Barack Obama, Kate Moss, and Dennis Hopper have more in common than you thought.
MONOGRAM: List your name, profession, and place of residence:
LYNDSEY BUTLER, Creative Director at VEDA. Chinatown, NYC.
MONOGRAM: Like graphic t-shirts, leather jackets are in a category of their own as an iconic wardrobe item. What do you think makes them so powerful?
LYNDSEY: They are both very expressive. They make a statement, they say something – that is extremely powerful.
MONOGRAM: Leather is a really unique material in that it looks so good (better even?) when it’s been worn in over time. Why do you think that is?
LYNDSEY: Leather absorbs whatever you expose it to. It molds to you, it starts to smell like you. It still has a little dirt on the sleeve edge from that time you got locked out of your apartment and had to climb up the fire escape.
MONOGRAM: How do you like to do research for a new collection? Do you go anywhere to sequester yourself for a few days?
LYNDSEY: If I can travel somewhere (anywhere) I try to do that in between seasons. Getting out of the studio and NYC allows me to reset. And then I just try and see as much art as possible – museums, galleries, books, the internet.
MONOGRAM: Most designers we’ve spoken to have a few ‘master’ references they keep coming back to over and over again. Who/what are yours?
LYNDSEY: Danny Lyon’s "The Bikeriders" and Bill Ray’s photos of the Hells Angels are two sources I always reference, especially when I want to get back to our leather core. And Texas. The art (Donald Judd, Forrest Bess, Georgia O’Keeffe, George W. Bush), the landscapes, the people (Kinky Friedman, Willie Nelson, my dad, Molly Ivins, Stevie Ray Vaughn), the architecture, the rodeos, the food, et al.
MONOGRAM: We’re big fans of the Untitled section on your site. How did that concept come to be?
LYNDSEY: Thank you! It started as a way to work with a wider circle of creatives. There are so many talented people in my life that I really wanted to work with but (as you two know) the fashion calendar is so crazy. It's hard to find time and budget for additional photoshoots. Untitled is an ongoing creative project. Each series reflects the style of the artist and the subject, bringing a new perspective to VEDA. So far, it has mostly been photographers, but I am hoping to expand beyond that this year.
MONOGRAM: Who is THE ideal leather jacket wearer, past and present?
LYNDSEY: I am really bad with absolutes, so here is a short list: Barack Obama, Kate Moss, Dennis Hopper.
MONOGRAM: You have an enviable commute – a ten minute stroll through Chinatown. What’s the craziest thing you’ve witnessed while out and about in the neighborhood?
LYNDSEY: Oh wow, there are so many. The ladies doing Tai Chi in the morning and evening are pretty amazing. And really early in the morning there are the pig deliveries. These guys in white butcher’s coats carrying whole pigs (they are frozen) out of the trucks, on to the streets, and then into restaurants.
MONOGRAM: Tell us about your favorite vintage t-shirt. How and when did you acquire it?
LYNDSEY: I have a San Antonio Spurs (my home team) t-shirt from 1999, their first championship year. It wasn’t vintage when I got it. It reminds me of home!
MONOGRAM: What’s your favorite way to style a t-shirt?
LYNDSEY: With leather – pants, skirt, jacket, dress – or a suit.
MONOGRAM: Do you use graphic t-shirts to articulate your point of view? How so?
LYNDSEY: Yes. I use clothes to convey my mood (sometimes unintentionally). A graphic t-shirt can really help get the point across.
MONOGRAM: Lightening round: describe yourself in terms of the following:
LOCATION: Marfa, TX
VEHICLE: 1965 Lincoln Continental
RITUAL: Morning coffee and journal
TAGLINE: Sorry I’m late
PHOTOGRAPHY: Clement Pascal