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A Conversation with Benny Gold

Benny Gold is a San Francisco-based independent graphic designer and signature clothing brand. The brand started from just a simple sticker that was posted around town on his days off. The idea for the sticker was inspired by the old mantra, “Stay Gold.” It’s a reminder that all the ideas and experiences that we hold dear are the real gold inside each of us. This is what shapes us, what preserves our sense of self, and what keeps us young.

I’m in the process of… expanding our retail operation to a larger location in the mission district of SF. The current store was never meant to be a retail space. It was originally rented as an office and shipping area for our wholesale accounts. I was working on putting together a pop-up store for a new season and decided since I have the space I might as well keep it open all the time. Since then I have grown to really love the retail aspect of the business. Having a physical space has been amazing and allowed me to connect with the customers and supporters! See you April 30 at our Store Grand Opening on 16th Street!

As a kid growing up… in South Florida I used to dream about skating EMB and the rest of the famous skate spots in SF. When I graduated high school I was packing up to move to SF just to skate. My mom found out and kicked my ass… literally. She forced me to go to college and study art and design. I am really glad she did! Thanks mom!

San Francisco is… one of those cities that you don’t have to grow up in. It’s not too hard of a hustle like NY, but still a big enough city. People move here because they love it and not because they are trying to “make it.” It keeps a young-at-heart attitude to the city and for that I will always love it!

Being a vegetarian in The Mission… (HA! Someone has given you guys too much info on me) I was raised a vegetarian. My parents are hippies and I never ate meat my entire life. As time went on I cut out other things in my diet to stay healthy. I plan on being able to skateboard as long as I possibly can and if eating healthy helps then I am all in! The mission is easy to eat well in. It’s a younger neighborhood and with that comes a lot of veggie options. SF in general is actually really vegetarian-friendly compared to growing up on the East Coast.

I will be forever grateful… for the opportunities I have had with HUF. I was there at the beginning and really proud of the work that we did together. I am really happy to see how they have grown over the past few years. Get em’ Keith!

Life is about… balancing. It’s not easy but it’s definitely rewarding. I love having a family and solid career in the arts. The secret to balancing life and work is cutting out the stuff that doesn’t matter to make time for the things that do. You can do both if you want it!

Being a father… has really has changed my life. My daughter Rumi was born just a few months ago, she is amazing. I want to be there for her and make sure that she has the opportunities to do whatever she wants to do.

Connecting with my customers… is honestly the best part about having a physical retail store. I’m not really that much of a bigger brand then I was before I opened the stores, but the brand is definitely more solid now. That is all due to personal connection with the customers. It’s really nice to see who is supporting it and to get people’s feedback on how to make it better. I want to make it the best it possibly can be. Thank you to everyone who has supported it! It really means a lot!

Evolving the Benny Gold line… is something I do everyday to keep the line moving forward. I have started to take on less design work outside of the Benny Gold brand to focus on it. I still do very select logo projects for clients but for the most part I am focused on growing my personal line.

If streetwear were to disappear, I’d like to be remembered… for putting out the best design work that I possibly can. I love being able to do that through “streetwear” or whatever it is called.

Date: Apr 20, 2011  /  Views: 1608  /  Author: L. Ruano
Category: Editorial  /  Tags: Benny gold, Interviews, A conversation with..., Focus