Forever Emerging, presented by In The Know by Yahoo, is an an ongoing series that invites established and emerging designers to engage in unique conversations. The latest episode puts a spotlight on Alex Erdmann a.k.a 2Tone and Chris Printup a.k.a Spanto, founders of LA clothing brand Born X Raised. In the newest profile, 2Tone and Spanto of BXR find inspiration for their streetwear line through personal histories and real-life interactions. They document their communities through the various graphics and themed collections within their apparel label.
Connecting their brand to the next generation of creatives, the Born X Raised duo speaks with with clothing designers Phx and Jack on the power of relationships, especially connections with the older generation who can mentor and guide you to succeed.
The Born X Raised office have walls covered in archival photos, memorabilia and hand-drawn tags that provide evidence of how the brand’s creations are 2Tone’s version of “a love letter to a place that [he] once knew.” Working together for over ten years, Spanto adds that their nostalgia stems from referencing “all the stuff we grew up doing in Venice in the early ’90s, the mid ’90s.” The personal stories of the founders and their communities are expressed through graphic t-shirts, capsules with local legends like Mister Cartoon and bespoke pieces created by Phx and Jack.
At Phx’s studio, he and Jack shuffle through racks of garments in progress to find a new Dickies outfit that Spanto asked them to create. “It was perfect timing and we pretty much asked them if we could start designing for them,” explains Jack. Combining sewing and styling skills, Jack and Phx are able to develop and execute pieces in as little as two days. They also sketch designs, do fittings, make patterns and go to development at a rapid pace that impresses 2Tone. The young duo entered the brand’s family through a powerful working relationship and Alex adds, “We’re going to take care of them. It’s just about who can fit within our group of people.”
While Jack and Phx view their process as a duet, 2Tone frames collaboration as a marriage because ,”you’re going to be with this person more than anyone else and more intensely, so if it works it makes the hard things worth it.” Both 2Tone and Spanto aim to be an example for the kids within the culture, and an example of how creators can do extraordinary work by cultivating a strong community. “Everything [Born x Raised does], it pushes me to keep doing what I was supposed to do, but in my own realm,” explains Phoenix, “You can learn from the homies.”
Watch the preview above to get a taste of the worlds that connect the creative duo behind Born X Raised to the next generation of designers, Phx and Jack. The full episode of Forever Emerging, as well as conversations from past episodes, are found on In The Know’s website. While Forever Emerging spotlights creative relationships, In The Know by Yahoo also offers short-form video content around fashion and other areas within youth culture.