Talkin' Fresh: Aaron Rice of (Sound) + (Vision)
Written by Greg Harris
The fashion industry is growing with more interesting individuals who are crafting the meaning behind their brands. Talkin' Fresh has given the platform for these designers and these enthusiasts to express their love behind their passion for threads and how they would want to cultivate the world through their clothes. In this interview series, we focus our talent and approach to the lakes of Florida where we find ourselves speak to the sparking creative mind of Aaron Rice, the creative director of (Sound) + (Vision).
The music influenced brand has turned it's rocked influenced vibes into a strong following. The garments inspired by the likes of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, David Bowie, and more have set the tone for a brands that have a strong admiration of music that goes beyond the vintage craze that can be found in your local deprtment store in the mall. It's quite evident in the brand's direction and Rice keeps it quite vocal about his work and where it derives on social media. The outspoken approach that this brand has taken has made it easy for them to receive such an organic following and purely in a fashion where it's differentiating themselves in their own lane.
We recently had a chance to speak Rice about his the brand, his upbringing in Florida, why he uses music as a pillar of design, and more.
Read the interview below.
How's Your Modern Life?
My modern life is great! I'm just happy to be alive doing what I love which is something not everyone can do. I'm just striving every day to improve my craft, learn as much as I can about the subcultures I'm interested in and keep pushing them into today's current society. I've been working on a couple new collections for next year and getting ready for Art Basel coming up in Miami in December.
What are three things you have to do when you first wake up in the morning?
When I wake up I check my phone, Shower/get ready/eat & figure out what I'm doing/working on for the day & listen to music.
Coming up in Florida, how was your upbringing?
My upbringing was good I grew up in Coral Springs until like 5th grade then I moved to Delray Beach where I've lived ever since. I was exposed to a lot of Rap music as a kid until high school where I got into Rock 'N' Roll because of rockstars personal style. That was one of the big things that inspired me to start remaking certain things rockers wore & my own clothes are based on Rock 'N' Roll music.
Specifically how would describe the lifestyle of Palm Beach compared to the rest of South Florida?
Well, I live in west Delray beach and its quieter compared to say Miami. It allows me to get more work done in peace.
What have been some things you've taken away from the state that inspired you to become a designer?
Probably the biggest thing I've taken away is going to Art Basel every December and connecting with like-minded people. Back in 2012 when I was in 12th grade I went to Art Basel for my 1st time and I ran into Virgil Abloh. Virgil liked a long sleeve I had on that said Ballmayne on the front and a big tiger on the back which was based on the Balmain rugby team. That encounter is probably the moment which made me realize I had a chance at making clothing.
Before we dive into your craftsmanship as a designer, one of your main influences for the brand comes from music. Why do you think this plays an instrumental part in your work?
Music is a big part of my brand because I grew up idolizing guys like Takahiro Miyashita from Number (N)ine & The Soloist,Jun Takahashi from Undercover, & Hedi Slimane all of their clothes were mostly music inspired and I want to follow in their footsteps but at the same time carve my own lane.
I love music so much because I literally listen to music everyday I couldn't live without music. I'm always looking into different musicians style seeing what they wore so I can remake certain pieces. I design my clothes with musicians in mind i love seeing anyone in my clothes but musician hold a special place in my heart.
I'm constantly coming across new artists every day who inspire me. Hedi Slimane use to recruit indie musicians to walk his runway shows and I want to do the same thing when I do runway shows. I had this guy called Sean Wouters who is the lead singer of an indie band in Miami called DEAF POETS model my 2nd "FOREVER27-NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE" collection. I recently came up with a slogan for a future collection that shows how important music is to me "NO MUSIC NO LIFE".
Aside from music being pivotal in the Sound + Vision brand, the emphasis on the love of rock is profound. What inspires you to keep some of the most sacred names of rock still relevant to your clothes?
It's just my way to pay homage or respect to all the artists/musicians who have inspired me at one point in time. I once read a Hiroshi Fujiwara quote that sums up how I feel about my work "I mean, I copy many things—almost everything I do could be called a copy in some way. But I copy with a certain respect. I have a high regard for the original, and so I want to put my twist onto that. It’s just like sampling music—when it’s done well, the new work communicates a respect for the original source material. But some of the bigger companies seem to be copying only make money, which creatively is very bad. I sometime wonder if they have any respect.”
Along with showcasing what rock has done for you, why do you want to take this path of making clothes rather than what is the Status Quo for fashion at the moment?
S+V started out as I stuff I wanted to wear and it will always will be because the brand is a reflection of my personal style and taste level. Im kind of my in my own little world I find inspiration in other brands but for the most part I keep to myself. I'm into style I'm not into fashion because fashion is very trendy and in the moment.
Seeing vintage rock tees in popularized stores in the mall or boutiques can be annoying but I know you're past the stage of being annoyed by it. What keeps you driven to deprecate yourself from the wack knockoffs that come out of Urban Outfitters?
At the end of the day, I don't really judge people they can wear whatever they want its just clothes. I use to be a really big vintage rock tee collector I had over 100 shirts. I 1st started gravitating towards rock tees because of the artwork on the shirts and I would study the graphic designers who made the logos and graphics. My thing is I'm doing this because I have a passion for all these bands or musicians who inspire my clothing in a way its like I'm telling a story with each T-shirt or piece I design.
"I want my clothes to live long after I'm gone because the way I design my clothes is timeless. I hope whoever wears my clothes or finds my clothes after I'm gone studies the graphics and stories behind my pieces."
You recently showcased your clothes in the LA Men's Market, how was that experience?
LA MENS MARKET was cool it was my 1st trade show ever. My 2nd time being in LA and i met a lot of people and made some connections.
What are some goals you want to get accomplished this year?
The years almost over but for next year 2018, I wanna drop 2-3 collections and hopefully do some pop up shops in LA & NY. I want to get my brand stocked all over the world especially Japan. Hopefully travel to Japan too.
How do you want your love for music and clothes to live on throughout time?
I want my clothes to live long after I'm gone because the way I design my clothes is timeless. I hope whoever wears my clothes or finds my clothes after I'm gone studies the graphics and stories behind my pieces.
When it's all said and done, how do you want to be remembered?
I wanna be remembered how my idols will be and as an "ENCYCLOPEDIA" which is my nickname. I want to be remembered the same way guys like Gary Warnett is remembered for for spreading knowledge and information.