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Richard Mendel Klotz

Interview by Richard Massie

Age: Oh shit, umm.. ageless.

Ethnicity: I guess Latino. I’m half Costa Rican and half Uruguay.

Where were you born? Hollywood, Ca.

Where’s home? West Hollywood – It’s a drag, I don’t like it. I mean my place is nice but the area sucks. It’s like Midtown Manhattan, such a dull crowd.

What do you do for a living? Design & Conceptualize

If you could have any job in the world what would it be? I already got the job.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Listen to NPR (National Public Radio)

Who inspires you the most? My mom.

Money, power, or respect? Respect

What’s your weakness? Women – women of the darker persuasion.

What’s your favorite book? The “Unauthorized Biography of Cocaine” by Dominic Streatfeild or “No Logos” by Naomi Klein

Favorite cereal? Raisin Brand

Do you have a favorite cartoon? Not really. As of recent I’ve been into Alice The Goon.

What’s your favorite song right now? “I’m Gonna Knock On Your Door” by Eddie Hodges

Drink of choice? Cabernet

Movie suggestion? Glengarry Glen Ross, that’s probably my favorite movie.

More peanut butter or more jelly? More peanut butter. I like my peanut butter chunky and funky. (Laughs)

What’s something you have to do every day? Eat and workout.

Have you ever taken acid? Yes

What would you tell someone that never has? Be prepared.

How old were you when you lost your virginity? 14. It wasn’t very memorable… But my first time “scamming” was! (Laughs) I was in 6th grade and her name was Tammy Macias. She would fight all the time but boy could she kiss!

If you could have a one night stand with any girl in the world who would it be? I’m not into one night stands anymore. It used to be a fun game, trying to figure out how to make my nights end with a happy ending.

What was your first job? I used to paint store signs in DTLA when I was 14.

Did you graduate from college? No. I had to drop out in my last semester because of Freshjive. I was working on Freshjive for about 6 months and I got $300,000 dollars in orders at our first trade show.

Was starting a clothing company what you wanted to do? I just wanted to start a clothing project. I was somewhat into fashion but I just wanted to show the various cultures I was into.

How do you feel about being considered a pioneer of street wear? I’ll accept that claim.

What was the first Freshjive t-shirt? The parody Tide logo.

Speak about when you walked away from Freshjive in 2001, what happened? I was just sick of the game. That book “No Logos” was a influence at that time. I just said fuck it and walked out. I had some money put away and the luxury of not thinking. I wasn’t planning on coming back.

How do you feel about the current state of street wear? I’m pretty removed from it now. I don’t like the tribalism of branding, that’s about it. I appreciate good ideas and the little authenticity that still lives. It used to be about selling authentic vibes back then. You had to authenticate what you were putting out by living it.

It’s kinda ironic now… Creating a piece of art on a t-shirt is easy as shit. It doesn’t mean anything to put a t-shirt on a rapper just to blow up. Popularity doesn’t equate good design. The problem, commercially speaking, is everyone is vying for the same look. Everything has to be the same, it’s choking.

What would you like to see more of and what would you like to see less of? I’d like to see more original ideas. More of Those Folks and less street wear bozos.

Any last words? Those Folks ain’t no jokes, local Venice homie locs, fat trees for smokes, deep cookie strokes, their mind provokes, those that evoke a hoax. Them Folks are yolks, lock, stock, and barrel blokes, dem motherfuckers even feeding homeless folks.

Those Folks 2013 Recap

We started off the year with our Valentine’s Day release. At the time I wanted to design some non-cornball shit that was against (in my opinion) possibly the worst holiday to ever go commercial. The drop included 3 different t-shirts and a snapback.

The first design was a Kim Casali tribute called “Love Is…”

The second design was something I’ve had in mind for a long time and perfect for Valentine’s Day. I searched all over L.A. to find the right oxeye daisies, checked my little brother & sister out of school early, then took some pictures of them playing the game “She (or He) loves me, she loves me not.”

The snapback was designed from the absence of LOVE…

Our good friend Cole Moss released his “Why Unicorn Drinks” book.

We made new stickers and some new lookbooks for our field trip to Vegas for MAGIC.
Guerilla marketing at it’s finest!

My childhood friend Gilbert Trejo jumped back on the scene and I was privileged enough to put together a TDRT (The Dead Reagan Tour) x CBG (Chill Black Guys) show. It was the first time Gilbert’s band TDRT played a show in over 5 years, and the first time CBG ever played with a live punk band. The night was definitely one to remember!

FRANK151 reached out to us for an interview and posted the article on their website!
Click HERE to read it.

In May we released our second collaboration with Crap Eyewear. This time around we got to design 2 different styles. Our “T.V. Eye” style frames are possibly my favorite thing that I have ever designed.

Our brother “Black Daniel” was finally released from jail. In my best attempt to keep him out of jail, I decided to take a skate trip up North to Santa Cruz, Sacramento, Oakland, and San Francisco. He had the time of his life during the trip but my #KeepBlackDanielOuttaJail campaign didn’t work for as long as I wanted. He was arrested once again shortly after we returned to L.A.

We held Warm Brew’s listening party for their album “The Ride” at Venice Orignals.

A girl named Autumn in St. Louis got a Those Folks tattoo on her foot!

We purchased 2 VHS video cameras to start filming a new Those Folks video, and just like every year, we enjoyed every day of the Summer!

My cousin “Juice” started making Those Folks jewelry, it will be available soon.

We signed up in a basketball league for the first time, and definitely not the last.

I took my first ever family trip to Kern River. I had never been camping before, it was the best time I had all year.

We held our very first skate contest at the skatepark in Venice. We filmed the contest with our VHS cameras but we’re saving the footage for the new Those Folks video that will be out next year.

Our boy Miles Silvas from Sacramento got the cover of Transworld Magazine!

Mikey Alfred from Illegal Civilization put together his first art show featuring work from Nakel Smith, Lego, Cedric Grandberry, Myself, as well as his own.

I finally met Bobby Hundreds so we could talk about things that happened in the past and left a sour relationship between The Hundreds and Those Folks. I’m glad we cleared everything up and now there might be a TH x TF collaboration coming soon…

For the second year in a row, Those Folks fed the homeless in Venice for Thanksgiving. We served over 200 plates of food and handed out socks & beanies as well. It’s always good to give back and although the government is trying to make it illegal, I hope we can keep this tradition going.

#PrayForSpanto

My brother “Spanto” was recently diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia – It’s called A.L.L. it’s a combination of Lymphona and Leukemia. We are raising funds, within our community and network to help with the medical expenses.

Click HERE to donate – any and every donation is much appreciated, God bless.