As the EDM fashion movement grows, Los Angeles based NGHTBRND have been at the forefront of the bass culture scene, creating stylish, cutting-edge apparel lines for Los Angelinos and beyond. Bassrush caught up with Steven “Smash” Gordon and Geoff Shames to discuss the inner workings behind the night owl movement, having just released their celestial Starlight Collection.
Who are the people behind NGHTBRND?
We have a few employees working for us now, but the main players are Steve Gordon, who is ultimately the investor and additionally gives input on the designs and creative side of things, and myself, Geoff Shames. I handle most of the day-to-day operations of the brand and handle some of our art direction.
How did you get started?
NGHTBRND was pretty much an experiment at the beginning. We realized that there wasn’t really one brand that we knew of out there that we felt was really focusing on nightlife, and wanted to step up and see if we couldn’t help fill the gap. We came up with ideas for a handful of designs, printed them on t-shirts and asked a few of our friends to post about it when we launched our site. Next thing we knew, orders were coming in faster than we expected, and we were shipping gear out as fast as we could to people all over the world. From there, we had to take a step back and figure out what we really wanted to do with the brand. We knew right off the bat that we didn’t want to be just another t-shirt line, so we started experimenting with hats and other accessories and honed in the art direction a bit, and now we have a fairly full line available.
We’re still developing things as we meet new people to collaborate and work with, but after some trial and error we’ve dialed in what we want to do, and we have some really exciting stuff coming in the next few months.
What is the soundtrack to the NGHTBRND lifestyle?
Whatever you listen to when you’re out on the weekend, that’s the soundtrack to the NGHTBRND lifestyle.
What’s the mythos behind the brand?
If you go out at night, NGHTBRND is for you. Period. We don’t want it to be any more defined than that, because it doesn’t have to be, and we draw our inspiration from so many different areas. Whether it’s from different genres of music, to different types of fashion and art, to just driving around the city at night, all types of things influence what we do, and we want the brand to be that open to interpretation.
Where do you draw inspiration for your designs?
Inspiration is everywhere; it’s cliché but it’s really that simple. We’re lucky enough to enjoy some pretty unreal experiences around the world, so anything we see around us can be drawn into our designs. Whether it’s crazy lighting and production at one of the major festivals, a cool piece of street art that we stumble across at 6am, or something crazy we find on the internet, there’s always something finding its way into our next design. It’s normally harder to decide what not to do than it is to find inspiration.
Are there any notable wearers of the brand?
We’ve been lucky enough to have so many DJ/producer friends wear our gear that it’s hard to name individuals, but off the top of our heads, we’ve gotten some support from Waka Flocka Flame, Bro Safari, Datsik, Doctor P, Dirtyphonics, Andy C, Snails, Feenixpawl, Mightyfools, Downlink, Z-Trip, Dieselboy, Kennedy Jones, Protohype, Borgeous, Crizzly, Dvbbs, Cookie Monsta, Funtcase, Ookay, Brillz, Victor Niglio, and Zomboy. We’ve also heard that Pasquale, Forrest and Meelo from Insomniac love the brand.
Including past collections, what is your most popular piece?
Our most popular piece right now is probably the OWL GANG long sleeve that we dropped a few months ago. The response to that was crazy, so we’ve been busy working on some new pieces in the same vein that should be dropping soon to follow up.
What is the goal of NGHTBRND in the future?
At the end of the day our goal is to make gear that we want to wear, and that our customers are stoked on. As things grow, we plan on expanding into more categories and continuing to make the best gear possible, so hopefully everyone is ready to come along for the ride. We also want to contribute to nightlife culture in a positive way by throwing parties, sponsoring local artists and much more as things continue to grow.
By Amanda Ross