Second/Layer was one of the most talked about collections of the SS16 season. The brand, created in Venice CA by brothers Josh and Jacob Willis, and Anthony Franco, presented their SS16 collections as part of C apsule's menswear presentation at NYFW:Mens' and offers non gender-specific, minimalist basics inspired by the local street/surf and skate scene. "Growing up we would skate down the street passing houses full of gang bangers, streets and front lawns lined with low riders, and old timers sitting outside on the porch. When we went to the beach we were the ghetto kids surfing," remembers Josh Willis of his inspirations for the label.
With the brand on the cusp of breaking through to the next level, we spoke with the boys about some of the challenges they overcome as emerging independent designers.
JW: Shiiiiit. I don’t think this interview is long enough to listen to all the challenges we go through. We started with nothing but a small savings account and some help from our parents. That all went in the first year and a half. We do freelance work of all kinds just to get by. We also do another brand named article-number as a passion project. It’s funny because I guess to some people we are killing it and when we ask them to work together they always ask what’s the budget as if there is ever a budget. But good thing we have good people around us that want to be down with what we are creating and money is never a thing for them. They know how we get down and if we make it we all make it together. This is the way we grew up. Friends become family and you ride through the thick and thin.
I guess our biggest challenge outside of the financial challenge is just the ability to spend more time on S/L. If we didn’t have to do everything else just to get by then we would be able to spend so much more time on S/L and that would make a world of a difference. But that’s the struggle you go through as an independent brand. At least we own our own shit and don’t have any square telling us what to do. How do we deal??? I guess we all Man up. We just get whatever we have to do done and keep it moving. That’s the only way.
Read the full interview in Capsule Paper, due out in December.