It is September and it is hot. 105 degrees to be exact. Warren Smith has been fidgeting with portable air conditioners all day in this one-day-only pop up store for Former. We’re in the middle of Chinatown. Inside the space it is barren and musty and perfectly merchandised. Three clothing racks and a desk. A film is being projected on the wall of Dane doing Dane things — but he is not here. He had twins yesterday. Maggie and Bobbie. The girls. Craig Anderson is here, and wanders about and shares a toast with some skaters melting on the floor. Grady Archbold, another master mind behind the brand is handing out cold waters in between cold beers. Austyn Gillette is beating the heat by being in Madrid on a skate trip. And as people are seen holding T-shirts up to check size, brows are wiped, and decisions are hard as everything looks good. This is the Premium Violence clothing line pop up and it’s for sale online today. But my shopping experience included getting to see and talk with the guys making the stuff. This is shopping today.
This one-day-only pop up was the only way to see the line in person. Your local surf shop doesn’t have it. Nor will it ever.
Former is online only. Direct to you. Its members naturally moved away from the pulse of corporate mindsets and now they want to either hand you your clothes themselves, or let you shop in the vibe of your own home.
“Premium Violence” is the second drop from Former and it’s accompanied by a Dane Reynolds part that is in short: insanely good. Former has created the kind of insider vibe that you’re wearing something special. Something that has pushed back from the norm, just by existing. And as somebody who is well-versed in old punk rock, this pop up reminds me of the days when punkers had to sell their records out of the trunks of their cars after the government labeled them as blasphemous, pulling their records off the store shelves. So they did it their way. And this is that. One-day-only. And Craig’s here.
Today you’ll be able to order the items through the magic of the internet. Shirts and hats and pants and patches and pins and nail polish. But the pop ups are where you get the vibe you’ll never find online. You’ll never have a raw talk with Craig through those avenues about the downfall of his relationship with Quik and the rise of Former while you paint your thumbnail a shade of pink from a bottle of nail polish. And you’ll never know what its like when you’re all done and you spin that little pink bottle around and it reads “Premium Violence.” —Brady Field
Check out the Premium Violence collection, and Dane’s new part here at 3pm PST.