(note: click on the slideshow to see the photos in full size & quality)
11:30 PM Friday night: Lil Peep Facetimes me. He invites me to go see Suicide Squad with him. 9:30PM Saturday night: Producer Nedarb is about to fight homeless people on Skid Row to get his iPhone back. Somewhere in this 24 hour period we shot a lookbook.
Suicide Squad was trash. It’s 1:30 AM Friday night. But Lil Aaron is throwing a house party at his Hollywood “mini-mansion” so the night isn’t over yet.
We pulled up to the party and it was packed. Everyone was there. Nedarb and Gothboiclique, Nick Colletti, Brandon Wardell, Robesman. There was barely any room to move in the backyard. Trap music rattling from inside the house. Smoke everywhere. Everyone wanted to dap Peep up, talk to him about his music, or theirs. In a room full of internet personalities who regularly vie for online attention, the soft spoken and shy Peep was at the center of that attention without putting in any effort to attract it. Keeping his head down and his hood up, he was actively trying to avoid it.
Peep, Horesehead and I eventually escaped the crowd and went to the side alley of the house, talking for over an hour about plans to have Peep headline an UNMASKED. It was exciting. We couldn’t stop talking about it. I was wearing a pink Masked Gorilla hoodie, Peep wanted one. I asked if he wanted to take some photos in it, he agreed and told me to stop by his place tomorrow night. It’s at least 4AM at this point. The crowd is leaving. The cops already rolled up multiple times. The aux-cord DJs are breaking down the speakers inside. Robesman is wrapping up his iPhone vlog. Lil Aaron is thanking us for coming. We get back in my car and I drive Peep home.
When I pull to Lil Peep and Nedarb’s Skid Row loft the next night, it’s a similar scene to their old Pasadena house. It’s not necessarily a mess, but there’s a lot going on. There are a lot of people there. Peep’s “room” is a corner of the main common area where his mattress is laying on the ground. There’s a faint pinging noise coming from his bed. You can literally smell the stench of Skid Row wafting through the huge windows. There’s constant yelling outside. I unload the merch, Lederrick grabs a random camera left behind from a previous night, and we start shooting the lookbook.
About halfway through we still hear the yelling from directly below us outside. We assume it’s just homeless people being homeless people. After a few more minutes a crowd from the apartment gathers around the window behind Peep’s bed. We can’t ignore it at this point. We go over to the window to check it out. It turns out it isn’t homeless people fighting. Well, at least not both parties. Nedarb is outside, standing in the middle of the street yelling back and fourth with homeless people, demanding they return his cellphone. Police sirens are going off.
Finally Nedarb comes back up to the loft. He’s understandably frustrated. A few nights ago someone spilled beer on his laptop, breaking it, and this was the final straw. He clearly wasn't going to fight anyone, he was just mad. We all initially laughed, we couldn’t believe it was Ned in the middle of the fight that we just assumed was a typical Saturday night homeless person fight night. He wasn’t laughing though. He told us they have his iPhone, that he must have dropped it getting out of an Uber, the FindMyiPhone app says it’s right there on the street. In the middle of the commotion, we restart the lookbook shoot, just trying to get it over with. Ned keeps insisting that his iPhone is literally right below us, the app says so. Peep finally says, “Doesn’t FindMyiPhone have an option to make your phone make noise?” “Let’s see if we can hear it.” Ned hits the sound button on the app, we don’t hear anything, just the faint pinging from Peep’s bed that myself, Ledderick, and Peep have been listening to all night. Wait. We all look around and just starting laughing. Ned’s phone wasn’t in a homeless person’s pocket on Skid Row. It was sitting on Peep’s bed the entire night. The same bed that we’ve been shooting a lookbook on, staring at, hearing noise come from all night. You can literally see Ned’s phone in the lookbook. It’s in the slide where Peep is wearing both the black hoodie and the dad cap. Ned’s relived. We wrap up the shoot. I dish out pieces from the collection to Ned and the crew and I head home.
I’m really excited about the Masked Gorilla x DC Fall/ Winter 2016 collection. We’re collaborating with a brand that had Thrasher Magazine’s 2014 ‘Skater of the Year’ with Wes Kramer and is a favorite to take the 2016 SOTY award with Evan Smith. They did one of the first ever Supreme collaborations. They are the only reason UNMASKED is possible. They’re one of the last authentic skateboard companies still standing, and now they’re collaborating with Masked Gorilla. I had full creative control over all the pieces. There are: 2 hoodies, 2 t-shirts, a dad cap, 1 pair of slides, a lighter and stickers. The collection will be available right here on Friday November, 11 at 12PM PST.
You can now shop the collection right here.