62 posts tagged patfield
House of Field Designer Spotlight: Scooter Laforge
Welcome to the first installment of the newest addition to the Patricia Field blog series- the House of Field Designer Spotlight. Here I want to take our readers behind the scenes to meet the people whom without, our boutique would be a much less stimulating experience.
Introducing, Scooter Laforge: Artist turned fashion designer, and one of the most beloved and unique designers of the House of Field. Curious to get to know more about howScooter began his career in fashion and what brought him to Patricia Field, I sat down with Scooter on a warm April morning for a little chat.
Originally from New Mexico, Scooter told me about an early dream of his. He first wanted to come to New York City to become a professional dancer. “I would dance in the clubs and all of that stuff. I did want to be a real dancer, but I never did it.”
Sometimes Patricia Field seems like a dance club…music pumping, kiki’s happening, Kweens twerkin it all over the place.
Scooter: “I love coming to the store. I almost feel like I work here. Every time I come, I stay for a long time.”
Andy: “Yes, we all WERQ here! There’s such a good energy in the store and I think everybody feels that.”
Besides dancing, his creativity really showed at a young age through his artwork. “I would use paint and oil on canvas. Then I went to art school. I won a scholarship to Cooper School right here in the East Village. It’s a really great school. And after that, I decided that I really wanted to devote my life to art and painting. That was maybe seven years ago.”
A: “So you are primarily an artist. How did you then transition into fashion?”
(Hey, at least he’s honest!)
“About five or six years ago, I really needed to make some money. I wasn’t selling a lot of paintings, and I was really broke. And then I just got this idea to bring the paintings to t-shirts. I tried selling those and they did very well. I used to sell them at a tiny little store in the meatpacking district.”
A: “Oh, Meatpacking. That area is very different from here in the East Village.”
S: “Oh yeah, and the t-shirts were really different, too. They were not as evolved as these now.”
A: “How do you mean, evolved?”
S: “Well, I used to paint one little thing on them. Now I over-dye them. I alter them. I put studs on them. I silk screen on them. That kind of stuff.”
Through photos, you can definitely see an evolution in Scooter’s work over the years. But, his overall aesthetic and themes have remained the same. There is always a raw, gritty, sort of sexiness to his garments.
Some early work of Scooter’s…
S: “Oh! And guess what? I actually got asked to design the official Gay Pride T-shirt this year. It’s going to be sold at the Gay Pride parade, the pier dance, and on the New York City Gay Pride website.”
He has one of these t-shirts with him today to show me. I feel like one of the lucky few to first get a glimpse at these. Unlike most of Scooter’s pieces, which are all hand-painted, these shirts are factory made, to allow for mass production. (But still his original painted design).
I just had to ask about his obsession with Pop-Eye, which is a reoccurring image in a lot of his work.
“My sister and I used to watch cartoons when we were little, and that was my favorite one. And I stuck with it.” He smiles and shows me one of his many tattoos, this one a clear favorite on his forearm (also of Pop-Eye).
Interestingly enough, one of Scooter’s favorite collaborators (and how he was first introduced to the House of Field) is the uber-sexy fashionista and Patricia Field graphic designer, Miss Reiko. Scooter recounts about first meeting Reiko in a Brooklyn nightclub called, ironically, Spank. Spank? The sex appeal is never ending…
S: “I was silk-screening to order (right in the club). I had my screens and people would come up. I would silk screen for them and they would take a t-shirt. She (Reiko) asked me if I’d be interested in carrying it (my t-shirts) in the store (Patricia Field) and I said, ‘Yeah!’ That’s how it started.”
When talking about his friendship and working relationship with Reiko, you can definitely sense the excited energy coming from Scooter. It’s clear that the two inspire each other in amazing ways. Eager to know more, I continued into this topic…
A: “I’ve seen some of your paintings of Reiko. They are gorgeous! What inspires you about her?”
S: “Well, I think she is stunning. The way she presents herself is unlike anyone I’ve ever met in my life. I think she’s a total style icon. I think in twenty years, there are going to be iconic pictures of her that mark this time. Like, have you heard of this woman named Soo Catwoman? (I hadn’t.)
“She’s from the Sex Pistols phase. When you look back at that era of the Sex Pistols, and in London from the late 70s to early 80s, it’s always her. So I feel that sometime down the line, people are going to see iconic pictures of Reiko and say, ‘Oh look at that girl! She was so cool! She was in the scene. I heard she was amazing!’”
Reiko Lauper by Scooter Laforge
I definitely have to agree with Scooter. I try and find the words to express my love for her style, but Scooter helps me out by interjecting one all-encompassing word:
“…From head to toe. And she doesn’t even have to try. It’s engrained in her. People either have it or they don’t. And she has it. Nothing seems forced. It’s like she doesn’t even have to think about the outfit. She just puts it on.”
A: “That’s true. You can definitely sense when people are trying too hard.”
This sense of “trying too hard” is never something you get from Scooter. In fact, his whole persona is all about being casual, relaxed, and loving yourself. This goes for the aesthetic of his clothing pieces as well.
S: “I try and really keep things simple as possible. T-shirts are what I love the most. Sometimes sweat suits.”
You may think that for someone with such an easy-going, loving attitude, he probably hardly ever gets much work done. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Scooter can turn out a new collection of garments practically over-night, which works out well, since we’re living in a culture where “fast-fashion” is dominating the market. A new line of Scooter’s pieces sometimes sells out within a week, or even days of being on the shelf.
S: “She (Patricia Field) sometimes calls me on a whim. She’ll call me up and say that she needs something by tomorrow, and I always try and make myself available to her.”
He then goes on to tell me about the evolution of his relationship with Pat and that before selling his clothes at the store, he wasn’t even aware of who she was. (Gasp!) I chuckle though because I, too, was in the same boat when I began working here. We both can agree on the fact that Pat doesn’t like when things are forced, and relationships blossom organically.
A painting of Patricia Field by Scooter Laforge
Speaking of blossoming, we both take a second to stop and smell the lovely trees that are just beginning to bloom on Elizabeth Street, just outside the back of the store.
A: “You know, today is the first day the city is really starting to feel like summer.”
S: “I know, I feel amazing!”
Scooter and I on Elizabeth Street
And don’t forget to get into his ever-expanding collection of clothing- always available by coming to Patricia Field at 306 Bowery, NYC.
Written by Andy
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