Exclusive: Eric Lawrence for Grailed
Exclusive: Eric Lawrence for Grailed
- Words Scott Santiago
- Date February 16, 2017
Eric Lawrence has spent the past 24 years of his life as a risk taker. Since his random encounter with Matthew Williams four years ago, he dropped out of college, packed his car and drove from Dallas, Texas to New York City for an internship. Working alongside Williams and other influential industry insiders has given Lawrence the opportunity find his own footing as a creative and begin making a name for himself with styling, casting and photography projects all his own.
Recently, he turned an acute interest in Kenneth Anger—the underground experimental filmmaker and author—into a line of tees. No stranger to breathing new life into his references and inspiration, Lawrence began printing “ANGER” onto a curated selection of vintage T-shirts, selling them through his Instagram. Shortly thereafter, he found himself collaborating with the likes of Mr. Completely for their Fall/Winter 2017 collection. We sat down with Eric to discuss his work, learn more about his design process and bring you guys 10 special re-releases of his soon-to-be classic tees.
You’ve been cruising under the radar for quite some time now. What got you started in fashion?
I’ve been into fashion for as long as I can remember. In like 5th grade my mom caught me taking apart my shoes with a razor blade because I was interested in how they were put together. Then, in middle school, I made these spray painted T-shirts that I would try to sell. I've always been obsessed with clothes. At 21, I met Matthew Williams, who offered me a job opportunity to assist him while he was working with Kanye West, which I couldn't turn down. I packed my bags and moved to New York right away. Since then, I have gotten to work with a ton of amazing designers and stylists, from Alyx Studios to Heron Preston.
What sparked your interest in filmmaker Kenneth Anger?
I learned about him from my mentor, Matthew. Then later I had a weird experience that I won’t elaborate on haha, but I started researching the occult and it eventually brought me to Kenneth Anger's films.
Are there any noteworthy works of his that resonate with you?
Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome. Marjorie Cameron stars as the ‘scarlet woman.’ The colors and effects in that film are so beautiful.
A quick scroll through your Instagram shows you’ve been a connoisseur of vintage T-shirts for a long time, with quite an impressive collection. How tedious was the sourcing process for the ANGER line?
It took me a long time to collect all the vintage blanks for the Anger collection. It is really hard to find blank vintage shirts. On top of that, I was really picky. They had to have a blind stitched hem, which is one way to date T-shirts. I also took all of the blanks to an expert and had them dated. After going through that process I became attached to all of the shirts and it was hard to let them go. I would always be like,
Damn, someone just bought this shirt! I loved that one!
Each shirt bearing unique signs of age and wash certainly gives them an intimate touch, which definitely played a factor in your first production run selling out instantly. How did it feel to have buyers such as Mr. Completely turn into collaborators?
Keith, the designer of Mr. Completely, bought a shirt from me and after receiving it he came to me and asked if I want to collaborate on a collection. It's really cool because when I made the vintage shirts it was my way of doing shirts that are unique in quality without having to do cut and sew myself. Working with Keith I got to really expand on making quality clothing. I designed my idea of the perfect fitting sweatpant, which fits like a straight suit pant. I got to add hardware, play with different washes on the T-shirts and so on. He gave me a lot of freedom.
You guys seemed to vibe well and your own personalities show in each garment. Where did the inspiration for the fringed Anger logo come from?
Yeah, we work really well together. The inspiration of the fringe came from this old Raf Simons button up, but it's also a play on the logo itself. If you take a New York Rangers hockey jersey, the original inspiration behind the logo flip, you have to de-thread the
R and the
S to reveal
ANGER, leaving excess threads from a DIY job.
When and where will your collaboration with Mr. Completely drop?
It will release exclusively on Mr. Completely's website in a few weeks and then in retailers this summer. We had great reception at the showroom during Paris Fashion Week.
Can we expect more work from you and Mr. Completely?