In conjunction with HBX, we rounded off 2016 with two unique collaborative releases with Midnight Studios and Fxxking Rabbits. Kickstarting 2017 is a new collection with Los Angeles imprint PLEASURES which features a comprehensive range of tees, hoodies and coach jackets. The brand draws cues from ’90s grunge and rock record sleeves, American youth culture, and personal experiences of founder Alex James who grew up discovering music prior to the Internet age.
For this particular collection, PLEASURES continues its onslaught of graphic-heavy designs, revisiting iconic digital symbols, lyrics and logos that have been littered across much of our past time as youths. Here, Alex breaks down the meaning behind his brand, how the likes of Nirvana and Sonic Youth have been instrumental to him, and shares his bucket list of brands to work with. Check out the interview below and stay tuned for its release at 9 a.m. EST, January 30 via HBX.
How was PLEASURES established?
The initial concept was based on an idea of my past experiences. Most clothing available didn’t speak to my upbringing or interests. So in May, 2015 my friend and business partner Vlad Elkin proposed an idea to start a brand based on the concepts I had been sitting on. In June 2015, we launched at the 3125C pop up shop in LA thanks to Edison Chen. Since then it’s been amazing.
Most of the items are covered with ’90s alike designs. Where does your inspiration stem from?
Clearly we drew inspiration from bands like Sonic Youth, Bjork, Nirvana and My Blood Valentine. Kids these days didn’t get to experience the excitement of discovering bands via your local record store.
The brand’s slogan is “Feelings from the past interpreted into visual, cerebral, and wearable expressions.” Can you talk a bit about those past feelings?
Before the internet, it was all about real life experiences. I am taking memories from my past and putting them in concepts people can wear and experience on their own. These are a range of feelings from the most satisfying to the absolute darkest.
Your website and Instagram handle reads “PLEASURES.NOW.” What are the pleasures that hold you up right now?
Thrifting, traveling to new obscure places, and red wine.
Your last collaboration teamed up with OKOKOK. Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind that drop?
Us and the OKOKOK crew share a love for death metal. We wanted to pay tribute with those graphics. I think we accomplished that.
Are there any brands you wish to collaborate with?
Apple, Squatty Potty, Newport Cigs and adidas.
Can you explain the concept behind your designs for the HYPEBEAST collaboration?
The message stems from a time period when we were truly analog and suddenly everyone’s lives went digital. The Internet forever changed us all.
What does 2017 hold for PLEASURES?
We have a long list of goals set for the brand. I am confident we can achieve them. Thank you to all our lovers and haters; you motivate us daily.