Born x Raised is the very definition of an authentic Los Angeles clothing brand. Birthed in Venice by Spanto and Alex (2tone), the brand’s iconography and message of radical authenticity can be traced back to one of the earliest designs, which carried the slogan “Gentrification is Genocide”. The battle for the soul of Venice may be dormant, but the energy around Born x Raised has never been higher. The brand gains new fans around the world every day, all while doubling down on what made it great to begin with. We caught up with 2tone to discuss tacos, the Sadie Hawkins dance, graffiti, and more…
What’s your favorite taco?
Gilberts on the westside.
Where did you grow up? Where do you live now?
I grew up in Venice, and now I live in Los Feliz.
What was the hardest thing about getting Born x Raised off the ground, what were the early days like?
The hardest part was Spanto getting cancer. The early days were fun AF. Hard, but fun. It was just running a fast as possible doing whatever it took to make shit pop. Fast, dangerous and dirty. It’s still the same now.
Who is the Born x Raised customer?
Our customer varies, there’s the people that really identify with the overall message and aesthetic of the brand, I repeatedly get told that its “Authentic” and the other customer is probably wearing it because he or she just like a specific piece.
You recently hosted a Sadie Hawkins formal event, what are the elements of a great party?
The people. It’s all about the people and vibe. Spanto is the one who gets people through the doors.
The Sadie Hawkins is also special because it’s a night to dress up, it’s romantic, a throwback to when you were all nervous about that type of thing in highshcool. Most people who go missed their own dances back then.
No one dresses up in LA. This is a chance for everyone to show out.
Especially for the women, they always have these fits they don’t get a chance to wear very often. Sadies is for the ladies, Time to shine.
Who are your favorite graffiti writers of all time?
Roids, Gkae, Doom, Gary, Mque, JA, Veefr. Ghost, Rime, Ewok (msk), Dusty, Phyn, Revok… I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch…
Do you have a lucky number?
2. I don’t know if it’s lucky, but that’s my #.
How is Los Angeles important to you as a person and as an artist?
LA has influenced everything I’ve done creatively, I think.
I love LA, and it’s been an easy place for people to shit on for a long time, but now, everyone is coming here to make it happen. I’m not a fair weather friend.
Your videos are dope — how important are they to the company? Have you considered doing a full-length movie?
Thanks man, appreciate it.
They are integral to the company’s identity. I’m a director and this line is telling a story constantly. I will shoot a feature– that’s been my lifelong goal. It’s really just timing at this point.
What are your favorite films?
Dune, Kill List, A Prophet, Stepbrothers, The Proposition, Sexy Beast, Goodfellas, Sicario, Clockers, Do the Right Thing, NEDS, Starred Up, Let The Right One In, You Can Count on Me, Punch Drunk Love, almost all Kubrick Films, The Fighter, fuck I don’t know. There’s so many…..
Describe Venice in the year 1990, 2000, 2010, 2020.
1990 to 2000 was amazing, Mid 90’s was pretty nuts with the gang shit, that’s when it was at its peak, the racial shit, but the town was alive and it was never-ending excitement and plenty of trouble to get into.
2010 shit started morphing into what it is now, which is pretty fucked in my opinion. 2020 it’ll be washed back into the ocean after the Big One hits for sure. And then I’ll move back.
When and where were you most happy?
Shooting my first video, 2010 I believe. There’s definitely been other times, being in love, achieving certain goals, but that one sticks out…