Co-founder Seth Epstein on transforming the agency’s swag into its own business
Content agency Los York has been a multidisciplinary business since its launch in 2012 and, to see in the beginning of 2018, it has added another creative endeavour into the mix.
‘Los York Label’ is a new apparel line that was born out of employees being peppered with questions about Los York swag.
Instead of keeping the Los York line for employees and clients, an entire brand has been created with its own ethos - which is naturally interlinked with the whole of Los York - and a gorgeous launch film to boot.
Intrigued to know more about it’s creation, LBB’s Addison Capper chatted with Los York co-founder Seth Epstein (who’s also a co-director of the launch film) to find out more.
LBB> I’m always intrigued when creative agencies extend their design to something more physical. What inspired you to launch your own clothing range?
SE> We have always taken our swag seriously, and people outside the industry would even stop us on the street and ask where they could get a shirt. Clients would say the same, and so after hearing that so many times we realised you can only go against the will of the universe for so long.
LBB> What are your long term plans for that section of the business? Will you keep it quite low-key or look to push it out wide?
SE> We see ourselves as a creative artist laboratory, so we are taking it on like an experiment - trying different things, using it as inspiration, and seeing where it leads.
LBB> Tell us about the clothes - how would you define them and why did you decide to take this route?
SE> Los York Label is inspired by streetwear and sneaker culture mixed with skate and surf culture. It’s something the team shares a passion for. Ultimately, the line is really functional and comfortable.
LBB> Its inspired by “culture of cool” disciplines - what do you mean by this?
SE> It’s the idea of the cross-pollination of sports, fashion, technology, sneaker culture, social media, travel… and how those ideas are shared instantaneously online.
LBB> The range is designed for the “creative nomad” - how would you define a creative nomad and what inspired the term?
SE> Los York is a mythical place where great creatives collaborate and in the future we can see a world where we choose to pay taxes not based on where we physically live but what ideas and beliefs we align with. That’s where the idea, Citizen of Los York, derives from and by our very nature, I think creatives are nomadic in how they search out inspiration.
LBB> How does the clothing range encapsulate the ethos of Los York?
SE> It points back to this idea that we are all creatives who work and collaborate all over the world constantly. We are influenced by each other and culture at large. The way we say it on the website I think is probably the best encapsulation: “Standing in a future of a borderless world where ideas rather than location connect us, citizens of Los York are global nomads of the arts.”
LBB> What were your aims with the aesthetic and tone of the launch video?
SE> We were inspired by the past and the future. A tribe’s myths and stories for thousands of years have been passed down through dance and ritual. A Global Nomad of the Arts is someone who is all about expression and the search for letting their deepest and most connected part of them out. Great creative to us contains a primal truth. So we stood 30-40 years in the future and envisioned what a global nomad might be like and combined it with the primal yearning to express and tell stories. We wanted it to be primal yet future minded.
LBB> Who directed it and why were they right for the job?
SE> Lindsey Byrnes and I collaborated on it. Lindsey signed with us as a commercial director and we wanted to do something together. Lindsey has done a bunch of music videos and is an accomplished photographer as well. She embodies the Los York ethos.
LBB> Any parting thoughts?
SE> Yes, the music was done by Jimek, who is a composer out of Poland. He is a genius and an amazing human being. If you haven’t seen his Hip Hop Orchestra, it’s mind boggling - especially when your realise it was an encore on the back of a main performance.
And, I’d add that now more than ever, protecting expression and valuing a global mindset has become too real. Being part of the human family that recognises we are all connected and we all want to express ourselves and be heard is what being a Citizen of Los York is all about.