SCV: We were talking about ‘aestheticism as the key to the good life.’ What does that mean to you as people and as stylists?
N.H: You know, living in New York, we’re all working hard to live here, we’re all getting older…I was raised thinking that you can never leave the house thinking you look good, if your house looks like shit. And, I’m late everywhere, but it makes sense. You’re alive, you’re enjoying your life and your times, but we’re all working. Sure, we’re working to learn and be busy and be inspired, but we’re also working for money. And why not put that to good use and make your whole life aesthetically pleasing? Why buy a Balmain bag and live in a shit hole? I don’t see the point of it at all.
SCV: So style is not just clothes. It’s not just ‘trends’ or ‘hip’ kids. It’s inner expression evident in one’s lifestyle?
A.P: What I was trying to write on the blog is that Martin Margiela is clearly no longer designing, but just his house. And I noticed that his soul is absent from the new stuff and it’s kind of redundant now. And it makes me really sad because he was super inspirational. It was a very weird conversation that he’d set up with you. He’d take something like expected-fashion and then expose it, expose the process, expose the seams, do something weird. And that was always so awesome and now he’s gone.
SCV: So, you’re interested in people who not only use bold colors and pieces but are also bold as an artistic attitude, who dare to go beyond.
A.P: Yes. Yes. Style is such a throw around word I guess, but you get inspired by anything. Sometimes I get inspired by kids that don’t have a lot of money, they can be very creative. When I was younger, I used to wear really weird stuff, like duck tape on my sister’s running rights. It’s fun to see people create looks for themselves and stand out.
SCV: Their soul is mixed in with their aestheticism.
A.P: I admire those people a lot. Not like…the skinny jean dudes with the hats and beards, which can be cool but…I just think it’s another way of expressing yourself and some people are much more interested in that.
SCV: What was your unified vision for your future as a team in fashion, for the future of Vagabond that clearly promotes this idea of individualism?
N.H: We met at a vintage store, so it was very our aesthetic, which is very 80’s and kind of funky and a little hippy and really bold stuff, which you can’t just throw on. You’ve got to be in the mood to wear it. We kind of wanted to highlight the people we like –Romeo Gigli, Helmut Lang…
A.P: Body Map. It’s very niche. We think about the editors we love. When I worked at Vogue, I worked for someone named Camilla Nickerson. She was very much connected to art and fashion and she’s a very intellectual fashion person, so she’d give me all these references. Anyway…we think about what Melanie Ward would want or what people might want in a couple of months.
SCV: And going back to that ‘realization of your story’ as a creative process, how does that play out in terms of creating new looks?
A.P: It usually starts with the clothes. I’ll notice I’m looking at a theme of things and from there, oftentimes I’ll decide ‘this is hitting my eye’ and that it will make a good story. Naveed and I will go back and we’ll try to do an editorial that people will like, but that also shows how you can wear that Oscar De La Renta blouse from the 70’s and do something with it that makes it look very current.
N.H: Vintage has exploded online and I find that a lot of the sites – they’re really Urban Outfitters looking. And it takes the luxury out of the garment. If you want to look runway ready today, you can go to Rainbow. It’s so brainless to take vintage and make it like…Bulldog. I just don’t see the point of it. We really care about trends and runway, but we’re also not that trend driven.
A.P: We try to do it how we would want to wear it. We make little fantasies in our heads of a story and then try to put it on, so that if people go online and look at those looks, they think ‘that’s a cool way to wear that’ and its very current.
SCV: You’re re-imagining, but by having original vintage pieces, you’re maintaing the originality of the pieces instead of exploiting the styles as other chain clothing stores.
N.H: We really care about honoring the history.
A.P: It makes it more meaningful. We’re both college graduates, smart people, and it makes it meaningful for us to honor it, know about it and to know about fashion history and stay on top of everything.
SCV: You call your pieces ‘little love notes’ back to your public. What would you say is your public? Why choose NYLON magazine as a potential advertisement space?
N.H: This site re-launched officially in October/November. On Ebay we had a really big clientele and do now. But right now, we’re kind of a whisper. We’ve put all this work into it and we’ve really perfected it over the past two years and spent a lot of time and money and effort. And it’s only the two of us. So from NYLON, what we want is to at least get people talking about it.
A.P: We have to expand. We have to think about the different niches we’re trying to reach and the customer. We really get so much good feedback all the time. ‘Your site is a amazing,’ ‘It’s genius,’ ‘It’s beautifully laid out,’ and we’re just waiting for all this buzz to kind of accumulate. I don’t think Vogue or Teen Vogue would take us.