How was the weekend? Did you manage to get some Christmas presents bought? Being completely honest, I didn’t, I wish I did but I didn’t. I had loads of other important stuff to do that just got in the way i.e. my 3 beautiful kids to entertain, a wife to romance and, of course, a million pics of my threads to take. “Wait, wait, I need to take that again, the angle wasn’t quite right”, delete, start again. Here goes, 10 second timer…never the 3 second as it’s simply not long enough to prepare 😉 Lol! Thank the lord for e-commerce and overnight shipping eh?!
Anyway, enough of me and on to the important. Tonights’ 10@10 is a first in it’s own way, it’s still focused on a brand @lotstockandbarrel but a brand with a difference. A lifestyle brand/store LS&B focus on the customisation of denim. It can be vintage or new, there are no rules here but they modify other brands products and make then completely bespoke and unique for the individual that decide they want a true one-of-a-kind piece. It’s an amazing journey for both the product and the person.
In a world where fast mass fashion owns 99% of the market it’s completely refreshing to interview a company that see fashion through a different set of aviators!
Benjamin (LS&B Founder) really stood out to me because of his appreciation for being asked to be part of this project. He is truly grateful at being given the chance to speak about his company which is very humbling as we really wanted his backside in the hot-seat so we could create a badass feature!
MEET THE BRAND BEHIND THE MENSWEAR
NAME: Benjamin Phillips
COMPANY: Lot, Stock and Barrel
ESTABLISHED: Fall of 2013
LOCATION: Los Angeles
SIZE OF TEAM: 10 Employees
SPECIALITY/COMPANY FOCUS: Lot, Stock and Barrel is a full service design studio and retail concept. We provide specialized creative services to the retail, marketing, fashion, apparel, entertainment and hospitality industries. Both of our Los Angeles retail studios include in house tailoring and customization services for both vintage and modern garments.
1. Straight forward, please tell us, how did your company Lot, Stock and Barrel start out?
The LS&B concept was born out of our teams passion for retail, apparel, marketing and design both in the modern and vintage context. We want to create a welcoming and engaging experience for both our retail and design studio clients every time they step foot into an LS&B store, pop-up, or event. Transparency and client interaction is our number one focus in our design project approach. The more we can enable creative freedom and transparency in our design concepts and customization services from the LS&B position, the more relaxed and engaged our customers feel, which in turn produces the most unique and fun designs possible, whether it is a large scale design project or a one on one customer tailoring appointment. We want the best and most unique experience every time.
2. Tell us. What does a day in the life of yourself look like? What’s your daily work routine?
Very Full! The LS&B Team thrives on being busy and working at capacity so if we’re not on site at one of our LS&B Retail Studio locations in Downtown LA or West Hollywood, we are most likely focused on long term design projects, brand collaborations, or event programming with our mobile Tailor Shop experience which includes chainstitch embroidery and classic tailoring services such as repairs, sew downs, or general denim tailoring. Between all of our Tailor Shop Team members we spend around 150-175 hours a week specifically on a sewing machine or chainstitch machine, on top of our daily routines of operating two retail locations and managing design projects, so we’re pretty busy! However, everyone on our team including our retail team knows how blessed and fortunate we all are to have such incredible opportunities for the various projects LS&B has worked on in the past and present.
3. What is your most popular category? Why do you think this is?
Our most popular and fastest moving category is definitely vintage denim, which is great because we all love vintage denim and come from a denim background! Having on-site tailoring and customization services ensures our customers can leave with a garment that is not only unique in its vintage quality, but also personalized either by fit or custom chainstitch options. It feels great to help our women clients who love the look of vintage denim but not always the fit, tailor and customize the silhouette to their liking or specific body type. Or in the same way, work with a musician and his band for an upcoming tour by developing matching stage attire utilizing our fleet of chainstitch embroidery machines on vintage denim jackets or military pieces.
4. What’s your personal favourite category when it comes to the items you manufacture/rework?
For the past two years LS&B have focused heavily on re-worked and customized denim, but recently I have really enjoyed creating custom chainstitch designs on vintage made in the USA flannels. I like the mixture of unique and interesting plaid designs as the foundation for large embroidered graphic typography and outsider style art.
5. What are your thoughts on the rise of Instagram fashion and the chaps that post their clothing on there to help spread the word of their fave brands?
I think social media is a great tool and also necessity to grow your brand or support your favorite designer. I am thankful that LS&B has a platform to share all of our teams hard work and creative output to a broad audience globally. It’s also an incredible way to stay inspired, motivated and keep up with your industry friends or favorite designer who may be across the world. I think as long as you can stay focused on your brand narrative and story, and stay true to what your brands core values are, social media is a great tool to spread your passion. It’s easy to get sidelined, panicked, unmotivated or angry by reading too much into social media at times, so we like to keep our eyes focused forward and on our own papers in any terms.
6. Has it made an impact on your business at all, do you think?
I feel it has made a very important positive impact. Especially since the LS&B Tailor Shop participates in numerous mobile activations throughout the year, it’s a great way to share our travels and services with the industry. It’s also a fun way to share the work we have created with our clients on a daily basis.
7. Is there any feeds on IG that you particularly like to check-in on regular. What brands are you fond of on there? What menswear feeds to you like to peruse?
I like all of Amy Levertons (@lamolevo) posts and Denim Dudes (@denimdudes) posts because she’s been a constant source of positivity and support for LS&B since day one. We’re also good buddies in real life so it’s so great to see her independently traveling the world and quickly becoming one of the denim industries youngest and most exciting voices. She’s honest, speaks her mind and sees value in both the old and new, much like the LS&B mentality.
I also support the team at Virgil Normal (@virgilnormal) because we have been honored to work with the incredible design and styling duo behind Virgil Normal Shirley Kurata and Charles Staunton. They throw monthly art and music parties in a completely fun, inclusive and non-pretentious setting, and are constantly creating fun tee shirts, hats and accessories daily. They never stop moving, and it’s awesome.
I’ve already spent a few years entrenched in the menswear industry, so I really enjoy brands that use vintage inspiration in a very modern, unique, or twisted way. I am really fond of designers that are culturally self aware, and not necessarily too serious or inspired by nostalgia or satire. Right now I think Kyle at Brain Dead (@wearebraindead) is killing it. I also can not believe how talented of an artist Mike from Lotties (@lottiesskateshop) is. I’ll always have a spot in my heart for Mark Mcnairy as well (@markmcnasty) because he’s always been supportive and kind, and seamlessly walks between the serious and absurd everyday. He gets it, and isn’t afraid to go out on a limb and chainsmoke while doing it.
8. A quick one about you. Other than the business, what passions do you have in life? What flicks your switch and helps you relax?
I like boxing and going to the gym, I just wish I had more time to focus on it. I am extremely thankful to my good friend Zach Wohlman who trains at the legendary Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood under Freddie Roach for really getting me into boxing and understanding the sport. One of our LS&B retail team members Ivan Bureau is also an incredible amateur boxer and trains at another one of my boxing gyms City Of Angels in DTLA.
9. What do you consider to be the best thing about your business and why?
The best and most rewarding is building a business based on creativity and design with my friends and people I admire. Everyone on our team is here for a reason and honestly brings something special and unique to the table. It’s rare to find that right combination when operating a small business where every little decision matters, but LS&B has been extremely lucky and blessed to have a team that works very hard right now and most importantly loyal to one another. That’s what matters to me. We want to create incredibly unique and interesting designs and partner with people and brands that aren’t afraid to be themselves and tell inspired stories through apparel.
10. And Lucky Last, You’re going to be stranded on a desert island and you can take 1 outfit (4 items) only with you. And 1 choice of drink.
What would they be? And Why?
It’s a desert island so I’m not going to say jeans. Uhh…I am confident with Adidas Track Pants, Adidas Slides, Allen Iverson Bethel High School Jersey, and like a RLX windbreaker with plenty of pockets. I will need water, but if it’s like a survival kit being dropped out of the sky to me, cases of La Croix Pamplemousse.
Loved this Benjamin, really enjoyed this feature. Maybe it’s because I came from, and still do, a vintage clothing background where the ethos of reusing worn threads to create a modern product has always been a focus point throughout my adult working life with the stellar #glassonionhq team! You folks should really check out the LS&B guys in LA if you’re ever at that end of the globe?! They also know how to throw a P-A-R-T-Y.
So moving onto Thursday, this week we have Greg the @denimhound. Greg is a fellow blogger within the denim world (www.denimhound.com) and knows his shit when it comes to all things indigo. He’s a top dude and sits in the 10@10 chair this Thursday.
So enough from me but before I leave there are jut two things:
1 = Click SUBSCRIBE via the footer below. It’s so much easier to say in touch that way.
2 = Visit the store via the banner below. There are a few products on there from true US small businesses that create amazing product. Perfect for christmas…
Have a top week and see you again before it’s out!