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Filtering by Category: art

Boys of Summer

Stay Wild

Mowgli Surf’s Alex and Philip Seastrom on making surfwear fun again

Story by Tess Eyrich // Photos by Chantal Anderson

A few years back, Alex and Philip Seastrom got tired of contemporary surfwear—in particular, the cargo shorts and black t-shirts with white logos that’d become unwelcome paradigms of 2000s fashion. “We saw a hole in the market; no one was really making exciting clothes,” Alex says. “Everything was all black with the longest shorts imaginable—the ugliest shit possible.” That’s why in 2009, the twin brothers decided to launch Mowgli Surf, a line of ’70s-inspired separates in psychedelic prints and patterns, many of them the result of by-hand dye processes, done from their parents’ house in suburban L.A.

Though the line wouldn’t hit stores until 2011, the guys’ affinities for clothing and art (Philip started out designing skateboard decks, and both brothers made money in high school selling vintage Powell Peralta gear they’d purchased from a distributor in China) led them to L.A.’s Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, where they mastered the technical aspects of the industry. After graduating, they snagged their first account, Thalia Surf Shop in Laguna Beach, Calif., and since then, the line has snowballed into a full-fledged brand that’s carried by both local surf shops and heavy-hitters like Urban Outfitters’ Without Walls and cool-girl favorite Nasty Gal.

“Mowgli is California design,” Philip says. “All of the other surf brands are darker and kind of all over the place, but Mowgli is Southern California fun—that’s what we do. If you see our clothes, I want you to think, ‘I’m going to go to the beach and have a good time.’ I want you to think about California.”

And even though they’re both Southern California-born surfers, the 25-year-olds are quick to assure that their line is anything but exclusive (they swear they’d love to see their clothes on everyone from Tom Cruise to the guy sitting next to us at breakfast). More than anything else, they just want everyone to feel a little more comfortable—nah, a little cooler—wearing Mowgli pieces.

“People are kind of afraid to step out on a limb and wear color,” Alex says. “I like the ’70s a lot because everything was about being sexy—the short shirts, short shorts and long socks.”
“Now, you’d be surprised by how many guys are self-conscious about their legs,” Philip adds. “But clothes are cool because they reflect how people see themselves. They’re about how you want the world to see you outwardly, and I think that’s really special. If I make a shirt that makes a guy feel cool, then that’s awesome.”

See more of Mowgli here >>>


Stay Wild: Summer Issue

Stay Wild

Our Summer Issue has a theme: Let's Get Salty!

Summer Issue: Out Now!!!

On July 3rd Snow Peak Portland opened it’s doors right into a giant tent that folks had to climb into and grab a fresh copy of Stay Wild. Once folks made it through the tent we treated them to BBQ, Beer, Brew Dr. Kombucha, and an artshow fearing artifacts from the Summer Issue. At some point the rad folks from SuperKoldie showed up to hand out cans of beer in their killer coozies.

As it turns out our readers, or at least the ones who made it to the party, are the most awesome fun-tastic salty ragers in town!

Thank you all so much!

Stay Salty!!!!!
-Stay Wild

LAND: Their Hands are the Face of Your Favorite Outdoor Brand

Stay Wild


Hey Caleb & Ryan,
If you let me interview you, it might be more fun than a knife fight.

Yo Man,
Send over some questions. I’ll take a shot at ‘em. Please be a bit patient as we’re swamped!

What are you so swamped with?
Swamped with branding a hotel, liquor label,
stoked to work on more Deus doodles, and a couple of art shows with friends.

Why do you call yourselves LAND?
Caleb had just moved back to Austin and felt more connected than he had in awhile to the land and sky and space here in Texas. We were trying to find a name for joining forces and it just felt right. It’s ubiquitous enough that it doesn’t define what we do and want to do.

Where are you located?
We work in a brick warehouse shop in East Austin. The building was built in 1941 for making wire ropes and chains.

What percentage of your work is done off the computer screen?
About 50 percent. If time permits, we try to draw as much as we can; typography and illustration. In the end, it all ends up in the digital world.

What have you been drawing lately?
We’re always experimenting. Motorcycles, nudes, animals, portraits, any objects or life with symbolic value.

Can you tell me what the symbolic value of these things are?
I guess it’s like trying to talk about art. We figure the meaning we draw from an image will be different from what you might take from it. You take the chance that someone may feel your art doesn’t make sense at all, but we like that. Sometimes designers put too much concept into something and it’s a turn off. Just get weird and have fun.

The work you’ve done for clients like Poler, Patagonia, Deus, and the like has really solidified the look of this newfound outdoorsy branding. Has it been hard to keep growing your visual voice since you could basically have a seat in the throne you built?
That’s kind of you to say, but the only thrones we sit on are porcelain. Growing our visual voice is something we strive for and it does get tough sometimes to do something new that you’re stoked on. It’s all about trial and error, and the urge to progress. It’s a bit easier to do that with your own art, but getting a client on board with pushing things isn’t. Fortunately, we’ve been able to work with folks that let us run wild and trust us.

Where do you get your typography influences from?
Early American signage, even up into the 60s. Anything hand painted or hand set, so that includes anything from the Gutenberg Bible to the dawn of computers.

What would be a dream project for you? What would you make if money and time didn’t get in the way?
Weed packaging is a dream. Soon. We would probably abandon desk life in general and get into sculpture, painting more, building motorcycles or just painting with mud nude in the woods.

What’s the most wild you’ve ever felt?
Visiting the full moon under purple skies in Bali on mushrooms.