Joey wears Gucci hat, Versace sports tee, Polo Black Label jeans, silver Jordan 1s, Kenzo iPhone case
Bradley wears Louis Vuitton Beanie, Bradley Garret Leigh Sunglasses and aNYthing T-shirt
Many of us who grew up in the 90s look to the years just before 9/11 with a certain reverence. There was a feeling of naivety growing up in that seemingly utopic time, a feeling of youthful confidence expressed through personal style. Most of us wore variations of the same gear: backpacks, jerseys, hoodies, t-shirts and jeans. The differences in design were subtle from piece to piece, but it was the brand names (and their associations) that set items apart. Looking back at how we dressed through that period, there is certainly an element of disgust and regret, but we cannot deny that underlying layer of nostalgia, that feeling we had rocking the gear the first time around.
We’d mix mall labels with sneakers and covet luxury items that were unattainable status symbols. Brands were more than a representation of taste or quality, they could provide a sense of belonging; entrance into a cooler world. This is an emotion that new labels unabashedly evoke in 2013. Consider this editorial an ode to unsubtle branding and the powerful impact it continues to have on fashion.
Rhamier wear Crooks & Castles Fitted & Supreme L/S T-Shirt
“I was going through a mallrat-eurotrash-pinoy-guido phase in 2001, 16-17 years old wearing all sorts of goofy logo-heavy shit meanwhile tapering my eyebrows, lining up my non-existent sideburns, spiking my hair, etc. Strangely, I was voted best dressed junior year of high school in Berlin…? Of all the prodigies at the time, Aaliyah sticks out most in my mind. In particular, Red Album Aaliyah in the We Need A Resolution video dancing on a virtual stage, wearing a loud silver D&G monogram belt—a belt I subsequently became obsessed with. When I moved to New York in 2002 and finally had access to ebay, I went HAM, scoring a knockoff DG belt which I proudly wore with a pair of real D&G bleached- washed elastic jeans. Same year I bought some Burberry fabric to sew on my AF1s. Over a decade later, Rocky and I shot this with friends in celebration of my 28th birthday.
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New York is all about evolution and change. The fast pace and frenetic pace ensure that trends, influencers and scenes come and go. One person who has been a staple of the downtown New York cultural landscape for years is Heron Preston. You may have seen him at gallery openings, fashion shows or perhaps just through the internet. He came up in the pre-tumblr internet landscape and has worked with industry heavyweights like Nike. I picked his brain about his viewpoints on style and his involvement in the BEEN TRILL.
How has your personal sense of style evolved over time?
The girls I’ve dated and their influence on me, has played a huge part in evolution of my style. traveling has also played a part, my vibes and the style of my closest friends. All of that shit influences me.
Heron Preston wears BEEN TRILL x 40oz Van Hashtag Yankees Snapback, Vintage Fox Racing Long-Sleeve, Nike sneakers
What influence has being in New York city had on the way you dress and the lifestyle that you lead?
NYC is all about “breaking the system” to me. the power of youth… its a city you can stay young forever and do what you want. that attitude has been the biggest influence on my lifestyle and way of dress.
Introduce how BEEN TRILL started out and what it means to you. What do you want to achieve with BEEN TRILL?
My close friends Matthew Williams, Virgil Abloh and Justin Saunders who are Kanye’s art directors hit me up one day. They had just started something special (Been Trill) and recruited me. We are an art direction collective / dj crew. We host and DJ parties, design clothes and experiences with our network of friends, hi-jack internet visuals and disrupt the system. In a nutshell, we create rare heat, package it and voila. Just trying to stay clever and have fun and experiment with our ideas.
What is your approach when it comes to designing clothes and are you gonna keep doing it?
I start with what will get under my skin, but the search for that emotion may take a day, or a year. But when i feel it, i go hard. I design for me.
Heron wears: Obama beanie, self-designed long-sleeve t-shirt, vintage Avirex leather bomber
What’s your favorite piece that you own. What’s still on your list?
My favorite piece right now that I own may either be my 50 cent bullet proof leather vest or my black B-3 bomber shearling jacket. Both dope pieces to layer with. On my wish list is a Acne motorcycle jacket… I’ve had my eye on one lately that I must get!
Heron wears: Vintage leather vest, Pyrex Vision Hoody, Nike Air Yeezy 2
Some of Heron’s current favorites
What’s relevant in pop culture to you in 2013 and beyond?
High taste culture.
Photos and writing by Rocky Li