Sean Reveron: Music as the Basis
Sean Reveron’s past spans two coasts and more than his fair share of prominent subcultures. Growing up on the West Coast, from an early age Sean’s first experiences into the realm of music came courtesy of his mother. Working at the famed Whisky nightclub on Sunset in West Hollywood, Sean’s mother first introduced him to the likes of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabath. From there, the door was blown wide open for exploration into numerous music genres, which has come to be an integral part of Sean Reveron’s RockersNYC label. The prevalent music theme, along with surreal imagery, has come to mark the brand which has since turned the corner with a new label launch titled God’s Prey as well as some upcoming collaborations for the 2010 Fall/Winter season. In the following feature we delve into the extensive musical background of Sean Reveron as well as gaining some of his thoughts into his new brand and collaborations with the help of his better-half, Meghan MacRae.
Interview: Eugene Kan
Photography: Stephen Wordie
Interview with Sean Reverson (SR) & Meghan MacRae (MM)
With a strong musical background, how does music influence your lifestyle and your aesthetic?
SR: To me, music is something that I see as a weapon for positive change, both personally and on a societal level. At an early age, my family exposed me to some pretty epic musical genres, like classic rock, Motown, & P-funk. My mom worked for years at the Whisky on Sunset, and I used to come with her to work, so as a kid I was able to meet and hang out with musicians like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Then, at the age of 12, I gravitated towards the Los Angeles Punk Rock movement of the early 80’s. My experiences in the Punk Rock community definitely shaped my political & world views. Specifically in regards to my aesthetic, the concept of D.I.Y. has stayed with me all these years and played a huge role in my creative endeavors, both in music and in fashion.
What’s the basis for your upcoming Fall/Winter collection?
SR: If I had to use one word, it would be classic! On the real, for a long time as a brand we have drawn on the 70’s & 80’s as source of inspiration. Not only did I live through those decades, but I also lived a pretty wild life in the Bay Area during the early 90’s. We decided to draw from those experiences, since it was such an important time for the beginnings of streetwear. We wanted to step into a different vortex of creativity & take RockersNYC to another plane.
In the upcoming collection, we see a collaboration with long-time British street label Maharishi. How did you link up and what’s included in the line?
SR: I have to keep it real… this one of the most special collabos we have ever done on a personal level for me because of my relationship with Hardy, Maharishi’s CEO. Nine years ago, while I was living in London, he gave me a job when I really needed one. Plus, we became friends… so to be able to come full circle & create together as peers is so awesome! For the capsule collection we did two stellar stadium jackets & Original Sno-pants to match. Yep… we pulled out all of the stops… everything about these pieces is super rad and the perfect blend of our two brands!
What does Maharishi represent to you?
SR: For me, Maharishi represents the foundation of British streetwear: originality, quality, artisanship, spirituality, family, hard work & awesome hash.
Another upcoming project includes footwear with Forfex. For those unfamiliar with Forfex, what’s the story behind the brand?
SR: If you don’t know, now you know… they are one of the raddest shoe companies out of Italy! Our collabo was one of those organic things… through mutual friends, Meghan & I met Gio from Forfex… the rest is history!
How did you approach footwear design as opposed to your usual strengths in clothing and graphic design?
SR: I’m going to let my wife answer that one…
Meghan MacRae: To be fair, Gio did most of the work, because we stuck with our favorite design of his, the Space Boot. I added our Psychocandy print for some classic RockersNYC flavor, but tried to keep it really wearable at the same time. It’s our first attempt at footwear, but it definitely won’t be our last…
How has RockersNYC changed and developed from its inception?
SR: On a personal level, we have learned how to create clothes, and not just tees. But more importantly, we have learned how to create whole collections! As a brand, at our core we have always had the message of social justice, and that won’t change. Check it out world…it’s a new decade…we are the same brand but with a different voice!
God’s Prey is among your latest projects and comes in as a whole new line. What does the label represent?
SR & MM: God’s Prey is a project that we started together about a year ago. We basically started it as an outlet for all the weird ideas we wanted to turn into clothing! RockersNYC is 100% a part of our lives and our personalities, but God’s Prey is a platform for our more esoteric ideas. Through God’s Prey we try to explore the knowledge that has gone unused or has been ignored by modern cultures – shamanistic knowledge, psychic abilities and a deep connection to the earth and the natural cycles of life. You know, ideas like Ancient Astronaut theory, the psychedelic planes of existence, spirits and human souls and multiple universes. You can’t put that stuff into a box and explain it with a design, so we try to create images that touch on ideas and invite people to think about them more deeply, or just get lost in how big and complex they are.
Are there things that are possible with God’s Prey and not suitable for RockersNYC?
SR & MM: Definitely. RockersNYC’s inspiration is very much rooted in music, politics and classic streetwear, whereas God’s Prey has a little more artistic license when it comes to the inspiration behind the designs and the cuts of the garments. RockersNYC is very much an American brand with global appeal, and God’s Prey has more of a global perspective – we take inspiration from the fashion in Mali as much as in New York or LA. We don’t value one brand more than the other, they are just coming from two different perspectives in fashion. Personally, we mix both brands in our own wardrobes.
How has your personal style changed from your youth to now and has your perspective changed being the founder of a clothing label?
SR: On the real…I have always been a weirdo! When it comes to style, my mother & father had a big influence on me – they were fly! As a youth growing up in Venice Beach in the 70’s, I think we were at the forefront of what now is called “streetwear”… Vans were the footwear of the day & we mixed them with surf & skate gear (OP shorts were king!). Plus we mixed some cholo styles in there with the flannel shirts. Then by the 80’s it was all about Hardcore Punk. We held it down on the “Suicidal Boyz” tip. I can’t forget the 90’s! Dancehall & Hip-Hop were styles that reflected my mind frame. Now I feel like I’m at a point where I embrace all of the subcultures that I have been a part of. All of my life experiences play a part in the way we design RockersNYC. It’s beautiful to be able to create what’s in my mind, and I feel that owning my own clothing company gives me more freedom to express myself through fashion.
Who are your greatest influences?
SR: The power of love that guides us all! The special organic relationships that have touched my life… plus all of the spaces & places I have been! Dennis Agnew aka Polar Bear from Venice, CA; he was an original Z-boy… he took me to my first skate park when I around 6 or 7. On the real, the whole beach loved him, plus he respected everyone no matter their age. Drew Bernstein; he adopted me when I was around 15. In 1984, my mom kicked me out the house for being a Punk rocker, so I moved to SF. Drew was already up there, and from him I learned the importance of always going after your dreams. We are still friends to this day! Augustus Pablo; being able to watch him create his music was magical. One time we were talking about something & he didn’t like my answers…he was like, “Sean you are thinking small… remember the world is yours and to always think big!” That piece of advice has stayed with me. And above all, my family is a huge influence. They keep me sane and give me eternal love.
Undoubtedly your experiences of the past have shaped both RockersNYC and yourself. Do you think that your youth experiences are something this current generation are lacking, whether it be the proliferation of the Internet or just a generally different cultural climate?
SR: Check it, I’m glad I was a youth when I was a youth! The fact we didn’t have the Internet meant we interacted with society & each other in a different way – face to face! Subcultures in my youth were able to grow in a more organic way, and to thrive without mainstream media and corporate marketing getting involved. That being said, youth today will find other ways to create their revolutions & I think the Internet will be a part of that.
Will we see you explore any other creative mediums beyond fashion?
SR: It’s time I get back into creating music… so watch out for A Gun Called Tension. Plus, I would love to have my wife teach me how to edit film! For the big picture, before I leave this planet I will open up an alternative humanist school, something I have always dreamed about… a place that teaches that all cultures are equal. I think that understanding every perspective is the key to the future of humanity.
Musically-speaking, who are some of your favorites of the past and what are you listening to right now?
SR: I have always loved soul music. What I mean by that is music that is created from the soul – it could be speed Metal, Hip-Hop, Country, Hardcore Punk, Doom Metal or Dancehall. I still listen to mad music from my past…the Breeders, Pixies, Southern Death Cult, Jesus Jones, Neds Atomic Dustbin, Funboy3, Siouxsie & the Banschees, Supercat, E-40, Hieroglyphics, Spacemen 3, Roots Manuva, 77klash, aguncalledtension, the Doc, Cocteau Twins! Right now I am into Psychedelic Black Metal and bands like Gang Gang Dance and SunAraw. I’ve been vibing out to mad Grunge too, like Temple of the Dog & Mother Love Bone. Digital Dancehall & Post-Punk (early Goth) are always in rotation!
Any last words?
SR: In closing, one thing that has really shaped our brand and my life is organic relationships and the outer-galactic tribe that we are all connected to! Big up to our NYC & LA massive, and our Japanese massive swagger and PHENOMENON, plus all the humans worldwide that have been down…stay up!!!