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Total Luxury Spa

From KALEIDOSCOPE MANIFESTO

 

Envisioning collaboration as a web of like-minded, creative individuals, Daniel Desure and Hassan Rahim of Total Luxury Spa talk about cross-pollination between mediums, industries, formats, techniques and genres.

 

KALEIDOSCOPE  Re-thinking authorship and ownership of ideas seems to be the key to unlocking a relevant cultural discourse today. What’s your take on collaboration?

DANIEL DESURE  I think sometimes, specifically in design, things are at a dead-end—all feels self-performing—so something like this festival is really nice. It’s like a city: navigating it, you meet new people, you make new things and other things come out of it. This whole process has had a really good energy and feels really positive.

K  How does the notion of “collaboration” affect your own work?

HASSAN RAHIM  I think it’s pretty natural. Let’s say you’re in public and you really like someone, and you’re like, “Let’s hang out.” Especially with artists, we have such a great community in Los Angeles that works like a web: you know a few people, they know more people, and so on. We’re just trying to build the web wider and wider, and naturally gravitate towards people we like. It’s just easy. Kelsey Lu is a good example. We’ve done a zine with her, multiple shirts now, and more than anything, she’s just a friend and we like hanging out. It’s so easy, it makes total sense, and everyone is on the same wavelength. It’s nice when you connect with people that way.

K  Would you be able to name three collaborations that you wish could become reality? What are three collaborations that you’ve already developed and that you’re proud of?

DD  The already done is definitely easier to mention, because there’s so many. The Mr. Wisdom one was really fun. He owned a restaurant in Los Angeles, makes amazing food, and I was a fan, so it just came about natural. Obviously, I’d also mention the one with Tropics, the LA–based skate crew, and then Kelsey Lu is a great one. There’s some ideal collaborations that I’d like to mention, but we need to make them happen first. There’s a lot out there. Our main thing is definitely not to get too involved in the idea that a collaboration needs to be with a big name. I think we just get inspired by people that we meet and things that are happening, and if we can bring attention to certain things and it’s fun at the end of the day, we do it.

K  Building a shared network of influences and references is a major driver for collaboration. What’s the process behind choosing your collaborators?

DD  I think it’s fairly organic. In some ways, they’re rarely thought about ahead of time and then approached. With this idea specifically, we wanted to collaborate with someone in Los Angeles who’s part of the fabric of the city. It didn’t need to be a big name, but just someone to learn more about their process and their everyday. We connected with Moustapha; he’s the son of Abdallah who owns this general store in the neighborhood of Clichy. We did a short interview with them, learned more about their family, what brought them here, the shop and their community here and in Morocco. Through that, we collaborated on creating these T-shirts, and it was interesting to see people getting really excited about making a shirt. Sometimes they would ask and were curious about the story behind the design around the shirts; it opened up new doors to making these connections.

HR  Chemistry is also a big factor.

K  Do you think collaboration prompts a horizontal and multi-disciplinary approach to different creative fields?

HR  I think that is the most important part of collaboration. It’s that cross-pollination between mediums, between industries, between formats, between techniques and genres. We have never really collaborated with other brands, because I think collaboration is good when two people offer two different perspectives to the conversation. If it’s a restaurant, for example, we would create the restaurant uniform and then maybe they create a special dish. It’s all about things that we can’t do individually.

Total Luxury Spa is a Los Angeles-based streetwear brand and creative studio founded by Daniel Desure in 2011. On the occasion of Lafayette Anticipations x KALEIDOSCOPE MANIFESTO in Paris (17-18-19 May, 2019) they presented General Food Spa, a t-shirt silkscreen workshop in collaboration with a family-run local food store.
Portrait by Lukas Gansterer.
Installation views by Martin Argyroglo.

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