WEDIDIT Co-Founders Talk 2017 Streetwear Lookbook, 'New & Unimproved' Tagline & Favorite Designers

Shlohmo
Haley Wollens and Kevin Amato

Shlohmo

Los Angeles music collective, label and fashion brand WEDIDIT just revealed its 2017 Summer Streetwear Collection. The lookbook, shot by 18-year-old photographer Aidan Cullen — showcases the group’s unconventional, self-described "new and unimproved" aesthetic and unique graphic approach to reshape the vision in its continued evolution as a technical loungewear apparel brand.

WEDIDIT — comprised of producers Shlohmo, Ryan Hemsworth, RL Grime, D33J, Groundislava, JUJ, Nick Melons and PURPLE — first got a start in fashion by making embroidered patches that they shipped out of their apartment, adding a download link for albums. “We always wanted to do the cover art for albums we released and flyers for the parties we were playing. When I was growing up and buying CDs at Tower or Amoeba sometimes I would try new bands based off their album art, and I think that the clothing is almost an extension of the album art,” Melons tells Billboard. “I don't know if there was ever a direct intention to get into fashion, but just to make something more meaningful than ‘merch.’”

WEDIDIT co-founders Melons and Shlohmo have taken the reigns on the collection. “Nick and I have always been into the clothing side of things. We've actually been making designs and shit since before we started WEDIDIT and before I was even making music,” he adds. “Then when we started the brand it was just natural that it was based around both music and clothing/visual design.”

Below, Billboard caught up with Shlohmo (born Henry Laufer) and Melons (born Nick Meledandri) about the new lookbook, their favorite designers, a "new and unimproved" tagline and their dream soundtrack.

You are both co-founders of the WEDIDIT collective. Tell me a bit about your mission and reasons for founding.

Nick: The mission initially was to create a place that we could release music from our friends. I think the mission is still the same, but we are now finding more friends across the world to release music with, and also continuing to build this amazing platform for like-minded people. All the time people tell us how they met new friends, even boyfriends and girlfriends who met 'cause one of them was wearing a WEDIDIT shirt. That shit is amazing!

Henry: It started as just a blog where we could share the stuff we were all making with each other once we had all moved to different cities for college. We started sharing other people's music, too, who were all part of the same underground internet music thing. It kinda just caught on and slowly developed into a real brand by 2011 or so when we actually started releasing music and clothing. 

What is home base for the collective in LA? What’s a typical day look like?

N: We have a studio in Hollywood that operates like a hub, but all of us are constantly working on other projects outside of WEDIDIT, so every day is different. I just spent the last year working on another musician's clothing line while Henry and D33J have been working on Corbin's album as well as their own projects. Even D33J has been producing another musician's project on an daily basis. We keep that stuff under wraps 'cause it pays us to continue building our company free of stress.

H: We all share a studio on Melrose where you can usually find us. Either that or at our respective homes watching Forensic Files or SVU. Our days are always different, though. Some days it's all music, working someone's album, producing, mixing, etc. and some days it's all clothing and design, talking with manufacturers and doing a shit ton of math. 

Is everyone in WEDIDIT involved in all aspects of the line?

N: The clothing is actually designed primarily by Henry and myself. It's sort of an ongoing collaboration.

H: Nick and I do most all the clothing except for when we ask one of our friends to design something for us. Like with the She Skin shirt from the latest line.  

What are each of your favorite labels or designers? Favorite item of clothing that you own?

N: I like a lot of the very famous folks like Issey, Craig Green, Kris Van Assche for Dior. But lately [I] have been inspired by smaller labels like Eckhaus Latta, Lefthand LA and this girl Olivia Kates who does blue ballpoint pen drawings on clothes. My favorite thing I own is a promotional sweater for Spike Lee's movie Clockers.

H: Martin Margiela, Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada. Graphically I'm really inspired by the skate companies I grew up on like Blind, World Industries and Toy Machine. Favorite item I own is probably this long sleeve shirt I got embroidered at the swap meet to say "cigarette 360" with a picture of a wizard casting spells. 

What was the inspiration for this year’s 2017 Summer Streetwear Collection?

N: We have yet to do themed collections and I am not sure if we ever will. Each piece has its own inspiration and comes from something quite personal that we are inspired by or making reference towards. The cohesiveness for each collection comes through our lookbooks and also that it is the same two people designing it every time. 

Shot by 18-year-old photographer Aidan Cullen. How did you connect and what is benefit of working with such a young talent?

H: We met Aidan through a mutual friend and all thought his photos were rad. We usually shoot the lookbooks ourselves, but for this one we thought it'd be cool to collaborate with Aidan, have him shoot it and pick the models. It's cool when you have similar taste and aesthetics -- it makes it easy to work on stuff together no matter what the age gap.  

Previous lines have been top sellers at retailers like Opening Ceremony. How has the aesthetic evolved since its origin and where do you see it going in the future? 

N: I feel like we have been growing as designers and learning more about what we find to be inspiring. I think that's a very crucial part of any visual work, to not only to find new sources of inspiration, but more importantly to better understand WHY something is inspiring to you. People can reference heavy metal graphic tees until the apocalypse hits, but what does it matter if there's zero personal explanation behind it? As I'm writing this I think I've made it all sound very serious, which it isn't, it's just clothing.

H: We've definitely been growing with the brand and maybe becoming more technically versed, but the aesthetic has stayed pretty much the same.

Tagged “new and unimproved” -- is that a reference to remaining completely organic and true to your vision without compromising to outside factors?

N: Because we aren't trying to switch up on anyone. It's new, but it's still the same freaks designing it!

H: Our entire ethos is based upon the motto "professionally unprofessional." Really good at being bad. We're always making fun of ourselves and each other, talking about being the best-worst company. 

What does “technical, loungewear apparel” mean to you?

N: Relaxed fashion. The type of clothing they won't let you into a bottle service club wearing.

H: For the sport of relaxing and/or hanging out.  

If you had to pick one song or album to soundtrack the 2017 lookbook on repeat, what would each of you choose?

N: Fugazi's"I'm So Tired" mixed into Crazy Frog with mad airhorns and shit. I actually think this lookbook feels closer to Deftones' White Pony album, actually.

H: Whatever the stock Apple slideshow song is. The acoustic guitar one. 

What’s your own personal favorite item in the new lookbook and why?

N: My personal favorite is the She Skin shirt because it gave us a chance to collaborate with someone we really respect a lot. I also don't think we've ever had a graphic that looks somewhat similar to what he drew for us.

H: Ya, the She Skin shirt and also the Crime Dog. 

You’ve developed a monthly podcast RIP FM as well. Any other collective projects/initiatives in the works or forthcoming?

N: We are working on a big pop-up in L.A. for the holidays with a retail partner we are really stoked about. We are doing an infomercial for a "musical instrument" company. We have a ton of music projects lined up that we have been working on for the last year. I'm working on some dog-related accessories.

Check out the full WEDIDIT 2017 streetwear look book here.

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