Pushing Boundaries & Applying Pressure
is a brand based out of Texarkana, Texas that's been coming out with some of the hardest garments and home decor concepts on the market. We spoke with the founder Lance about his experience growing up in a small town in Texas and eventually starting his own clothing brand where he's now released an array of highly requested garments with many more already lined up for the next year. In addition, we also spoke with Lance about his upcoming release, what his creative process looks like, and his plans to grow into a high-end designer brand that always continues to push boundaries and apply pressure.
Where are you from?
Lance: I'm from a bummy ass town in Texas called Texarkana.
When did you start Hellacious?
Lance: I started HELLACIOUS in late 2016. I first had a project I was doing titled "EROTICA" around 2014 - 2015 when the rhinestones first started for me. I was literally going to local stores and buying them, drawing whatever design I wanted on the piece and hand placing them one by one with a heating tool. Fast forward a year or so and I found a rhinestone manufacturer that allowed me to really be able to bring more complex designs to life and I decided it was time to take my first official step by starting HELLACIOUS.
What was the inspiration behind the name?
Lance: The inspiration bled from not wanting to use a common word or phrase as my branding. But I also wanted it to be something that fit. It was a lifestyle definition, life was crazy at the time being from a small town where no one else really had a vision for clothing. Everything was mall retail pieces and cowboy boots. "HELLACIOUS" means very great, bad, or overwhelming. That being said, my designs make people feel different emotions, it's almost like I want to keep my audience on the edge of their seats where they never know what to expect next.
What made you want to start a clothing brand?
Lance: In late middle school and early high school I got tired of dressing and wearing what everyone else was. Again, I was living in a small town so the places to shop were very limited. I couldn't afford the designer brands I was into back then so the only way I knew how to break out of that box was to just start making my own stuff.
Has fashion always been a big part of your life?
Lance: In high school I started watching runway shows and really paying attention to my favorite designers to try to learn and soak up every bit of information I possibly could.
What’s your relationship with Unathletic and how did you guys start working together?
Lance: Man, that kid is the closest thing to a brother that I've ever had. We're from the same town, I heard about him working with clothes one day so we linked for the first time and he literally stayed at my house for 7 - 8 days straight. Not too long after that he moved in with me. We were really all each other had at the time in terms of someone that was focused on the same goals, it was always genuine energy.
How did you come up with the idea for the “Loving You Will Be The Death of Me” tees?
Lance: There was this girl that I met who actually modeled a couple pieces for me on Instagram. She's known about me since damn near the time I started. I always felt a certain type of way about her but once I found out she felt the same way, I knew in order to keep her I was going to have to be vulnerable to her and open up. They say love will get you killed, if not physically then mentally. But she's the type of girl that’s worth taking the bullet for, hence the heart made out of bullet holes. I made that shirt for her.
What does your creative process look like when coming up with a new concept?
Lance: It all depends on my mood, but it’s mostly music and visuals in the form of films, vintage porn mags, old music videos, and other things that help me come up with ideas. It's always been natural for me. I don't lock myself in a room till I force something out, I just catch a vibe and run with it and see what it turns into. Designing is all based off of emotions for me.
Where do you draw inspiration from in general?
Lance: Young Thug is the only person to ever inspire me.
What was your favorite piece that you dropped last year?
Lance: The "Loving You Will Be The Death Of Me" tee for sure since I have an emotional attachment with it.
Where did you get the idea for your “Satan Is A Girl” tee that you recently showcased?
Lance: There were a lot of reasons, mainly because of how much power a girl holds whether they realize it or not. A girl can be very persuasive, inspiring, and/or evil. And Satan was once an Angel, so those traits could be used for good or bad. I just took a different concept or aspect of who we think of as "Satan" in today's world and put my own spin on it.
When should we expect to see those drop?
Lance: I don't like dropping dates till about a week before, but just know I have even more pieces for this release and I’m announcing a date very soon.
In addition to clothing I know you’ve also experimented with accessories such as woven blankets, what made you want to do that?
Lance: No one was doing woven blankets at the time. It was the same thing with rhinestones when I first started, the only other people I saw doing it were Ed Hardy, Shane Gonzales from Midnight Studios, and Juicy Couture. I recently got interested in home decor, not necessarily furniture but rather the little details that can help set a room off. So I made my first of many chess moves with the woven blanket design.
Are there any other garments, mediums, or accessories you want to experiment with in the future?
Lance: Yes, but I want it to be a surprise once I get there. I can't have these bigger brands running off with any more ideas.
Are there any other brands or designers you want to work with?
Lance: I've been so picky with collabs and still haven't had my first official one yet. It's all about timing with me, it’s gotta be perfect for both sides. I'll list just a few that I'd love to work with or learn from in the future though, Shane Gonzales, Kam Vercetti, and Kapital.
What should we expect to see next from Hellacious?
Lance: Nothing but pressure, all fucking year long.
What do you want to accomplish by the end of 2020?
Lance: I have many goals for myself and HELLACIOUS this year, but I'm mainly looking forward to hopefully having my first pop up in either New York, LA, or Chicago by the end of the year. Being able to see the people that support me face to face would mean the world to me.
What do you want Hellacious to become?
Lance: I never want HELLACIOUS to be about the money as far as mass producing what's trending in the streets. I never want my designs to be controlled by opinions or traditional thinking. I want to grow into a high-end designer brand that isn't scared to push the mind further. Whether that's a certain explicit graphic or the way I construct a cut and sewn jean silhouette. I never want to be labeled or categorized with these other "streetwear" brands. I'm building to become a brand of the highest quality fabrics with a new look to modern dress code. I also want to push the typical runway shows further, but that's all I'll say on that for right now. Thankful for everyone's support and thanks to everyone on the AVNT team for this opportunity!
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