An experience within an experience sounds like a real mind game. For Silver Lake fashion label Rose in Good Faith, that’s the impetus behind their pop-in window art installation at American Rag Cie, coinciding with the launch of its spring collection as the line’s founders now consider how the brand is to expand at retail.
The three-week installation, a re-creation of a club venue bathroom in American Rag’s window, is fitting for the brand started in 2016 as it draws inspiration from the worlds of post-hardcore and emo music.
“It’s this nostalgic idea about what it’s like to be at a music venue when you’re a teenager and you’re seeing your favorite band play,” said Rose in Good Faith cofounder Akiva Alpert, adding the bathrooms at venues are in some ways a microcosm of the broader concert experience.
The window also celebrates the drop of the label’s “Ultra Violence” collection of graphic T-shirts, crew necks, hoodies and twill and cotton jersey pants ranging in price from $135 to $595. The entire line is produced in downtown Los Angeles and sold only through American Rag or direct in the brand’s online shop.
For Alpert and cofounder David Teitelbaum, it wasn’t just about dressing up a window to coincide with a new collection’s drop. The two say they’ve been exploring what collaborations mean today and how brands interact with consumers, especially after experimenting with a similar installation during November’s ComplexCon — a hybrid retail, music, fashion and art experience across two days in Long Beach.
“Definitely the future of culture as a whole when we talk about the amalgamation of fashion and music and mainstream culture merging with alternative culture, that is the future,” Alpert said of ComplexCon. “It’s that social existence brought to life.”
It’s that concept of the convergence that Teitelbaum and Alpert noted when Rose in Good Faith participated in ComplexCon for the first. The installation was similar to what is up at American Rag. Kids at ComplexCon stopped in at the booth, wrote on the faux bathroom wall and Instagrammed throughout the day. The brand had also participated in Capsule with Teitelbaum, noting a more staid experience at the trade show compared with what they saw at ComplexCon, which Teitelbaum likened to a mall — when malls were community gathering places and cultural touch points.
“There’s immense value to the trade show. There isn’t necessarily one or the other,” Alpert said. “Understanding that experience in terms of how you connect with your audience is paramount nowadays and at a trade show, you can’t tell that narrative. When we’re able to do an experience and create the bathroom venue at ComplexCon, we bring people into our world,” Alpert said.
“This is an amalgamation of where it’s all going,” Teitelbaum said. “We’ve been exploring a lot of ideas of what is the micro capsule and the micro-ComplexCon on a per-brand basis. I think ComplexCon is showing us something very important about the level of interactivity of the brand. We’re going to be testing some of those ideas out with Ed Hardy.”
The company has a collaboration with Ed Hardy, representing the first time the two are working together. That collection is due out in late May and is to be released in Atlanta alongside an experiential event in the city that’s expected to weave together fashion and music.
The two declined to get into the specifics of the collection, but both said it’s about pushing the brands forward.
“People have an idea of what’s to come, but with each generation things change,” Alpert said. “I respect what Christian Audigier did with the brand, but we come from a different era and, as such, that era is going to be explored in those pieces.”
“Ed Hardy is unfinished. It’s still growing as a brand,” Teitelbaum added of the upcoming collection’s aesthetic.
The brand’s work with Ed Hardy comes on the heels of last year’s collaboration with JNCO. Rose in Good Faith is also in talks with Alpha Industries for another collaboration expected to launch in December.