INTERVIEW: DANIEL PATRICK
Downtown Los Angeles and menswear are coincidently, and a benefit to us, both going through a revival. Daniel Patrick, the L.A. based menswear designer, recently opened his flagship on Broadway. The store’s orderly industrial appeal with its 18’ ceiling, polished concrete floor, modern office loft, and all around white walls, provides a gallery-like shop that reflects Daniel’s own super clean monochromatic clothing. The store is a much-welcomed addition to downtown. Located only a stone’s throw away from Acne Studios and the Ace Hotel, Daniel’s visually minimal flagship compliments the now hip Historic Core.
With the current popularity of “avant-garde” menswear being acknowledged as acceptable every-day wear, Daniel has position himself among the style-forward Gothic designers, using mostly soft black leather, rigidly cut to create comfortable loosely-fitted essential but unique items for guys. With an already established celebrity clientele, his dark clothing recently appeared in the post-apocalyptic movie The Hunger Games. As a former rugby player, his items’ ease and sturdiness borrows from sportswear. The versatility of his clothing perhaps stems from the fact that the Australian born designer doesn’t release full collections, instead he creates items the moment he’s inspired to draft and design them. With online-stores being the way most people purchase their clothing, Daniel’s ambitious ingenuity gives buyers a reason to frequent his brick-and-mortar. Daniel sat down with LAC to talk to us about his choice to leave his homeland, his creative process, and his optimism for menswear in L.A.
LA CANVAS: When did you start designing?
Daniel Patrick: Around 2007. Originally I was playing rugby, semi-professionally. Then I was about to go to France and play but I didn’t.
LAC: What happened?
DP: Well I told my manager I wanted to do fashion and I just quit.
LAC: How did he take it?
DP: He was like, “Well, there’s lots of fashion in France. You can do that there.” I was at that point I wanted to do something else, so I enrolled in school.
LAC: What school?
DP: FBI (Fashion College), a small boutique fashion school in Sidney, it taught me the basics. For me, mostly just going out and doing it, is how I pretty much learned.
LAC: How’s menswear in Australia?
DP: It’s very good – it’s out there. I mean, it’s still casual and laid back but there are a lot of good designers.
LAC: Do you think that you add that Australian vibe into your clothing?
DP: Definitely. I feel like your brand is always a reflection of yourself. Where you’ve been, where you live, what you see, and what you do – definitely translates into the designs.
LAC: What about rugby, do you put that into your clothing?
DP: Oh yeah, I was thinking about that today. I mean like leggings under shorts, and layering some of the sleeveless tank tops, it feels very sporty and also avant-garde.
LAC: Do you see your brand as avant-garde?
DP: Yeah. I like to be avant-garde, but I also try to get it to someone who doesn’t dress like this. You can come in and pick up a piece and it’s not too crazy, but it’s something that is based on the direction of this avant-garde. There’s a few of us doing this type of aesthetics and doing a good job at it. I feel people are getting on board on that. I don’t feel like I’ll always stay stagnant, because I’m always evolving as a person.
LAC: What materials do you like working with?
DP: Leather, that’s my favorite. But French Terry is something I do make a lot of my stuff out of. It’s very easy to work with. But leather is my favorite.
LAC: What brought you to L.A?
DP: Originally I came for New York, but I just took a trip to L.A. and I quickly gained a lot of friends. I just liked the weather and the state. I mean, basically, I found it a little bit more accessible when it came to fashion. I know a lot of people always talk about New York as being the fashion capitol, but to me I’d rather get in my car and drive around. I prefer to be here, it’s similar to Australia. I also moved over because I met my wife over here.
LAC: What were you doing before the shop?
DP: I was coming back and forth between here and Sidney and working on developing my brand. I had my first accounts here.
DP: I design for myself, what I would like to wear. That’s always been successful for me. All the stores I’m selling to are doing well with my product. The people that come here, it’s a mix: some are older, some are younger. It’s not limited to one particular kind of guy.
LAC: What stores can you find your items?
LAC: Are you sticking to only menswear?
DP: Well I already sell some pieces to women. My pieces are very unisex
LAC: When you create some unisex items, do you feel your menswear loses some of its masculinity?
DP: Not really. I feel it just depends on who’s wearing it and how they’re wearing it. I don’t mind having a feminine appeal to it. It’s still about what I want to wear.
LAC: What are you working on right now?
DP: A new bomber jacket. I’m just trying to figure out what material to make out of. I’m always creating new pieces and just dropping them.
LAC: Do you release collections?
DP: I have core pieces that I run, and I run those in new colors, or I’m doing tweaks on older models. But I’m able to create new pieces when I get an idea. I have no time restrains.
LAC: What designers are you looking at now?
LAC: Do you feel you belong to that group now?
DP: I don’t know. I’d like to feel included one day.
LAC: Why did you choose this building?
DP: This is the first place I looked at. I saw it and thought this could work. You have so much coming to this area now. You got Urban Outfitters, Acne, Ace – Oak and APC will be opening up too. It’s all nice. I wanted to be in downtown because I’m interested to be part of the renaissance down here.
1039 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90015