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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
1
LA
02:28:35 Office _OPEN
3522 Hayden Ave
Culver City CA 90232
2
NY
05:28:35 Office _OPEN
401 Broadway
Suite 505 NY 10013
1.4_ARCHIVE

A living archive of (WestwoodWestwood) editorial platform

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.

PROJECT WOO

Tattoo Artist Dr Woo Launches A Skincare Line

With a three year wait list, 1.6 million followers on Instagram, and clients that include Zoë Kravitz, Travis Scott, Cara Delevingne, Hailey Bieber and Frank Ocean to name a few, Los Angeles tattoo artist Dr Woo is often referred to as “the most in-demand tattooist in the world.” Known for his distinct, minimalist art that boasts extremely detailed fine-line work using a single needle and a steady hand, the intricacy of Woo’s work has been likened to a pencil drawing, with the human body as his canvas.

Woo, who works out of Suite X, an under-the-radar, by-appointment-only studio inside the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, has collaborated on fashion projects with labels like John Elliot, Sacai and Converse and has his own label Hideaway. Now he's getting into the skincare game.

The line was originally set to launch back in April but was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Instead Dr. Woo unveiled just one item, The Daily Gentle Soap, as part of a hand-washing initiative with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the charity Baby2Baby, a non-profit that provides help for families and children in poverty. Now Project Woo is back on track with a curated collection of skincare essentials formulated to nourish, protect and care for even the most sensitive skin – with or without ink - starting with a Tattoo after/care kit, Duo Hand Sanitizer and SPF 30 for Face & Body. 

“WOO Skincare is a collection of premium clean skincare essentials for daily use that the whole family can take advantage of," he says of the inspiration behind the line. "Knowing the delicate balance of taking care of your new tattoo can be the caveat for its healing journey and understanding how to properly take care of your new tattoo will increase the longevity.”

The WOO after/care kit includes a coconut oil-based soap and moisturizer formulated with water break technology that provides a cooling, soothing sensation to injured skin; shea butter to facilitate skin healing; vitamin E to help fight free radicals and restore skin health; sesame seed oil with zinc to calm inflammation and irritation; and chamomile to calm and accelerate skin healing. Packaged in a sleek recyclable black box, the kit also comes with the added perk of an exclusive Dr. Woo art collectible.

“The packaging was one of my favorite parts of working with my team at WOO Skincare,” he says. “The design lends itself to my brand aesthetic as well as being sustainable and leaving as minimal of a footprint on our planet as possible. The custom artwork inside each product is inspired by each launch and in a way is a personal thank you for supporting our project. The featured illustrations are inspired by the mood I was in while creating that specific product for WOO Skincare.”

The mineral based SPF30 sunscreen is fragrance-free and formulated with a zinc oxide that won’t leave a white cast on deeper skin tones or tattooed areas. Finally, in tune with the times, the WOO minty and sanitizer offers a luxe alternative to the synthetic numbers currently clogging store shelves. Cruelty free, paraben and phthalate free and made in the U.S, it destroys 99% of common germs within 15 seconds as it contains 70% ethyl alcohol, exceeding CDC minimum recommendations. There are more products in the works, so keep an eye on this space.

LETTER FROM LONDON: Are Supper Clubs the New Eating Out?

With the rules surrounding restaurants in constant flux, it will be a while until eating out is a care-free, communal experience again. Laura Jackson, founder of the lifestyle brand Hoste, talks to WestwoodWestwood about how to host your own supper club and support small businesses in the process.

At my house everything centers around the dinner table. People say “if the walls could talk”, I always say “if my dining table could talk”. Even greater than my love for food is my love of getting people round a table for a good old chinwag. I started Hoste last September to bring the joy back into hosting and entertaining. I had already built a food, travel and interiors community with a lifestyle brand I worked on for six years called Jackson & Levine. We published a book called Round to Ours featuring recipes and party planning tips, collaborated on a range of ceramic tableware and table linens for British home good store Habitat, and did lots of brand work so I was in that space but I wanted to do something solo that elevated the dining experience.

Hoste encompasses supper clubs, travel, interiors, a podcast and a monthly newsletter. We launched with a big outdoor supper at the Forty Hall Farm and Vineyard in North London, a local, sustainable food project and social enterprise, which sold out in half an hour through the newsletter and Instagram. The newsletter acts as a little black book for our community and is where we share new brands, innovators, creatives and chefs who we’ve discovered and love. We want to support small businesses and shout it from the rooftops. We also work on events for companies like L’Oreal. We threw a dinner in the Conservatory at The Barbican, which is a massive greenhouse with over 1,500 species of tropical plants and trees, to launch a herbal hair color line. We curate the menu, the tablescape and the guest list. 

“Even greater than my love for food is my love of getting people round a table for a good old chinwag. I started Hoste to bring the joy back into hosting and entertaining.”

The Hoste supper club is all about creating great experiences that are accessible to everybody with tickets at an affordable price point. We limit it to two tickets per person because we want it to be a place where you can meet new people, be adventurous and game for a laugh. It’s always a really nice, interesting group and I always get emails afterwards with stories of new friendships that were formed or business collaborations. This year we were planning to do an event every month but that’s obviously on hold for now so instead we’ve launched an IGTV series called Taste Traveller to help our followers discover new tastes, new flavors and new chefs and recreate these experiences at home. I love eating at restaurants but I think entertaining at home is always special whether it’s date night or family time or having friends over. When I get an invitation to dinner at someone’s home I feel like it’s much more personal than going out - they’re inviting you into their space. The other thing that’s great about eating at home is you are not rushed - there’s no one trying to get you off the table for the next seating - and you can have seconds.  

You can support so many small businesses on your table. Find new brands on Instagram and Etsy, which is full of amazing makers, for everything from linens and glassware to cutlery and ceramics. I try to stay out of the big supermarkets when I’m thinking about my menus. I’m going to the local fishmonger for my fish and butchers for my meat and vegetable stands that sell produce from local farms. We’ve even been using the milkman to get our milk again. Food is a really great way to support local. I’ve discovered so many amazing food producers that I didn’t know about before. I’ve had neighbors pass on lots of tips like a guy who is making bread down the street. It’s created a real sense of community that would not have happened otherwise.  We’ve got more time to research these things now too, whereas before we were too busy and had to go to the supermarket. Restaurants are being really creative with box schemes and take-away kits, turning into grocery stores and doing wine deliveries to stay afloat. I’m also seeing more cook-alongs on Instagrams and step by step videos on how to create tablescapes.

“People are coming over to see you, not have some sort of life-changing gastronomical experience. Some of my best nights have involved me setting a beautiful table and ordering take out.”

When it comes to having people over, I say don’t go too crazy. It’s not the right time to experiment with something you’ve never made before. Go for tried and true recipes and always make sure there is more than enough food. My general rule is to do a cold starter, hot main and a cold dessert, that way you’re not in the kitchen all night. People are coming over to see you, not have some sort of life-changing gastronomical experience. I’m all about the cheats. Some of my best nights have involved me setting a beautiful table and ordering take out. Create an atmosphere, set the table, light some candles and prepare a great playlist. You eat with your eyes and that involves the table dressing as well as the food you’re consuming. I am always going to thrift shops to dig around for plates and glasses. I also love repurposing items: glass yoghurt pots make really great tea light holders. Whether you’re having a pizza, a locally reared piece of beef or vegetarian lasagna, laying down a tablecloth and picking some flowers from the garden just elevates the whole thing and makes it so much more special. Laying the table is my form of self care. 

Going forward I think we need to think about how many people we can have in a room again. I don’t see big events with big groups happening again this year so it’s about being creative and doing things on a smaller scale. That said, I can’t wait to be able to do our Hoste supper clubs again. We had so many plans this year including an event in Italy with a gorgeous hotel and one at this incredible gallery space in London. I’m looking forward to strangers being able to actually connect in person again, having a big group of people over and hopefully getting some help with the washing up. 

FROM COOL KID TO MYSTERY MAN

Sir Michael Rocks made his name in hip hop. Now he’s reinvented himself as the co-host of a late night 2.0 show on the live streaming platform Twitch.

Ever wanted to hear a sudden death, freestyle rap about eel trafficking, Papa John’s Shaq-a-Roni pizza, robotic dolphins or K-Pop vigilantes? That’s just a taste of what you’ll find on the Twitch channel Mystery School. “It’s a pirate radio show, late night talk show, music show, and improv comedy show all in one,” says co-host and musician Sir Michael Rocks who created the channel back in 2019 with DJ Owen Bones. The friends, who had originally planned to use Twitch to release their Mystery School EP, have now taken their lyrical talent and quirky humor to the streaming site full-time, broadcasting nightly to over 18,000 subscribers and counting.

As with many musicians of his generation, Rocks’ success story is one closely tied to the Internet. Growing up in a south Chicago suburb, the aspiring rapper met his long-time creative collaborator Chuck Inglish on Myspace back in 2005. The two went on to create hip hop duo The Cool Kids and their own label C.A.K.E. Records, toured the world, and worked with some of the biggest names in hip hop like Pharrell, J Cole and Lupe Fiasco. Rocks also found success with All City Chess Club, the "super group" P.O.C. (Pulled Over by the Cops), and The Toothpick Clique, but by the time he met Bones, he was looking for a change. “Everything felt kind of stale to me at the time,” he says. “So we really strived to create something that was uniquely ours, and was different from what was out there.”  

"With music, people have a certain expectation of you because of the songs you made or your sound. Now I can create and do all the things that are really me."

Named for the ancient Egyptian Mystery Schools where secret rites, magical formulas and spells were taught, it is perhaps no surprise that the pair's plans ended up taking an unexpected turn. It all began during a viral marketing campaign to promote their upcoming album release. “We rolled out our music with a prank where Owen pretended to be someone who had hacked my Instagram account,” Rocks recalls. “He put on a ski mask and went on my Instagram live acting like he had my Bitcoin information and all my passwords. It looked really convincing like it had been hacked by some Anonymous character. People were calling me to check if I was ok. It was pretty crazy... hundreds of people were coming on to the live stream and I had never had hundreds of people come on.” 

The act, which played out over two days, ended in a reveal on Twitch and proved to be a viral success and the beginning of their live streaming careers. “On the day of the reveal, we took off the ski masks and everyone went crazy. We figured we should keep streaming because it seemed like fun,” he says. “Now it's taken a bit of priority over music and has become our main focus.” For Rocks, it also came at a perfect time as he was searching for a new direction as an artist. “With music, people have a certain expectation of you because of the songs you made or your sound. They want you to stick with that because they can't see you in any other light,” he says. “Now I can create and do all the things that are really me. I get to act as a journalist and report news; I get to use my talent as a musician and make beats and rap on the spot.”

“I think Twitch is the leader in the streaming world...Twitch has a really good grasp on how to give creators that freedom and customization edge to make whatever you want.”

Broadcasting live five days a week, Mystery School is a mix of music, interviews and a breakdown of the day’s strangest headlines accompanied by crazy visual effects and plenty of gags. Guests have included Twitch superstar Wavy, fellow musicians Doseone, Chuck Inglish, Raquel Lily and Owen’s dad. The main attraction however is the improvised Sudden Death segment that wraps up each episode covering kooky news stories submitted by their fans on chat forum Discord. “Some of those Sudden Deaths have been insane and probably the highlights of our show,” he says. So much so that the duo now have a Sudden Death compilation album in the works and are creating an animated series based around the format too.

“I think Twitch is the leader in the streaming world. The integrations and the way you can customize your broadcast is unparalleled,” says Rocks of the show's home. “Twitch has a really good grasp on how to give creators that freedom and customization edge to make whatever you want.” And with non-gamers continuing to grow their presence on the site and Twitch’s Just Chatting category recently rising to #1 in popularity, Rocks believes it’s the future of the platform. “Owen and I had used Twitch a few times as gamers,” he says. “But a lot of people we know at Twitch have expressed to us that this is the direction the site is trying to go in and grow past just gaming. They got the right idea.” 

SCREENSHOT WITH AFTON VECHERY

What tabs does the Co-Founder and CEO of reproductive health brand Modern Fertility have open on her laptop right now?

We created our blog because there is so much misinformation on fertility. The Modern Fertility Blog is the resource we wished we always had — real talk, community, no judgments, personal stories and a modern take on how to navigate reproductive health today. We are publishing new articles every week, which are all reviewed by physicians to capture their trusted clinical expertise. We focus our blog posts on the questions we get most from our community of women, covering topics like ovulation, LGBTQ+ fertility, birth control, hormones, and more.  

 

The American Society of Reproductive Medicine is the reproductive healthcare industry’s go-to source of information on clinical guidelines and advancements. I use it to stay on top of all the latest developments in reproductive medicine and science. They recently released new podcast episodes (here, here and here) covering both a physician's and patient's view of the transgender fertility care pathway. Transgender fertility was a big focus at ASRM’s annual conference, which is of the one industry’s biggest (if not the biggest) events, and is something we continue to focus on at Modern Fertility with our medical content, products and community.

I am going through a French rap phase. I’ve always loved Les Nubians and have recently gotten into Ninho and Lefa, and now I’m in a bit of a rabbit hole with it. It’s soothing, energizing and interesting, making it the perfect background music while I work or attempt to do something in the kitchen. 

A consultant I worked with once upon a time launched this site and I discovered it on Linkedin. The design combines common pieces with graphic art and an ironic or comical twist. There are watches, clocks, tees and more that make you think or smile. I’m into the way it blends humor, cynicism, art and minimalism all in one. I'm currently checking out this watch, which makes me laugh.

I recently moved into a new place and wanted to get some unique prints for our guest bedroom. I love the way Jean’s art portrays a modern look at iconic locations and nature, capturing how global and interconnected places and objects can be. I am lucky to call Jean a friend and am a super-fan of her work. Someday I will see if she will do a custom commission of my bicycle.

I love vintage shopping and BabaYaga has some of the coolest pieces I’ve come across. The owner does an excellent job of curating items that are fun, casual and special. I recently got a 1980’s purple angora sweater from them embroidered with an emu, which I’m really loving. During the week, I keep my clothing pretty simple - especially when I was commuting into the office every day - but on the weekends I’m much more inventive (read, weird). My personal fashion has been described as ‘fabulous’ and ‘makes you kind of uncomfortable, but you also want to learn more’. I embrace the weirdness.

NO KA ‘OI is a fashion apparel brand for cycling and other fitness activities. When I’m not working on Modern Fertility, I’m usually biking. I could go on about how biking is such a great outlet, but that’s another story within itself. 

Peter Walters teaches some of the best yoga flows that I've ever done and he’s very conveniently and smoothly switched his classes to Zoom. His classes are challenging and active vinyasa flows while also very meditative and refreshing. I’m a critical student when it comes to some of the more meditative, fuzzy elements of yoga, but Peter gets it right. I try to do his classes at least once a week and always feel so much better after I do.

NATURAL HIGH 

Jen Batchelor founder of Kin Euphorics - the  nonalcoholic, functional beverage brand formulated with a blend of nootropics, adaptogens, and botanics - tells WestwoodWestwood why now is 100% the time to go zero proof.

Kin was created by me and my co-founder Matt Cauble to create a new way to revel in the world: one in which rather than apologizing for not joining in on the night’s alcoholic festivities, you are actually elated and proud to be doing something positive for yourself amongst friends. While most non-alcoholic beverages are trying to imitate libations that already exist, Kin is a liberation from that. Euphorics are an entirely new approach that takes not just the liver into account but the whole person from brain to endocrine to spiritual system. We approached this drink like pleasure engineers, marrying the effective western applications of nootropics and biohacking with the slow, synergistic style of Eastern traditions to facilitate, not force a feeling. 

We all know alcohol is a depressant, but often we only talk about it openly when it’s too late. Our life circumstances are jarring right now, whether you’re feeling anxious or depressed, isolated or overwhelmed, alcohol only exacerbates those emotions and keeps you on the hamster wheel of fear. I know for me, when this whole thing started back in March, I had been having a few craft beers on the weekends - no big deal. But as soon as I realized we were in this for the long haul and the stress of an economic shut down and fear of getting sick set in, those beers started hitting different. Suddenly I was bloated, my anxiety was through the roof and my sleep was constantly disrupted. As soon as I cut out the garbage in my diet including alcohol, processed food, late night sweets and cereal for every meal, I was in the zone and ready to rise up for any occasion. No down days.

We approached this drink like pleasure engineers....to facilitate, not force a feeling. 

The euphorics philosophy speaks to an entirely uplifting, electric way of approaching the world and our personal relationships through the lens of play, power, and pleasure. The goal is social healing for collective uprising. Our story and brand language has centered around elevating social connection and staying empowered by nurturing and honoring the self. We do that in non-conventional ways that happen to be resonating now more than ever. Our fans often share with us about drinking fatigue and so we are ushering in a new era of revelry: one with integrity and inclusivity at the center. Bliss to us means eyes clear, mind focused, heart awakened. 

Our community has never valued conscious connection more than right now. We see ourselves as true agents of change. We’re all hurting in some way, yet we’re renewed in our faith in the power of good people coming together to rise up and demand change. We also know we can’t do that while we’re emotionally or energetically compromised, so choosing Kin is a power move. No one and nothing is going to dim our light or numb our mental stamina. 

"The euphorics philosophy speaks to an entirely uplifting, electric way of approaching the world."

When it comes to hosting a euphoric, zero proof  gathering, it takes a certain mindset to set the mood. We like to say a great euphoric host is focused on serving. They’re gracious, electric in a warm energizing way, and not afraid to cut to the chase. 

Ice breakers break with convention to usher in the real. In the past we’ve partnered with the purpose driven card game We’re Not Really Strangers on a no-holds-barred vulnerability-as-superpower kind of party. We’ve never seen so many kinships happen in one night. 

Good lighting is major key. We tend to go incandescent with a pop of soft neons and uplighting to carve out nooks and spaces throughout a space. It’s really magical to see folks gravitating to one area or another for one on ones versus group laughs.

Always say goodnight, but never end with rules like “here’s where you exit”, “leave dishes there” or “parking ends at blah time”,  just close it magically, with a wish, a whisper, a way to keep people in touch. 

Want to host your own euphoric gathering? Kin is offering 10% off to the Westwood community on their website. Enter the code Westwood10 at checkout.

DFM X THE PLUS ME PROJECT

dFm is proud to announce our partnership with the Los Angeles based non-profit organization +Me Project which works to build confidence in youth through storytelling

As part of our commitment to advancing change for good and making a positive impact in our community dFm is proud to announce we will be partnering with the Los Angeles based non-profit organization +Me Project which works to build confidence in youth through storytelling. As a diversified media group centered around discovery, curation, and authenticity, we know that every story matters and have always been strongly committed to supporting and investing in exceptional talent, innovation and creativity.

Founded in 2013, the +Me Project works across the entire LAUSD School District to support disadvantaged students in developing the communication skills they need to compete for college entry and job opportunities. This year +Me is celebrating impacting 100,000 students through the program.

To kick off the partnership, dFm will be providing journals for all students participating in the +Me Project 2020 Activate Your Story + Summer Storytelling Workshops, a free 5-week action-oriented storytelling summer program for high school students in SoCal that allows them to find their voice, activate their story, and build their community. 

Winner of UCLA’s 2019 Social Enterprise Academy Showcase, the My Story Matters Journals are filled with introspective questions, interactive activities, and inspirational quotes, that give everyone the opportunity to sit down and reflect on what makes them unique. The journals break down the elements of story and walk users through identifying the important characters, settings, struggles, accomplishments, and lessons from their lives. Students use these storytelling skills to craft everything from college personal statements and scholarship essays to a job interview applications and resumes.

Additionally, Basic.Space 's charity arm will be donating 1% of profits to the +Me Project over the next 12 months to support funding of the +Me Project’s year-round programs working with over 250 public schools in Southern California, many of which are Title 1. 

dFm founder Jesse Lee will be leading an Activate Your Story session on July 31st with students from 17 high schools across Los Angeles, sharing his story as a role model to empower youth and remind students that their stories matter. Throughout the month of August team members from across dFm, Basic.Space and WestwoodWestwood will also be participating in the PLUS ME Project Storytelling Sunday series, a weekly Instagram live session featuring 5 guests that tell 5 stories in 5 minutes, every Sunday at 5PM.

“Our entire company is excited to support the +Me Project as we align really well with a shared mission of empowering others through storytelling,” says Lee. “High school is such an important period for future leaders of the community and beyond and we couldn’t think of a better opportunity to share our experience, expertise and enthusiasm in finding one’s voice to make a positive impact.”

THE VIRUS:

A short story by Sheila Marikar

Illustration by Mia Lee

The virus had spread to the point that you had to stay in your bubble. The White House had executed the G-Force Act — “out of an abundance of caution,” “to preserve humanity.” I guess the stakes were that high. I was at a Pilates class when it happened, one of those really expensive ones, lots of women in fancy, compression leggings, me in a stretched-out pair from Generic. I was on a reformer, midway through a series of hundreds, eyes closed, breathing out through my mouth — hah — when suddenly, I was in my bubble. Alone. Door locked. In the same position that I had been in class, but now I was on my cot and there were no straps in my hands, so I looked like a forlorn Tetris piece, the one that looks like a squashed Z. The only evidence of the G-Force was the chill on my cheeks, like a blast of wind had pushed them back.

“Fuck,” I said. They had to do it during Pilates class. Trigger happy president couldn’t have waited 20 more minutes so I would’ve at least been able to finish my workout. My way-too-expensive-for-someone-on-Essential-Human-Wage workout. I had seen the warnings, of course. You couldn’t not see them. They appeared in the upper right corner of your vision, in bright red text, stayed in your Feed until you actually focused on the warnings and read them, and then they would go away. 

There was the half that took the warnings seriously, planned, prepared, hugged and kissed their loved ones, stocked their bubbles with wine and Xanax, framed photos and weighted blankets, so that if it happened, when it happened, they’d feel okay. Like they could handle it, “weather the storm,” “tough it out,” “win the war,” all the things that the suits on the big screen liked to say. Then there was the other half, the half that was like, “meh.” “Not gonna happen.” “They’ll find a cure.” “No one’s ever used the G-Force Act.” “She’s not gonna use the G-Force Act.” “You think the first female president wants to go down in history for having used the G-Force Act?” “No way.” “Not gonna happen.” 

One of my friends called it the pussy act. She was getting waxed when it happened.

Read on.....