MAXFIELD LA

15 QUESTIONS WITH MAXFIELD: HENRY LEVY/ERD

ONE INTERVIEW SESSION FEATURING ERD’S FOUNDER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR HENRY LEVY.

THE LA-BASED DESIGNER REVEALS THE INNER WORKINGS OF HIS POETIC MIND THROUGH AN INTIMATE DISCUSSION OF INCLINATIONS, ARTISTIC INFLUENCES AND DESIGN PROCESS. FIND OUT WHAT LIES BEHIND THIS NONCONFORMIST HIGH-FASHION LABEL INFUSED HEAVILY WITH PUNK LEANINGS.

FRIEDRICH NIETSCHE OR ALBERT CAMUS?

A: CAMUS

Q. YOUR WORK IS HEAVILY INFLUENCED BY BOTH MUSIC AND ART. WHAT ARE THE LITERARY INFLUENCES IN YOUR LIFE?

A. MOST OF MY INFLUENCES ARE VISUAL. I’M TRYING TO READ MORE THOUGH. I’VE BEEN INTO COOKIE MUELLER LATELY. SHE WRITES THESE SHORT STORIES THAT ARE REALLY EASY TO READ. MOTHERWELL IS ACTUALLY A PRETTY GOOD WRITER TOO; HE WAS A CRITIC AND WRITER BEFORE HE STARTED PAINTING. I FLIP THROUGH THIS BOOK HE WROTE ON THE DADA MOVEMENT PRETTY REGULARLY.

Q. A LOT OF ARTISTS ARE STUDIED THROUGH THEIR STUDIO SPACES. WHAT DOES YOURS LOOK LIKE AND WHAT DOES IT SAY ABOUT YOUR ART?

A. I JUST MOVED IN EARLY JUNE SO I’M STILL DEVELOPING A RELATIONSHIP WITH MY CURRENT STUDIO. I REALLY LIKE THE CONTRAST OF THE NEW HQ WITH MY WORK THOUGH. THE SPACE HAS A LOT OF HISTORY. MY DESK IS COVERED IN WORKS ON PAPER AND SKETCHES. IT’S CRAZY BECAUSE I MAKE A HUGE MESS EVERY DAY SINCE I DON’T WORK ON A LAPTOP. EVERYTHING I DO IS DONE BY HAND AND DRAWN ON PAPER. IT HAS TO BE RE-ORGANIZED EVERY MORNING.

Q. DO YOU WORK WITH MUSIC PLAYING OR SILENCE? WHAT MUSIC DO YOU LIKE TO WORK TO?

A. BOTH. I’M CURRENTLY LISTENING TO MOLCHAT DOMA AND A LOT OF OBSCURE 80’S COLD WAVE WHILE A DRAW. ALSO, CLASSICAL. BUT SILENCE IS PRODUCTIVE. ALSO, FUGAZI. BUT REGGAE TO START MY DAY: ALTON ELLIS, KING TUBBY, MIGHTY DIAMONDS.

Q. HOW HAS YOUR APPROACH TO DESIGNING CHANGED OVER TIME?

A. I’M CONSTANTLY LEARNING IN THIS RESPECT. I HAVE TO TAKE BREAKS AND STOP FOR A FEW DAYS AND COME BACK TO THINGS. ACCESSING MY SUBCONSCIOUS WHILE RUNNING A BUSINESS, IT’S DIFFICULT. ALSO, MY TEAM IS VERY INVOLVED, AND I HAVE A SMALL GROUP OF EXTREMELY TALENTED AND PARTICULAR INDIVIDUALS BY MY SIDE. WHAT WE ARE DOING OVER HERE ISN’T STANDARD AND REQUIRES PATIENCE, DRIVE AND RESTRAINT. YOU HAVE TO BE VERY SPECIAL TO WALK THROUGH OUR DOORS.

Q. WHAT CAN’T YOU LIVE WITHOUT?

A. PARLIAMENT LIGHTS, MY DOG, MY WALLET CHAIN. ICED COFFEE.

Q. DO YOU HAVE A MUSE?

A. MY GIRLFRIEND IS MY MUSE.

Q. WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT DESIGNING OR PAINTING?

A. I PLAY MUSIC AND LISTEN TO MUSIC. I ONLY PLAY THE BASS THOUGH. I GO TO MUSEUMS AND WALK MY DOG. TRYING TO BE A BALANCED ADULT.

Q. ARE YOU HAPPY WITH ALL YOUR TATTOOS?

A. I GUESS SO. YOU GET MORE TATTOOS TO FIX THE COMPOSITION AND DISTRACT FROM THE ONES YOU DON’T LIKE.

Q. DO YOU WEAR SHORTS WHEN IT’S HOT OUTSIDE?

A. IF I’M AT THE POOL. SHORT BLACK ONES. BUT BESIDES THAT, ABSOLUTELY NOT.

Q. THERE IS A HEAD OF JOHNNY THUNDERS IN OUR MAXFIELD/ENFANTS RICHES DEPRIMES WINDOW. WHY HIM, AND WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE ALBUM OF HIS?

A. MAYBE “SO ALONE” IS HIS BEST WORK. I’M MORE INTO HIS SPIRIT AND WHAT HE REPRESENTS. ORIGINAL SEED OF THE MOVEMENT, UNDER RATED, SELF-DESTRUCTIVE AND PURE. THAT RESONATES WITH ME.

Q. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIECE YOU HAVE EVER DESIGNED?

A. THAT’S HARD TO SAY. I’M REALLY FOND OF THE CHINESE ROCKS SILK JACKET FROM FW16. I DUNNO I STAND BEHIND ALL OF IT BUT WHAT’S IN MY CLOSET IS MOSTLY ARCHIVE. PIN STRIPE BLAZERS AND TROUSERS, LOU REED BAGGY KNIT. I WEAR MY ERD CROC DC MARTENS DAILY.

Q. IF YOU COULD CHOOSE TO LIVE IN ANOTHER TIME PERIOD THAN NOW, WHEN WOULD THAT BE?

A. MAYBE POST WORLD WAR II EUROPE. I COULD SEE MYSELF BEING A POST WAR ARTIST LATE 1940’S. GIACOMETTI ERA.

Q. WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM COLLABORATION?

A. I WOULD LOVE TO PHOTOGRAPH BENECIO DEL TORO OR PETER MURPHY FROM BAUHAUS FOR ERD. COLLABORATING CAN BE REALLY AMAZING OR ANNOYING DEPENDING ON THE PROJECT. I DON’T LIKE TO COMPROMISE MY VISION OR DILUTE MY BRAND WITH ANOTHER BRAND UNLESS IT’S REALLY SPECIAL/SMART. WE LIVE IN THIS ERA OF “COLLABS”. MOST OF IT’S WASTEFUL.