Photos by Marcus Ingram (@junglebrother)
Justin Esposito, 25 (@freejboosie)
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Round Two Hollywood, Creativity Marketing
The Lost Culture got up with the homie, J. Boosie, on the west coast to talk fashion, style, and music. Justin is the director of creativity marketing for Round Two Hollywood. He is a serious bassist and has a degree in jazz studies from Virginia Commonwealth University. He’s traveled the world with his music as a member of the Neptunes Trio and as Jazz Ambassador with the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa.
Q: What’s the difference between fashion and style?
A: Fashion is what’s happening in the contemporary. Style is eternal. Style is being able to grab from different eras and different periods, and being able to make it true to yourself. Not everybody looks good in an 80s cut style t-shirt. Fashion is about contemporary self-expression through garments and textiles. Fashion is being up-to-date with where the modern designer’s eye is. Fashion always comes in trends. We’re always referencing different eras and different ways of life, different cultures, and portraying it through clothing. That’s something that’s now – fashion designers, fashion brands – all that sh*t is existing now. Style is eternal. It’s more so your personality. Fashion is more so the category.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I think it’s unique to my personality. I wouldn’t say I’m this style, I’m that style. I’m just me. I wear things that I know about and also believe in. I’m never a person to just buy something because it’s a new release. It’s really got to have meaning to me. One of the fundamental pillars of my life is sort of a punk rock ideology, so I think that plays a role into my style. I’m always true to myself and I’m always true to what looks good and fits me correctly. I’m not out here trying to wear skinny jeans. I’m out here trying to wear sh*t that makes me look good. It’s about being true to yourself and I think that’s my aesthetic.
Q: What inspires your style and fashion?
A: For me, two of the pillars are meaningful, vintage t-shirts and good silhouettes for pants. Mixing the modern aesthetic and cut of pants, and also vintage tops is one of my favorite things to mix and match. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel, especially to Africa. I’m a big fan of a lot of the patterns and traditional textiles that are produced in Africa. A lot of patchwork stuff, a lot of fabric inspired by Zimbabwe, a lot of South African fabrics, and all those sort of textiles are really influential too. I’ve always been into bright colors and really loud aesthetics, but I always like mixing it with meaningful, vintage t-shirts that I happen to stumble upon in a cool way – digging at Rose Bowl or your homie looked out for you and coped the tee when he saw it in the thrift store. Everything from that to buying designer cuts of pants, like Comme des Garçons, or other streetwear brands, like Noah. I like mixing and matching formal designer stuff and vintage.
Q: You’re a musician. Do you have a genre of music that you categorize yourself in at all?
A: I formally studied jazz at Virginia Commonwealth University. I have a degree in upright bass performance for jazz and reggae. First comes jazz, of course. The concepts of improvisation and how you can spontaneously interact with music and create sound rubs off into my lifestyle. I live in a very spontaneous manner. Jazz is the main source of inspiration for me musically.
Q: What are your favorite brands that are influencing you right now?
A: Rei Kawakubo is the woman who started Comme des Garçons. I really like her story and how she came out of a place where she was designing clothing for movies and movie sets and very fictional situations. She then brought that couture style into menswear. Comme des Garçons is one of the great Japanese aesthetics themed with the American dream. I really f*ck with their attention to detail and how they are inspired with using modern materials, as well as referencing work wear styles. Marché Noir is a Parisian brand that I really like that focuses on track suit, lifestyle aesthetic within the European context. Another brand that’s really cool is 424 in L.A. I’m really impressed by the way they produce their clothing. I think it’s one of those things where personalities really come forth with the fashion and aesthetic. Other pillars – what Champion did for all of streetwear. Champion created the first hoodie. Champion created the first sports bra. They’ve always been pioneering in an odd way. I could go on and on. There’s the whole punk rock scenes. Punk rock designed flyer concepts from the 1980s and west coast punk versus east coast punk from the 90s. That entire story plays a role into fashion. Designers and even couture level fashion are referencing punk rock today.
Q: Where do you do most of your shopping?
A: I do my shopping at Union Los Angeles. It’s a very popular spot that I really f*ck with. And Round Two. Wasteland. I only do the come ups. I’m only really looking for sh*t that I feel like is unique to my personality. You can’t really find a lot of that stuff in normal retailers and with modern brands. A lot of the stuff being made these days doesn’t really cater to what I really look for in clothing, so I have to reach back. But mainly, I get sh*t from the shop, Round Two, and scavenge my way through what else I can find at flea markets, thrift stores, other re-sell shops. I’m really about the hunt for things and it coming into your life in a cool way.
Q: You have a pretty good range of style from this 90s type with the overalls or track suits, to Junya pants. How do you pick out what you’re going to wear for the day?
A: Los Angeles is very consistent with weather, so you don’t really have to dress according to the weather. You can kind of just wear whatever. I mainly focus on palettes of color. If I’m wearing a crazy shirt, I’m going to keep it mellow on the pants. If I’m wearing those Junya patchwork pants, I’m probably going to wear something dark up top. So I really think it starts with color palettes, usually dark colors. I think everything for me starts with the pants. I pick a shirt that fits with the pants.