How did a Texas guy end up as a technical designer for some of the most influential streetwear lines in NYC and now designer of his own line? Cameron Stanford is proof that hard work and dedication to your craft will get you where you want to go and take you through some amazing adventures along the way.
New to Los Angeles and with 15 years of experience in the fashion industry, Stanford was finding it difficult to fit into the LA fashion world. “I thought, ‘I have this impressive resume and so much experience,’ then I couldn’t find work. It was really frustrating and it was really tough. I had some work here and there but nothing that was a great match for me. I always wanted to start my own company so that’s when I said, ‘Why not?’” That’s when the magic happened. Stanford created his own line of premium, numbered limited edition t-shirts inspired by nightlife, pop culture, typography, and music - Palm Noir. We got to take a look at his studio and the method behind his madness.
Even with Stanford’s impressive skills in textile design, he was embarking in a whole new realm of the industry. Teaching himself the complete process from the best fabric and material choices, to graphic design, to the heat press, Stanford was all in, spending hours perfecting his ideas. “I’ve screen printed before, taken classes, but it’s very messy,” he said. “That’s how I came across doing vinyl materials and heat press. I had to teach myself how to use everything. It’s all professional equipment; it was a learning process. I was very meticulous about really wanting to do this right.”
But don’t get it twisted, this isn’t just any graphic tee. Stanford incorporates his passion for streetwear, music, and a little pop of flash to create a stand out piece that can go from day to night in a pinch. “It’s fun because I love color, Palm Noir being really inspired by nightlife, it’s a little more flashy, bold, and graphic.” Taking some cues from his own personal style, Palm Noir is meant to be worn from the office to the club and the limited edition pieces are sure to get you noticed. Stanford states, “I think it reflects my style at the same time I try and make it accessible. I can often wear what I wear to work out; it works both ways. Versatility is a big part of my style.” He has a very clear vision of his audience and LA is the perfect canvas, as “somebody who is not afraid to express himself in the way he dresses and not afraid to be different.”
But Stanford isn’t stopping at Palm Noir. “I have all these ideas for graphics and collections,” he said. “There is so much opportunity. This is my passion and it’s something I don’t see in the market.” His newest venture is another t-shirt line that has a subtle design and big statement, Equalitee. “I had an idea for Equalitee, which is basically a blocky equal sign. I thought this is something that is not rainbow colored, it’s more subtle. It’s still bold and graphic but it’s a lot easier to wear. It’s something that people who want to show support for the community can wear and it’s not necessarily in your face, but it might start a dialogue or it might just be a cool t-shirt.” Not only does this line show support for a community making huge strides, but Stanford donates 10 percent of his proceeds to Miley Cyrus’s Happy Hippie Foundation, dedicated to helping LGBTQ homeless youths. “It’s one of those things where, they always say do what you love,” he said. “I really enjoy it, I really get into it, being able to see it all in a studio with real lighting has been really gratifying because it’s like I’ve actually built something, ya know?”
We ended our conversation with some words of wisdom from Stanford. “There are a lot of people who want to get into the fashion industry and simply loving clothes is not enough. Knowing the difference between being passionate about having clothes and being passionate about making them are two different things. Finding a market that you feel is underserved. I don’t see anyone else doing glitter t-shirts for men and I’d like to think I’m doing it right.” We can’t wait to see where this road leads!
Find out more at palmnoir.com
By Mischa Teichgraeber