For the final edition of the year of our now regular Newsstand articles, I wanted to write something a little more long form for once & talk about the year we’ve had. It’s been a really wild ride & I want to thank everyone for participating / caring / paying attention etc. We’re a very small team & the support means the world.
Sitting down to write this feels like a pretty overwhelming task & I don’t know where to start… the obvious answer is start at January and work chronologically but each picture from this year I’m seeing sparks something else so this will likely end up being somewhat scattered with pictures throughout. This is essentially my annoying letter you get from your Aunt about everything your cousins did this year...
Started 2022 like I have the past 2 years, hand dyeing zippers at Juliet’s studio because I can never pick stock zipper colours in time for the upcoming collection. In the first week of January we got the final samples for the latest Wilson Boots & the Lanier Boots in the office. Almost a full year later the Wilson Boots are online as of a week ago & the Lanier’s within the next month, we just need to shoot something for them. Spent the remainder of January working on the AW22 collection & in Paris location scouting for our June show. The regular Newsstand updates have only started in the latter half of this year but we retrofitted articles on all this stuff if you want to go back and take a look!
February & March kind of blurred together. We shot & released the lookbook for AW22 via a 12 hour IG livestream. Followed that with a pop up in LA where our friends at Unfinished Legacy did live screen printing on the items we had. We released our SS22 collection and a few capsules. At the end of the month, I DJ’d a party for Juliet & got the text from Vince Staples about Coachella in a few weeks.
April started with shooting the campaign with Keith Oshiro for the Levi’s collaboration. I wanted to post the images as soon as we had them but hadn’t leaked anything since we started in March of 2020 so I wasn’t gonna start then. We started fittings for SS23, shot the video for Levi’s with Duncan & Rachel, designed more Merrell 1 TRL shoes (first ones are coming soon finally, I promise), Club Teal with Puff, finished Vince’s pieces and went out to the desert. It was terrifying getting there and being told to just hold onto the clothes for a couple days in my Airbnb and we’ll just link up a few hours before his show. I’ve never re steamed something more times in my life. Coachella is intense. Lot of $16 water bottles. An incredible experience regardless & Vince keeps amazing people around him. Zamar Velez, who shot the photos from the show, just put out a photo book called Tummy Ache which you should try to get your hands on whenever he gets them back in stock.
May was more SS23 fittings with the clock running out, working retail in New York at Juliet’s pop-up, more zipper dyeing, even more fittings & reality setting in that we get on a plane in a month. I don’t really remember anything else from May, it felt like it lasted 3 days.
June started with some pieces for Syd’s tour, shoutout Marquise Miller for pulling me in for that, last Hail Mary ideas for SS23, being on the phone with Ben Edgar for 4 hours a day and shipping what was ready to Paris before we left. We traveled with 22 suitcases, all with corresponding carnet forms this time. A mistake I will never make again. I don’t know if I’ve ever told that story in full anywhere besides at dinner 200 times but we did not have carnet forms in 2020 because frankly I didn’t know what they were. In short, a carnet form is a document you fill out that prevents French customs from confiscating your entire collection at the airport 4 days before your show & threatening to destroy it all like last time.
Seed & Soil. The name of our SS23 show comes from the obvious, planting seeds & watching them grow. SS23 was our first “real” runway show. While the show itself was fantastic, everything surrounding it will be the main memories. From the 6 months in the office with the team to actually being in Paris with everyone, being able to work with friends is the most special part. The night before the show we threw a block party for Fete De La Musique that 500 people came to, DJ’d by Pedro, Skinny Macho, Hank K & Tommy Gold - I did 2 hours at the end. The pressure of following up Skinny & Pedro back to back, the first 15 minutes felt like 3 hours. Without a doubt one of the most special days of the year/my life & blessed the entire day was captured by Justin Mariano. Doing it the night before the show was a questionable decision, but we all made it through on the two hours of sleep we had. When we do this again, the after party will actually be after the show next time. Sorry Savannah.
Set in the Jardin des Plantes, original score played live by Kaytranada, one of the most talented (and nicest) people in the world, modeled by an incredible cast of models and friends, directed by PlayLab & filmed by Andre Bato & co. (Insane sentence for me to be able to write). SS23 for me felt like RCI 2.0 while still very much “we aren’t particularly talented, we just try hard” spirit. Special thank you to Jakob, Jules, Saye, Emilia, Juan, Kazumi, Matteo, Caspe, Nico, Anton, Adrien, Ksenia, Jonas, Trey, Chris, Jack, Garrett, Flip, Ivan, Benji, Zach, Connor, Tom, Graham, my Mom, Max, David, Bradley, Ben, Archie, Jeff, Ana & everyone a part of this one... Big team...
July was a slow one from the exhaustion but we released the Levi’s collaboration in full, did another LA pop-up this time at 909, released our sunglasses with Thierry Lasry, and started working on giving Newsstand the attention it deserves.
August & September were another blur, this tends to happen after releasing a show or lookbook etc. More JJ pop ups, seeing Emilia (close friend of ours and coincidentally women’s fit model) on tour, another stage outfit for Vince for his Amazon music special (RPBMH is my favourite album of the year), releasing AW22 finally, starting bits of AW23 & mostly just a lot of the boring business side of the job.
In October we introduced the RCI Team Hikes in LA & released the capsule we did on Mt Wilson Observatory. This I know I’ve said before but if you get the chance to visit the Observatory I highly encourage you to do so. Our AW21 runway show was filmed there & what the Wilson Boot is named after. Side note, just got to see Dominic Fike’s last show of his tour & still can’t believe we managed to turn songs from his album into a 20 minute orchestra piece for that runway show. He has the best team in the world.
November (favourite month of the year) was hectic in the best ways. Tested a new party called “If A Tree Falls,” in Montreal & Toronto with the Saintwoods crew that we’ll likely start running in LA next year. Figured out the new RC Studio Chairs and learned how to screenprint on that large of a surface & got to interview Jean Dawson for a documentary I’m not sure if Bradley will ever release. Surprise, Juliet did another pop-up.
We ended the year with a Miami trip to see everything the PlayLab crew did with Architecture for Nike & finally got to start a project I’ve had in the chamber for over a year that will release in February.
I’m sure there’s so much I’m missing but in summary… the best part of this job is being able to meet, work with & even be friends with such inspirational people. It’s very hard to force creativity. The most important thing I’ve learned this year is how important it is to let your mind wander. Shipping packages, building office furniture, shooting product photos… all of these things are so valuable (even though they aren’t always fun or “glamorous”) because you aren’t distracted. The point is if you find something you love, you gotta give yourself a break here and there… That’s where the magic comes from.
Thank you all for an incredible year. Onto the next.