Friday, December 28, 2012

MODA for MEN: Twisted Aristocrat

This Holiday season I'm going giving my very good friend Jason some space on my blog with his company!  MODA for MEN is happy to show his inspirational bags and couture to the masses of Washington DC.




Where did you grow up tell a little bio? My name is Jason or Ashton Hodges and I'm 32 years old.  Ashton is a middle name, it sounds designer-esque
so I go by that professionally.  I'm a DC metro area native from Silver Spring Maryland.  

Where do you get your inspirations from? - city dwellers, urban surroundings,  street art,  street-wear labels,  found objects, vintage materials,  Instagram 

Name three people you would like to meet dead or alive 
1. Karl Lagerfeld  - He's a genius, and so chic for a 79 yr old.  His personality and Image alone is a brand within itself!
2. David Bowie- A rock god / fashion icon / chameleon.  I love the movies " Labyrinth" and " The Man who Fell To Earth."
3. Kanye West - So talented and creative/  I enjoy  his music  and  his personal style.  He's one of the people I'd most like to have carry one of my pieces.

Do you have any favorite designers / Labels?  I'm not much of a label queen,  but  I really Like Alexander Wang, and Balenciaga.   I  find a lot of the time Big designer brands are label heavy.  I guess that's why I  choose to label my pieces on the interior. 

When did you know that Fashion was something you were passionate about?

I became interested in fashion when I was about 27, I had just moved back to DC from L.A.  I was  really exposed to fashion and designer brands out there.  People wear anything and everything out there it's not conservative like DC.  I took a job as a menswear and men's Accessories Manager at Urban Outfitters.  That's when I found my style.  I  love street-wear brands mixed with more formal pieces.  

What is Twisted Aristocrat?
Twisted Aristocrat is an up and coming handbag label that launched in the fall of 2012 by Ashton Hodges and Brykyta Shelton.  We believe that luxury goods should be attainable at a moderate price.  We believe in quality over quantity; our pieces are not mass produced.  They are created with love and passion.  Together we offer moderately priced small leather goods. 
These unisex pieces are urban and multifunctional. 
 We believe that: "YOUR STYLE DICTATES USE."

What is Twisted Aristocrat's style As a brand?  
I try to focus on creating pieces that are urban, unisex and multifunctional. I am definitely not designing for the Typical "Straight" male.  When I make something I think about If I can pull it off, and can I throw it into my wardrobe and make it look effortless and cool when i'm carrying it.  I'm big on metallics and dual sides, one side is usually plain and the other ornate.  In our first collection of pieces perforated leather, studs and utilitarian ornamentation is reoccurring.  In the spring I'm looking to introduce fun and bright colored leather.   

How is it made? All of Twisted Aristocrat's pieces are hand made /designed locally in Maryland by myself.  I have a studio space set up in my attic which allows me to work from home.  As an independent start up It's a blessing.  It's pretty large and allows me to spread out and go wild while creating.  I have an industrial sewing machine and a couple smaller sewing machines that I do the sewing on.  I also do the promoting/ website upkeep/ social media stuff too with help from my partner.

What made you or how did you get started in making your own fashion accessories?
Twisted Aristocrat was conceived a couple of years ago when the first iPad was released."  I was so excited to have this new piece of technology but wanted a case to protect it and display my personal style.   I'm the type of guy that see's something and says "THAT'S HOW MUCH??? I can make that myself."  So I made my first iPad bag on my home sewing machine and it turned out great and I still carry it today.  I went to school for art at a liberal arts university and have a BFA in Art and Design. It wasn't until the end of 2011 that I realized this is what I should be doing, because I love doing it.  It took a literal bump on the head at work to wake me up when it should have knocked me out.  The management at my then day job wasn't the least bit concerned with my head wound, and on that day I started dreaming about what could be/would be.  I talked to my best friend who was working overseas at the time. She was all for this new career and sent me start up capital even without seeing any samples.  Fast-forward to May 2012 and I took the leap into starting this business.   I quit my retail sales job and started designing, creating samples, ordering supplies, increasing my skills and perfecting my craft.   It can only go up from here.  I love what I do.  I’m living a life that most people wish they could, by following my dream.

Where did your name come from?
Twisted Aristocrat came from brainstorming. I knew that I didn't want a cute name because I wasn't making cute things.  I wanted a name that was distinct and would allow people to put their own meaning behind our products. To me as the designer the idea behind " Twisted Aristocrat" means making luxury items that are typically accessible only to people in the highest class of society or the Aristocracy.   I wanted to take that level of first class and prestige and make it accessible to the mainstream members of society.   We all want to feel like we have something of value or something unique and special. I believe that our brand is exactly that


What's one thing people would be surprised to hear about you?  I don't have any formal training in leather work or sewing.  I educate my self with books,  online tutorials and trial and error. 

Where can people find Twisted Aristocrat?  Twisted Aristocrat can be found online  at  http://www.Twistedaristocrat.com  we have an Etsy Shop linked directly  on our website.
We also have merchandise locally at Redeem Located:1734 14th Street NW Washington DC 20009 :: (corner of 14th and S St NW) Phone:   (202) 332-7447

STRANGE  PURSE - $74 -$79

PIGGY BANK CHANGE PURSE $39

Perforated Strange Pouch   $130

IPAD CLUTCH $ 140

PYRAMID STUDDED WRISTLET $85

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