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WESTWOODWESTWOOD™ —A (¹CREATIVE_AGENCY) SLASH ²MEDIA—CHANNEL

1.2_ABOUT

We are agents of change born from the culture we now shape. A collection of strategic thinkers and creative makers who seek to discover authenticity wherever it lives, and share it with the world. An agency defined by its willingness to adapt, transforming brands and businesses alongside our partners and collaborators.

1.3_CLIENTS
  • 100 THIEVES
  • ALEXANDER WANG
  • ARMANI BEAUTY
  • CASH APP
  • CLARINS
  • DAVID YURMAN
  • GUCCI
  • IMPOSSIBLE FOODS
  • NIKE
  • RIMOWA
  • SWEETGREEN
  • VIRGIN HOTELS
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1.4_ARCHIVE

A living archive of (WestwoodWestwood) editorial platform

TO OUR COMMUNITY

Empathy is an ability to understand and share the feelings of one another: no judging or opining but simply supporting and fighting for those in pain. We all need to try a lot harder and commit to making a real difference within our own families, friends and communities. Let’s be clear. Black Lives Matter. Let’s be loud AND clear. BLACK LIVES MATTER.

We might not have all the answers but we can start by asking the right questions. How can we help? For now, we ask that you pay a little more attention to these small businesses or make a small donation to a cause that will lead to direct impact. Most importantly, let's all work towards a sustained effort so that we can actually end the injustice, once and for all.  

Imitation of Christ is Resurrected in Hollywood

Tara Subkoff’s cult Noughties fashion collective that pioneered the upcycling movement is back

Contributor: Rachel Marlowe

Founded by Tara Subkoff and Matt Damhave as an art collective twenty years ago in New York City, Imitation of Christ quickly gained cult status thanks to its irreverent attitude and cool girl following. Their first fashion show was held at an East Village funeral parlor complete with a casket and model-as-mourners, Chloe Sevigny came on as the brand’s creative director the following year and modeled in the shows alongside Scarlett Johansson, while the likes of Lou Reed and Natasha Lyonne sat in the front row. In 2006 however Subkoff sold the business to Rockwood Management Group, which shut down the brand two years later. 

Now, after being dormant for almost a decade, IOC has been resurrected with the help of new creative directors Lulu Syracuse, Jersey Bond and Hudson Schaetzke. “I feel like we’ve been reborn,” said Subkoff who is now based in Los Angeles. “I’m a Buddhist and I believe in multiple lifetimes.” The collection created entirely during quarantine, first over the phone and then designed and hand sewn in Subkoff’s backyard, harks back to the brands roots in recycling, customizing and updating discarded clothing and marks the second coming of the conceptual couture brand. “I think we were the first to use the term upcycle to mean taking the most unwanted piece in your closet and transforming it into something you love,” said Subkoff. “That concept is even more relevant today as we clean out our closets during quarantine. Instead of making new things take something old and making it new again by putting energy, creativity and art into it.”

“I think we were the first to use the term upcycle to mean taking the most unwanted piece in your closet and transforming it into something you love."

Dubbed “Americans Not Allowed in Paris”  following the news that residents of the United States will not be allowed to enter the European Union for the foreseeable future or the Haute Couture presentations that usually take place in Paris during July,  the ‘rebirth’ took the form of a socially distanced, guerilla-style outdoor show early Saturday at the foot of the hiking trail leading up to the Hollywood sign. As helicopters buzzed overhead, models (a mix of the designers’ friends and family all wearing customized face masks) showed off a collection of evening gowns, bolero jackets, jumpsuits and trench coats all created out of thrift store finds and cast offs from Subkoff’s closet, along with jeans and t-shirts embellished with slogans such as “The more you consume, the less you live” in IOC’s signature font. 

“As artists, designers and young people with our lives in front of us and currently on hold we want to say something and to create,”

“This is the first live fashion presentation [in the US ] since Covid started and everything was done as safely as possible, outside with masks and social distancing,”  said Subkoff, who as an asthma sufferer is in the high risk category. “It’s the hardest fitting I’ve ever done in my life out in my yard in Beachwood Canyon in the sun and we will all be getting tested as soon as this is over.” The one-of-a-kind pieces will be auctioned off on Instagram over the coming weeks with 50% of the profits going to Direct Relief, a charity that protects those under threat from disaster, disease and poverty, and Fridays for Future, the international climate movement founded by Greta Thunberg. 

 “As artists, designers and young people with our lives in front of us and currently on hold we want to say something and to create,” said Subkoff as the show wrapped up (come 9am temperatures were rising and traffic cops were handing out parking tickets). “We hope this goes beyond words and slogans and supports a new generation of young creatives resurrecting this conceptual house.”

SCREENSHOT WITH TIM DODD

What tabs does the Founder and CEO of cannabis retail boutique Sweet Flower have open on his laptop right now?

I launched Sweet Flower in 2018 to transform the cannabis shopping experience from one that is purely transactional, to a moment that is centered around education and wellness. Founded upon the principles of transparency, quality, and inclusion, Sweet Flower is a destination for consumers that are flower fluent and those that are canna-curious.

As a company, we are dedicated to our mission of serving as an ally and lifting up our community. The Black Cooperative Investment Fund is an organization that provides micro-loans to minority-owned businesses throughout Los Angeles that we have worked with frequently in the past, are working closely with now to continue supporting local black-owned businesses, and look forward to staying in close contact with. 

Gabe is an artist that has extraordinary talent, an inspiring vision and someone with whom we feel grateful to have had an ongoing partnership with. His latest piece of work Justice is currently on display at our three dispensary locations in DTLA, Studio City, and Melrose, and we are thrilled to have our walls serve as a canvas for his powerful work. 

As an entrepreneur within the cannabis space, it is imperative to keep a constant pulse on what is happening within the industry. Green Entrepreneur is one of my go-to resources and a site that I reference daily to catch up on relevant news. 

I think that I can speak for all of us in saying that we're craving a sense of tranquility in the midst of the climate that we are facing today. One product that I have turned to throughout this time is Kiva Confections Midnight Blueberry Gummies - not only are they delicious, but they ease my mind and help me get a good night's rest. 

This wine shop owned and operated by Helen Johannesen has been my go-to for social distance happy hours over the past few months. They have an amazing selection of natural and organic wine that I've been trying out through their local delivery service. 

ORDER UP: LOW AND SLOW

LC's Bar-BQ, known for its award-winning burnt ends, baked beans and thick cut fries, gives WestwoodWestwood the lowdown on how to fire up your grill Kansas City-style.

Dubbed the Barbecue Capital of the World, Kansas City Missouri is famous for its unique style of ‘cue’: slow cooked, hickory smoked and drenched in tomato and molasses based sauce. “I’ve eaten all over town and I’ve had sauces that are much more vinegary, I’ve also had barbecue sauces that are much too sweet. But I don't think I’ve tasted one that's as good of a combination as my grandfather’s,” says Tausha Hammett, operations manager of LC’s Bar-BQ, founded by her grandfather L.C. Richardson in 1986 and now an essential pit stop for barbecue lovers.

A family-owned operation that considers itself a hole in the wall, Richardson started his eponymous business after retiring from a lifelong career as a cook with a little smoker out on the corner. “He had a back-half of a building and then he grew and took over the whole building,” says Tausha. “He invested a lot of money into making this indoor pit with 3 levels. It’s one-of-a-kind and runs on hickory wood which gives the meat a nice flavor.”  Today you can still find L.C. out on the floor socializing with customers, although he leaves the manning of the pit to the next generation. “My grandfather has always been a cook, his entire life. I wouldn’t say barbecue is his hobby, I would say it’s more his passion,” she says.

“Our burnt ends are our best seller. We do both beef and pork, and offer half and half. They sell like hotcakes.” 

The restaurant’s wide selection of cuts includes the standard beef and pork alongside non traditional offerings such as turkey, chicken and ham, which can be ordered by the pound or as a mixed plate with a side soft white bread. Other house specialties include their sweet and smoky baked beans and thick cut fries. The real star of the menu, however, is the restaurant’s award-winning burnt ends: the point-end chunks of smoked brisket that have a distinct char or bark. “Our burnt ends are our best seller. We do both beef and pork, and offer half and half. They sell like hotcakes.”  

While family’s specialty seasoning and sauce recipes are kept strictly under wraps, here, Tausha shares her tips for how to recreate the Kansas City BBQ experience in your own backyard:

1. Our preference is open fire wood in a pit. We use hickory wood for ours. Nothing wrong with gas or coal, but you just can’t get a better flavor or tenderness than from an open flame.
2. We use our sauces and seasonings on everything. Our meat’s tenderness, smoky flavor, and seasoning is what made us famous. Sometimes we marinate our cuts for 24 hours.
3. St. Louis spare ribs are a trimmed down version of full spare ribs and are always pork. You want to find that right size of cut - not too skinny, not too thick - so you can ensure that you don't overcook it. I highly recommend purchasing a temperature gauge. 230ºF is the ideal temperature for at least six hours. Low and slow.

4. At LC’s the meat is dry rubbed and sauced before smoking and then sauced throughout the cooking process. This method builds up a crust that seals in the flavor and juices.
5. The very first thing my grandfather taught me when I was young and working in his restaurant was to put as much effort into every meal you make as if it was your own. Putting that personalized touch on everything is the greatest tip he gave me in life.

NOTE FROM NEW ZEALAND: RETAIL WIIL SURVIVE IF YOU KEEP IT REAL

On June 8th New Zealand declared the nation virus-free, lifted all restrictions and allowed all businesses to reopen.  Rachael Caughley, whose eponymous boutique in the heart of Wellington’s Cuba Quarter carries a curated mix of international brands and emerging New Zealand designers, talks to Westwood Westwood about retail post pandemic.

I started CAUGHLEY in October 2015 almost 5 years ago when I was 25 and we started our online business in 2017.  Wellington is the capital of New Zealand on the North Island’s southernmost point and has its own really unique culture - very different from the other cities in NZ ( it’s been dubbed the “coolest little capital in the world” by Lonely Planet). I am a born and bred Wellingtonian but I never dreamt of living here while I was growing up, I had to go and live overseas to appreciate just how great it is. Now my favourite cities are Paris and Wellington. I live by the sea and drive fifteen minutes to the centre of town each day to the shop. I am in a little quarter of world class art galleries, shops and restaurants. I love my customers, and I love the ability of a great piece of clothing to put a smile on someone's face.

When New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced we were at Level 4 on March 25  (the lockdown phase of the country’s alert system in the fight to stop COVID-19), all non-essential businesses had to shut their doors. I am a bit of a glass half full girl, so I went into full, "This is a great opportunity!" mode. We have had an online store for about three years but it's never had my full attention so this was a good opportunity to really get it going. I actually wasn't afraid. I was in the same boat as a lot of other businesses - in fact many other businesses were a lot worse off than me. I think as a business owner, you need to be really good at adapting fast to whatever is thrown at you. You've always got to be on your toes and aware of what is going on around you. 

“I am trying to focus more on the online because that is where all our growth is coming from but I find it hard….I am happiest on the shopfloor talking with customers in person.”

Ultimately our online sales increased 400%. So yes, this kept us going. I also had a great landlord that helped with the rent. It was also a great reminder not to get too ahead of yourself and always have cash in the bank for a rainy day. When things are going good, get yourself in a good financial position rather than opening another store or something. I am trying to focus more on the online business because that is where all our growth is coming from but I find it hard. I really have to force myself as my natural instinct and where I am happiest is on the shopfloor talking with customers in person. 

As for the shop inventory, we just kept going as usual. We usually have new stock every three weeks. We buy small drops and try to get them more frequently, that way I am not risking a whole lot of money and there is less waste which I think is really important in this industry. The smarter I can be with buying, not putting things on sale, connecting with my customers and only having pieces here that they want, the better for everyone. Buy less, buy better. I think that's true for retail stores as much as individuals. I honestly believe all my stock is always relevant. I type this in a jersey and a pair of flares that I got from the store four years ago. I still love them.

“People were excited to get back out and about and support local. It was an awesome, positive atmosphere.  We actually had our best month ever...”

We reopened on the first day of Level 3 on May 14th.  We didn't do anything special but all our regulars came back plus more. We sold a lot of knitwear by Laing and Standard Issue (both New Zealand brands), and Theron (an Australian label) - it is winter here -  and a lot of denim, especially Citizens of Humanity. People were excited to get back out and about and support local. It was an awesome, positive atmosphere.  We actually had our best month ever out of the last five years. I think working on the online store and marketing during the lockdown had a huge impact. I never stopped reaching out to customers and it really paid off. 

Ultimately COVID has just made me more lazer sharp with my vision. I’ve fine tuned my buying  and become less flippant and a lot more considered in everything I do. I started this business because I love making people feel good in what they are wearing each day. It's an act of self love to put on clothes that make you feel your best, no matter your shape or size. If I just stay true to that then I can be proud of the business I have and hopefully customers can feel good about shopping at CAUGHLEY. So far, so good! I heard a woman on the news the other night talking about brands post COVID, and she said the best thing a brand can do right now is be human. I think moving forward, consumers want to be treated like a human, by a human. Keeping it real is more important than ever right now.

ORDER UP: TEA PARTY WITH A TWIST

Owl's Brew tea-based cocktails, packed with immunity-boosting, antioxidant-rich fresh brewed tea and botanicals, are our summer tipple obsession.

When friends Jennie Ripps and Maria Littlefield joined forces in 2013 to create Owl’s Brew Boozy Tea, the idea was to create a healthier cocktail. “With most cocktails, the choice is between something with club soda that doesn’t have a ton of flavor, or something with juice that is full of sugar and can contribute to a hangover,” says Ripps, a Tea Sommelier by trade who has worked on beverage programs for Momofuku, Soho House and the Public Hotel. “I really thought there was a better way to drink.” 

What started as a hobby, with the pair hosting small soirées serving custom cocktails mixed with freshly brewed tea blends and botanicals, soon turned into a business as news of their 'tea-tails' spread and led to gigs catering events at Art Basel, Coachella, the Sundance Film Festival and NYC Fashion Week. “We found mixologists equally receptive,” says Littlefield. “Hotels and restaurants in New York, including the Standard, the Bowery Hotel, Quality Eats, and Smith & Wollensky also began incorporating Owl's Brew into their cocktail menus." Today the company produces six custom cocktail mixers along with a line of spiked teas that can be served straight on the rocks.

Tea is a natural botanical that can add different flavors and layers of depth to a cocktail.

Asides from the health benefits - studies have shown the high levels of antioxidant polyphenols in tea are powerful inflammation fighters and boost your immune system - tea is also a natural botanical that can add different flavors and layers of depth to a cocktail. Here the pair share their three favorite tea-tails for a tea party with a twist. 

The White Tea Watermelon Frosé

Blend together in a blender. Serve with a cube of fresh watermelon. Makes two cocktails.

The Frozen Citrus Margarita

Blend together in a blender. Serve with a wedge of fresh lime. Makes two cocktails⁠.

The Frozen Chai Piña Colada

Blend together in a blender. Serve with a slice of fresh pineapple. Makes two cocktails.

INTRODUCING (THE NEW) WESTWOOD WESTWOOD

A note from our founder Jesse Lee

When we initially launched WestwoodWestwood in 2016 our mission was simple: celebrate and showcase entrepreneurial creatives who also happened to be our friends - musicians, artists, designers, chefs, photographers, directors and even athletes - all of whom shared the common ethos that pursuing their passion mattered more than anything else.  Over time we expanded our editorial direction and mediums, producing not only videos, photos and written stories around individuals but also illustrations, animations and podcasts on subjects ranging from technology and trends to wellness and mental health.  While our content continued to evolve, our business model has always remained the same - to be objectively subjective, ad free, and supported solely through our agency work via dFm.

As we began planning for the new decade, we realized that it only made sense for us to combine our editorial content with our agency work.  Why not share our thoughts and opinions alongside our ideas and projects?  Ultimately, we want to keep supporting other people and businesses who are just as committed to creativity, ingenuity and growth.  The evolution of WestwoodWestwood as a hybrid creative agency and content studio is us continuing to challenge what is possible for the future.

Btw, dFm isn’t going anywhere.  It is the parent company of WestwoodWestwood and Basic.Space, and publisher of Mirage Magazine.  Expect to hear from us more this summer re: dFm, but in the meantime, please welcome the new WestwoodWestwood.  It’s still a work-in-progress so look out for incremental changes across our site, newsletter and social channels.  As always, feel free to reach out (Jesse@thedfm.com) if you have any questions, comments or just want to say hi :)

Best,
Jesse

Agency News 

We'd like to welcome (Owl's Brew), (Light Phone) and (David Yurman) to the dFm family. Be on the lookout for new product launches and work.