Street Smarts

Channeling the raw energy and authenticity of the city, artist Scooter LaForge not only captures the essence of street culture but also transforms discarded materials found in the urban sprawl into clever masterpieces, painting a picture where grit meets glamor in the heart of the concrete jungle.

PHOTOGRAPHY_ JASON THOMAS GEERING

STYLING_ BRYNN HEMINWAY

Street Smarts

Featured Designer_ Scooter LaForge

Where are you based_ NYC

Age_ I am ageless!

What did you study_ I studied graphic design at the Univeristy of Arizona in Tucson but I am a self taught artist. 

Describe how upcycling comes into play in your work_

Upcycling is the foundation of my work. I think there is so much fast fashion out there, I am frankly sick of it. Walking into Urban Outfitters and seeing hundreds of Nirvana t-shirts for sale is quite boring and robotic. I like making things that are so unique that there is only one of these garments in the whole world. I love ripping apart old clothes and sewing them back together in a unique way. 

What inspired you to start upcycling discarded materials_ 

I have always loved punk music and especially 1970’s punk rockers from the UK. When I was a kid I watched lots of documentaries on the punk movement. The statement made from punk clothes is a beautiful and political one. The kids on St Mark’s Place here in NYC  inspired me. All their clothes seem to be upcycled and deadstock and repurposed. 

Where do you find your materials_ 

The street, Goodwill, hand me downs, gifts.

The street? Tell us more. What’s the lesson here for others_ 

I do find lots of beautiful clothes and accessories on the streets. I love old clothes with a patina and a worn-in feeling. When I find something I love I take it home and boil it and wash it. I love finding cool umbrellas on the street after a rainstorm. I deconstruct them and use the fabric in some of my pieces. As far as a lesson here for others, I am not trying to teach anyone anything, this makes me very happy and excited to find garments I love on the street and turn them into unique treasures. 

What role does the process of upcycling play in the fashion industry today and how do you see the craft evolving? 

I see many brands and clothing stores having an upcycled section.  For instance Levis on Broadway sells used jeans and jackets.  I love seeing this.  As far as the future, I believe everyone will want to be more conscious of the environment.  Upcycling will become more and more common.  

What is the role of the designer in these times_ 

Any designer or artist’s role is very simple, be free and have fun. 

What advice would you give other young designers_

Study different cultures, do the work, be free and have fun. 

— Scooter La Forge is a designer from Las Cruces, New Mexico who lives and works in New York City. / @scooterlaforge

“I like making things that are so unique that there is only one of these garments in the whole world.” — Scooter La Forge

JAY WEARS_ ‘DANGER POLICE’ JACKET_ CUSTOMIZED HAND-ME-DOWN LEATHER VINTAGE POLICE JACKET_ SCOOTER LAFORGE FOR PATRICIA FIELD ARTFASHION_ AW2021 / T-SHIRT_ MODEL’S OWN

MODEL_ JAY PAK

HAIR_ ADAM MARKARIAN

CASTING_ STUDIO AT LARGE

STYLING ASSISTANT_ EMILY STONE

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