In Conversation: For The Homies
Talking shop, hip-hop, and everything For The Homies with our main man Pete Le Chic.
We met Pete before making the move to Melbourne in 2009 to open the store, we were one of the peeps popping round to get some jeans made and chew his ear off for hours about our grand plan that was and still is Up There Store. And here we all are, all this time later, still doing what we love. Press play on this playlist put together for this season's collection, have a read of our recent conversation with the homie and then shop his latest threads here.
Q. We’ve known you for 12+ years, for those that haven’t, tell us a little about who you are and what you do?
Whattup Up There! Pete Le Chic, founder of For The Homies. I’d like to say I'm a student of the game, I never want to stop learning. However, its not just streetwear that I'm interested but, culture as a whole. For example a couple things I obsess over - what is that sample on a Lil Wayne song, what's so special about cotton knitted in North America to what's the correct order to eat Sushi? (light to dark meat) As well as who was the first person to take Stussy to Tokyo in the 80's?
Q. Where does the name ‘For the Homies’ come from?
When I first started, I was already an apprentice tailor. Making patterns and cutting fabric for suits were my main tasks, in the off time I’d ask, “so how do I make a hoody or jeans?” during this time I rented a studio, got a couple sewing machines and got to work. Buying rolls of fabric and proceeding to sew piles and piles of clothes, learning the process through repetition.
Often, peeps would pop around and see all these clothes literally everywhere, I wasn’t planning on selling them because I felt like I was still learning so I gave everything away. Boom - For The Homies! The same friends happened to be DJ's, artists and creatives who were crazy supportive of everything I was doing. It didn’t take long till outside people and stylists came knocking. There was no plan prior to this and I started thinking maybe there's something in this?
Q. I guess a good point here is that you don’t necessarily need a set plan to get started. Can you spit some quick wisdom to someone who wants to start their own brand?
Learn your skills and do the best you can with them, always lean into your strengths whether its design, photography or styling. BAPE has been around for thirty years, there's no point in trying to copy what they do. Find your own lane and people will appreciate it.
But, remember you shouldn’t be competing with anyone but yourself and try to do better than you did last time and learn from your mistakes. – this never ends!
Q. You’re heavily influenced by ‘80s-90s Hip Hop and Rap, how do you find this new wave of ‘Hip Hop’? Favourite artist?
Despite being older dudes, how could you not love anything Griselda right now? (boom boom boom boom boom) My main man Kase Avila has a beat tape coming out in a couple weeks with the artwork and merch as a Homies Sounds Project.
Q. This latest collection is based around a pretty impressive collage, fill us in!?
Collections are always about sampling and mixing references. They might not go together on first thought and you have to think a dig a little deeper? Jay Z and Biggie painted by a Bollywood movie poster artist. Who's the king of beef!? To Mobb Deep and Megadeath, kinda like switching it up like a DJ and introducing something unexpected to the mix. Since the woes of Covid at lot of production, has come back in house as well as using Australian and Japanese fabrics. Its been good to get back on the tools!
Q. What’s in your rotations at the moment, give us books, music, sneakers?
Currently reading The Beauty of Time Travel about the work of Ramdane Touhami who revitalised Universelle Buly a brand who makes not just perfumes but a range of 57 different combs. I have a Haruki Murakami book cracked open at all times, Tokyo + Jazz all day.
Current sneaker rotation: Converse Pro leather in all white, Nike AM95 in OG 'Neon', AM3 in 'Infrared', Visvim Hockney, Jordan 4 'Reverse Oreo' & New Balance X Aries 327 in black.
Other than being on the constant search for new rap music, I like to listen to Bill Withers especially his +’Justments album and a lot of jazz and jazz drum battles.
Q. What’s in store for Homies moving forward?
A new goal, is how can I make people’s lives better? With so much time spent at home the question now is how can this environment be improved - would a huge camouflage rug make someone feel good seeing that as walk into a room or different storage solutions? Definitely. There's a lot more to offer than just clothes.
Q. It’s been real, favourite and first quote that comes to mind to round us out?
Here's a dope quote from the sushi chef Jiro Ono:
“I do the same thing over and over, improving bit by bit. There is always a yearning to achieve more. I’ll continue to climb, trying to reach the top, but no one knows where the top is.”