From Rat Traps to Lil Peep & Travis Scott, Fashion for the Future
Stacy.House is a brand with extreme authenticity backed by a loyal family out of Portland, Oregon, with two of the most genuine guys we’ve met running it, Stacy and Toe. Through our conversation we heard all types of stories, ranging from their days working out of a trash-filled Portland basement to attending fashion week in Paris and having names such as Travis Scott and the late Lil Peep wearing their hand made pieces. They also touched on the dark side of fashion and how both consumers and brand owners can help lead the world to a fashion conscious future.
So where are you guys from?
Stacy: I’m from Portland, well, originally a rural place outside the city.
Toe: I’m originally from Reno but then moved out here to Portland.
When did you guys start Stacy.House?
Stacy: Yeah, Toe and I met that year at some random party. I noticed him because he was dressing different than everyone else, he stood out to me and so we talked about clothing and ended up doing a shirt together. I designed it and he dyed it.
Toe: I was just trying to meet people, I wanted to form an art collective.
Where does the name Stacy.House come from?
Stacy: Stacy has always been my “hollywood” name, but as far as a brand name goes it’s pretty ambiguous, we could make dresses for all you know.
But where does the “House” part come from?
Stacy: It comes from the first house we rented.
Toe: Well it was more of lean-to than a house, we rented this punk house on the condition that we cleaned all the trash from the basement. We went down there and the trash was stacked to the ceiling.
Stacy: This place had no ventilation, mold spores on the walls, everything. We’re in Portland so it rains a lot, I remember waking up in the morning and getting out of bed with an inch of water at my feet.
Toe: We always had these rats up in the rafters so one day we thought it was a good idea to go up there and place rat traps. Well, after some time we’d forgotten about these traps and were working on designs on the computer when we heard a loud snap that was followed by a trap with a rat in it falling from the ceiling and landing behind our computer. We also had this hole in the wall so when someone was sewing and another person was taking a shower you’d get sprayed in the head with water.
That’s insane, are you guys still living there?
Stacy: No, thankfully. We moved out of that spot after year one. It really did create this fight or flight mode for us though, I don’t regret it at all.
Toe: All we had was this old sewing machine and a janky printing press, we had to make it happen down there.
I bet that was a really formative time for you guys.
Toe: Yeah it was, after working in those conditions I feel like we can do anything.
Stacy: We were grinding solo down there for a minute, now we still are but we’ve also got intern type people.
Where did you guys find your interns and how do you train them?
Stacy: We never seek people out.
Toe: A lot of it comes from Heir Portland, we show them how to work the machines but in the end we just tell them express yourself.
What’s Heir Portland?
Toe: It’s this clothing store that we all hang out at in Portland. They sell vintage tees and resell streetwear stuff which is a little too mainstream for us but it’s all family there. We had some kids in high school that were super passionate start helping us with stuff, they’re interns now.
Stacy: Yeah, Portland has this feeling that this cult vibe is coming up around the art scene here.
Toe: Event attendance is way up from when we started.
Stacy: Everything’s just high energy and attendance, Heir really paved the way and helped us get our first retailers.
Who was the first retailer?
Stacy: VFILES in New York was our first retail buyer.
Toe: They saw me wearing a Stacy.House hoodie and asked for our line sheet and I was like, “What the fuck is that?”
I saw that you guys had Travis Scott and Lil Peep in your Gap bootleg shirt, how did that happen?
Toe: Peep had his given to him by a mutual friend of ours, metro blu, who shot the witchblades video. The Travis thing happened when we ended up in Paris for fashion week in 2017.
Stacy: Yeah, we were drunk most of the week. We were hanging out in this showroom and everyone was shitting on us because we had no idea what we were doing.
Toe: A member of his management team came in the room asking brands to put shit in a box saying Travis might pick one to wear for his show that night. We didn’t even have anything on us to give the guy but Travis didn’t end up wearing any of those. I woke up at 4am to take a piss and checked my phone and saw our Instagram was blowing up with people tagging us in this post. It ended up being a picture of Travis wearing our shirt.
Stacy: His stylist shops around for him in New York and probably got the Gap tee there. It was crazy but we did learn how professional brands do their sales and show their stuff. We also met Heliot Emil.
Toe: The Inc0rporated invited us out there, we consider them our parent brand.
How did you meet The Inc0rporated?
Stacy: We met the owner at a coffee shop and gave him some stuff and we ended up doing a collab.
What made you guys choose the DIY route vs. screen printing?
Toe: Money and ethics.
Stacy: We were first interested in recycled clothing.
Toe: We also don’t want to outsource labor to 3rd world countries, and it doesn’t really give us a schedule which is an asset to us.
Stacy: I think doing everything ourselves and struggling was instrumental to our success. And you can tell it’s authentic, we’re doing the most with the least.
Toe: I followed Stacy’s art and I believe in it, that made me go full time.
Stacy: I’m also a big Harmony Korine fan, I’d love to meet him.
What made you guys do the Stacy.House documentary?
Stacy: People weren’t understanding the story.
Where did the idea come from to use rotating gifs for shirts on your website?
Stacy: You gotta be different. You gotta think of shit that doesn’t exist.
What is fashion to you?
Stacy: Expressing yourself.
Toe: Having genuine ideas and just being as real as possible.
Stacy: When you place bets on people you just like, you get something genuine.
Toe: We’d much rather have a couple loyal people start following us versus clout heads. We don’t need fake love. Kids these days have no interest in the art and fashion behind it they just want the branding. It’s never been a money grab.
Stacy: Stacy.House is a vehicle to spread a message we really care about.
What brands do you think have a real mission?
Toe: The Inc0rporated
Stacy: No sesso, Death Traitors in New York, Yard Sale 666.
Toe: More than brands I’d say individual creators, we support people having some hand in their clothing.
What’s your gameplan for the next few years?
Toe: Getting attention away from fast fashion in Portland and in America. We want everyone that’s working with us to get compensated fairly.
Stacy: With a bigger budget mediums of recycling also get easier. Heron Preston used recycled clothes to redesign the uniforms for New York’s Department of Sanitation. We just want to continue to grow and make this a self-sustaining company, and hopefully get a seat at the table so our voice can be heard.
Toe: We’re gonna continue to grow the brand and get exposure. Retail engagements will help with that, we’re already carried in five different countries. We want to get clothes on the right people, we want the Lil Peep’s of the world to wear our stuff.
Stacy: The cult has to be the base of it, I like Kenny Hoopla.
Toe: If I could give you a one liner to encompass everything we said, it’d be that we are trying to grow our brand by still staying true to our values and staying true to the people who we’ve fucked with from the beginning before we had any platform.