Luca Fersko For Grailed
Luca Fersko For Grailed
- Words Grailed Team
- Date December 20, 2017
As the fashion world evolves, so too do its players. As traditional beacons of style move from editorial offices and onto social media, the 21st century’s fashion icons are defying conventions in ways as unique as their respective voices. Case in point, Luca Fersko.
Part filmmaker, part model, part skateboarder, Fersko is the embodiment of modern, well-rounded cool. Starting his fashion career on the internet, the native New Yorker took a channel and parlayed it into over 200 thousand Instagram followers and work as one of the new faces of the equally-buzzy label Noah NYC.
We caught up with Fersko at our offices here in NYC, getting his take on the current state of YouTube, making moves in the fashion world and what’s on deck in 2018. Read our conversation below and then shop a selection of Fersko's own relaxed, high-end wardrobe.
Photography by Chris Fenimore
Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from, and where are you living now?
I was born in the New York City—uptown. I was the last of four children. My mother is from Italy and my dad was from New York. My mother thought it was best for my family to move to Italy after the passing of my dad, when I was 13. We went to Trento, a small city in the alpine foothills. [It’s a place with] mountains, lakes, vineyards and good parmesan and what not. I lived there for most of my teenage years. I’m currently based out of NYC.
How did you get started in the wider fashion space?
Living in a small city in Italy, there was a limit to clothing stores. Everyone looked like they were clones of one another. I remember seeing identical silhouettes all around Trento. If I wanted to buy anything out of the ordinary, I would have to travel a couple of hours to either Milan or Verona. I guess I got into clothing to not look like every other schmuck in town.
Obviously you’ve had a major YouTube presence, why did you start your channel, what content did it focus on in the early days and how has that content evolved since its beginning in 2014?
I guess I wanted an audience—for what, I didn’t know at the time—but I wanted an audience. At first it was mainly clothing related videos, some short films, skate videos etc. I would get a lot of messages from kids asking me for advice—life advice; I had kids telling me about their relationship problems, their family issues and so on. It was a strangely intimate connection. Once it started picking up traction, brands would reach out to me asking if I would feature their clothing or product in these videos. At 15 years old, I didn’t have much of a marketing or business background but I understood it enough to know there was some real money to be made here, something I needed if I was ever going to move back to the States by myself.
Even as YouTube has become a giant in the media world, you’ve seemed to have pivoted away from a YouTube-centric focus. What drove that decision?
I moved back to the States, I was living in my own apartment, somehow able to pay my bills and feed myself with money I made off the internet. It started feeling like a job—a job I was slowly losing interest in. The old videos became increasingly cringeworthy in my eyes and the only thing keeping me captivated were the short films I would put out every so often, but those didn’t bring in the bread. I was in a bit of a pickle. Long story short, I sort of bugged out and I deleted everything off the channel.
What’s been the most gratifying aspect of having such a robust audience of viewers and fans? What’s been the most frustrating?
A good family always has your back. My audience has had by back through and through. It feels like I’ve garnered a second family through them. Knowing that I’m receiving feedback and criticism from a diverse group of people is interesting. I’m getting older and change is inevitable, I hope they’re willing to grow alongside with me.
As someone who has grown up skating in NYC, what is your take on the rise of skate brands and skate culture in fashion? Aside from something like Supreme, are there any under-the-radar labels from the skateboarding world that you like?
It’s nice to see people do things independently. Skating is more than just jumping around —like you said, it’s a culture. It’s all about being independent. Noah has been releasing heat lately. I’ve been out of the loop when it comes to new skate brands. So please put me on!
Is skateboarding’s intersection with fashion just a passing trend, or something that’s here to stay—especially in a city with a rich skate history like NYC?
Skating’s been around since the early-‘50s. Fashion has been around forever. Skating has its own culture and style so it’s inevitable for skaters create their own brands. Ever since skating has come onto popular culture, people have taken a liking. People admire skaters for some reason so a lot of these already established brands are taking from the skater swag.
What’s next on the horizon for you? Any exciting future projects and endeavors in the coming year?
Film has my attention lately. I’ve been working on a few scripts i’m eager to shoot.
We all have ideas,it’s about executing them.