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.