his online presence is growing at a scarily fast rate and he’s already received interest from labels such as Black Butter, you’ll surely be hearing the name more often come years end.
Kito & Reija Lee
Country: Australia Kito & Reija Lee are two passionate Australian, London based friends that have drawn inspiration from the vast selection of music that has sound tracked the love, lust and teenage rebellion that defines so much of what Maaike Kito Lebbing and Reija Lee Thomas are all about. The producer/singer duo together create some seriously amazing electro pop music.
Country: Germany At this point, we know little about LARY in the states, except that she’s beautiful, sings very well, has a sick sense of personal style and is from Germany. You can check her out with a quick YouTube search to her live performance of the song “Bedtime Blues.” You won’t regret it!
Country: France Owlle is a badass French electronic artist, with scarily catchy songs. She’s yet to release an EP, so we don’t know when we could expect an album, but after being featured on the Kitsuné Parisien II compilation with the song “Free” and treating us with a few new jams here and there, we’re expecting new amazing music announcements coming our way and one can only hope that would be soon.
T e gan a n d S a r a “A Little Bit Closer” to the Mainstream
hree years after 2009’s Sainthood, everyone’s favorite Canadian Indie-Rock band is back! Their seventh full-length album, Heartthrob, sees the duo tweak their sound for the new age: less guitar, more pop and mainstream influences, but with those distinct interlocking vox. Tegan and Sara spent the better part of 2011 close to their homes on opposite coasts, playing few shows and only writing music when they felt inspired to do so. After writing 36 songs, the two came together to create what is now a 10 song project with more pop sensibility than ever. Maybe they’re not up to 10 million worldwide concert attendees or album sales, but Tegan and Sara have done pretty damn good on their own, even without records featuring Lil Wayne or 40 years of history under their belts. Here, meeting on the phone just mere weeks before the Heartthrob release, Sara talks the bands new sounds, creative processes, and the perks of having longevity in the industry. WeTheUrban: Congratulations on your 7th record! Was delving into the more electronic-pop sound a conscious decision? Sara Quin: Thank you so much! I guess in a way we felt like in our evolution from So Jealous through The Con and into Sainthood, we had sort of become a more balanced band. Between the guitars and keyboards, there were flirtations with more electronic feeling songs on our last few records and we’ve also been doing a lot of dance collaborations on the side, so the pop spectrum of influence in our music and writing process definitely formed how this record came out. We knew from the start that we didn’t want to necessarily make a “guitar record”, not that i feel l we have in the past, but I definitely feel like we constantly get labeled in that way. So it was definitely a conscious decision to push ourselves to do something that would be unexpected or give us, ultimately, a fresh sound. We feel really proud of what we’ve done in the past, but we feel it’d be kind of unproductive to put out another record that sounds like all of the other ones.
ideas to see what choruses felt better and constantly were trying to strengthen the songs, but I think that has to do with making a pop record in general. With pop, everything has to be nearly bulletproof and every hook has to be meaningful, so that was definitely slightly different as well. WTU: What was it like, creatively speaking, putting this new album together as apposed to previous records? SQ: It was a really different experience because we worked with a different group of musicians and producers. Our last couple of records were really collaborative - we worked with Chris Walla on both of them and as a producer, he was incredibly inclusive. We were very hands on, especially with The Con, we sort of produced our own songs. It was sort of like falling down a rabbit hole, we just kind of go really deep for a couple of months making a record. I think Heartthrob was a little bit more about letting someone else come in and really push us from the outside. Not that it wasn’t collaborative, but we just didn’t want to have someone work with us who was going to let us be too bossy or let us shift and steer too much. We already do that in our demo process so much that we really wanted someone who was going to infuse new ideas and melodies and structures to what we had already done. The truth is, going into the process I was really intimidated but coming out I was really inspired. Especially the experience we had with Greg Kurstin, who produced 8 of the 10 songs on the record. We were calling him “The Wizard” [laughs] because he’s just so skilled and had amazing things to contribute. So even though it was a new kind of recording experience for us, we really left feeling reinvigorated about our band and the album we had just made.
The truth is, going into the process I was really intimidated but coming out I was really inspired.
WTU: Did you find that it was easier to translate your experiences into this genre of music? How different was it (in a lyrical sense) writing these more pop sounding records? SQ: It actually wasn’t that different. The process that Tegan and I both use to create demo songs is usually we usually write with keyboards. Even with our older records, a few songs, at least for me, were written directly on the guitar. A lot of the time I would build an instrumental using keyboard, drum loops, bass, synth and that sort of thing and then maybe I’d add guitar later. But because that was how we performed live as a band, we would often then tweak things in the studio to sound more like what a live band would sound like. So with this record, the actual demo process was really similar. We still started with drum loops and keyboards and all of that programming, then once we got into the studio, instead of focusing on adding the guitar and live drum kind of feel, it was more about creating these instrumentals and this music that would kind of enhance what was already done in the demo process. It didn’t really change a ton about what I was doing, though. I know for Tegan, we both expressed a desire to be open to the other comments in the demo process and be open to re-writing sections of songs (which we didn’t do a lot of in the past). So with a lot of these songs, one thing that was really different from our past records was we re-cut different
WTU: You guys have been around for so many years now ! Has this thing sort of become routine or get old? SQ: I don’t think it becomes routine or old, but for me anyways, there’s a feeling that this process has become a lot more familiar. In the beginning it was really exciting, but also really scary. Not knowing how everything works and not completely always understanding the business around us, sometimes it left you feeling a bit uncomfortable. Now, you know, understanding our band and the industry and feeling a lot more comfortable as not only a performer but a business person, I love doing this. I absolutely love it. I’m also a Virgo, so I’m a very structured person and I just genuinely love the process. I love that we get to make the record and then do press and then we tour - I love all of that! Also, as we get older and have had so many records, I can get a sense early on how each records measures up to the other one. How inspired I feel or how creative I feel and how the audience is responding... so I think having all of that experience, it just can’t feel old. It’s always exciting and really interesting. WTU: What’s been the inspiration for your creative processes in the past few years? SQ: I think some of it comes from what’s happening in my actual day to day life. As a song writer, I see myself as someone who focuses on memories and stories. I’m always sort of re-imagining things that have happened to me and try to see them in a different lens or perspective. There’s certainly some non-fictional elements to this album, and then there’s other stuff where it’s kind of grey area. I sort of think of it as a collage of emotion. Some of it is how I imagine
the other person in the relationship might feel or how I experience a break up in my life as an outsider. So I feel like I’m constantly pulling in different things and trying to create interesting stories that will connect to a fan base. WTU: What music are you guys into at the moment? Digging any new people? SQ: I’m always listening to new stuff! Of course the old stuff really inspires me, but this year a couple of records really excited me. There’s this artist named Caribou who has a side project called
Daphni, and it’s just really interesting and amazing electronic music. I thought the Kendrick Lamar record was really cool too. I feel like I’m always looking back at stuff in the past for inspiration, though. I just never get bored of listening to really amazing songs! I’m really into just songs in general at the moment and the magic of what makes a good one. I wanna hear how other people write. Like Patsy Cline, for example - why can I go back and listen to her music for the millionth time and not get sick of it? By: Willie Greene
hat does America have in common with the rest of the world? Someone asked me this fucking question other day. I didn’t have a response really. Actually I thought of every Disney character ever created (including snow white naked) and then said something to the effect of “I don’t know”- Jeff Spicoli. This video helps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bc2muGlQIlk. I thought it was a pretty good answer. It’s so insignificant and significant at the same time. But the more I thought about it, I came to the realization that it has nothing to do with the rest of the world. It did at first, now the rest of the world has everything in common with America. Kind of like that saying “the student has become the teacher”. Kind of the same thing with movies and television. At first the movies and television shows imitated life. It would seem that there’s been some kind of “Freaky Friday” role reversal where modern life now imitates television and the movies (for example: zombie movies were supposedly first made a long time ago, and then in 2012 when some guy eats the face off of some other guy in Miami, the news and media call him a zombie. Then when some other other guy makes a video of himself pretending to be a zombie like in the movies walking around the greater Miami area, people actually run in fear that he is a real zombie). That’s fucked up, but also awesome. Because that’s what it all really comes down to: entertainment. Entertainment is America. America is entertainment. And the most entertaining thing ever created is porn. Everyone knows Porn is the most entertaining thing ever, they just won’t admit it. And if they don’t think it is, they have probably never seen the short film “Spongeknob Square Nuts”. Google it. But come on, everyone has seen porn. It is the cream of the crop because it takes the most popular things people think about, which is sex, and the most popular thing people do, which is fantasize. And thinking is all that entertainment really is. There are just different degrees of it. Before porn, people had to use their imagination first and then find a real life person to try out their imagination on. Real life? I’m not sure I know what that even means, mostly due to the Internet. Maybe some people do, like porn stars and drug addicts. That’s the reason why fantasy is good. It’s always something that you’re not. And that’s exciting. And excitement is the jumping off point for entertainment. I think there always has to be a starting point. I don’t really know where I am going with all of this except the fact that I’m probably entertaining myself right now. None of these things have anything to do with me. Maybe they do. But you know, putting things in words is tough. Especially texting, because you can say anything you want to anyone you want anytime you want. And that’s really tough. And sometimes we put things into words when we’re bored or drunk. And that’s not good. I think Bill Clinton did that a lot. One time I texted the same text to every ex-girlfriend and every one of them responded. Like I said, it wasn’t good but I had a good time. I think the point I’m trying to make is “don’t stop believing”-journey. Oh yeah, I’m supposed to write about two other topics that I’m supposed to be more familiar with: modern art and modern fashion. Modern art and fashion are basically everything I just said above but just in the context of something you wear, something you look at and think about, or something you hang on your wall. I could be wrong though. I’m watching the history channel special on the history channel.
Something about America. (Porn). and the State of Modern Art and Fashion by Modern Artist: Gordon Holden 21
Jacket: Jeremy Scott Dress: Noki Noir Shoes: Mugler Hat: Stylists own
Hot Child in the
City Photographer: Hadar Pitchon Model: Abdul Kircher Stylist: Prince Homme
Jacket: Dripping Lazers Pants: Maya Hansen Shoes: Mugler
Jacket: Mostecak Jumper: Stylists own Shorts: Stylists own Shoes: Mugler
Dress: Lukas Vincent Apron: Stylists own Cap: Custom New era Shoes: Mugler
Jacket: Alexis Noble Skirt: Jac Langheim Body: Custom piece / Stylists own 27
Jacket: Vintage Jean Paul Gaultier Pants: Tripp jeans Leg guards: Stylists own Shoes: Dr Martens Hat: Dior
Maxine Ashley /espíritu libre By: Jason O’Toole Photography: Aram Bedrossian Hair/mua: Rashida Bishop Styling: Jalil Peraza
Hailing from the worn streets of South Brooklyn as the daughter of salsa musicians, Maxine Ashley’s culture is her liberation. Her hair is pink, well half of it at least, and her spirit is alive to the ethos of life. Her fans adore her. She’s a YouTube sensation, capturing you in four-minute life cycles. Honestly, she doesn’t even have to be singing for you to love it. The flexibility of her sound from video to video is woven together with the autonomy of her charisma (which is showcased beautifully in the beginning of her videos with a playful gangsta, “Wassup YouTube!” shoutout.) Ashley bolsters an impressive 60 videos on her YouTube page with an audience of more than 3 million lifetime views. Most videos are of her singing covers; or hanging out with Pharrell; or creating choreographed laser shows using neon finger gloves. No matter. Whatever the video, you get to hang out and live vicariously through her for a few minutes at a time each week. Maxine is set to release her mixtape, “Mood Swings” and an album later this year. WTU spoke with the quite approachable and almost coy young starlet to answer our questions about how she’s preparing to take over the viral world while embracing the indulgence of her youth.
INTERVIEW So obviously the tie to Pharrell is huge, and I’m sure it’s been amazing for you. How has being around Pharrell helped you creatively, and how has that sculpted you are an artist? Well, just watching him work just influencing me so much. He helps me a lot with writing and melodies… he teaches me a lot of tricks. When you’re writing, is he producing the beat while you create the lyrics and the melody; is it a combination of the two? He really makes the beat from scratch. As he’s making it, I come up with melody ideas. Then, we both have ideas, we go into the booth and so… it’s kind of an equal thing. But then usually he leaves the room, I write, then he comes back in and checks it out. Talk to us about your background and heritage. Where did you grow up, and who are some of your early musical influences. Who got you to where you are today? I was born and raised in the Bronx—in Soundview. My parents are both salsa singers. My dad is in a band called Los Hermanos Colon, and they [parents] have just influenced me my whole life, and told me to go for what I want. Do you ever steal moves from them and put it in your music? Yeah, I was born with it. Got that in my blood. Of course. Tell us about comparisons, Maxine. How do you deal with comparisons, and who do they usually link you to? I think getting comparisons are cool. They’re good, cause if you remind them of someone big, that’s good. They say Beyoncé sometimes, like the little tricks, but that’s about it really. Well that’s a high compliment. That is. I’m like, “Forreal? Beyoncé? You sure about that?”
Great place to start… Hmm, I’m like “Alright. Thank you!” Did you listen to a lot of Destiny’s Child and Beyoncé growing up? Yeah, I listened to a lot of that. I definitely danced to a lot of their tracks. In keeping with the theme of your growth as an artist and using social media like YouTube and Tumblr, where do you see the industry headed in the next 5 to 10 years? I think people are going to end up making their own businesses in the music industry. People will have their own thing. YouTube right now is breaking so many people on their own… I think in the future people will have their own virtual album mixed with a video mixed with some other futuristic shit. Do you think there will be more niche markets instead of one grand pop world? Yeah. There is already so many different types of music out. Now it’s about just hustling yourself a lot to try and get there. Maxine. For you, is it about the fame or the recognition of quality? Are you okay with winning a Grammy without necessarily being number one? Yeah. I mean as long as my music is heard and I’m doing what I love every single day of life I’m living happy. Shifting for a minute, I want to know about your fashion sense. At WTU, we truly celebrate Difference. In terms of your fashion, how has it evolved, and how does it express you as a person? Fashion to me is just a bunch of different phases in life of what you’re going through. It definitely defines the person in you. Younger I went through retro phases, then Polo phases, then Jordan phases. What would you call your fashion sense right now? Crazy Closet What-The-Fuck Wear. Love it. Yeah. What-The-Fuck Wear
Favorite fashion brand right now? That is so hard, because literally.. I discovered the world of eBay and thrift stores, so… eBay is my favorite brand right now. Good selection. Can’t go wrong there. So is your style and sound homage to New York? I lived in London for three years. It’s kind of a mixture of UK Pop and the grimy BX in me. So of course the Bronx influences me in a big way. I’ve lived here almost all my life, and I still do. Really all of New York—the world kind of inspires me. I can take pieces from anywhere I go. You don’t have an album released yet. How are you going to introduce your art into the world? Well, I’m actually working on a mixtape right now. Separate from the album. It’s called “Mood Swings.” When can we expect the Mixtape? Probably summer. Late summer. Who has control over the mixtape, you or Pharrell? It’s my mixtape—I came up with the idea. I have full control over the mixtape. As far as the album, he has several songs on it, so it’s me and him together. Who are listening to right now? I just downloaded all of Tame Impala’s albums and EP’s. Little Dragon. I’ve been listening to a lot of trance too. I downloaded Trinidad James’ mixtape. I like one of the songs on that. Two Chains, Trinidad James— they’re my guilty pleasure. What does a day off look like to Maxine Ashley? I go crazy! With friends. Work hard play hard? We just do whatever we feel like doing. I can get inspired by anything. So even though I’m not doing music, I can get inspired by the random events that me and my friends did, then write about it the next day. Any last words for WTU before we sign off? WeTheUrban is the shit… and keep it gully!
LAST BOOK YOU READ:
I’m in the middle of reading Child Bride: The Untold Story of Priscilla Presley. It’s pretty amazing, she is like a little Lana Del Rey (but more crazy). I have such a love affair with Elvis in my mind.
TOP FASHION NO-NO’S: UGGs, Crocs
FAVORITE MINERALs: Rose Quartz and Hematite
MUSINGS FROM A MODEL, DESIGNER, BLOGGER, AND ALL AROUND BUSINESS WOMAN WETHEURBAN
Photo: Zachary Chick
WINTER FASHION MUST-HAVE: Chunky black boots, leather pants, over-sized sweaters and shag/faux fur coats
FAVORITE INDEPENDENT DESIGNER(S): Stella Rose, Anne Sofie Madison, Gretchen Jones
FAVORITE IPHONE APP(S): Astrology Zone daily horoscopes, Moonphase, Paris Radio, iP (period tracker haha), Gilt Turbulence forecaster, Do Eat Raw
FAVORITE VEGETARIAN DISH: Vegan tacos
FAVORITE LIP PRODUCTS:
#1 STYLE INSPIRATION:
FAVORITE VACATION SPOT:
FAVORITE DECADE IN HISTORY:
Tarte Cosmetics, Lime Crime, Burt’s Bees colored lip balms
Miami Beach - I dream of being there on a daily basis. I will own a place on the beach in that city one day.
Olsen Twins and Abbey Lee Kershaw
There is a constant war in my mind over 20’s, 60’s, and 70’s
CULTURE WHEN MARY JANE MEETS POPULAR CULTURE
t’s been three years since I last saw my college roommate Mark*, owing to our travels, but he we are outside a pub on Kingsland Road in east London, wishing for snow to fall while he smokes a roll-up filled with weed. I have a smirk on my face, as Mark’s visit to London is ridiculously fortunate for me. The editor of WeTheUrban has commissioned me to write a piece about marijuana and its growing presence in pop culture. “It’s always been there,” opines Mark after I ask him why he smokes and about the article I’ve been asked to write. “It just doesn’t have the hang-ups it once did. Last time this stuff was really popular was back in the 60s with Woodstock and all that. That must have felt to parents and those in power like the world was about to end. Rock music, free love, drugs - everything was dangerous to them, even though it wasn’t really. When people get scared, they panic and try to demonize things.” For a weed smoker, Mark has always had an ability to talk sense, but then that’s not really surprising because Mark isn’t your stereotype of a weed smoker. He doesn’t sit at home all day, baked, playing computer games, anaesthetized to the world. He’s a 25 year old executive working in a government role, owning his own apartment and generally being a model citizen. Weed to him, as it has been to others in the past, isn’t his identity, it’s a part of his lifestyle. It’s a luxury that many before our generation haven’t had. Marijuana was legal up until the 1930s in America, where the law coincided with the increasing unease of Mexican migrant workers who enjoyed smoking it as they toiled away in the southern states. As Eugene Jarecki’s excellent documentary about the war on drugs, “The House I live in” shows, marijuana became illegal not because of it being deemed dangerous, but because it was an easier way to deal with immigration. As one talking head in the documentary puts it, “you can arrest someone for smoking marijuana; you can’t arrest someone for being Mexican.”
By: John Johnston Photographer: Amber Asaly Model: Page Ruth (LOOK)
The drug went the way of all other illegal drugs after that - underground, surfacing again with the hippy movement of the 60s. Again, marijuana wasn’t clamped down on because of its dangers - it was part of a movement, like immigration, that was deemed to threaten the American way of life. So why is it suddenly coming back to popularity? Mark has one theory. “Our parents are of the age where either their siblings or themselves were rebelling and tapping into the hippy scene. They’ve done it, so if we do it, they won’t throw us out the house or anything. It’s like being caught drinking alcohol now.” The theory has some merit but its rise in pop culture has more to do with it than that. Yes, we’re less susceptible to thinking it endangers our way of life, but that’s not the full story. “Everything is becoming more open as the Internet has changed the way we see and hear about people’s lives,” notes Natalia Kalb, whose label Love Leather provided the weed leaf vest that Rihanna wore on her 777 tour. No longer are we drip fed news on our role models and the celeb world - we’re constantly in touch with them whether it be through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or camera phones. We now have a much more rounded view of celebrities as people. With this change we’re becoming less likely to put celebrities on a pedestal, thinking that they are gods amongst us. Yes, Rihanna is an incredibly beautiful, talented female artist but she can also come out with
some lame ass shit on Twitter. Lady Gaga too - and lets just leave Bieber there, shall we? But they all smoke marijuana and still manage to do exhausting schedules and retain a high level of success. “It’s not a big deal anymore,” Natalia explains, “your attitude on this depends on who you surround yourself with, and who you chose to listen to.” As Wiz Khalifa pointed out in an interview with MTV, “I don’t say, ‘Yo, get up and do that.’ I said that’s what I do, and I tell you what I do while I’m doing it. I’m not trying to push drugs on anybody. I thought weed was bad for a minute. When I was younger, I thought it was bad, but I got to a point where it worked for me. It don’t work for everybody else. People gotta stay free, people need jobs, people got parents that probably wouldn’t be with it, so don’t ruin your life trying to be like me. That’s my advice.” Today’s artists and celebrities have seen the burnout suffered from talent and trying to live up to what other people expect. We have a generation of talent who don’t ask for that responsibility and have the tools with the Internet to smash the preconceptions that they’re somehow different from us for being famous. Wiz’s last point speaks for the current crop of popular culture. It worked for me. It don’t work for everybody else, so don’t ruin your life trying to be like me. *some names changed to protect identities.
heophilus London has over the last few years began to make his mark in the industry. He has created his own style - both in music and in fashion. Branding himself by wearing the same circular sunnies and wide brimmed hat, makes him a trendsetter in every sense of the word. With only one studio album out, Timez Are Weird These Days, London has attracted attention from all around the world. He has become the face of cool brands like Mountain Dew and Levi’s, and his impeccable sense of style has awarded him modeling jobs working with prestigious fashion houses and magazines like Gucci, Chanel, Vogue, and Vanity Fair. I caught up with London in the midst of a busy touring schedule to talk music, fashion, and century old social stigmas. WeTheUrban: When did you start writing and performing your music? Theophilus London: I started in my first year in high school, actually before that, when I was in 6th grade. WTU: You exude an upscale look a lot of the time. Have fashion and music always gone hand in hand for you? TL: Never - this is definitely something new for me, but it’s cool to know that I’m inspiring kids all over the world to just basically look good. Spring/Summer 2012 New York Fashion Week I performed at the Rebecca Minkoff show while the models were walking down the runway and it just worked so well together. WTU: Last year you participated in a collaboration slipper with Del Toro. How did that come about and can you tell me a little bit about your input and process in designing the shoe. TL: I met Matthew del Toro in January of 2012 at his house in Miami
and we immediately spoke about a collaboration between my brand LVRS and his brand. A month later, I handed in my shoe design and it was put into production. It was the first time that specific detail had ever been put on a slipper. On the side of the shoe, I put two gold stars and the rose represented by brand. It’s a definitely a cool shoe and a cool collaboration to be a part of. WTU: do you still ever get DIY and custom make your clothes? TL: All the time, I’m DIY 24/7. WTU: There once was a time (and unfortunately, we still have a few small minded people that fit this) where many risk-taking and fashionable men were instantly considered gay. Now that menswear is having a huge moment and more men are starting to put effort into the way they dress, do you think that social stigma still exists in our society? TL: This is my opinion: I think gay dudes in the industry are some of the flyest dudes - they really know fashion. I’m fly, but I don’t really think about it that way. I just wake up and put on what I want to put on according to how I feel. I don’t really think that whole stigma shit really exists anymore. Gay dudes are fly and I don’t think that’s going to change. WTU: What does it feel like garnering so much attention and recognition? TL: Sometimes I actually wake up and wish it wasn’t like this and I wish I didn’t have anything to do, but most days I wake up with this incredible burning passion that no one can stop me or get in my way. I have so many more accomplishments I want to make with music, so I’m really looking forward to that. WTU: Do you have any more exciting projects coming up soon? Whats the future like? Design wise, I recently did a collaboration with Stussy on a couple items and I also started writing my new album last September with Warner Bro’s, so I’m definitely looking forward to that. By: Willie Greene
Photo: Tracy Bailey
The Perfect Unfinished
s with a lot of design work, sometimes the most interesting aspect is the sketch before the final product. Recent graduate and fashion designer Elvira ‘t Hart’s latest collection aims to translate those beastly 2D sketches to 3D garments. Hart utilized the resources of modern-day technology to create laser-cut leather pieces which embodied every last line of her preliminary sketches. She explains, “A lot of details contained within the first sketches are lost during the process of designing and executing clothing. The clothing takes characteristics from the sketches: outlying lines, lines that trail off into nowhere and empty or unfinished areas. An image is reduced to lines, planes and areas which do not have to be fully formed or finished in order to portray their ultimate meaning: it stimulates the imagination.” Genius. By: Willie Greene
Elvira ‘t Hart’s Wearable 2D Garments
ART BITCH: FIVE THINGS WE [ ABOUT ENGLISH POP SENSATION CHARLI XCX /
The girl’s a style queen: She’s obsessed with the nineties, and she’s making it known. Charli’s wardrobe consists of items that seem to be from Britney Spears’ hey day. Clueless Cher’s walk in closet, and Gothic Queen Nancy Downs’ witchy attire, in 1996’s The Craft. And don’t forget a pair of Spice Girls inspired elevated kicks. We’ve been waiting for these to resurface for ages!
She’s the British equivalent of a Valley Girl: Enough said. And who doesn’t love Valley Girls? Girl, take up residence in California and grace the US with your presence.
She’s a real life club-kid: Charli grew up in the Warehouse, rave scene. Being inspired by the club-kid vibe of the late 80s and early nineties. And thank the heavens she did!
She’s an avid Tumblr fan and user: The spunky artists chooses images to present during her live show, straight from the social networking website.
Photography: Ash Kingston Hair: Face Addict Hair Junkie MUA: Kinniah Ghuman
The girl’s a Bad Bitch: Unapologetic, with a long hair don’t care state of mind. She once hoped of being a rapper. Perhaps her persona is more fitting for the career move than she thought.
IRL LDN was started in 2012 by graphic artist and illustrator Cornelia Van Rijswijk who creates handmade pieces from digital print fabric. The initial aim was to create a t-shirt that replicated a Tumblr feed, as the aesthetic developed it became more immersive, a three dimensional art work that could be worn emerged from the linear designs that graced the first pieces. The print design reimagines iconic imagery of the internet.
Aston Mozie was created by New York based celebrity stylist and designer Ugo Mozie who runs the brand with his business partner/best friend Quinn Aston. The eclectic line (recently worn by Chris Brown on a recent XXL cover) features form fitting quality American fabrics turned into effortlessly cool graphic masterpieces.
Dubbed as “Street-luxe”, Jamie McFarland’s line “meets in the middle between high fashion power brands like Givenchy and Versace, but still has the integrity of underground brands surfacing in London and all over the world.”
ith the lenses of streetstyle photographers pointed at everyone, what better way to stand out from the crowd than with donning your favorite streetwear brand? Originally stemming from the skate scene of the 80’s, streetwear has now evolved into something way more polished, popular, and edgy. Modern luxury designers seem to have captured the new essence of steetwear; graphic and effortlessly cool. With hipsters at an all-time high and skateboarding as commercial as ever, the fashion scope is shifting. If you are on the hunt for “fly threads”, or “dope gear”, or “cool clothes”, this list should give you a better idea of some unique brands and styles that are out there.
The iconic “Nicopanda” by Mugler’s creative director and our cover star Nicola Formichetti was created by Nicola and his brother Andrea. The highbrow streetwear-esque brand offers up a sick array of pieces ranging from simple t-shirts to bags, hats, and jackets all dipped in Nicopanda and “Chetti” print. By: Willie Greene
Desire Photographer: Worm Carnevale Model: Niâ€™ma Ford (MIX) Stylist: Valissa Yoe Hair: Dakota Heman MUA: Ashley Meyers Nails: NVRMND Exec Editorial Assistant: Jillian Mercado
Vintage cream bodysuit Tonie Cevallos jean vest Gabriel Shuldiner jewelry Dr. Martens shoe 51
Dime Piece shirt Leg Avenue shorts Christian Louboutin shoe Uranium cross earring Mishka hat
Unik leather jacket Switchblade Stiletto shorts Rene Rofe lingerie Mishka flannel shirt Chris Habana skull ring Uranium cross ring Christian Louboutin shoe
# ART I S T S POTL I G HT :
Kim Ann Foxman DJ, Producer, and Vocalist Kim Ann Foxman is everything we’ve ever wanted! She’s New York, she’s stylish, and she makes some damn good music. Inspired by house and techno classics like Kevin Saunderson and Larry Heard, Kim Ann Foxman had us in extremely high hopes for her solo effort after her short stint with disco supergroup Hercules & Love Affair. Her first single “Return It”, released through London underground electronic dance music label, Needwant, packed a musical punch and is clearly the work of someone who takes her craft very seriously. With her hard at work on a solo album that we hope drops this year, it’s only a matter of time ’till Foxman is sitting pretty on her rightfully deserved queen of dance-hall music throne.
Photographer: David Urbanke Stylist: Niko Liakaris Hair: Lizzie Arneson MUA: Katherine Lloyd Exec Editorial Assistant: Jillian Mercado
B OM B S AWAY Over the years the bomber jacket has waxed and waned in popularity (including one very memorable appearance on a young Tom Cruise in Top Gun) and has been experiencing renewed interest once again. Strictly for the cockpit set when it debuted during World War II, the bomber jacket, which saw plenty of action on terra firma after it caught on with 80s-era trendsetters, like Madonna, is the perfect blend of chic and tough. Recently, a particular breed of the cropped flight jacket (specifically the MA-1 bomber) popped up across all the runways with only one thing certain: this trend is here to stay.
The Bomber Jacket Trend With Lasting Power
Formula Photography: Kevin Amato
In this exclusive interview, creative mogul Nicola Formichetti discusses his inspiration, projects and successes and shares his advice for the next generation of innovators looking to break into the enticing world of fashion .
hroughout this issue, we at We The Urban have made it our priority to provide inspirational anecdotes and advice from the experts in regards to making your mark in the - dare I say it - REAL world, and turning your dreams into prosperous and rewarding realities. But make no mistake, everyone at some point is faced with what seems to be paralyzing circumstances that can sometimes jeopardize or make us second-guess our priorities. However, after conducting this interview, we can re-affirm the fact that perseverance is the ultimate ingredient to achieving our successes. So to continue with these relevant ideas, I am very proud to introduce an iconic individual to you who has ultimately let the concept of “dreaming big” become second nature. That person is fashion director, stylist, go-getter and all around creative thinker, Nicola Formichetti.
youthful and at ease personality is assimilated in his body of work. This is evidenced in his most recent collaborative project with Lane Crawford entitled Nicopanda, which he describes as “very personal and honest.”
Coming from Japanese and Italian descent, Formichetti’s upbringing infused a sense of cultural awareness in him early on, which laid in him the foundation for exploration at a young age. Nicola indulged in the arts, taking up classical piano and eventually studying architecture in London. However, it soon became apparent to him that school was secondary to his pursuits and that his interests lay elsewhere. Even so, moving to London was a pivotal point in Formichetti’s emerging presence in fashion. Aside from his brief schooling encounter, for about a three year period, Nicola made the club scene an integral part of his life, and found refuge in his new hip friends and street fashion. Nicola also entered his first retail job where he claims (as you will read more about), was a vital learning experience as it was his first networking opportunity which eventually landed him a position at coveted magazine Dazed and Confused.
There it is. We are incredibly lucky to have the chance to live in the modern age, where inspiration can be found anywhere and everywhere, and to experience the reign of passionate advocates of creativity like Nicola. And while his successes lie predominantly in fashion and the creative industries, his extremely optimistic and driven mentality is applicable to just about everything in life. Having demonstrated his immense devotion to his creative projects over recent years, Formichetti has taken the fashion world by storm with his unique approach and avant-garde sartorial preferences. What’s even more is the incredible sense of humility that serves as an undertone to his work. There is no such thing as forced effort in Formichetti’s book, he doesn’t strive to be anything but himself or try to make a statement for the sake of shock value. With incredible sense of self, Nicola has made it clear that all recognition aside, “You really just have to dream big, like really big, in terms of what you want to be and create and just let it happen... Let the world happen and be curious about everything! Even if it’s hard, just take a breath and try again, there are so many ups and downs.” Trust that these are wise words to follow from dreamer and dream-maker Nicola Formichetti.
Having worked with Dazed and other publications including V, AnOther (and of course) Vogue Hommes Japan where he resides today as the Fashion Director, Nicola has pursued a multitude of other creative projects. Notably, Formichetti was made Creative Director of the French fashion house THIERRY MUGLER in 2010, has joined forces with Japanese fast-fashion retailer UNIQLO and become the counterpart to international pop and fashion sensation Lady Gaga. Perhaps it is cliché to claim that working hard will indefinitely result in achievement; but when looking at someone like Nicola it’s hard not to be disproved of this notion. Having an understanding of the importance of both work and play, Nicola’s
Another intriguing aspect of Nicola is his drive to understand how to reach his audience. Social by nature, Nicola has tapped into the social media craze which has become an extremely important approach in the way fashion is marketed. More so, Nicola has used his digital presence as a way to test out what works and what doesn’t work by way of interaction with his fans. Nicola claims to embrace technology and agrees that it is an essential ingredient for self-expression and for networking. This is evidenced in his use of platforms including Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram. This accessibility makes it incredibly easy to understand Nicola’s personal and professional point-of-view and how the two seamlessly co-exist.
Can you tell us a bit about your artistic endeavors? I haven’t actually stopped and thought about it, you know for me it’s always a continuation of one project to another... So I don’t even have time to think about it. Also I don’t really like to analyze anything, for me I just like to go with the flow, and with so many deadlines I have to fill, and so many ideas I have to come up with, I’m just like “Aahhh!”
So no, the only time I can think like that is when I sit down like now and have to think about it. I don’t really like to think about it that much. What is the first word, image or idea that comes to mind when you hear the word, “inspiration?” Have you found that over time what inspires you has changed? It comes when I’m not thinking about it, and when I’m trying to force myself to think about something it never comes... So I always let my mind wander, and when you’re not trying you know that you’ve got it. It’s interesting because I’ve been thinking about how creativity works and where it comes from and I’ve found that basically what I’ve been doing since I was little is daydreaming-- Just kind of looking at anything. Yeah, that’s my inspiration and from it I can let myself go. What is your earliest fashion memory? My mom was very glamorous in my eyes. She’s Japanese, and we lived in Italy, so she was the first one to introduce me to clothing and shopping. I used to go with her to the Italian boutiques like Armani and Versace and she was also the one who introduced me to Italian Vogue. It’s funny, my dad always thought my mom and I were crazy spending all of this money on clothes! Fashion is becoming the new “it” career, what advice do you have for those looking to attain “the fashion dream?” I really encourage everyone to work in a store, that’s where I learned everything and met everyone. You work firsthand with clothing, do the windows and interact with customers and I think that for me personally, that environment really allowed me to enter the core of the fashion community. School is also very very important, and it’s where you get to meet other people like you and communicate. [Also] just keep in mind, if you’re into becoming just famous, fashion is not the place-- It’s the wrong way to go about that sort of thing. I never wanted to be famous or anything, I just wanted to be behind the scenes - that was something that really never crossed my mind. People recognize me on the streets and it’s so weird! But I of course I try to be nice to everyone, because those people who come up to me - I was once like them. Things aren’t always fun, it’s hard - We don’t sleep, it’s hardcore but we do it because we love it and are passionate. [If you have doubts] I think it’s better to do it, than to not, so if you’re unsure just do it. It’s important to not think in one day you’ll become really really famous. It’s not really about success, I enjoy doing it- if I wasn’t famous, I’d still be doing what I do. I’d be doing what you’re doing now, I’d be putting myself and my work out there. How have you made your dreams into realities? Did you intern anywhere- what was your first fashion job? I knew I wanted to be doing something with fashion, I just didn’t know what. I’m kind of a late starter, I went to study architecture, but I didn’t really like it that much, so then I just went clubbing for three years and I realized I had to start really working in a store to pay for rent and the necessities. I was about twenty two years old when I got my first retail job as I said before and that’s how I went into a fashion environment. I met so many people that I identified with style-wise, and they were like “Yeah you look cool too.” So meeting those people opened up opportunities, like beginning work with Dazed & Confused - that’s really how I got into the magazine world. I mean honestly I didn’t know what I was doing. I wanted to look cool and meet other people who liked clothing and style, I think you just have to be passionate about it. For the first few years I didn’t make any money and I didn’t really care and I just needed money to buy the basics, but I would do it again because it was so much fun, we were just creating and making fun things with friends.
We now live in a digital age, where ultimately everything is a click away. Do you think this accessibility has changed the way people perceive fashion? The internet and fashion have become integral, does technology serve as an appropriate medium for self-expression? I’m obsessed with digital anything, for me it’s my only way to progress and I completely embrace it. I think it’s changed everything, and we just need to go for it. It’s about communication, I don’t believe print is going to die, but digitally you’re able to have a different experience. I think there are so many possibilities, and things we weren’t able to do before all of this. You know if you look at fashion shows [and technology] for example, there are live-streams and some people argue that enabling that is not keeping the mystique or exclusivity. But I’m always very open and I’d love for everyone to have front row seats! I mean for the first MUGLER show I did everything live: Backstage, before the show and even two days before and live-streaming the showroom fittings-- everything and the response was incredible. I was asking the viewers their opinions and I felt like I had millions of stylists with me! Like any creative industry, criticism in fashion, is inevitable, how do you deal with it and what advice do you have in terms of how to deal with it? I don’t read it, I really just listen to the people I trust, my friends, my friends who are journalists, my fans and people I have connections with and I do this because I know they aren’t going to be mean just because. It’s all very constructive, but it can be really hard... I mean super hard. I used to read all of that stuff and I went crazy! I think it’s when you’re progressing and becoming known to the world, you can’t really escape it, so I just take it for what it is. I listen to it and move on. I’ve had bad press - It was really upsetting and painful, especially because people can twist your words. But I learned and realized that now I’m in a position where people listen to what I say, it’s great that it happened because I’m learning how to project my voice in a positive way.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment thus far? I bought a house with my family in Japan, my parents sacrificed a lot to put me and my brother into good schools and things like that, so for me it’s such a great feeling to give back, especially to them. That’s a great accomplishment for me, but really I feel like I haven’t even started and it’s crazy to me that I really believe that! My chapter one has maybe just finished and I want and am about to do lots and lots and lots of things. I want to do more... But yeah, I think [my greatest accomplishment] is more personal, it’s just great when my parents are happy. How do you want to be remembered? This is interesting... I guess I want to be remembered as someone who was always trying to do something new and always pushing things. I care about what my friends think mostly, but I just want to be remembered as someone who was always honest and believed in what I was doing and never changed that. What are you dreaming about right now? I’m dreaming about how I thought when I was a child because I’m currently working on this Nicopanda project, and I want it to be very honest and personal. My mom had this box photos and I was looking through them and it all was very nostalgic. So that was a great way of getting the feeling of how I was thinking back then. I even went to my old elementary school in Japan and that was really great, so I guess I’m dreaming about the past and how I thought and acted when I was younger. I’m also I’m dreaming about Bali, I’m going there in a few weeks, I’m opening up a pop up store in China in two weeks as well, and in between I’m doing a MUGLER fashion-show in Singapore so between that I’m going to be in Bali for a week - I’m just going to do the whole Asia tour! I can’t wait to be on the beach and read books and just day-dream. By Rachel Schwartzmann
So this question is probably very familiar to you, but what advice can you give to those looking to break in the fashion industry? Like I said before, work in a shop, for sure. It’s a great way of meeting people and being in the environment. Interning is amazing, really anything- Work in a gallery, a library... You’ll be surprised how everything is so connected. You really just have to dream big, like really big, in terms of what you want to be and create and just let it happen... Let the world happen and be curious about everything! Even if it’s hard, just take a breath and try again, there are so many ups and downs. It’s also really important to have a good attitude - Remember, fashion people are not mean, we may look mean but there are a lot of deadlines and pressure. You can be aggressive at times, but never mean. If you couldn’t be you, who would you be? Hmm ...I would like to be a superhero and have special powers and things like that! I would want to fly and be really strong, oh and invisibility is good too and have telekinesis power to move things... So much! Yeah, a superhero would be cool! What is one question you wish people asked you more often? “What’s my hobby? What do you do on your spare time?” People assume I only work, which is not true at all! I love playing the piano - Chopin, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff I’m a supporter of classical music all the way. I also love running, and I always go to the park in Tribeca and run along the Westside Highway. Lastly, I love acupuncture - I’m actually kind of obsessed with it, it gives you great energy.
of rawwblog: One of the
most stylish bloggers in the southern hemisphere
WeTheUrban: To quote yourself, you literally have so much swag it hurts. And that’s saying a lot from someone that’s only seen you on screen! You have to know that right? [Laughs]. Micah Gianneli: Aww. Really? [Laughs] thank you. WTU: For those who aren’t too familiar with you, tell us a little bit about your work? MG: I always cringe at answering these questions – but, I’m a stylist and blogger (such clichés, I know, I know), I work with my partner Jesse Maricic, fashion and events photographer and we run raww together. WTU: Walk me through the rise of Micah, to this mega style guru, social media maven, and what I personally want to call you – the definition of a cool kid. MG: Wow am I really all of those? [Laughs] I guess it started with studying fashion design after high school. I worked in retail then left to pursue styling. Not long after I began I started raww and working with Jesse, who also left his full time job in 2011 to pursue photography full time. Later that year I worked with Topshop as stylist and personal shopper, going to London and launching the first store here in Melbourne. At the same time I became ambassador for L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival 2012. Everything just kind of snowballed since taking the risk of leaving the security of full time work to pursue something creative that I loved doing and was good at. It was a lot of hard work, sleepless nights, perseverance and love for what we do – and still is! All while remaining level headed. WTU: How did your collaboration with fellow rawwblog-ger Jesse come about? His talent coupled with yours seems like a match made in heaven. MG: Jesse and I have been together for ages – nine years this year! We both came from very different backgrounds in the beginning, then started working together a couple of years ago. I got into styling, he got into photography – we decided to combine our crafts and then it went from there. He’s my partner in crime – he understands the highs and lows of the industry, and it’s great to share both the success and the frustrations that come with it. People assume we’d drive each other crazy being together and working together – and sure we have our creative differences, but it would drive us crazier if we didn’t understand each other’s lifestyle pursuits. WTU: I’m sure you’re an inspiration to your countless readers and wannabe fashionistas and gurus. Who or/and what are your inspirations when it comes to fashion? MG: A lot of things inspire me; it’s hard to define exactly who or what influences my style. Fashion and people in general inspire me – from others’ style to music, etc. working with Jesse inspires me too – to keep going, to do something differently and to be creative. WTU: Your look is so versatile. You seem to have a dedication to your appearance and other’s perception of you, which I admire tremendously. What can you tell us about that? MG: Thank you! I never like to stay in the same place too long. Evolution and refinement are two things I feel strongly about – being able to evolve and refine your sense of style and self while remaining true to both. I’m not saying you need to change your hair style every month or the style of clothing you wear – it’s great being a chameleon but don’t do it for the approval of others, and don’t not do it from fear of what others think – always do shit for you and if others like it, great – if not, then they can go fuck themselves.
All photos by: Jesse Maricic
WTU: Aside from rawwblog you work in editorial, launches, events, print and online styling etc. Any favorites? MG: I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Topshop and its headquarters in London, launching it here in Melbourne and all the media frenzy that came with it. I also worked with Mimco on their Summer 2012 campaign in Palm Springs, CA, which was awesome too. I’d say they’re my two favorite styling gigs so far! WTU: So Rawwblog, your template, your home, your stage. How did that come about? Thank the heavens it did! MG: A few months after I started styling, I decided to start the blog for fun – documenting personal style, events, inspirations, showcasing brands I love, Jesse’s photography, etc. I really didn’t care if there were one person or one thousand looking at what I posted – and in some ways, I still don’t. Although it started in 2011 I feel we didn’t take it to the next level until last year. It’s a constant learning process, an evolution of style, techniques and photography – but the philosophy remains the same. WTU: What did you set out to do with rawwblog? MG: I started it for fun with no expectations or any idea that it would lead to what it has so far. It still has a long way to go and there’s always room for improvement. But something we’re really strong on is producing quality content with a focus on photography and styling, and a layout that isn’t tainted with advertisements. Sincerity is also important – the day you see us promoting something out of character is the day you know something’s up!! Its main purpose is to showcase our work, inspire others and share our loves. WTU: Being somewhat of the public persona that you are, what message or image do you like to put out? MG: A sincere and positive one. That whatever you do, you do it right and do it for yourself while remaining humble. WTU: What would ten-year-old Micah say if she saw/met you now? MG: What’s a blog?/That’s awesome! WTU: I feel like you would wear anything and look absolutely stunning in it. Any favorite pieces? MG: Not anything!! I know my limits, what works and what doesn’t – but never afraid to try something different but applying my own flavor. My all time favorite pieces are my black leather biker jacket and matte red lipstick. WTU: What is the fashion/clothing item that you are most thankful for existing? (Think; blue jeans, etc) MG: Definitely the leather biker jacket! WTU: Any new and exciting collaborations or projects for the New Year? MG: Yes! We’re always working on exciting things but the first would be a design collaboration with a renowned Australian label where I’ll have my own designed collection! It’s launching in March so you’ll have to stay up to date via raww ;) WTU: What pieces can you not live without? (Shoes, accessories, etc) MG: Leather biker jacket, basic top, jeans, heels and lipstick. WTU: Rawwblog has already achieved so much success. But this can’t be it, can it! Anything you’d like to do down the line? MG: We’ve definitely been fortunate to experience the things we have from it but also have worked very hard to get it! I think success is something you can never really attain, but more of a state of mind and something that keeps you motivated to keep going. In saying that, there’s always something we want to achieve, challenges we want to conquer, etc. We’re always working to improve so we can continue to live the lifestyle we’re living and get better at it. Ultimately we’d love to travel while working with the world’s biggest brands and documenting the entire journey, of course. WTU: Any advice to bloggers just starting out, hoping to reach at least half the recognition you’ve received? MG: Do it because you love it, work hard, genuine and remain humble. Be the person you want to meet. By: Dio Anthony
All photos by: Jesse Maricic
FLUME W eTheUrban: Where did the moniker Flume come from, does it have any specific meaning? Flume: It actually came from the track by Bon Iver, Flume.
WTU: When did you start making beats/get into music? Flume: What happened was one day I was walking to the supermarket with my dad and I came across this cereal box with a music making program inside of it. So I thought it sounded kind of cool, got the cereal, took it home and installed the program. It really was amazing to me how a song works and is put together with layers and everything, it really blew my mind at the time. Then I decided I wanted to make music and got better programs and practiced and it was a hobby for a long time. It never was really like a job or a serious thing until the last year or two.
WTU: What is the standard routine for composing a song? With what type of equipment? Flume: My equipment is quite basic! These days, an ideal work day consists of me waking up early, going to the beach in Sydney for a surf, get a bit of coffee, and then go and write music. I find that surfing really helps clear the head and bring about positive energy when I’m creating. I’m still in my bedroom too! Haven’t moved out. I’ve got a great set of speaks, mini keyboard, laptop, and that’s it.
the musical wizard WTU: Do you love performing live? What’s your show like? Flume: I quite like it! Production is obviously something I love, but actually performing is a very new thing for me. At the start it was quite difficult as being in front of a crowd is so much different than when you’re alone creating, but I’ve grown used to it and quite like it now! WTU: Many of your remixes have had a lot of success. what do you look for to bring out in a track when you re-create it? Flume: I look for a track that I love initially but I feel like I could take it in a different direction. If it’s a slow ballad of a song, and I love it, and I feel like it’d sound cool in a Hip-Hop direction or more of a dance beat kind of direction, that’s when I jump on it. When I think the song can be taken to a different place. WTU: Any mainstream people you’d love to connect and make music with? Flume: I get asked this question a lot, but the two main people I’d love to collaborate with are Oliver from the xx (probably one of my favorite male singers out right now) and Frank Ocean - he’s a genius at coming out with great melodies. WTU: 2012 was a big year for you. Do you have any specific musical goals for 2013? Flume: My first musical goal was to make a living doing what I love. Now that that’s happened and the album is done, I’m working more on the live show and might even get a bit of a band together as well!
t nineteen years young, and with over 47,000 + likes on Facebook, Alec Weitl of Sexy Sweaters has tapped into what could possibly be his cabride into fame and fortune. With nothing but the Internet at his side, this Seattle, Washington Native is anything but your average teen. Having used TUMBLR as his introducing platform, this young designer has started a line of provocative yet, ultrally cool sweaters. And much like the brand’s name, they’re sexy. I chatted with young Weitl about his designs, aspirations and what he made of all the buzz going around due to his sweaters that have yet to be released for purchase, but even still haven’t failed to garner the type of following that an artist can only hope for when starting out. “I was going to college at Evergreen State University, and I was really bored with class and I didn’t like waking up early in the morning. I was skipping a lot of school” says the college dropout. “Anyway, I was stoned in my dorm room 24/7 looking at tumblr and I would see these photo-shopped sweatshirts that Alex Gibson (badsmellingboy) did. I would see his designs and think, “wow they look so cool, I could do that!” So I did. Tumblr, described as a microblogging platform and social networking website, has over 86.8 million blogs, and attracts more than 13.4 million unique visitors a month in the United States alone. “I wanted to be able to look at my designs online. Blogs are the art galleries of the internet.” Says Weitl when asked why the site was his go to choice to present his creations. Sexy Sweaters, centered around pop-culture and everything NOW ranges from a Terri Richardson photographed Macaulay Culkin, smoking a cigarette in all its smoky glory, to a tabloid shot depicting a celebrity’s eating disorder. “I just realized how “American” my designs are. I like to take the extremes of what’s out there and show them to people. Sort of like what the news networks do. Except their intent is to induce fear when mine is to create joy. All the designs I’ve made are ones that make me happy.” Using such provocative images is certainly one way of attracting buzz, but it also makes way for those
opposed to said vision or idea of art, a la Lady-Gaga. “I remember after I posted the sweater with Rihanna’s swollen and bruised face there were a lot of people on Tumblr who saw it and were really angry with me. And it makes me wonder, what is so different about seeing an image on clothing rather than seeing an image on TV? I believe what makes an image used on a sweater so powerful is that it’s quite obvious that I intended for the image to be seen.” This young entrepreneur welcomes the backlash in a “come what may” fashion, fully understanding what he is doing. He continues; “It’s like I can pick anything and I specifically chose this exact image. The news does the exact same thing, but I think it’s easier to forget their intentions. They have the choice of picking any story they want. And what do they pick? They pick Lindsay Lohan going to court or Rihanna getting beat by her boyfriend. When I use the same images and put them on a sweater the intent becomes clearer: “I am picking this image for you to see.” Lucky for Alec Weitl, many across the nation are listening to the song he sings, and wanting more. His Facebook page for Sexy Sweaters has over 900 posts made by fans of the designs, begging for a release date. Alec Weitl is doing something right. “For a long time I just wasn’t focused on creating Sexy Sweaters in real life. But now I’ve been talking with a bunch of people who can get them made, and I’ve been getting samples too. Right now I don’t have a sample that I love 100% but I’m getting closer! I have a good feeling about this new person who contacted me about getting them mad. So we’ll see pretty soon if I’ve found the right place.” It’s evident that Weitl has something great on his hands, without even leaving the teen-year mark. One look at his tumblr account shows his age, but also oozes a quirky, indie, sex drugs and rock and roll vibe, that in some way perfectly embodies the style and inspiration behind his Sexy Sweaters. He adds; “I would describe my designs as sexual, glamorous, stupid, and perfect. Silly.” When asked about his personal style and influences he mentions a list of things that neither goes with the other. Among them? “Royalty, Egypt, blowjobs.” The boy’s eccentric to say the least, and we love it.
He’s planted his seed and is watching it grow, patiently. After all, his brand’s slogan is “Patience is Sexy.” Something his hungry and loyal fellow fashion buffs should keep in mind as they await the release of his product. As things move up and quick for him, he makes it clear that he won’t stray away from his original vision, and that includes taking requests on sweater designs. “Recently I found someone who is able to help me a LOT with getting things started. It’s weird because when I started Sexy Sweaters, I was not expecting to get them made. So now the way I design will be different because I’m not designing for the Internet; I’m designing wearable clothes. My personality will still be in the clothes 100%, but on the Internet there are certain things that work better than they would in real life so the way I design is changing.” With the success that he has assembled for himself, many would be shocked to know that working in fashion was not something he set out to do. “I always wanted to make things, not necessarily be a designer, but in the back of my mind I always knew that was something I’d get into. I expected that I’d be known for music first though, and then create clothes.” But don’t fret; this fashion prince has no plans on letting the mark he’s made with Sexy Sweaters fade. “My plans are to follow my intuition, allow things to happen naturally as they should. Focus less on achievement and more on appreciation of what I’ve already done.” He even has an idea that morphs both of his passions into one. “I’d like to create a traveling party where I get to DJ and people show up and there’s a booth where you can buy Sexy Sweaters. The drunk people will love it.” This 19-year old is very much a product of his surroundings. A true child living in the digital age. He has taken an idea created on a whim and transformed it into a business. Proving the fact that with knowledge of the Internet, coupled with the right amount of motivation, anything is possible. He’s a portrait of what many may refer to as the new form of the American dream. “The internet is the greatest tool for growing ideas” He says. Weitl is very much aware of the advantages of the interweb, and its power, and gives a bow to the resources that have helped him reach the point where he stands now. “I’m so proud of my generation because we’ve grown up with the Internet; we have the belief
that when we want to know something, the answer is right there on Google. When we want something we get it. It’s so funny to me that school taught me so many things I knew I would never use in my life. If I was in charge of a school, and I plan to be one day, I would give every kid a laptop and say, “Ask your questions and find the answers.” The Internet is our collective database of unlimited knowledge. Everything we know and everything we’ve ever known is on the Internet. WE HAVE ACCESS TO UNLIMITED KNOWLEDGE. This is a BIG deal! It sounds silly but think about it, how much information is on the Internet?” It’s probably safe to say that even though Sexy Sweaters is not what was intended when UCLA put out a press release introducing the public to the Internet on July 3, 1969. It’s only because giving a boy the chance to possibly make a fortune in the confines of his dorm room was too much of an ambitious thought, even for them. A few years ago it would’ve been hard to believe that a boy from Washington, a state that finally has its name in lights-- known as the home of The Cullens, a vampire clan, longing to live beside humans in Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Novels, would be home to a boy like Alec Weitl. But then again, Weitle doesn’t fit the mold of your everyday teen, or any mold for that matter. In a world of little monsters, self made celebrities, and celebrated art freaks, he fits right in. “I feel like I belong in a spaceship. The sort of spaceship that has millions of people and there’s neon lights and parties, and lots of ecstasy and acid. And like every now and then, it stops at some random planet and we all get off and party in the jungle. With fire breathing naked women dancing with snakes.” Seattle, coming in as the 26th biggest city in the United States is a far cry from a psychedelic spaceship. But it’s that very mindset that makes Weitl an example of personal success. His Heatherette-esque line of Sexy Sweaters will bring him many things if he continues to play the beat he knows so well. When asked what he thought of all the attention and overall positive response he’s received, he simply smiles and answers, “I always knew I’d be rich and Famous.”
YOUTH IN OUR DIGITAL AGE 75
Jacket: Jose Duran Leggings: Butch Diva x Omar Alexander SHoes:Deena and Ozzy Ring: :Laruicci Photography: Zachary Chick Model: Sami (Wilhelmina) Styling: Omar Figueroa MUA: Tess Money Hair: Lena An from Mizu Salon Executive Editorial Asst: Jillian Mercado
Blazer: Valentina Shah Necklaces: Theresa Dapra Pearl Handcuffs: Laruicci Shorts: Levis stockings: We love colors Shoes: Kimchi and blue
Choker: El Pajaso Bodysuit: Butch Diva Socks: We love colors Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell Flower in head: Theresa Dapra
Hat: Galaxy Army and Navy Gloves: Theresa Dapra Choker:El Pajaso
Acid wash jeans: De chemin Archie shirt: Valissa Yoe Archive Necklace: Theresa Dapra ring: lariucci 18
4 thingsthatareperfect 8 four 19 y.o.â€™s 14 paloma faith 16 5 international acts 18 tegan and sara 20 something about america 22 hot child in city 30 maxine ashley 34 audrey kitching 36 cannabis culture 42 theophilus london 43 perfect unfinished thought 44 charli xcx 46 streetwear 48 aforementioned desire 56 kim ann foxman 57 bombs away 59 nicola formichetti 68 micah gianneli 72 flume 74 boy wonder 76 the other side
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