5 Things w/Mike Quinones
Michael Quinones you ask? He’s the dude that’s breathing new life into the SoCal lifestyle scene with ourCaste. He’s also recently married, loves pulling monkey faces in photos and also runs WAAR on t...
5 Things w/Mike Quinones
Michael Quinones you ask? He’s the dude that’s breathing new life into the SoCal lifestyle scene with ourCaste. He’s also recently married, loves pulling monkey faces in photos and also runs WAAR on the side.
We tied him down for a 5 mins to get some answers on a few things and then ran past the random 5 things past him. These are his answers (picture me saying that while doing the ‘Horatio‘ spin). More below, read on…
Give us a brief history of Mike Q?
Work wise, I developed a brand concept called COMUNE a few years back and worked there as the Creative Director and Brand Manager for about 3 years or so. Moved on and started a 100% USA Made & Repurposed surf culture brand called WAAR with my buddy Matt Davis. Now, in addition to WAAR, I’ve started ourCaste with the best bunch of dudes a guy could ask for, and act as Creative Director / Brand Manager. Personally, grew up in a town called Vista in San Diego county, also known as the Heroin capital of California. Graduated high school, went to college for a quick stint then got booted out. I now live in LA with my lovely wife.
What is involved in a typical first hour of Mike Q’s day?
My first hour of the day is pretty intense. I commute from LA to Newport everyday on my motorbike. So, that first hour is spent riding between 90-100mph+ splitting lanes down the 405. I’m a pretty impatient guy. Everyday, that is my first hour of being awake…couldn’t be more stoked on it either.
Whats 5 things that make your working day easier?
A surf if possible
A visit from the homies
Call from the wife
LJ sharing cartoons with me
What is the story behind the name ourCaste?
ourCaste, simply put, is a movement anyone who grew up having noodle arms from shredding all day, swell bow from slamming on a mini, or road rash from washing out on a motorbike can relate to. That was our caste when we grew up, it was what we belonged to without even knowing…and even if you did realize it, you couldn’t have controlled it. You were drawn into those sub-cultures, not the mainstream interpretations of them. It’s that unexplainable draw and sense of belonging to those lifestyles that ourCaste embraces.
How does ourCaste typically approach a collection?
Wait till the last minute, then stay up for a few days and crank it out. If I let too much “process” come in the way then all I do is second guess, and tinker, and change. I’m constantly pulling tears, taking photos, keeping my eyes open always looking for stuff. I usually start organizing thoughts and directional thingy’s a few days before, let it simmer, then just get at it.
From where does ourCaste fill its mood boards for it’s collections?
I am lucky to have pretty rad group of guys surrounding us. All pretty hip on the what’s what, I pull a lot from them. Whether it’s the occasional color palette from a pair of Broken Homme’s or an simple yet refined approach to product from Port LBC, it all finds it’s way into our minds somehow. I feel really lucky to have that environment accessible to me. Outside of those guys, I probably follow the same stuff that every guy/designer out there does, only I know that everyone follows it and don’t claim it to be my own. Haha. It’s the adaptation of inspiration that keeps this big design wheel moving. Everyone rips everyone, get over it, and next time improve and interpret something your own way. Contribute to the world wide design process, don’t leach off it and regurgitate what is out there.
If you could have any icon in history wear ourCaste who would it be? Why?
Jay Reatard, of the Reatards and Jay Reatard fame. Dude was an absolute boss and epic musician…or at least his music keeps me awake during late nights.
What will the ourCaste man be wearing this coming summer?
This summer he’s wearing a skin suit cause we