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Wednesday April 5, 2020

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by Archie

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{Editors Note}:  Hi my name is Nathaniel Baird, I am the Technical Director and Visionary here at Shotwamp and the Editor in Chief of our in house publications. I couldn’t be more excited to be presenting to you some of the brands and their incredible founders and designers under the Shotwamp umbrella in the coming days and weeks. Along with the debut of each brand I will be holding an interview with each of our creatives on the subsequent day after their debut. 

 

This afternoon I’m going to be digitally sitting down with Archie Barnes, the creator of both Shotwamp and his own brand, Moose. 

 

Nathaniel: Archie! Glad to have you here! Obviously our friendship has been incredibly short lived yet still incredibly meaningful, so on that note it's always nice to sit down with a (not so) old friend. 

 

Archie: Yeah how are you doing man this shit has been crazy! I feel like I’ve known you for years but it’s only been like two or three weeks haha

 

N: Yeah exactly, it makes working together and starting something like this so much easier. On that note, let's talk about Shotwamp before we talk about Moose. Right when you called me about this idea I knew it was a game changer and something that I had to help succeed anyway possible. First off, how'd this idea start and second off what made it something you knew you had to follow through with? 

 

A: It actually began with one of the most obscure and random problems that you could possibly think of. I simply just had too much fabric. About half a year ago I was cleaning through my room and I couldn’t believe how many materials and fabrics I had that I didn’t use, and I decided I wanted a group of designers that needed materials for themselves to help me out with getting rid of them; a kind of win-win situation. Obviously, Shotwamp has changed so much since then but the fundamental purpose of shotwamp has stayed the same: designers helping other designers to succeed. Before this became a public thing, I had talked to a good amount of designers I knew (Shalev at Syner, Matthew at PP, and Sebastian at Oper6tions) and they were all on board. This is when I knew that it could really be something substantial. 

 

N: No that's great, it's so important that people gravitate towards something like this and thus far I think people really have, which has been huge. Now even though Matthew and I likely have a bit of a say in what we do next, what is your vision with the next steps here with the collective?

A: That’s a hard question. I’ve never been one for planning out my future because in my experience, having a set course for myself prepares me for disappointment. As a goal for the upcoming months though, I want to establish each brand that is affiliated with Shotwamp as a solid idea in the consumer’s mind. When a consumer thinks of Shotwamp, I want them to think of all of our artists, and when a consumer thinks of one of these artists, I want them to think of Shotwamp. This requires a lot of persistence and patience though, especially for the more further-developed brands such as Syner or Habits. 

 

N: Totally, I completely share that vision too which is great. I think Shotwamp can be really successful because of exactly that, while Portland has a lot of amazing brands and creatives, I think Shotwamp could really become established as a big part of the whole scene which is really cool. Now let's talk about Moose, how did that come about and what's your main mission.

 

A: Moose was founded almost exactly a year ago now, and was a long-term dream of mine for a while before it started. I remember starting High School with the firm idea that I wanted to pursue fashion as a career, but that it would pick up in my later years, post high-school type stuff. It wasn’t until I realized that there were people my age that had actually started their own brands and were selling clothing that they themselves had made. Coming from an insanely boring conservative town in the middle of England, it was unheard of for a young boy to sew clothing, (especially in his grandparent’s opinions) but I was lucky enough to be surrounded by a lot of really supportive people that gave me incredible advice and help along my way to getting this brand set up. Some of my biggest inspirations were Shalev Hanamura at Syner, Jake Krisky at YP jewelry, and Oscar Harold with Small World Media. These guys were (and still are) creating some of the coolest stuff that I had ever seen, and taught me that you didn’t have to go to school for it to be a designer. So, for my 16th birthday, I asked for a sewing machine, and began putting garments together the day of. If you want to see how awfully made these garments were, I’ve uploaded them to an instagram account, @moosearchive. 

 

N: No that mindset is so huge and something that I'm just now starting to realize myself. Earlier this spring I got really into Rhuigi Villaseñor at Rhude and his story about how before any of that stuff he made a red bandana pattern t shirt that Kendrick Lamar would end up wearing at the BET awards when he performed, the shirt did like $150k the day after and that was crazy to me because at the time he had just turned 17. It just goes to show that there really are not prerequisites with this, if you make something cool people will appreciate it. Now you mentioned all of those people that inspired you, what is it about them and what things have they done that you really look up to? 

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A: The main thing that really stood out to me was the pure initiative that all of them had with their craft. One of the most important values to have is initiative; to decide what your goal is, and to pursue it. You’ll see people our age come up with excuses to not follow their dreams, such as they have too much schoolwork, or that if they started something, it wouldn’t go anywhere. I think it’s important when creating to literally just get off your arse and do it. We’re not getting any younger and these are the years that we have the most free time and the least responsibility. If there’s anything I can do to maximize these next few years of my life before adulthood kicks in, I’ll take that opportunity. 


 

N: Totally, there is such little risk right now which is so beautiful, we can take all the risk we want and we have nothing to lose. It allows us to create exactly what we want which is so cool. Speaking of that, what's up next with you at Moose. I know you've teased your collab with Matthew at Paradise Point, anything else going on under the hood? 

 

A: I currently have some of the coolest pieces I’ve ever made under construction. Obviously it wouldn’t be wise to release a lot of that stuff right now, so I’m keeping them all nice and toasty until the right time. I’ve recently gotten into making 3-d structures with my sewing machine and attaching them to jackets and stuff. I actually just finished this denim cube stuffed with fabric scraps. Super fun stuff. This paradise point collab is about to be crazy though. I’ve never seriously branded my pieces (including a logo or label or whatever), so this is the first time I’ve seen the word “Moose” on a garment which is super satisfying. Even though I’ve been making clothes for almost a year now, it feels like I’m finally solidifying Moose as a tangible company, not just a concept with an instagram account. 

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N: That transition is so huge to me, to be able to transform something as obscure as a concept into something more sturdy like a brand is so hard but equally important to do. 

 

Now lastly before you head out, as the big boy in charge here and at moose, do you have any advice for young creators like ourselves looking to get started in the industry? 

 

A: Yeah, I would just say to keep your head on straight. Every single person has the potential to create something world-changing so just give it a shot. It’s important to be patient, but also to know the right time to put everything you have into something. Persistence is key, and the first step to being good at something is being bad at something. Don’t forget to use your magic, dismantle the constructs, trust your parents, shave your head, and clean your shoes. 

 

N: Great words of Wisdom. 

 

Thanks for sitting down with me Archie. 

 

A: Of course, thanks for the interview Nat. Good talking with you, as always.