Freshness Feature: Interview with HomeRoom

By - October 3rd, 2007


Interview with Alex Valdman @ HomeRoom
Interviewed by Tom Bradley
Photos by Alex Valdman
Produced by retrogurl

Who is the creative force behind HOMEROOM and how long has it been since HR first really picked up steam and became a via:ble outlet for its creator’s abilities/tastes etc.?
HomeRoom is a natural progression. It started a year ago, but design has been around me most of my life. My mom designed and my father worked for Adobe, kinda born into this. I started the company with my mom and my friend Niko. We started making custom hoodies via: online orders. Customers where able to pick out fabrics, zippers, ribbing, eyelets, and draw strings that we had or send us their own and we would turn them into garments. After 3 months of doing this with Niko we parted ways. I then brought in Yoshi and Gian Altomari to help out. It worked out so well, that me, Yoshi and Gian working together became a full time endeavor. We compliment each others creativity very well.

More on the interview after the jump…


How would you like HR to be seen by fashion editors and customers alike?
We are a young San Francisco steez but, I hope everybody sees it differently. We have so many ideas and inspirations in every single piece we create. However, everybody notices that our quality is superior and our attention to detailing a finished look is a priority.


Does HR have a muse of some sort?
I always look up to my mom. She has a great eye for colors and is extremely skilled. But, sometimes we get into arguments…The day before Magic I designed a fall ’08 sample and asked Olga to sew it up, she said it was the ugliest thing I have ever thought of. So I took care of the sewing on it. When it was done, I left it out for her to see, Surely enough I get a call on my phone with her saying that it is the best ting I have ever designed.

The day came when a master designer told me that my vision has surpassed theirs. It feels good, knowing that a seasoned veteran of this industry, that has seen it all, treats you like a designer and not her son. Fall ’08 is my experiment into designing high. But, my muse changes everyday. I get bored of stuff to easily. It’s a constant progression. Sometimes I get inspired by my friends, sometimes I get inspired by a road trip. At the end of the day I write and draw everything into my journal. It’s my daily homeroom homework.

Describe what its like day-to-day running your own brand and have you been surprised by anything so far?
I wake up to a call at 8am from my intern asking if I need him to come in. I get yogurt and cereal, wash up, hop on my bike and ride to the office. My life is simple yet excessive at times. I am my own authority, I travel a lot, I create and the best part is that I get to meet all of these amazing people everyday.


How do you see the HR line for “08 displaying any creative changes you’ve undergone since HR’s conception and where would you like to take the brand in terms of where it’ll be sold, who you think will buy and what type of buzz you’ll be able to generate?
HomeRoom is going on an off-road trip in a school bus; we’re taking a path that hasn’t been cleared yet. HomeRoom is traveling down a fine line between streetwear and contemporary. We’ll never stray from our roots.


If you could handpick people of influence and power: artistically, politically, economically, who would you have wear your clothes?
We make clothing for friends, family and ourselves. We as a group of friends influence the world around us more then any celebrity can. This is not just a runway. This is a lifestyle.


Are you at HR interested in doing work with any other brands, if so who would you like to create with?
Marc Jacobs, Shinsuke Takizawa, Mark Arcenal, who ever designed The North Face Summit Series in the 90’s, more with my mom (Olga Strong), Tom Ford, Paul Mittleman and Hiroshi Fujiwara. I want to work with the legends of this industry. But, what’s important to me is working with people that I have a perfect sync with. I’ve always admired Mishka, and Mighty Healthy, I love the humor in their lines – it is refreshing. We are working on a project with both of these companies right now.


What would you like to see happen for HR within the next year?
I’d like to see us progress like we have been. This road has led us to many states and countries. We are going global in 2008 starting with our spring delivery.

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