Tag Archives: Inspiration

6/30/12: There’s always something…

Okay, believe it or not, I am working on things…sorta.  I mean, everything’s done on my end.  Samples—check.  Line sheets—check.  I’ve even secured funding!  However, surprisingly, sales have proven to be a tough nut to crack!  And I’d thought that this would be the easy part.  Hmph!  Go figure…

I’ve been contacting denim shops via email to no avail.  Yeah, I know.  Go ahead and laugh; I deserve it.  I now realize that I was rather naive (to say the least) to think that I could conduct sales in this manner.  So now I have to figure out how to make buyers aware of my brand.  There’s always something

I’ve worked feverishly over the past few years, testing the market in order to perfect my product.  I’ve even garnered a modest cult following in the process, independent of either the denim forums or the bloggesphere no less!  I share that to say that I’d hate to be derailed at this point, especially on any silly technicalities.

Anyway, I’m going to be meeting with Howard Gee of AB Fits soon in order to pick his brain.  It’s highly likely that I’m gonna have to somehow get myself a qualified sales rep.  In any case, I’m looking forward to hearing what Howard has to share.  I have lots of questions…

By the way, just thought I’d share a few photos from a recent shoot.  I’ll reserve the details for a later time.  The samples shown are made from 14.5oz Japanese selvedge.  I also have some Cone Mills White Oak fabric on its way.  I plan on taking lots & lots of photos this time out!

I’d gotten this old Consumers Distributing catalog (1978-79’ season) some months back.

Man, I used to LOVE looking through these as a kid!  My favorite departments were the jewelry and the toy sections.  I remember badly wanting (but never receiving) one of those gold horn necklaces; I would’ve been the sexiest second-grader ever!  The catalogs seemed to contain endless amounts of stuff.  I’m talking everything from TV’s to transistor radios, patio furniture, clothes, appliances…you name it; they sold it!  As you can see, for the low price of $2.75 you could’ve had yourself a sporty denim bag back in 79’—woo we!  Haha…

Anyway, you can expect a quicker update next time.  I’ll keep you all posted…stay tuned!!

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Cheers,
Mark
oneculture
For those who love jeans
mark@houseofoneculture.com


2/07/2010: Inspiration and Influence

Below are the leathers from which my patches are going to be made. The artwork is not mine; these are merely test stamps.

The “rust” colored leather supplied by the label development company (on the right) is fairly standard fare. However, I was dead set on using “blond” colored leather as I want my artwork to pop boldly against the denim. So I purchased a very nice leather slab from a leather shop in San Francisco. With regard to my choice, aside from it having the desired color and thickness/body, what stood out most to me was its texture. Its surface doesn’t have a sheen like most leathers. Instead, the texture could be best described as sort of an ultra fine suede–pretty interesting looking.

As for thread, I’m undecided as to which color pallet I’m going to offer for 2010. In addition to my signature thread colors (1970 and 78’), I’m experimenting with another, more subdued color scheme. The correct choice should be more apparent once I’m done sampling. The final decision will depend on which pallet works best with the denim.

If I’m having a difficult time deciding however, then I may post photos of each sample in order to let viewers decide. I’d take opinions over the course of one month. The color scheme that gets the most votes goes into production. That’s an idea…

A word on inspiration and influence…

Inspiration is the genesis of any creative expression. oneculture is not the standard Levi’s/work wear inspired raw denim brand. I draw inspiration from all over the place. I tend not to be inspired by things themselves so much as I am by interesting aspects of things…peripheral aspects that have the ability to affect emotions.

For example, I’m highly inspired and influenced by visionaries—those people possessing unusually keen foresight, whose ideas leave lasting impacts. To that extent, as a business venture, I’d have to admit that oneculture has been influenced more so by film than by other denim brands.

As one example, one of my all time favorite films is Tobe Hooper’s 1974 classic “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. What began in 1973 as nothing more than a grainy, little low budget, independent horror flick eventually became without question one of the most influential horror films of all time. “Texas…”, like “The Exorcist” before it, even caused some terrified theater goers to walk out before finishing the film—now that’s badass, ha ha!!! I’m downright awestruck by the sheer power of what Tobe Hooper was able to achieve with nothing more than a fresh idea and a vision.

Another one of my heroes is legendary film maker and creative Bay Area native, Russ Meyer. Although being highly sought after and well respected for his creative eye and thrifty attitude, he ignored “Hollywood” for the most part. “Sell-out” is the opposite of what he was! He opted instead to stay underground, producing his own low budget films that remained uncompromisingly true to his vision. He died a wealthy man, having managed to make a great living simply by choosing to do what he loved to do: tell his own stories on his own terms…a true badass! I find his passion to be quite contagious!!

With respects to art in general however, architecture is my first love (and, for whatever it’s worth, John Lautner is my favorite architect). Drafting was the only class I enjoyed during my high school years. Hence, with regard to denim design, I draw most of my inspiration from lines. Curved, straight or jagged, lines are everywhere you look. For instance, there’s something I find quite captivating about the outline of a woman’s curvaceous figure. Or, rather, those lines that form patterns, arcs or angles that sneakily seep into your subconscious and hold your attention.

For example, I’d purchased a Jockey brand thermal shirt back in 2004; the same year that I’d gotten the idea to produce jeans. Back then, I was still trying to create a signature look for my brand. And the angular “V” on the front of the shirt caught my eye. I thought that it was interesting looking; it definitely made the shirt look cooler than if it weren’t there. So I figured that I’d try and create a similar affect by placing a “V” in the yoke of my jeans. And that’s where I’d gotten the idea for “The Arrow”. Anyway…

Arrow Inspiration

I’ll talk more about inspiration later.  If I don’t stop here, this post will become a novel! I could literally type all day about the various people, places and things that, to some degree, have helped to shape my vision for oneculture. I just thought I’d take a moment in order to share what’s on my mind. I’ll keep you posted. Stay tuned!

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Cheers,
Mark
oneculture
For those who love jeans

Available @ The BLUES Jean Bar (they ship WORLD WIDE!):

NOTE: the jeans run 2X larger than your natural waist size. This was done more so for shrinkage purposes, as you will lose a size after the first washing. Keep this in mind if you opt to place an order by phone. And enjoy!

1827 Union St
San Francisco, CA
(415) 346-4280

‎377 Santana Row
San Jose, CA 95128
(408) 899-4012

1409 Montana Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90403
(310) 656-7898

2210 N. Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 248-5326


11/22/09: Thread Color Reference

oneculture’s signature thread color references, “1970” (beige, olive and brown) and “1978” (orange, brown and turquoise), are comprised of colors that were prevalent during that period.

Brand Profile

Join me on facebook

Cheers,
Mark
oneculture
For those who love jeans

Available @ The BLUES Jean Bar (they ship WORLD WIDE!):

NOTE: the jeans run 2X larger than your natural waist size. This was done more so for shrinkage purposes, as you will lose a size after the first washing. Keep this in mind if you opt to place an order by phone. And enjoy!

1827 Union St
San Francisco, CA
(415) 346-4280

‎377 Santana Row
San Jose, CA 95128
(408) 899-4012

1409 Montana Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90403
(310) 656-7898

2210 N. Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 248-5326


6/23/08: Actively RETRO

Drift’s Mimosa Sunday event went really well. The weather was nice, the refreshments were flowing and the DJ tied everything together beautifully by providing a most excellent vibe with his super cool record selection-mostly stuff from the 60’s and 70’s (real music). I got to meet a bunch of new people, including a buyer from Macy’s. I’m nowhere near ready for a Macy’s order but, for whatever it’s worth, the buyer was really pretty:o) Anyway…

I had a great time educating people about my new line and giving away oneculture t-shirts. Ian-my fit model-told me that he’s actually seen people wearing oneculture T’s on a couple of occasions. I have yet to see that. Hopefully, I’ll be able to catch my first glimpse after this.

If I had to site one negative about the event however, it would be that there weren’t enough guys there. For my first few seasons I’m doing jeans for men. The reason being is that I don’t have the money to do a collection for both men and women. I had to make a choice and since I wanted the ability to wear my own stuff, I went with bros first. I didn’t let the fact that there weren’t enough fellas stop me though. I simply let the ladies know about the cool new denim line that I know their boy friends, husbands, brothers, etc. will appreciate…and it’s local art that’s manufactured right here in the Bay Area.

I saw a guy examining my jeans so I went over to answer any questions he may have had. He asked me if the denim I used was selvage. I told him no, and explained that I opted instead to continue my color scheme throughout the busted out seam.

The thread colors I chose for my first season-orange, brown, and turquoise–have deep meaning to me. They reflect my profound fondness for the 1970’s, when everything was brown, orange, turquoise, beige or olive. I’m perhaps the most nostalgic person you’ll ever meet. I collect old TV Guides and toys from the 70’s. And I saw an excellent opportunity in the thread colors and style names to incorporate my childhood fun times into my project. It’s as if I’m bringing my younger self along for the ride-Weeeee…I really am having a ball!!

I have several sample swatches of Japanese selvage denim but I chose not to use any of it. That would be too easy and uninspiring…lazy even. I know that some people are really stuck on selvage denim, but as an artist I’m more interested in letting these people know what’s on my mind rather than simply telling them what they want to hear.

I cringe whenever I see jeans that have the selvage line exposed on the little coin pocket–that’s got to be the most douche baggiest move ever!!! These, umm, “designers” have no voice and are only interested in letting their greasy hands slip inside your pockets. “Here are my basic 5 pocket jeans made from selvage denim; that’s right S-E-L-V-A-G-E, so give me 300 bucks!” Pah-lease…

This is not to say that I’ll never use selvage denim. But I’d rather pursue other ideas for the time being.

Anyway, after I explained my rationale the guy really dug my concept. He looked as if he were in his early 40’s so I knew that he truly understood. He said that he’d be back in August to try on a pair. And speaking of August, there’s another thing that I didn’t like: I only had two sample pairs that really weren’t meant to try on. In addition, they were label-less. I wish that my product was already on the floor so that I could’ve witnessed the jeans being tried on. That would’ve really been something.

Anyway, I just received my labels today. I’m going to take them over to the contractors in the morning along with my purchase orders and teck pack. They start cutting tomorrow. It’s finally beginning. I’m excited over the prospect of delivering the merchandise to the boutiques myself. I’m excited too about finally being able to wear my own product!!! The samples are a size 32×32 and I’m 6’2″, 215lbs…you do the math.

I’ve heard that things have a tendency to go wrong during production and I’m so not looking forward to that. But, as usual, I’ll keep you all posted. Stay tuned!

Mark
oneculture
For those who love jeans


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