Q&A: Philippa Price and Smiley Stevens of Guns. Germs. $teal.

Articles // Virginia Ibarra // 02/04/13
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Price (left) in GG$ Snakeskin Souviner jacket and shorts, Stevens (right) in GG$ Polka Dot/Camo Button down

Ask anyone for their favorite designer and they’ll probably mention Alexander Wang’s sporty influence or Christopher Kane’s genius graphics-after all, it seems male designers have lovely lady looks on lock. But how often do you hear about a woman designing menswear? Philippa Price and Smiley Stevens are two such designers at the helm of the up-and-coming men’s clothing label Guns. Germs. $teal. Not only has the duo-both models themselves-collaborated with photographers like Robert Yager and Chad Muska (who shot their Spring ’13 lookbook), but also count on chart-topping artists like Rihanna, A$AP Rocky, and Lana Del Rey as fans. Here, we chat with the boundary-pushing designers about working with pro-skaters and how girls can wear their clothing (believe us, you’ll want to!).

Where did the brand name come from?
Stevens: Guns. Germs. $teal is based off of a book that we both read in college (Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond). It’s about human societies and cultural struggle.
Price: It was mostly about how the western culture wiped out a lot of other amazing cultures.

A lot of your clothing has accents like sarape and mariachi-like lining, so clearly different cultures are important to your aesthetic.
Price: Yeah, culture is a huge starting point for us. We like blending cultures and blending subcultures. We look at a lot of clothing from the past that would define a person as part of a subculture and we are kind of blending them and making a new subculture.

Who do you envision wearing your clothing, man or woman?
Both: Rihanna!
Price: Well Rihanna is the girl wearing our clothes.
Stevens: We just sent her a custom jacket
Price: The guy…
Stevens: A$AP Rocky!
Price: Yeah, Rocky. I think it’s his confidence, a guy who is confident will wear our stuff because it is crazy, it does air on the side of being a little feminine but I think when you are confident in your masculinity then you should be able to wear whatever you want.
Stevens: Any guy that is confident enough to wear GG$ is a winner.

You both modeled prior to designing, what did you learn from modeling that you applied to GG$?
Price: We saw a whole side of the fashion world and we learned how not to treat our models on our photoshoots. Our photo shoots are always a lot of fun.
Stevens: Our photoshoot with Chad Muska was a lot of fun because it’s Chad Muska.

How did he become the photographer for your Spring 2013 lookbook?
Stevens: We met Chad through one of our friends and we went to visit him at his studio.
Price: While we were there, we saw his art. We have all these crazy textures in our clothes and his art had the same color, same texture and his whole inspiration was destruction and deconstruction. So we told him he had to see our clothes and he said we had to shoot in his flat. We literally shot the lookbook the next day.

How do people react when they learn that two women are running this brand?
Price: A lot of times they don’t believe it.
Stevens: They love it! It’s so funny, every time someone finds out, they love it ten times more-it’s awesome.
Price: We like it being an after fact. We love people seeing our brand and our clothes first and then finding out that it’s designed by girls because no one ever expects that.


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