You’re probably right. So you’ve talked a lot about not wanting to give your ideas to larger corporations and doing it on your own. But you still collaborate with brands like Converse and Lacoste. How are you deciding who to work with?
Yeah. I mean, it all depends. I mean, I’ve been wearing Lacoste since I was a small child. The Lacoste thing was with Le Fleur; we didn’t do that with Golf Wang. They are two separate entities. With Golf Wang, it’s just like, man, “What do we fuck with? What do I fuck with?” Same with anything I collab with. Like, when I did the Golf Le Fleur Jeni’s thing. I fuck with Jeni’s. I still go there. I was like “Yo, I got ideas—let’s do something.” I feel like Jeni’s is a small boutique brand that’s just making the best ice cream. And I’m like, yeah, let’s do that with Le Fleur. Le Fleur ain’t the biggest thing; I like it small and for a certain consumer. And with Golf Wang, we did an ill motorbike. We did it in our color palette. And those little bikes are fun, and that’s, like, a piece of what Golf Wang is about. So that’s why I picked that. I don’t really go for what’s gonna make the most money, what’s going to be the hypest thing. It’s just like, nah, that’ll be tight. And that’s what we approach it.
I was watching your interview with Kerwin and you showed a pair of Church’s shoes that you collabed on. What happened with that? Why did it fall through?
Well, those were a pair of the Le Fleur Church shoes. I couldn’t get the end design right. And not just design, but just the way it felt, the way it moved when you walked in them. I canned it for now, but you never know, that might come out, you know, in the future. I just didn’t want to put the unfinished concept out. So I’m still trying to perfect that, but those were, those were the Le Fleur joints.
In your eyes, what’s the difference between Golf Le Fleur and Golf Wang? Le Fleur is more elevated, right?
Le Fleur is, you know, sweaters, slacks, you know. Rolls-Royce, you playing chess, you know, like, listening to whatever the fuck, Sade demos. That’s that shit. And I really wanted to model Le Fleur off of where I’ve just been at the last three years. Um, just getting into that pocket. Trench coats, perfumes, and, like, making sure your skin is good. That’s that. With Golf Wang, it’s like, man, we gotta make the illest T-shirts, the illest hoodies, the illest utility vest. Like, man, that’s that fuck shit. I say fuck shit [Laughs.] But making it nice. I still love the idea of a T-shirt and a good hoodie or some good pants. The Golf Wang stuff is more fun in that sense. It’s more skateboard roots and loitering in front of spots. Le Fleur is like, all right, the jet is here.
That makes sense. It’s been slow and steady growth with both of those lines, but it is hard to sustain a fashion brand for a long amount of time—especially a brand from a celebrity. What are you doing to make sure that the line is sustainable and stays around for a long time?
Just making a résumé for it. And making the right choices. It’s been, like, eight years since Golf Wang was a thing thing. I never liked making Tyler, the Creator merch. I never liked it. I never liked putting my face on merch. I’ve done it two or three times, probably. The new Call Me If You Get Lost shirts. And I think I did it for Igor for, like, two shirts, and maybe one during Wolf or something. But when people call Golf Wang merch, it’s like, it’s not fucking merch. It doesn’t say Tyler, the Creator on everything. These are actual clothing pieces. It’s a store. It’s ran like a line. Don’t call it merch.
Everyone’s like, yeah, we gotta get in this store and that store, and I’m like, “Why? Make them come to you.” I remember when I was 17, 18, and the music blogs that were the hot shit. They wouldn’t post anything that we were doing. So I was like, fuck it, I’ll make people come to us. And that’s when I really monetized on the idea of Tumblrs and Blogspots and I made them come to me. And it was that same approach with the clothes. It’s like, oh, you know, fuck all them stores. We don’t need them. Don’t make them feel important because they don’t control it. So I was like, no, hey, this is what we’re going to do. Fuck it. In 2011, every city we went to, we built a store out and did a pop-up shop and had people come to us. And that was the shit we were selling. It wasn’t no middle man. And then that’s what we do now. I only sell online, and I sell at the store in LA. It’s, like, one spot in Australia that I fuck with that we sent a few things here and there. But it’s like, “No, you have to own your shit and always have the upper hand.” But that’s for me, you know. That might not work for everyone. And that’s no diss to anyone who’s doing it like that, but you know, that’s how I want to run it.
So if Dover Street Market reached out and said we want to carry Golf Le Fleur, what would you say?
I mean, everything is figureoutable. At some point I’m going to probably definitely be in a few stores that I personally like. And they’ve always showed love, and I love how they curate things. So I’m not against it. But you know, I started with it like, “No, I’ll make them come to us.” So we have the upper hand. So when we select where we go, it’s like, oh shit, they put Golf Wang, they put Le Fleur in their store. N**** we special cause they don’t do that.
I think that’s smart. I mean you are always so great with color and that’s a gift. And the palette is tweaked just slightly from collection to collection. I guess I’m curious how you developed this skill for working with color and what were you thinking about in terms of color for your most recent collection?
I don’t know. I don’t even have an answer for that. I just think color and saturation, and the harmonies of when you can put them together and it actually works is just super ill. Again, I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know much about color theory. I never went to school for it. So I don’t know the rules. I just know what I think looks good and what I don’t like. For example, I hate red, brown, and purple together so fucking much. It’s the worst color combo of all time. But the only time I seen it work was Dru Hill’s first album. If you look at Dru Hill’s first album, it’s the only time purple, red, and brown worked to me. Aside from that, it’s fucking disgusting dude.