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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: HIRO CLARK

History: For many, the beach is the ultimate of Los Angeles life. So after moving to California from New York in 2012, Andy Salzer began selling his line of men's t-shirts on it's sandy shores - literally. But what struck him most about LA were the struggles, or "dark optimism," of the otherwise sunny city, where "people are willing to do whatever it takes to make it." This attitude presents itself in the line's edgy graphics.

Niche: The 100% cotton, classic-fit T-shirts are produced in limited runs of each design. Despite being an unofficial uniform in Los Angeles, Salzer feels there is something missing in the men's category and hopes to make his mark in T-shirts before expanding into other areas.

Key Products: Hiro Clark has collaborated with artist Michael Bevilacqua and photographer John Arsenault. A more unexpected collaboration is Hiro Clark x Le Labo, a line of scented t-shirts based on the idea of lovers stealing each others' T-shirts and perfume.

 

 

 

V MAGAZINE

V WANT IT: WILHELMINA'S "UNSIGNED" T-SHIRT

Wilhelmina's t-shirt collaboration with Hiro Clark is witty enough to wear ironically, and simple enough for the serious - in short, I need it.

Modeling agency Wilhelmina debuted a new capsule collection, created with LA-based brand Hiro Clark.  The collaboration of three t-shirts including one that reads only "UNSIGNED," and I simply must have it.

I can’t decide if wearing this shirt would make me look like a raging narcissist trying to let the world know that, despite my incredible looks, I’ve never been scouted. Or perhaps the more cynical citizens of the world will recognize it as a critique of Instagram culture making everyone with more than five followers a “model,” better yet, “aspiring model.” Either way, I’m into it, and I’d like to think that Wilhelmina would be happy with either interpretation.

There’s certainly a tongue-in-cheek vibe to the capsule; the other two shirts read “LOOKS CAN KILL” and “Model Casting, Please Knock.” Plus, they’re limited edition because after all this is New York City—a land of exclusives.

 

VOGUE

THESE LE LABO TEES ARE GREAT FOR TRAVEL AND GIFTING

Here’s a dilemma everyone is all too familiar with: In the hectic rush through the airport, or in the Uber trying to get to your destination, you realize that perhaps you don’t smell so great. Look, we’ve all been there. But now there’s an elegant—and fashionable—solution. Hiro Clark’s No Shower T-shirts, which are infused with Le Labo’s popular scent Santal 33. The fragrance microcapsules are actually woven into the fabric of the tees, to insure that the notes of Australian sandalwood, cardamom, iris, and violet stay fresh and potent for up to 6 washes.

“We are pushing the myth about the French and not washing a little further by dipping Hiro Clark’s tees into Le Labo’s Santal 33 and seeing how long this can last!” said Le Labo cofounder Fabrice Penot. “As Napoleon wrote to Joséphine from the battlefield: ‘Don’t wash, I return in three days’—kind of 19th-century sexting. Imagine how sexy she would have been by opening the door only wearing a dirty Santal 33 Hiro Clark tee?”

Hiro Clark founder Andy Salzer sees the tees not only as a play on Le Labo’s French heritage, but as a continuation of his brand’s effortless, California lifestyle. “We wanted to create something cool and easy—pick it up off the floor. Throw it on, and you’re out the door,” Salzer said. “I wear Santal 33 everyday. It’s natural that my tees would too.”

The tops come in a variety of colors and prints, like a graphic smoke design or a black tee reading “disappear here.” We get the wanderlust spirit of that design, but it will be pretty hard to disappear when you smell as good as Santal 33—even if you haven’t showered in days. 

VALET

NEXT LEVEL T-SHIRTS: THE 10 BEST SMALL-BATCH TEES OUR EDITORS SWEAR BY

Has there ever been a better time to sport a T-shirt? We don't think so.

For one thing, menswear is enjoying a shift to more relaxed styles and for another, it seems like there's a wealth of well-made T-shirts on the market these days. Sure, you'll have to pay a bit more than your standard three-pack styles, but these small-batch shirts are worth the investment. Crafted from quality materials, today's best tees are cut into subtle, but thoughtful designs with body-conscious fits. 

 

 

 

 

 

SUPERFUTURE

ONLINE: HIRO CLARK

Launched by fashion veteran and New York transplant Andy Salzer, the Hiro Clark men's label oozes the spirit of Los Angeles.  The name alone perfectly reflects its cosmopolitan vibe, but it's obviously the range of designs that caught our eye, reflecting the iconic lifestyle and adventure that's so often associated with this sprawling megalopolis.

Salzer, obviously a keen observer, captured all that plus what he found below the shiny surface, in an edgy range of limited edition men's tees.  Hiro Clark crewneck t-shirts are made from high-quality cotton jersey, emblazoned with carefully selected screen prints and texts, the designs epitomize the understated, if not laid-back, cool that everyone perceives as typically SoCal.  

Presented in Hiro Clark's first release are differently themed designs, including collabs with photographer John Arsenault, who also shot the brand's beautiful launch campaign, and another talented lensman, Michael Bevilacqua.

SELECTISM

LE LABO RELEASES SCENTED SHIRTS WITH HIRO CLARK

Hiro Clark and fragrance maker Le Labo will change the lives of the incurably lazy and perpetually casually dressed, forever. The partnering brands are set to release a special line of scented cotton t-shirts featuring Le Labo’s iconic Santal 33 fragrance. And despite the jesting opening sentence, we do think this effort is something frequent t-shirt wearers will genuinely enjoy.

Le Labo’s co-founder Fabrice Penot shed some light on what sparked the idea saying, “T-shirts are something that lovers steal from each other; that, and their perfume. Fragrance is such a personal choice — so special, so unique. And since Hiro Clark does such limited batches of tees, it made sense to partner with them on this one-of-a-kind project.”

The shirts will come in a white or gray colorway and be available in two graphic prints. First is the “Woodcut” print which is inspired by the base notes of the Santal 33 fragrance. Second is the “Miracles” graphic which takes inspiration from the “elements of magic” inherent in the brand. Both prints are expected to survive up to a dozen washings in the machine, so the dark, smoky Santal scent will stick around for awhile.

 

RACKED

HIRO CLARK EXPLORES THE DARK SIDE

LA is quintessentially known for its sunny disposition thanks to picturesque stretches of sandy beaches, palm tree-lined streets, and endless sunshine. But, the City of Angels has an unexplored dark side, too. When menswear designer Andy Salzer ditched New York and moved to LA, it was that very dark side that inspired Hiro Clark, his recently launched line of t-shirts for laid-back dudes.

In a city where casual attire is the norm and t-shirts are pretty much an all-day, everyday uniform, Salzer set out to make the menswear staple truly special. In addition to Hiro Clark's core black and white crew neck mainstays ($78), the label will also regularly roll out limited edition printed t-shirts ($128) emblazoned with dreamy visuals that tap into LA's shadowy side. And when we say limited, we mean really limited. Once it sells out, it's on to the next one.

With such a unique approach to menswear and cool perspective of LA, we wanted to know more about Hiro Clark. We caught up with Salzer to find out what prompted his big move to the West Coast, why he finds LA's dark side so enchanting, and more.



What inspired you to decamp to LA?
Why does anyone come to Los Angeles? We're all searching for something. Los Angeles is a great place to get clarity and think through your next steps. The beach, the weather, the super laid-back day to day—there's something inherently healing about this place. A friend always likens Los Angeles to a warm bath: It's warm and soothing and you just want to stay in that tub. That can be pretty enchanting.



You mentioned that you saw a darker side of LA when you arrived. Can you describe where you were and what that experience was like?
On the surface, Los Angeles is all glory and sunshine. That's what pulls you in. But once I got here, I started to scratch away at that glossy, shiny shell. Once you start exploring the shadows and move away from the spotlight, there's so much more to see: cruising the side streets, peering behind overgrown hedges, wandering empty beaches. The brighter the light, the darker the shadow. You can't have one without the other.



You went from designing a full menswear line to basics. What inspired the switch?
I looked closely at my own closet. And I spent a lot of time just listening to what guys were looking for—something special, something you could wear every day but not see everywhere. Nobody wants more of the same. I opted to focus my energy on doing one item incredibly well and that's what brought me to the t-shirt. It's a menswear staple that's so often overlooked. In a city like Los Angeles, we live in t-shirts. After years of refitting, washing, sampling, and resampling, here we are.

Where are a few of your favorite spots in LA to find inspiration?
Oh, man. There are so many. More than anything, Hiro Clark is about seeing Los Angeles differently. There's a kind of impossibility about this city. It shouldn't really exist, but it does. We keep referring to it as 'Lost Angeles'.

NYLON

THIS LIMITED-EDITION T-SHIRT SMELLS SO GOOD YOU WON'T NEED TO SHOWER WHEN WEARING IT

It’s Sunday and I’m repeating my mantra: I WILL NOT DRINK TONIGHT. I really should get to the gym instead, and I must be at work tomorrow by 9am—no excuses. Well, as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, so fast-forward to a late-night search for my Uber outside the after-hours. Ouch.

Finally, back at home, I caffeinate and eat a Colgate sandwich, but my fear of water is in full-effect. I can’t bring myself to shower off the sins of last night. Oh well, it’s not the first time. (And won’t be the last.) At least now I have a secret weapon, and after some dry shampoo, I reach for it: my brand spanking new Le Labo x Hiro Clark “No Shower T-shirt.”

Created by cult menswear designer and Hiro Clark founder, Andy Salzer, in conjunction with New York-based perfumer Le Labo, these T-shirts allow wearers to live the dream; you know, the one where you don’t have to shower but still smell good and look effortlessly cool. That dream. And it’s all made possible because these unisex “no shower” T-shirts are infused with Le Labo’s iconic Santal 33 scent. Microcapsules of the fragrance are woven into the fabric, which holds the smell for up to six washes and is released by rubbing the fabric to open the capsules.

The shirts come with three different graphic design options, (I am, of course, partial to the Bret Easton Ellis-inspired “Disappear Here”) in black, white, and gray; and true to ethos of Hiro Clark, they are created as part of a strictly limited-edition drop—as all the best things are.

 

NEW YORK MAGAZINE

IGNORE BASIC HYGIENE AND STILL SMELL GOOD THANKS TO THIS PERFUMED T-SHIRT

“I smell this all over New York and don’t know what it is!” a Reddit user once lamented on the site’s Fragrance thread. The “woody, smokey, leathery” smell that user crlbslx was trying to pinpoint was Le Labo’s Santal 33 perfume. At this point, it’s weird if you live in New York and don’t smell like the cult, small-batch fragrance, as GQ designer Griffin Funk once tweeted.

I’ve smelled it co-mingled with the scent of weed next to the Slurpee machine at an Alexander Wang Fashion Week party, in the Equinox locker room, on the wrists of many celebrity makeup artists, and once amidst the scent of broiling kalbi at a Korean-barbecue restaurant. But if the ubiquity of this sandalwood perfume and its ancillary laundry detergent isn’t enough, there’s another way to douse yourself: pre-scented Santal 33 slub cotton T-shirts.

Part of the “No Shower” collection, the scented T-shirts are a joint collaboration between Los Angeles T-shirt maker Hiro Clark and Le Labo that embraces the mysterious appeal of the unwashed T-shirt. Although the reality is that most unwashed T-shirts smell like something mildewy left too long in a Soul Cycle plastic bag, “No Shower” is inspired by the fantasy of a lover’s familiar and close (and presumably, non-funky) personal odor.

As Le Labo co-founder Fabrice Penot describes it, “Napoleon wrote to Josephine from the battlefield: ‘Don’t wash, I return in 3 days’ — [a] kind of 19th-century sexting. Imagine how sexy she would have been by opening the door only wearing a dirty Santal 33 Hiro Clark Tee?” Microcapsules woven into the fabric give the shirt Santal 33’s distinctive cedarwood blend, scenting it for up to six washes.

I received my “I Woke Up Smelling Like This” T-shirt in the mail and the scent was so strong I could smell it through the box and the plastic bag it was wrapped in. Although I felt a bit like a better-smelling version of Charlie Brown’s Pig-Pen when I wore the shirt consecutive days without washing it, no one seemed to notice. Friends leaned in for more lingering hugs than usual, while telling me that I smelled “fantastic.” I received appreciative looks from neighbors on the subway.

Once, I even wore it reluctantly to work out and my sweat has never smelled better (magically, the T-shirt was totally funk-free post-workout). When I finally threw it in the wash, it even had the happy effect of giving a subtle fragrance to everything else that was in the same laundry load, so that my sheets smelled perfumed, too. The fashion industry may love the niche and undiscovered — but when you smell this good, the omnipresent is hard to pass up.

 

THE MANUAL

TGIF SHOPPING: HIRO CLARK TEAMS UP WITH VERVE COFFEE ROASTERS FOR T-SHIRT LINE

With Victor Cruz’s recent collection with 3×1 launching last week, collaboration season is in full swing. Now, feast your eyes on the latest, a new t-shirt collabo, courtesy of Hiro Clark and California’s Verve Coffee Roasters.

“My morning trip to the beach always requires a shot of caffeine. It’s my daily ritual… and my daily addiction,” explains Hiro Clark founder, Andy Salzer / Founder, Hiro Clark. “Verve is so right for this collab – we both share a surf obsession and a love of small batch – our t-shirts, their coffee.”

The first shirt is a long exposure shot of a Santa Cruz beach at first light shot by Colby (Barr, co-founder of Verve) while the second shirt is a nod to So-Cal listing three of LA’s finest surf beaches.

“Santa Cruz meets LA all the way – we’re all about these bohemian beach communities, says Colby. “Plus, our small batch coffee story totally fits with Hiro Clark’s limited edition tees.”

Sweetening the deal, each limited edition Hiro Clark t-shirt is packaged in an engraved Stanley thermos & includes a 12 oz bag of Verve’s classic Streetlevel coffee.

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