June 02, 2015

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Recap of VENUE L.A.

The VENUE Tradeshow made their re-introduction into the world a couple weeks ago at The Reef in D.T.L.A., and their efforts were quite impressive. Receiving RSVP's from most of the industry's biggest brands and names, Venue took their previous roster of brands on it's coattails to a very intimate, special show filled with some of the most exciting, quickly emerging independent brands as well as the industry's leading labels. During the show though, I decided to take a walk around to meet with a lot of the booths at the show to have a chat and to get to know the individuals behind the brand. It's really something to see passion at it's highest level within someone or a group of people pushing and working together for a common goal, and it really is encouraging to be around it regardless of what the brand is or about.
The best show staffers that always came with a smile and endless supply of Boxed Water. 
Here's a wall banner we had done with Seaside Visuals. We had it made for a photo booth backdrop for anyone that wanted their pic taken, but really my intentions was to invite all of the other brand pushers in the building to take a pic. We have a few interviews that we got through the show with a few of the brands owners there (which will be up in the blog shortly along with the photo booth pics) the backdrop will make more sense then...not that it shouldn't any less now
Isaiah either playing Call of Duty or looking at porn at the booth, along with Anf who handles all of your online orders...so if you got any issues, look for him.
Isaiah handles all of our Westcoast Retailers and he's pretty much an All-Star within our company. They say a company is as good as the people behind it, and Kennedy has been blessed to have a full roster of All-Stars that support and push the brand. Underdogs by birth, definitely winners by decision.  
The homies Mateo and Weezy with DYNT is bringing the heat with their vintage distressed tees and denim jackets. Keep a look out for them.
Diamond Supply Co. in attendance, all they would let us snap a photo of was this sign and that baseball bat. Thanks.
Breezy Excursion with their fully functioning electric chair. Don't forget to wet the sponge.
A few years ago when I was just a teenager I remember meeting and talking with some of the guys at a show down in San Diego, and I met a guy starting out with his brand and I'll never forget it to this day. He was there with his business partner and they were building the booth with their own hands out of lumber bought from Home Depot that very morning. He told me his name was Jonas, and I'll never forget seeing the amount of heart and passion he had for his brand. I saw him humbly sweeping and picking up trash around his booth, engaging with anyone willing to listen to what he had to say about what his brand meant to him. I still carry that memory with me today, and seeing the journey that LRG has taken doesn't surprise me one bit. Underground Inventive, Overground Effective - R.I.P. Jonas Bevacqua
K-WAY, represented by The Flagship Agency, is most recognized by their iconic Windbreaker Jacket. Checking out the line though it seems like they've expanded their collection into luggage, other options for outerwear and hats. One of my favorite brands, they're also a frequent collaborator with J.Crew.
HOWE, represented by The Park Showroom, is one of the veterans of the show for sure. 
Matiere (which means Material in Latin) is also represented by The Park Showroom, and they use some fabrics that I've never even seen or heard of. That sweater and bottom piece is made of a material called Alpaca which is sourced from an animal with the same name. Feels like sheep's wool but warmer and softer. Need to find out where to find that fabric so I can make some rugs.
One of the obvious hottest brands on the market today, Primitive was also in attendance at the show. Peep the cheech and chong decks. 
Making it's brand debut, EVERYDAY VICTORY probably had one of the dopest booth set-ups I've seen in a long time. Spoke to the homie Zach and had a little Q&A regarding the background of the brand and I'm already a fan. Keep a look out for the brand soon!
New comer on the scene, Doni started "Fortune" brand only 10 months ago. Hailing from Santa Barbara where his whole collection is developed and manufactured.
Big ups to him and his new venture - The things we build, end up building us. 
PSC - Pocket Square Clothing was started in 2011 by Rodolfo and Andrew equipped with nothing but an architectural and business degree. Checking out their stuff firsthand, it doesn't surprise me that it's all made here in Los Angeles. If you're looking to dapper up your closets peep their website: http://www.pocketsquareclothing.com 
Above Royalty Clothing is a Venue show native. Ramsin's been in the game longer than most out there which means he's figured out how to pay his bills and carry on. That takes some good discipline and dedications for sure, he's here by himself too. Reminds me of my first year walking into shops by myself sometimes with nothing but a briefcase of samples. Big ups to AR - keep grinding
My first time seeing and meeting the boys behind Dime a Dozen Clothing Co. and I'm surprised I haven't seen them before. Must mean I need to stick my head out of my desk more, but they have one of the most solid collections around. Run by four friends, seeing the push and passion behind the label I can't see how they can't get to where they're going. Peep the "Blue Dream" Tee - good seeing you dudes, stay humble, but stay hungry fam
Stoked to see and meet the guys behind REASON finally, I remember them from like 10 years ago. Had some of the best tee shirt designs around, they've obviously long graduated and move on to a full line of goods. Much you can learn from these veterans in the game, been grinding since 2004. 
DOPE. Snuck in to this booth to snap some pics when no one was around up until dude (Great Scott!) popped up in my ear and made me dookie in pants. Streetwear has definitely upped the game as a whole from just tees and hats, and DOPE is definitely a brand that has the brand power to go way beyond that. Super solid collection, keep a look out for it soon or hit up the shop on Fairfax. 
The homies from ROSEWOOD Cutters on the scene hooking it up as always. Congratulations on their new location in L.A. on La Cienega. Hit up my guy Jon for a quick fade, dude is on point - www.rosewoodcutters.com
The homie LUMBO on business as usual holding down the 40's & Shorties and V/SUAL booth. About 50% of my sock drawer is 40's & Shorties (can we make it 100%, where you at?) they continually bring out the sickest prints and the quality is for real legit. Good to see them here killing it as always.
VENUE INSIGHT is a very up close and personal panel led by some of the industry's veterans and leaders.
Dennis Calvero - Founder of Crooks & Castles,
Lanie Albania - Founder/Creative Director of HELLZ BELLZ,
Stephon Malbon - Co-Founder of Frank 151,
James Bond - Co-Founder of Undefeated spoke on the first day.
Second day's roster was equally as stacked with
Andy Nguyen - Co-Founder of Afters Ice Cream,
Rob Heppler - Co Founder/VP of Buscemi,
Will Nichols - Social Media Manager of Highsnobiety,
and Ibn Jasper - Creative Director of Cordova for Diamond Supply Co.
Truly insightful and eye-opening especially for those of you looking to jump in to this industry. A time for any of you to ask some of those un-answered questions with people that will not only give you an answer, but offer good guidance on what they did, what they would've done, and what they're looking to do. Again, if you're thinking of starting your own brand you better have had the initiative to have attended or are planning on to for the next one...if not, don't quit your day job.
• 
 A solid show, expecting great things from the VENUE show. Shout out to Miles, Robbie and the whole staff at VENUE for taking care of us. Definitely urge any and all of you ready to step in to the industry to make it out this October for the next show. Until then, keep building.
*Special Thanks to Seaside Visual for collaborating with us on the visuals. If you're in need of stickers, banners, POP's, or seriously pretty much anything...hit up my man Brandon at Seaside. 
May 26, 2015

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PLAY FOR A LIVING | MARQUE COX: SKATEBOARD FILMOGRAPHER

Are you working? What kind of work do you do? What do you do for a living?
Life is too short to be slaving away 8 hours of your day at a job you hate. If you think about it, you work 8 hours a day, and sleep an average of 8. That's 2/3 of your day spent going nowhere, 2/3 of your precious life on Earth spent doing what? Do you ever ask yourself that? It's crazy. Tyler Durden said it best..."an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy sh*t we don't need. We're the middle children of history. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war...our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars..."
We decided to start this series for our blog to cover our homies that do what they love...where passion goes beyond money, status, and...turquoise Ferrari's lol or whatever else. We do it because their passion breeds passion. We push harder because those around us push harder. This is precisely why it is important to surround yourselves with the right friends, the ones that grind. The ones that do what they do and it goes beyond themselves. Kennedy Denim Company is the new workwear for the modern work force. Levi's, Lee, Wrangler, Carhartt etc. all produced for their generation of workers that enriched America. Gold Miners, Railroad workers, Coal Miners, Lumberjacks, etc. We support our generation of workers that enrich the country even further. Jeff Staple said something that stuck with me...or he jacked it from Sun Tzu or something but he said:
"If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life."
You do what you love to do, and it pays? Damn bro, what more can you ask for. 
Introducing Marque Cox.

Q: Share with us a bit more on your passion for filming and editing, specifically with skateboarding. What got you into it?  
A. I've been a skateboarder my whole life and watched so many great skateboard videos, when I got my first camera it was sort of a community camera so everyone could film each other. I wasn't trying to be a filmer or editor at all, I just tried to make it as a skateboarder filming 'sponsor me' videos to get free skateboards. Injury after injury I would start filming more because my ankles are dust and I would always sprain and break my ankles. 
Q: Tell us a bit about your history with Skateboarding
A: Growing up skateboarding I met a lot of rad people, me and a group of friends got sponsored by Tony Alva's company "Alva" here in Los Angeles. Our team manager Richard Villa really hooked me up, after a while living in my car he gave me a job at the Alva store for 2 years working full time. Then eventually living with him for a couple months I saved up enough to buy my first HD video camera.
Q: When was the point where you realized you could make a living off your passion? How did that happen? 
A: After I got my HD camera I called my old friend Erik Bragg who has been in the skate video world for a while to ask him a few questions about the camera and I remember him saying "Damn Marque you're really trying to be a filmer??" cause he used to film me a lot back in the day. Erik ended up teaching me how to film & edit videos, I now live and work with Erik today! 
Q: Tell us about the Cha Cha Skate film festival and what it meant to you upon winning.
A: There was a film festival called (CCLISFF) for skateboard videos that I entered. It was my first time entering any film contest and I ended up getting first place. I was pretty shocked because there was a lot of good videos that year...I also met a lot of cool people from that film festival.
Q: What was your first skate video project? 
A: Erik Bragg used to give me editing jobs for Active Ride Shop and sometimes I would help him film videos for them. Eventually he got hired at Red Bull and Plan B, I was already in the mix at Active and started doing all their videos. I ended up filming my first full length video "where is it?" for Active, It was also their first video. After that I worked with Erik on the Plan B video called "True" I was working day and night on that project.
Q: Share a bit on your favorite aspects of filming?
A: Filming skateboarding is always fun to do, but the most fun thing to film for me is funny skits with friends or cool Instagram videos.
Q: Share a bit on your least favorite aspects of filming?
A: Filming/editing videos, that I don't like. Sometimes to make extra money I will film cheesy or cliche videos that are just boring. But I always have my in between videos I can make that are fun like this CCLISFF contest. I have no rules and I can film/edit whatever I want.
Q: Share a bit on what you’re currently working on now?
A: Right now I'm editing the new season of 'Sheckler Sessions' for Red Bull, also editing some new Plan B videos that I'm not sure if I can talk about...but what I'm really hyped on is the CCLISFF (cha cha lounge Independent skateboard film festival) I'm making a video this year and its almost finished. Coolest video I've worked on in a while!
 
Q: Talk about progression in your craft. What inspires you to do better?
A: Just like most artists I want to make better videos than my past videos. I can watch a video I did last year and thought at the time I nailed it. Now i'll look at it and see a thousand things I could have done to make it better. 

Q: Where is Marque Cox going to be 5 years from now? 
A: 5 years from now i'll hopefully be waking up in a Jacuzzi filled with women and money! haha 
Q: How does the phrase “Underdog by Birth, Winner by Decision” strike you personally?
A: I guess if I'm doing what I'm doing right now and life is good, i'll try to do what I do harder and life will be great!! 
Special Thanks to: 
Marque Cox - Interviewer | @namedrop
Jonas Lucero  - Skateboarder | @jonas_lucero
Anthony Furlong - Photographer | @anthonyfur