|Interview. Jules Gayton
Before we start: how did you get to Beinghunted?
I got introduced to Jörg at Beinghunted through mutual friends in Berlin.
What/where are your favourite hunting grounds?
Here, there, and everywhere.
Are you hunting for anything yourself – is there a collection that you need to complete?
I'm always searching for records. The search is endless and never complete.
You are from the UK originally… when and how did you ‘end up’ on Hawaii?
I was born & raised in London. Went to college in California, then moved to NYC in the early 80's and lived there until 2001. I moved to Hawaii and have been here coming up on three years this fall. I love it here!
What did you do – professionally maybe also in your spare time – before opening Leilow?
I was a club DJ but I was always into making art, skateboarding, clubbing and various other things.
You have a strong background and close ties with Stüssy. How did this come about ?
I met Shawn Stüssy through my friend, Paul Mittleman, now Stüssy Designer. I was also a member of the New York Stüssy Tribe. I've been a fan of the Stüssy Brand ever since and it's still my favorite.
When did Leilow start – with the opening of the store itself or did you carry this idea with you for longer ?
Leilow is a culmination of all my interests: music, art, skateboarding, surfing, design, travel, and friendships. All these things influence my store concept, my designs, and my life.
Some of the labels that you carry (Supreme, etc.) can cause massive hysteria when new merchandise drops. Do you have any experiences of this sort?
I'm really glad to be carrying these great brands in my store and have only had good experiences dealing with them.
You share your location with Kicks Hawaii… which will also get you exposed to sneaker heads and their habits. What do you think of the whole camping out/reselling business that’s going on right now?
I can relate to camping out for something you really want - I've gotten up at 4am many times to be the first at a flea market or yard sale to find that special piece of vinyl.
Back in the good ol’ days, one had to travel a lot and rely on friends to get those t-shirts, jackets, etc. from overseas – now you just log on to ebay. What do you think of this development?
The world has become a lot smaller place with the internet but the hunt is still he best part of getting something you've been searching for.
For you, does the internet play any role for your business?
I'm working on a Leilow website and hopefully it will grow in the future.
The success of brands like Stüssy, Goodenough, Supreme, etc. rely heavily on the retail environment, the sales personnel, the “extra-curricular activities”, etc.. Do these factors still play a role today?
The retail environment for Leilow is very important. It's a reflection of my brand, my interests and aesthetics, and also a reflection of the place that I live in.
Compared to NYC, TYO, LDN - do you feel that customers one Hawaii behave differently - more relaxed?
Hawaii is a pretty mellow place and most of my customers are mellow too.
What would your ideal customer look like/how would he behave?
I don't have an ideal customer - any open minded person is fine with me.
How do you get your information on new brands, etc. (trade shows, friends,…)?
Most of the merchandise I carry is through good friends and long relationships.
Which are some of the up-and-coming brands that you see a bright future for?
Leilow, Bittersweet, Visvim, GoodEnough UK.
Besides your own store, which retail spaces – on a global level – excite you and why?
Alot of brands in Japan have amazing retail spaces - I love the new SUBLIMESUCKA store in Tokyo - It has a great mixture of influences that I relate to.
If you could get one label from the past into your store – which no longer operates now – which one would it be?
Original 1970's Lightning Bolt .
What are your plans with Leilow – expansion, branch out, etc.?
Keep on doing my thing and see where it takes me.
Are there any other projects that you are involved with besides Leilow that you can share with us?
I hope to be dj-ing a couple of parties in Honolulu in the coming months.
25th anniversary is coming up – anything special you can tell us about?
I just want to send my Aloha out to all at Stüssy - 25 and going strong! Much love.
What will your next Stüssy products be – are there any other collaborations coming up?
I have a new Stüssy x Leilow shirt coming out this summer.
What are your activities besides work – you dj quite frequently?
I love the Hawaiian lifestyle- I surf and spend as much time outside as I can. I still like to make mixed tapes and make art.
What are your 5 most beloved items?
Here are 5 things I cherish most: my fiance Jane, my friends, the ocean, music, food.
Aloha & Mahalo to all at Gimme 5, Stüssy, Kicks Hawaii, Supreme, Medicom, Visvim, G1950, Undefeated, Ronin Records and all my friends worldwide!
Who should we interview next?
Ian Ginoza - Designer of Bittersweet & Kicks Hawaii
Beinghunted says thanks for the interview and all the best!
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