Sean Wotherspoon has been a vibrant force in streetwear, leaving a trail of lively, contrasting colours wherever he goes.
He's a designer, social media phenomenon and owner of Round Two, a vintage boutique that's become a Mecca for throwback garments in Los Angeles. Given Sean's love for classic designs, it comes as no surprise that he's teamed up with longstanding label Guess for his latest collaboration. For the Farmer's Market collection, he takes influence from Guess’ golden era of the ‘80s and ‘90s, while implementing his own vibrant twist that's inspired by the colours of fruits and vegetables. The Farmer's Market range has also headed on tour, being sold at packed-out events in Paris, London, Tokyo and yes, right here in Melbourne.
Fans queued for days in Melbourne's brisk winter to grab the collection, and when doors flung open on Saturday morning, hundreds descended on Flinders Street to immerse themselves in the Farmer's Market. Most of them left with sizeable Guess shopping bags, and when Sean himself arrived, it was nothing short of pandemonium. Kids huddled around for photos and presented items to be autographed. One fan got Sean's 'More Air' tagline scrawled on his Air Max 97/1, before placing it carefully in a bag and hobbling off with only one shoe on.
Amongst all the madness at the Farmer's Market, we nabbed a few minutes to talk about the collection with Sean and Nicolai Marciano of Guess.
We're here at the Guess Farmer's Market, which you've hosted around the world. How does it feel physically going and seeing the immediate response of the fans? I imagine it's pretty surreal.
SW: Oh yeah, it's so sick. The US is where we're pretty much launching everything, and that's where I feel like we're the most popular, but it's hard to put into perspective how many people in other countries really fuck with what we're doing. It's sort of insane. When I saw Nicolai's videos, he came up this morning and he was like, "Yeah, there's 300 people in line." I'm like, "What?!" It's always nuts... It's dope knowing that we're all connected by clothing and shoes. It's super surprising.
I feel like in the US, everyone is so set on making money off stuff, that they lose sight of actually having fun or learning about something. I feel like all these other places – Australia, just looking and talking to people there, and I've only been here an hour and a half – it's so different. Everyone's a true fan and has this actual love for it. It's not just, “sign this, so I can get it resold." It's, "Dude. Oh my God. I've been waiting to meet you. We've been waiting to get some of this Guess stuff... I can't wait to wear it." Dudes are throwing it right on with dope fits and shit. I'm really hyped on it.
What do you feel is the future of fashion and retail from hereon in, with buying products online as opposed to providing a full-on experience like the Farmer's Market?
SW: It's the future of consuming, stores and retail. I think when I work with companies, especially what we've been doing with Guess, that's what I bring to the table. Online is weird, it's not fun. Just like Round Two, nothing's online. If you want to experience it, you have to come to the store, and you get this amazing in-store experience. That's what we're doing with the Guess thing. It's like we're creating what I think is a phenomenal product, and we want everyone to be a part of it. We don't want you to just buy online and click.
A couple of years down the road, that's what's going to matter, is that people have a story. I think that's the stuff that's going to stick with everyone, hold value, or still be cool. There's a story to that. It's really sick, dude.
NM: It's something that we always wanted to do, especially with Guess Jeans USA, and even since Rocky. Everything's always been about installation, and more than a pop-up. It's the future of it. Anyone can sell stuff online, but not everyone can create this really tangible experience that people can carry with them, it's just something we're really trying for.