I never knew how much music impacted the fashion world. It wasn’t until I published my first (and only) academic article on tight pants and emo culture that I saw the correlation between the two. They say clothes don’t make the man (and I say it doesn’t sell the sound), but when you have a brand that is sewn with stiches of optimism, then, I believe, there is a little leeway.
This past October, Nick Martin, guitarist for hardcore band D.R.U.G.S, along with Daniel Ruben, Alex Lopez, and Noah Russell, released gear under their new clothing label, Lost & Loveless. Along with their teddy bear, Tag, the crew aims to promote clothing that is not only comfortable but comforting.
Nick happily elaborated more on the company’s plans for the future, children’s toys, and charities, which may or may not cater to adopting unwanted and forgotten stuffed animals.
ASHLEY JEAN: Lost and Loveless is, as you have so eloquently stated on your website, a brand that offers comfort in a seemingly apathetic world. Aside from the message attached to the clothing, what is it about the actual gear that makes if comfortable? Is there a process in picking and choosing material? I mean, you aren’t using any itchy wool products, are you?
NICK MARTIN: We personally go through multiple companies to ensure the products we print on are materials we would want to wear. The last thing we want is any sort of itchy shirt or something that irritates the skin. We will never compromise the comfort of our clothing to save a few extra pennies.
ASHLEY JEAN: What I really admire about your collection is that, even though there are clothes for boys and clothes for girls, there’s really not too much of a difference between them. I was waiting to see some skimpy tight fitting piece for a gal to wear. Unfortunately, not all of us are the model types, and at the same time, your target audience is essentially teenagers. Do you keep body image in mind when making clothing? What kind of image do you hope to help promote?
NICK MARTIN: We are not an upscale fashion brand that caters to the “modeling” world. We want to cater to everyone of all shapes and sizes. We do keep that in mind because our message promotes universal love & respect. We’d be going against our own message if we chose to cater to one specific sect of people.
ASHLEY JEAN: L&L’s mascot is a bear named Tag. How did you come to chose a teddy bear as your mascot? Why not a sock monkey? Or is there an actually a story behind Tag?
NICK MARTIN: Sock monkeys require for someone to put their hands up its ass and control its life’s every movement with no apparent freedom. Tag represents the opposite of that. Next question.
ASHLEY JEAN: It seems like toys, aside from music, is also something of a major influence to you, as Lost ad Loveless has also teamed up with Toys for Tots. Do you think L&L will branch out to the younger music audience and launch a series of Tag related toys and stuffed animals?
NICK MARTIN: L&L has many plans to cater to kids. We want to make children’s clothes and also make actual Tag teddy bears, while also incorporating a charitable aspect behind it. We’d like to donate a bear to a disadvantaged youth for every bear sold. So when a kid orders a bear, they know they’ve given back to the community; instilling the point that people of any age can help and provide for the communities around them.
ASHLEY JEAN: On the subject of children and charities, I recently donated to The S.A.R.F. (The Stuffed Animal Rescue Foundation) — an organization devoted to finding homes for unwanted stuffed animals. Do you think this is a charity that you might be willing to team up with? I think Tag would be into it.
NICK MARTIN: That’s amazing! Kudos to you on the donation. I would love to look into this charity. I’m going to research it as soon as I’m done with this interview actually. Thank you!
ASHLEY JEAN: Although Lost and Loveless was originally inspired by Warped Tour, do you think that your clothing will continue reflect that time of year, or do you hope to release gear that more seasonal? (Scarves, dudes. That’s where it’s at!)
NICK MARTIN: We are releasing seasonal clothing. We currently have some really comfy crew necks available for the wintertime. Scarves would be awesome!
ASHLEY JEAN: I have so many shirts and other miscellaneous merchandise from bands who started clothing lines at one point. However, a lot of them I don’t feel inclined to keep. I look at some of the stuff and go, “what was I thinking?” How do you plan to make L&L a timeless collection?
NICK MARTIN: We want to brand ourselves in a timeless fashion, which means we want to market ourselves to all varieties of people and cultures — not just the music scene. That’s where we are starting but plan to branch out as much as possible and not pigeon hole ourselves into one specific market.
ASHLEY JEAN: And finally, because this is Golden Mixtape, I’d like you to make me a- you guessed it – mixed tape! If songs were clothes, what would be your top 5 favorite songs to wear?
“Blackbird” – The Beatles
“Love Of My Life” – Queen
“Signed, Sealed, Delivered” – Stevie Wonder
“Concubine” – Converge
“My Swagger Has a First Name” – D.R.U.G.S.
Originally published on Dec 19, 2011