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A Superficial World

SUPERFICIAL is a clothing brand based out of Los Angeles that's quickly become one of the hottest names in the underground scene after dropping two the hardest collections of early 2020. We spoke with the co-founder / designer Lucas about his experience with fashion growing up and the journey that led him to start Superficial with his friend Nick in late 2019 to now gearing up for the release of his highly anticipated "World War III" collection. In addition, we also spoke about his creative process and the inspiration behind the collection, what we should expect to see next, and his plans to continue expanding and eventually build an empire around Superficial that is known and respected worldwide.

Where are you from?

Lucas: Los Angeles, born and raised.

When did you start Superficial?

Lucas: Superficial started November 26th, 2019. My boy Nick and I co-own Superficial and we wanted to start a brand together. We had owned separate brands before that didn’t do nearly as well. One day we decided to get together to start a new brand and Superficial was born.

How did you and Nick meet?

Lucas: Nick is my brother, I love that dude I’d do anything for him. But we met through a bunch of mutual friends back in the day 4-5 years ago. At the time we weren’t making clothes but we both were really into fashion. Growing up I really just cared about skateboarding and clothes and Nick was the same way so we instantly clicked.

How did you come up with the name?

Lucas: It’s a pretty funny story, I was talking to Nick and we couldn’t really think of a name so we decided to hop on a random word generator. I saw this interview before with Post Malone and he said he got his name from a rap name generator so I thought it would be a good idea. We hopped on the word generator app and on the fourth click Superficial came up. I looked at Nick and thought it was dope so we ran with it. It made sense because we thought the fashion industry was superficial and clothing is superficial, so it’d be dope to make a brand that’s called Superficial with collections that have meaning every time to be contradictory but also to play into the superficial idea of the industry.

What made you want to start a clothing brand?

Lucas: Nick and I were always into fashion together and we spent so much money on clothes. Eventually Nick realized that instead of spending so much money on tees and hoodies we could just do it ourselves. The idea really sprouted from there and we both played around with owning a brand. We owned our first brand we had together which didn't work out so we had separate brands for a while. Neither of those brands worked out so we tried to do it a second time and that’s when Superficial happened.

Failure really is the best thing that can happen to you if you know how to learn from it.

Lucas: That’s lowkey been the most important lesson, never giving up. Being doubted motivated me for a long time. I kind of miss that energy because ever since Superficial popped off I don’t feel like a whole lot of people doubt me anymore.

Has fashion always been a big part of your life?

Lucas: Absolutely. Growing up my big thing was skateboarding, I was always into skateboard culture even as a really young kid. When I got into middle school and early high school we all started smoking weed and quit skateboarding and because of that I got really into fashion. Right around that time period was when skate culture and streetwear merged together so I transitioned to being into brands like Supreme and Palace. I don’t really wear that anymore but at the time I really loved it.

Talk about your upcoming “World War III” collection. What was the inspiration behind the pieces on the collection?

Lucas: I’m always designing and I try to make around 3-5 graphics a day, but I would say my biggest inspiration is music or old movies. My favorite Gucci Mane album is World War 3 from 2013, I love that album. I was bumping some old Gucci while designing and realized that this is our third collection, coronavirus is all around the world and everyone is freaking out so we could call the new collection “World War III”, it’d be perfect. Nick thought it was hard too so we decided to run with it. I pulled inspiration from graphics from a bunch of different sources, old movie covers, catastrophe, and life experiences. I've taken a lot of inspiration from heartbreak I’ve experienced and other things I’ve been through in the past.

What’s your favorite piece from the new collection?

Lucas: Probably the white hoodie that I did, I love that piece. I think that’s my favorite hoodie design that I’ve ever made. I really like the graphic on it and I really like white hoodies because I don’t see them very often.

Do you focus most of your collections on a single concept?

Lucas: Yeah, but I’m not super strict about it. It’s not like everything needs to be in the perfect realm of World War III. But I don’t understand why brands drop collections without having a name or theme for it. I feel like you can really tell a story with clothing, I did that with the “Love Hurts” collection in February. I wanted it to be cohesive and want every drop we do to have a cool name and theme rather than just dropping a couple random tees. I want people to fuck with Superficial because it tells a story and every time you purchase something it represents a different part of the era you bought it from. I really want it to resonate with people, I really like clothes that make me feel like myself. If I can identify with something that’s on a graphic that I feel like encompasses me as a person then I’m super hyped about it.

Where did you get the idea for the “World Leaders” tee from the drop?

Lucas: I don’t know, I was just sitting there thinking about World War III and I wanted to make a funny tee about it that would be cool. I put the White House on there first and then put an explosion behind it. I put it in the middle part and pieced it together one by one and Obama was supposed to be there to save the day.

Where do you draw inspiration for your graphics?

Lucas: I don’t know man, I just love Google Images, I live on there. I’ll hear a hard quote in a song or I’ll think of one and I’ll search it up on Google and find a cool image. I really like old school horror movie covers and I take a lot of inspiration from pulp art as well. I also love vintage tees, I take a bunch of inspiration from early 2000’s rap tees and propaganda art from back in the day. Honestly, anything that was done before 2010 is super dope to me. I think graphic art was a lot more pure back then and less condensed, everyone’s a graphic designer today it’s crazy.

Do you design all of them yourself?

Lucas: Yeah, I’m the graphic designer so I design everything but Nick and I will come up with new concepts together. Nick helps me so much because he knows me so well and there are times when I don’t know if something’s dope or not and he’s the only one that’s able to convince me. So I do all the designs but we definitely come up with concepts together and work on them together. I’ve never paid anybody to do designs for Superficial, ever piece has been designed by me.

Where did you get the idea for your “We Shoot First” shirt?

Lucas: That shirt was from a super hard movie cover from the 1960’s that I found. I used a few different pulp art images that I added in there as well, that one was a layup for sure. I saw the old movie poster and instantly thought of the quote and ran with it from there.

What made you want to make the “Slime Green” hoodie?

Lucas: That’s an absolute fan favorite. Every release I always do a different rhinestone piece. I feel like we coined the screenprint with rhinestones on top of it, I haven’t seen anyone else do it. I came up with the idea a few months back and it went crazy both the first and second time we did it. I wanted to change it up for the third so I threw some green stones on there and the new graphic came out super dope.

What do you think draws people to the rhinestone pieces?

Lucas: I think people like the whole shine that comes from the rhinestones, it’s pretty big with a lot of underground brands. But I think people really like the fact that we put rhinestones on top of the screenprint because it separates our brand from everyone else, I haven’t really seen another brand do it. I think the rhinestone stuff is getting pretty played out but I feel like people appreciate it done in a different way.

What was the inspiration behind your “Angels at War” shirt?

Lucas: That’s my favorite shirt I designed on the collection. When I make graphics I usually start with a base image, so in the middle of the piece you see the demon and girl which is what I started with. I put that in the middle and then just worked from there, I found one image that I blended to the left and right and then the background that I blended behind everything else. I blended the old angels war painting on top with the rest of the clouds and added some lightning. Everything just came together and I was really stoked with how the whole graphic came out. But it’s really just a one by one process, I always choose a base and work from there. I’ve actually never made a graphic where I knew what it’d look like before it was done. I usually have an idea that’s a quote, I like to use a lot of quotes with Superficial. With the quote I’m always trying to keep that in mind when creating the graphic. The big one we did was the “Devil Lives Inside of Girls” puffers, that idea came from the quote and then I built around it.

That seems like a great formula that you can consistently replicate with new concepts.

Lucas: That’s why I’ve never restocked anything on Superficial. I get DM’s all the time about certain items asking when to restock but I just want to continually bring people new things. I think it’s corny when brands continuously restock the same thing when you could be bringing a whole new set of things that people want.

What was the inspiration behind the “Hell and Back” jacket?

Lucas: Two years ago when I started my first brand I used a Dickies jacket and it was the most successful thing I ever did so that’s been a staple that I’ve always gone to.

What appeals to you about experimenting with new types of garments?

Lucas: Honestly I think it’s because people start to take you more seriously when you expand out of just making tees and hoodies. For the longest time my biggest pet peeve was seeing family members and having them ask how my “t-shirt company” was doing because I do so much more than shirts. Tees and hoodies are cool but the things you see in stores like Saks Fifth and Neiman are crazy cut and sew jackets, belts, and other stuff pushing boundaries. I have some things in the vault coming out soon that are gonna be pretty crazy.

Are there any other garments, mediums or accessories you want to experiment with in the future?

Lucas: We have a pair of shoes coming out soon that are nuts, they’re super sick. I’m not gonna give too much away but they’re on a classic silhouette and done in a way that anybody can rock, they go with everything. I’m super excited to drop those most likely early this summer.

Out of your three collections, which one is your favorite and why?

Lucas: That’s a hard question, I love all of them equally but my favorite will always be Inner Desires. The feeling I had when we dropped Inner Desires and my phone blew up with 50 Shopify orders in the first five minutes was the craziest feeling ever, I can’t even explain it. I got emotional. The unexpected surge of everything that happened as a result of that collection makes me always love it. It’s so crazy that this is still only the beginning.

What’s your favorite piece you’ve designed to date?

Lucas: The puffer jacket. I made the initial design and Nick thought it would be a good idea to throw it on a puffer jacket. It was a really dope piece that we came up with together and it went crazy. I always wanted to make a puffer jacket ever since I first started making clothes. I’d see brands do it and I had no idea how they got it made. It was the dopest feeling when we figured out how to make it happen.

Are there any other designers or brands you want to work with in the future?

Lucas: Yeah for sure. I’ve talked to a lot of brands about wanting to work together but I want to establish Superficial as its own entity first. There are graphic designers that I think are dope and the ones that paved the way for me back in the day that I really like art-wise. But definitely expect to see some collabs from Superficial in the future.

What should we expect to see next from Superficial?

Lucas: The next collection is going to be called, “Fallen Angels”, I already have most of it designed. We have a crazy pair of cut and sew pants coming on that collection which might be my next favorite piece, I’m super excited to preview those. I have a bunch of new shirts that you can expect to see from Superficial as well as hoodies and a new rhinestone piece. You can expect to see all that probably in May.

What do you want Superficial to become?

Lucas: By the end of 2020 I really want Superficial to be a staple that everybody in the underground scene knows about. I want to do some dope collabs by the end of the year as well and be a brand that people can count on to consistently drop hard pieces. But in the long run I’m really trying to build an empire. I want a flagship store in New York since we get a lot of love from there online and in Los Angeles. I want to build a whole empire and really just do everything I can to make this all it can be.

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