The Parker Edison Project / April 7, 2021
Photo courtesy of Jason Huggins
In this episode we explore how fashion impacts culture. We talk to a designer, a buyer and a store owner to learn about their roles in the industry. Plus, Parker gets fashion tips from a style concierge.
• The Invisible Ponchos (KillCrey & GeneFlo)- Tell Me Nothing
• Tres ‘Sojourn’ Hodgens- Cov-Fashion
Show credits: Parker Edison (Host), Kurt Kohnen (Co-creator), Chris Reyes (Head Editor) and Tres ”Sojourn” Hodgens (Music Supervisor)
Voicemail from DJ E3
You are now listening to the Parker Edison Project.
Good morning. Welcome to the Parker Edison Project, where we look at tenets of culture and what really makes America great. I got some dope stuff lined up for this episode, but before I get into that, my producers have been trying to get me to introduce myself more episodes. So I took the time to write down some little notes, facts, you know, and I figure out share them with you just so we can kind of get to know each other a little bit. Okay, here we go. Fact number one, I've worn glasses my whole life. I had a pair of glasses when I was in the first grade. They just had like a rubber strap that went around my head so I wouldn't lose them. That's how long I've been wearing them. Number two, if I could do an impression of BANE from The Dark Knight, I would do the whole episode in that voice. I do the whole season like that.
I'd be like Batman this episodes about fashion. Batman.
Seriously or Christopher Walken. If I could do Christopher Walken, you guys would be in trouble, man. In fact, number three, I cannot catch or dribble 43 years old. I cannot dribble a basketball, can't catch one of my greatest romantic victories as I was. I was on a double date this one time in Venice Beach. It was me and my homeboy were dating these two chicks from Long Island, shot out Long Island. And I don't know how it happened. Homeboy was like forty fifty paces in front of me and he had a football out of nowhere. We were walking in an alley in Venice Beach. All of a sudden he had a football. He knows me, he knows I can't catch. And he's looking at me. He throws the ball, I panic and I just jump to go catch it. I went slow motion. I'm telling you a true story right now. I caught the ball.
The crowd went crazy.
There was music. Dun dun dun dun dun dun.
I caught it, slid in slow motion just right in my hands. I failed seven years physical education, but I caught that football that day. That's how cute she was. Don't throw me anything. If you see me on the street, don't throw me an apple. Don't do me house keys. Don't do it. Fact number four, all my ex-girlfriends dress me if I look good, I'm dating someone, if I'm disheveled, I'm single yet. And that brings us to the topic of this show, Fashion, Fashion, Batman and this episode. We're going to look at fashion. I'm going to break it down from three angles with three different guests. I'll talk to a buyer, a designer, a store owner, so you can see the part that each one plays. I think you're really going to dig this. So chill out, listen and see how you fit.
Welcome back. Sampling is a pillar of hip hop. It gave cats access to supplies they couldn't afford, like horn sections, choirs, singers we can have. Those instruments are recording budgets. So we sampled it and rebuilt it into something new. Let me introduce you to my homeboy, Leon. He's making something out of nothing, but more importantly, he's making something that matters to him. Who are you? What do you do, sir?
I am Leon Saint Heron, I am a creative director. I'm a designer artist. I own an operator brand called Heron Hues based out of San Diego, California. And I want I want to I want to live. I don't want to just be alive. I want to live. So. And who's out? Which you hear of my daughter Vida, my my baby, the young lady that I work hard for. You say hi, Vida.
I'm I'm a huge fan of of your rap history but for listeners who are just now catching up to speed, can you tell us just in a few sentences about your your musical history?
So originally, people most know me for my name. Bam Circa 86, I was in a group called Brother Nature Me, Real J Wallace in the early early 2000s is when I was probably the most prominent and I'm the generation after your generation.
How did you come to the name heron hues? You know, I've always been just good with coming up with titles and brands and probably part and partially to do with just rap and being poetic and expression changed my name from Circa 86 Start to Leon Saint Heron was to my merch. And then the hugest the just like my expression on a color spectrum, a colorful expression.
I mean so do you design your fashion line?
like 70 percent of what you see for me is my design. I also work with people, though. I mean, like can you do this better than I can? I mean, or and I also like like I'm a design flipper, so sometimes I just throw my homey design so he can stand it back and I could flip an original idea. You know, I used to dig in samples, so I went from kind of digging and sampling control material to figuring out, oh yeah, I can just make it and then flip it again.
How do your designs come about like this? The visual, is it a dream? Where does it start?
I would like to see the normalization of black imagery and I drive around in my car and I think I have to wear this. But the world makes you feel like who you are. Is it beautiful? You know who you are? Naturally, like there's probably some young African child out there who feels like they're too dark or their nose is too wide or whatever. But the truth is, if you if you know your history, you can know who you are, that you know that you're beautiful the way that you are. That goes to the young white kids, young Asian kids, Mexican kids, because the kids didn't have to feel like we can, you know, I mean, they shouldn't have to feel like that
in terms of what you're doing with fashion and imagery, what are your goals?
I know for sure one of my main goals is to the basics provider. I would like to realistically be like a Hanes. I like to be the brand that when a young person starts a clothing line are like, oh, what T-shirt should I bring on? Or the Heron Hues blends.
To me that's a big thing because automatically tells me that you didn't have that when you were coming in and now you're providing that to the next generation. What are some differences that you would say just the last five years that you seen in the look of rap fashion?
It's become more and more high fashion, like the same blends Pharrell uses is the same blanks that I can get that anybody can get. There's nothing that separates brands besides of really just the budget. Honestly, you got the budget and you could do anything.
I dig. I dig. Where can people find you?
They can find my website. Heron Hues dotcom.
Somewhere in our talk Leon mentioned he and I are just a few years apart. But in that time, tech has advanced faster than any other man made creation. Because of that, we have the Internet. Because of the Internet, we see more people, which means we see more clothes. So fashion trends that would have lasted three years in the 70s burn out in six months. These days. I don't want to speak for him, but I think an artist like Leon is beating that mold by creating works with genuine depth and impact. The big factory model of quantity over quality is moot. Even his business model is sampling. He's pulling from rap's DIY model. But instead of getting rich quick, he's using it to lay an entrepreneurial foundation future artist can utilize to start their own ventures. That's a big thing out. I'm going to take you to a store. The features upstart brands like Heron Hues. Let's call it a PEP FT, a field trip. Stay tuned.
Today, I'm taking you to a store that sells indy brands like Heron Hues, but before I do, let me introduce you to someone else you should know. Sandra Veum is a fashion stylist. I got the idea for this segment from a friend of mine a while back. He was shopping. A salesperson told him how customers really ask for help. They're professionally trained to put together outfits, but people never use them because they're intimidated and that struck me kind of funny. Customers don't want to look like they don't know what they're doing, but in actuality, they don't know what they're doing. And ultimately, their outfits convey just that. I've been looking disheveled. I need to level up, but I don't know what to buy. Sandra buys clothes professionally. So check out what it's like to get style. Who are you?
My name is Sander Veum and I am in San Diego and I am a personal wardrobe stylist and I like to think of myself as a stylist for the everyday person. So whoever out there who wants to develop their style, I'm your gal. I kind of look at myself as a style concierge.
Let's get into it. How does this work?
I try to make it as easy as possible. I want to be user friendly and I want to be approachable. I have this conversation first and then I send a very easy one page questionnaire for me. It gives me a good snapshot of where I can take this person and suggest things. From that questionnaire. I create probing questions and then we have a zoom call or a phone call and I really get to know them even more so by the probing questions on the questionnaire. And then I create and present a strategic plan that I think best fits them, their budget and their needs.
Tell me about the layout that you sent for Pinterest.
I'm visual, so it's funny. I can't cook know I can't draw, but I can hear someone and for whatever reason, my mind just goes and I can't stop myself like you don't even ask me to do that. And I'm like, oh my God, I'm so excited to just pin a bunch of looks after talking with you. It's about hearing your goals, even helping create some goals, talking about what your future looks like, where you're currently at. And then I just kind of start pinning. I can't stop myself. Maybe it's a problem. I don't know.
Tell me about the outfits that you that you had in mind.
I always like challenges. So to me, Street is taking something that is a certain genre, what people thinks and breaking it up, throwing something unique in it and making it your own. After our discussion, I decided to choose the outfits really based on what you had told me, you really wanted to kind of see about adding texture and how to incorporate color into the wardrobe, how to have interchangeable pieces may be taking something that was dress down and how you can amped up that fits now at the age of 40 and what that looks like. So it's all about getting that interchangeable wear our ability out of all the pieces that you own, the key are your shoes, too. So you want to make sure they have the right shoes. A sneaker, a cool boot. The key are shoes, shoes and shoes.
That's what I was going to ask you for Tips.
So you want to just look like effortless, like you're just put together and you're literally the best version of yourself. Something that's important for people to know is that people make an impression within seven seconds. Now, with Zoom, it's probably three, but it's really I mean, really, it's it's like cut that in half. But it's based on your your mannerisms, your body language, your dressing style and your overall appearance, those four factors and so what that tells me is it's how you look and how you feel about yourself. So it's about being smart, strategic with your shopping. So instead of just every year going and having looks like spend a lot of money, maybe you go quarterly and you just kind of add to the foundation that you have. So it's not so overwhelming in a one time shopping trip.
What's a fashion no, no. What's something that we definitely need to stop?
OK, so whether you're just walking around wrinkled equals bad to me. It makes you look like you don't care. And so I envision maybe you don't care about your work, maybe you don't care about yourself, know bad fit, or if it is key, even if you're going for a bag, your denim, you want to make sure it's the correct bagginess, you know what I mean? And also another thing. A lot of guys, when they leave their shirts untucked, there's a certain length and balance and where to wear that should hit on you. And again, sometimes are a lot of times they're too long and you can get them where they're made for your torso or find a good tailor.
I've been talking with my guest, Sandra, you Sandra, where can people find you so that they can enlist your services?
I mean, as I mentioned in San Diego, my website is my Mariposa style dot com and I created that specifically because I like to think of all of us being in cocoons. And then once we evolve, we evolve into our own beautiful colored butterfly closer
Like words and combining them make statements. So outfits and messages in that context with Sandra's doing as a stylist makes her similar to a speech therapist or phone operator who's helping you to communicate clearer. If we look to her profession like that, the price of clothes will go down and the value will go up. By the way, I added Pinterest pics vids to the PEP website if you'd like to see what she picked out for me. She's got wild good taste.
Stay tuned for more of the PEP.
I love you. I think I always will. Even now, I'm reeling from the effect that you have on the rest of my life. As badly as I want to feel the heat between us, I know exactly how this is going to end now streaming it platform collection Dotcom is the new film Short 'Run Ric!' , a who's who of San Diego Talent, brought to you by the good people at platform collection.
OK, we've met a designer of clothes and a professional buyer who buys clothes, want to see the kind of store Sandra buys from which she styles her clients. Hey, Dave, can we call Five and Dime?
Coming right up.
hello, Jason, how's it going? Who are you? What city are you in?
My name is Jason Huggins and I am in San Diego, California. Jason, what do you do for a living? I am a co-owner of a men's clothing apparel brand called Five and Dime. I've also been a long running deejay of twenty five years. I think I've been deejaying locally in San Diego. So I do have a deejay production company called Hickies and Dry Hump's. We do like throwback parties and stuff like that. I mean, that's pretty much the meat of it. A jack of all trades and master of none.
One of the things that I repeatedly heard from fashion heads about five and a dime is your habit of getting fashion brands before anyone else takes note of it. How are you able to see what's going to be big before it hits?
I think we just got lucky. It was like right place, right time to two thousand five when we launched our store to be able to be fortunate to carry those streetwear brands right before they took off, you know, crooks and castles, the hundreds, the guys from information in Hawaii, because the market wasn't super oversaturated at that point, we were able to really benefit.
You're just like a fashionista who just started to expose people to your fashion?
It was a bit of a learning curve.
San Diego is a very reserved city. I think there were moments in time where we had to bring people to the water to drink. It's a little bit slower. So, like, if things were I don't know so much about now because Internet things are moving a lot faster, people are able to retain the information a lot quicker. But, you know, a decade ago, that's it wasn't that wasn't the case necessarily.
Pause. The last segment I spoke to creative designer Leon Saint Heron back around 2013, Leon was rapping under the name Bam circa eighty six or bam four short bam circa eighty six and Ramel Real J Wallace made up a rap duo called Brother Nature and Brother Nature did a song and music video called 'Riches and rags' that doubled as a showcase for the store's clothing today in twenty twenty one. That's pretty smart, but nine years ago in twenty twelve, that was really smart. I wanted to know how that happened.
It came about them and Ramel. We're good friends of the shop and had been a part of it for a long time. And you know, with us supporting San Diego, we're like, what if we did a music lookbook video? And it is not what we were trying to describe was the struggles that we've seen in San Diego with homelessness and then our own personal struggles financially, and then we're like, what if we did like this trading places thing? Can we tell that story in two minutes in a lookbook
that's so deep! Because on the outside I saw that jump started Real J's foray into film. He started doing short films after that. It hasn't stopped.
we want to use five at a time as an outlet to express like the people that we know who we mess with, like who we support. You know what I mean?
Leon actually design some stuff. Like back in the day. He did some designs for us, too. So and some of them which we put out, it's always been a challenge to do, though. That's the thing. It's like these guys have always been talented. It's I guess we were just we were just a step in the ladder to help pull that out of them
where we'll five and dime be in five years?
I would like to see us have a bigger stake online. I'd like for more people outside of San Diego to know who we are. I mean, that's pretty much it, man. So my name is Jason Huggins. You can currently find us at five and Dime Dotcom.
Hey, you got to go to the PEP website. Listen to part two of this interview. I'm not saying we put the best stuff there. We couldn't fit it all right here, go check it out. Our topic is fashion. And in this episode, we've talked to a creative whose design clothes to a buyer who buys clothes in a store that's behind clothes being sold to people. A lot in this process could apply to any product but fashion is unique because it doesn't work on its own. It requires a person with their own message. If we all thought the same fashion wouldn't exist, we'd all just wear one thing. But we don't. We wear our clothes like flags to tell where we're from. Per usual, I'd like to know your thoughts, comments, feedback. Hit me on the new Twitter the PEP on KPBS. What's your go to outfit to feel confident and stunt on your competition. Hit me up at the PEP on KPBS and I'm looking at my monitor annnnnd...I got something fly for this episode. This is exclusive right now at the Casbah, the live streaming show. It's called One Night Only to feature some fire acts. They're going to patch us into their feed so you'll be able to hear a performance. I'm not going to even give away who it is. They'll introduce themselves. Hey, see you guys next episode.
Oh, ladies and gentlemen, the invisible Poncho's
thanks for stopping in, The Parker Edison Project is produced and hosted by yours truly Parker, Edison and the Good People at Platform Collection. Be sure to subscribe and catch the next episode on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcast if you have any comments or questions. Visit the Parker Edison Project Dotcom or hit us on Instagram at the project, my guy Kurt and my audio production manager Kinsee Morlan is my favorite podcast coordinator. Lisa Jane Morrissette is operations manager and John Decker is Associate General Manager for Content. This programing is made possible in part by the KPBS's Explore Content Fund. Love saying that because it reminds me of Sesame Street, you'll stay safe out there.
The Parker Edison Project
What comes to mind when you think of American culture? The Parker Edison Project works to expand the cliché answer to that question. It's a podcast that zooms way in on what really makes a culture — food, music, style, sex, fashion and more. Join host and co-creator Parker Edison for insightful conversations about creativity and community, all through the lens of Black America. This is the Parker Edison Project, a sonic exploration of what's considered American, where each episode starts with a thought-provoking talk and ends with a musical bang.