s
c
Revolver Blog
Dialogue Series No.3 / WRK-SHP

I always brag about how amazing all the designers we have in the shop are, and about how important it is for us to have a common philosophy or a common way to understand design and life in general, but sometimes there are special people you come across that it is just love at first sight and that is exactly what happened the first time I met Airi and Ryan, brilliant minds behind LA based WrkShp.



Marta: Hi guys!! First of all, how did it all get started? how did wrk-shp come to life?

Airi: When we first started wrk-shp, we were both working at architecture firms in Los Angeles. We went to an exhibition called, "Skin & Bones" at Museum of Contemporary Art that connected architecture and fashion. It put buildings designed by well-known architects next to high-end fashion pieces by well-known fashion designers sharing similar concepts. This was the moment when I realized that with my background in architecture, I can apply it to different creative outlets.

Ryan: We met in architecture school and I think we had just planned on becoming architects (laugh). Once we started talking about doing a clothing line, we knew we didn't want to just have a clothing company. We started picturing the whole brand and wanted to have product design as a bridge back to architecture.



M: That makes so much sense! I think that is exactly what attract me from you guys the first time, the fact that it is not only a clothing line or a collection but much more than that, the way you guys approach design and execute it feels way more global than just designing a garment.

What are the first steps when designing a new collection? Do you start by a color palette, or a textile, or a pattern? What is the first inspiration that set’s all in motion?

A: I'm typically inspired by architecture-related ideas, like material or urban landscapes, buildings or art... we start with a concept and I start sketching based on that. All of our design decisions, like picking the right buttons to designing the set for our lookbook, we try to validate them by tying it back to our main idea - I think we learned this in architecture school. I also source all of our fabrics from Japan, since I was born and raised there, it's a nice way to tie back to my background.

R: Materiality is such a huge part of our design, whether it's clothing or the products. The Japanese fabrics are amazing and become an important part of the final piece.



M: Perfect mix right there! The minimalism and strength of architecture plus the organic and earthy feeling of japanese fabrics. I feel you guys as a brand embodied that concept to perfection, but how would you describe in a few words what your brand is? What are the fundaments of it? And what keeps you motivated to continue doing what you do?

R: First and foremost, wrk-shp is a design studio. We're not only designing clothing or products, or just architecture. We are basically interested in almost any type of projects and put our "wrk-shp" spin on it -- which is clean, minimal designs with a focus on materials.

A: We are so excited about how quickly our brand is growing so that is a great motivation to keep us going. We also have a dream of opening a live/work/shop space one day where we can build our own place to showcase our work.



M: Yes please! Looking at your clothes I can’t not wait to see how you guys would translate that to a space! Talking about spaces, why did you chose Voyager/Revolver as a retailer? What excited you about us and made you decide to let us carry the brand?

A: We love to work with retailers that offer not just clothing but other products. Voyager is so great for us because you'll have our clothing and home goods so customers can get a better picture of our brand that way. Not only that but it has been so nice to work with you & we love how you care about the story behind every brand. Plus you have such great taste!

R: We also think that Voyager carries lots of great independent brands, and we are thrilled to be included in the mix!



M: Awww the feeling is mutual! We are more than happy to have Wrk-Shp at the shop not only because it is amazing but also because we really support and believe in what you are doing, which as you know is probably the most important thing for me. Seeing the brands that I love grow makes me so happy!

How do you see the line in 10 years? Where would you like to see it?

R: Well this sort of goes back to when we mentioned our dream wrk-shp space. Since we are architects, we are kind of obsessed with having a space we designed. The ultimate goal is to have a store/showroom space with a design studio connected to it.

A: We want to have customers walk in and discover all the different things we do. We love the idea that someone will come to our store for a dress, but leave with a house (laugh).

R: or vice versa.

M: Please, please make that happen! I will be the first one waiting at the door on the opening day!! 

 

Shop WRK-SHP here

CHAPTER SS15 + ELLSWORTH KELLY

During World War II many young American artists that were drafted into the armed forces were placed in a secret division of the United States Army, labeled “The Ghost Army”. Ellsworth Kelly was among these young artists that served in this special unit. 

 

The Ghost Army forces, would set up inflatable tanks, fake camps, and large speaker systems to draw enemy surveillance away from where actual troops were hiding out. Kelly, was inducted to this deception unit after initially being a part of the 603rd Engineers Camouflage Battalion. 

Shop Chapter

 

Cine / AT HOME WITH KAAREM

Celebrate the warmth of being at ease, to be restless, contemplative, playful, silly; that ability to feel at home in our own skin anywhere, everywhere.

A production by KAAREM

Ở nhà ngày nắng

(At home, a sunny day)

A poem by Tra Bich Nguyen

Music by Sonho De Magia by João Pernambuco

Directed by Chuong Pham and Lena Bui

Featuring Honey Nguyen

Produced by Kathy Minh Bach

Shop Kaarem here.

Interview / HARPUTS

We caught up with our friends from Harputs after their Paris A/W 2015 presentation to pick their brains on versatile design, influences and the newest, smallest member of the Harputs family, baby Frankie. 

Tell us about how you started the concept behind Harputs Own. It's been going a few years strong!

We love designing and constructing thoughtful clothing that people live in. We wanted to make original, smart designs where one piece addresses multiple wardrobe needs, but we also create lots of simple, foundational clothing that is worn one way.

You have quite the gifted team. What are everyone's roles behind the brand?

Everyone does almost everything. We're a team of single-tasking, multi-talented people that can pick up each other's jobs and finish them off. Between us the team remains quite small and efficient. 

Versatility seems to be a huge concept behind your brand. You've even come up with instructional videos! Is it difficult coming up with a product that can be worn in so many ways?

We like the conceptual idea of the end-user deciding at the moment how to decide to wear that piece--either in a more practical or a more aesthetically driven way. Small details like pocket placement, the addition of snaps, or the size of the armhole changes the shape or functionality of each piece. 

What influences you and Harputs as a design house?

Our past pieces often influence us the most--we often use them as foundation for future projects, whether it's a different combination of fabrics, how we construct them, or knowing what doesn't work that we wouldn't do again. We're open to a lot, which is why our range and style is so wide. We are sometimes commissioned by private clients to make a piece we normally would not but that upon completion becomes us, or we become it. 

You also do a lot of in-house, custom tailoring at your studio space. What is the craziest project that a customer has had you work on?

It's a tie between the Bichon Frise dog shirt complete with faux fur and the binding/blinding/gagging harness for a regular customer to use on her husband. We are working on learning to say no. 

Gus and Robin, you recently had a son, Frankie. How has parenting changed Harputs design and brand?

Frankie came to work with us for the first 8 months of his life. We had to narrow our focus and work a lot smarter, since we were completely and happily distracted in a whole new way. He's shaped our long-term perspective and given us a more promising future.

How has living and working in the Bay Area influenced how you create things?

It's hard to determine how it could be any other way, since we've always been creating things here. San Francisco isn't the obvious choice to start a fashion business, but our network and understanding of the city is one of our best assets. Even though this is not an apparel manufacturing city, all the materials we need to make everything we make can be found amongst our local suppliers. We will see San Francisco become more of a fashion city in the coming years, thanks in no small part to the influx of new money. We are already seeing it happen downtown, finally, with the arrival of cooler brands like Margiela and Marni. We look forward to seeing more great independent boutiques open here, and that always shapes a fashion culture of a particular place.  

We are excited to here that you showed Harputs at Paris! Are there other new developments happening with Harputs?

Paris was pure inspiration--the apex of contemporary fashion, with flawless street style, heavyweight designers, and of course perfect croissants. We love how Paris Fashion Week offered the chance to present a collection, a collaboration, and a party, all in unison. We like how that turned out, and are thrilled to bring that experience home.  Our Autumn/Winter 2015 presentation at our home studio is a great opportunity to see what we do, learn more about upcoming collaborations, and share a drink with friends.

See their new Autumn/Winter 2015 presentation at their studio May 13, 6-9pm.

Harputs
109 Geary Street
no. 2
Downtown San Francisco
  • Page 1 of 79
  • Page 1 of 79