BEHIND THE SEAMS: Hippy Thug
Austin, Texas is all about embracing the different and keeping it that way. A little piece of Austin has moved on to LA with Hippy Thug. Tommy Green, who says he got in touch with creative side in Austin, moved to LA a little over a year ago to pursue his dream in fashion design and make his mark on the industry. We caught up with Green to get the low down on his brand new cut and sew collection.
With no formal training, Green gravitates towards the look and feel of fabrics first. “I picked each fabric by how soft it is and how it lays and drapes, and the colors,” consisting of mainly vintage French terry’s, stretch velvet and exotic blends all handpicked in LA. “Everything I’ve done as far as clothes and music has been self taught, just a lot of hours of figuring out the things that I like because I originally made everything for myself, but I had to start considering what everyone else is going to like,” Green said with a laugh. He started it all in Austin with printed shirts that he sold out of his trunk, adding that he started making shirts that expressed his lifestyle and then all of his friends ended up wanting them as well. Green went from cannabis tees to contemporary in the move west. “I knew that’s where I could make everything from scratch and express my concepts,” he said. With an impeccable eye for materials and intense research in forecasting, Green is always looking to what’s next but stays true to his own aesthetic. “My style is a little out there compared to the average person, I definitely have to tone it down sometimes, but I would never make anything that I wouldn’t wear, I try to make something that’s good for everything. Someone doesn’t have to be as out there to wear a lot of stuff it just depends how you wear it,” he says. Luckily for us, the collection is completely unisex; everything is made to be worn to reflect anyone lucky enough to wear it’s own personal style. Green reaches the customers a personal level as well with hand-distressed customizations on any and all items. “Right now I’ve only done it for specialty stores or friends that want something custom. But I want customers to personally reach out and tell us what type of distressing that you want all done all done by me, the designer,” he says.
Green is all about spreading the love with a strong emphasis in giving back. “The more we grow and the more we succeed the more I can give opportunity to everyone around.” He makes trips to skid row in downtown LA to give clothes to people in need, a value instilled in him by his mom. “My mom is a huge sweetheart and that’s where the Hippy Thug love side comes from.”
What’s next? Aside from his own collection, Green is working on his debut EP and is focused on constantly creating new pieces and his own music. We asked what his next immediate goal is: his own production house with a brick and mortar in the front. “I really want to have all my own cutters, sewers, and have everything under one house. Completely made under one roof that I control, with a retail space in front and Plexiglas wall that you can see where everything is being made while you shop.” Sign us up. But first, 21 Questions:
What are you doing on a Friday night?
Typically I am chilling at home rolling up something super delicious because I went out the night before and I will probably be out the next night.
The first concert you ever went to?
Either ZZ Top of MC Hammer, both were important and amazing.
Favorite brand that is not your own?
I like a lot of visions that Kanye has, but I don’t have a go-to brand. Ever since I moved to LA I vowed that I would only wear clothes I make myself.
Early bird or night owl?
Totally a night owl. Sometimes I will be up being creative till 5 or 6 in the morning. I’ve never been a morning person; I thrive with ideas and concepts in the darkest, latest hours of the night.
Skateboarding or surfing?
I’ve never surfed and I’m almost too big to skateboard, so I long board. But my English bulldog can skateboard so I’d have to go with skateboard. But I would like to learn how to surf.
Three current songs on repeat?
Young Thug’s “Halftime.” Um, this is hard. I write to beats that have no lyrics and that is usually all I ride around to. Really old stuff, there isn’t a whole lot of new stuff that grabs me. I listen to a lot of Jay Z’s old stuff from like the early 2000s. I would say the top three songs are beats that you’ve never heard in your life and I probably listen to them 100 times a day.
Tequila or whiskey?
Tequila shots and whiskey for high-end mixed drinks.
How would you label your personal style?
High-end, Hippy Thug, fashion.
What would you want as a super power?
Go to the past.
Most recent "ah-ha" moment?
90% of people in LA are full of shit.
Staple piece in your wardrobe?
Olive green jacket from the only runway I ever walked back in Austin. I was in a store shopping and the owner of the brand - that I don’t even know what it’s called, but it was all recycled green material done by hand and distressed and I put it on and it fit me like a glove. The designer of the jacket walked in and saw me wearing it and asked me I would walk down the runway wearing it with my sunglasses and a bottle of champagne and he said I could have it. I was just happy I got the jacket.
Pair of shoes to describe your personality and why?
Air Max, super comfortable and high quality and content with direction I’ve chosen.
Dream vacation, in detail?
Me taking my favorite 30 people to an island, maybe somewhere like the Bahamas. It’s all about the people I’m with. So it would be the 30 people I love the most all just getting down to party somewhere beautiful, maybe somewhere exotic.
First thing you're attracted to in a person?
Someone who can be themselves and genuine, who can look at me straight in my eyes with full confidence in themselves.
Favorite occupation you ever had?
What I’m doing right now, making clothes and music.
Most recent gift you've given?
A Kings maroon velvet shirt to my boy Nathaniel Nose.
The moment you knew you wanted to be a designer?
My friend back in Austin printed some shirts, about 4 to 5 different designs, and I saw how easily he put his designs from concept to t-shirts and I’m like if he can do this then I can do this and most likely I can do this better. I acted on it very soon after that and after I started seeing the positive response to what I was doing that’s when it triggered me that I should do this. It’s never really been a job to me because the creative part is something I love to do. My dream life is just being able to be creative and focus on the relationships on my life because that’s the most important thing in life, relationships.
Words to live by?
Don’t get too caught up in what you’re doing and miss out on all the awesomeoness that’s going around you. All the awesome moments from the start to the finish because the finish line isn’t always the greatest thing, the journey is the best part of it.
By Mischa Teichgraeber