One of my good friends and former roommates Zack Blatt has just launched the online lookbook for his clothing line Cosby, with me as the model for it.

I have known Zack for a little while now. I actually met him at the Agenda Tradeshow in San Diego about a year or two ago, and we noticed how we like a lot of the same shit. He is also the proud owner of one of many couches I have stayed on since moving to Los Angeles. So I figured what other way to make it extra official than to do an interview with the owner/operator/designer/one-man-army himself.

HASSAN: Let's get a little history about Zack Blatt and Cosby Clothing. Say whatever you want here.

ZACK: I was born and raised in LA. I’ve been really into skating since the seventh grade. I definitely sucked at skating for a long time, and I’ve always had a weird style. I’m definitely not that natural talent type guy; I had to work overtime for all that I got. It’s always been just me, a couple friends, and a filmer. Never got too crazy. I decided to start Cosby a little over a year ago. I thought it would be sick to offer my own line of clothes. I actually have never, even to this day, really been in tune with the internet and blogs and stuff like that, so I really didn’t realize how many companies there were out there till I started up. I figured out how to get some screen printing done and I just went with it. Everything I’ve learned has totally just been trial and error, but I’m having a lot of fun with it. I just want to learn more and more, and make more and more. Step up the quality every chance I get. I still don’t have too many contacts, so I do a lot of leg work around the city alone. It’s pretty craze. Fun stuff.

++Some of Zack's footage, before he tore his ACL last year.

HASSAN: A lot of companies who started with only t-shirts their first few years either fell off the grid completely, or grew as a company and started to offer cut and sew items. It was only your second season when you already had a number of cut and sew pieces. What made you make such a bold move? Was this the plan from the beginning, to produce actual clothing garments opposed to merely printing on pre-made t-shirts?

ZACK: I was just going with the flow, and I still think I am the same way. Anything that comes into my path I will try and work with. Luckily, in the time between my first and second season, I learned a couple things about making some real garments, so I tried it out. I was really stoked. I think a lot of companies just start outsourcing complete garments, but the way I’ve had to do it was way crazier. I’m actually working on the patterns first hand and driving around all the supplies. It’s crazy dude. I definitely am down with the idea of starting to outsource if I find ones that will work for me, but I think it’s cool that I had to learn it this way first.

HASSAN: Yeah, it is kinda crazy. And I've actually been with your crazy ass on some of your crazy Los Angeles excursions, with cars full of crazy fabric and shit. I think the fact that you do everything yourself (from designing to delivering, networking to sales, and EVERYTHING in between) is definitely part of the beauty of your line, yet it almost seems inefficient/impossible to operate something like that. HOW THE FUCK DO YOU DO THIS EXACTLY?

ZACK: Shit… I don’t know. There’s been no planning or budgeting really. It’s like one big freestyle, and somehow it’s been sort of working, but there have definitely been parts that didn’t. I saw right off the bat how hard it was to get into the right stores, and stay in the right stores. I’ve never really been good friends with the people that worked at any of these boutiques. And I got to see how hard it is to get paid sometimes (motherfuckers!). So I do need to start delegating some work to others. The money really isn’t there yet for that, but I got this girl to kind of be my bookkeeper/sales, so that should be sick.

HASSAN: Does the name Cosby mean anything significant to you?

ZACK: I really wanted the feel of old grandpa style clothing, I love knitwear. So I thought the name Cosby was perfect.

HASSAN: I've noticed both times so far we have done the photoshoots, you let me leave on some of my own clothes along with your gear. Why did you choose me as the model? Do you feel that my personal style reflects the line? Or is it simply because I fit in the samples and don't shoot heroin in my toes like other models?

++Zack and I, warehouse party in Downtown LA. Photo: Rony's Photobooth

ZACK: I dug the way you dressed right off the bat. I knew you knew you know...?!$?#? But no really... right off the bat I knew you knew what’s up. I knew that you would represent the line well. And for sure I always want you to bring your own style to the table. I like it when you have some of your own gear on. I kinda get bummed when I go to someone’s site and the models are wearing the brand head to toe. Who the hell wears a brand head to toe... that’s like those Gucci jumpsuits or something. I want Cosby to go good with what you already got on.

HASSAN: HAHA great answer. Let’s talk about the tradeshows that recently took place in Las Vegas. A lot of companies that were making strictly all-over or oversized-print tees and hoodies a year ago have been slowly adapting to a more versatile audience to survive (i.e. slimmer jeans, tank tops, etc.). Do you think these same people liked your line? What did you think of everyone else’s stuff?

ZACK: Damn another good one. Trade shows are craze… I almost didn’t want to do it, but I tried it out. It’s funny, you’re exactly right... it seems like everyone has changed their steez up. In one sense they do need too stick with the times, but all of these brands just look like weird versions of each other. As far as Cosby, I feel like either people really like my line, or they just don’t see why I do any of the stuff I do. But I definitely got some cool compliments at the show.

++Cosby "Fairfax & Orchard" tee, from Holiday '07.

HASSAN: At the end of the day, the point of these tradeshows is to market your brand to clothing buyers worldwide. You have had Cosby in a lot of independently-owned streetwear boutiques such as HUF and Bodega, yet your line has been carried in a few higher end retail locations, such as American Rag. How do you feel about the stores you are in? Is it hard for you to find the right kind of customer for Cosby?

ZACK: Yes, this is the hardest part for me. I believe Cosby is kind of right in the middle of the streetwear stuff and the higher end stuff, so it’s hard. I think there are tons of the right customer for Cosby, but finding the stores willing to take a chance on a different look… THAT’S a bit harder. And the most ridiculous thing is the amount of politics behind a lot of these stores. I didn’t grow up with any of the people that work at any of these places, so I don’t know who they’re cool with, who they have beef with, and all that jazz. I want the stores to know that, and to work with me, because I am just a random guy doing his own thing. So it’s been a bummer to lose accounts to those who thought I was trying to cut into their territory or something like that; I’m new to all this stuff. The definition of something being “exclusive” definitely seems to be evolving within this industry, so hopefully there will be a little more understanding amongst a lot of buyers.

HASSAN: That’s definitely a great point about stores being open minded with what they carry. A lot of places stick to one formula when it comes to their selection, which makes it harder for them to adapt as times change, and when they do it makes it seem almost like a blatant attempt to change their market completely. You have done a pretty good job of giving yourself the balance factor, giving your brand the flexibility to get away with different things. So what can people expect from Cosby in your next line, or even seasons to come?

ZACK: I would say that I’m really happy at where I’m at right now. The type of garments that I’m making I think will continue to wear for a while, so I want to get better at making the same kind of products. At the same time I want to learn more about new stuff, that way I can always add new items to the line. So I feel like it will always be a slow gradual evolution of Cosby. I want it to always be half dressy half messy. OH SHIT, that’s tight... “HALF DRESSY HALF MESSY…” That hits the hammer on the Cosby head.

HASSAN: Alright, this is the end. Is there anything you want to say to the people reading this? And who would you like to give special thanks out to?

ZACK: I want to say that the end is far from near, Cosby will be watching you! Thanks peeps!

Official Cosby Clothing Website

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