HalfBaiked: Keeping Up w/ Levi Maestro in NYC
While my boss, Zack, and I were on our way to the rental house to check out some film equipment, Levi Maestro gave Zack a call to get lunch. We met him at Cafe Habana… us film guys have a thing for corn.
We enjoyed some of the best corn that NYC has to offer… mmmm… corn.
After eating enough corn and drinking enough Boing! (mango drink) to muster up the courage to ask Levi if I could interview him, I finally asked him. He was happy to… I think.
1/2B: How’s New York City treating you, Levi ?
Levi: It’s treating me like anyone else: It’s very hot and sticky.
1/2B: Nice. Tell me about your new clothing thing?
Levi: I started a t-shirt brand. It’s called STRO, which is short for Maestro. It’s t-shirts and hats. The shirts are made in downtown LA. It’s a nice little cut and sew. 100 percent organic. It’s a little more love than something basic, but it’s still as simple as t-shirts.
1/2B: What inspired your brand? Can we call it streetwear?
Levi: I would actually hope to not call it streetwear, cause I feel like it’s really an extension of me. So if anything… I think it compares to something like Johnny Cupcakes, something where I’m more of a cheerleader for my brand. All the messages, words, and sayings is just whatever I’m feeling in my life. It’s like if I were an artist and I would have paintings… well I’m not … I just have videos… but now I have t-shirts!
1/2B: I know you were talking to Zack about some projects… can you tell the good people what else your up to?
Levi: I’m launching a new company that’s an accessories brand before the year’s end. I have a lot more videos on the way. I’m also writing a book. I’ve been writing it for six months now. It’s very much a motivational. It’s like a daily read.
After Levi found out I went to film school, we talked (off the record) about our favorite “horrible” movies… Fast Five, 1000 words w. Eddy Murphy, etc. I think we both have a soft spot for cheese-ball movies that are light-hearted and fun. Take that hipsters!
The first STRO spot was directed by the man on the right, my boss, Zack McTee…
I remember watching Levi’s videos every other day back when I was super into “streetwear.” It was definitely a cool fanboy moment talking to him. I think what makes Levi so successful even to this day when many claim that streetwear is dying, is his ability to take his ideas and dive in the deep end with them. He doesn’t wait for the assurance of a following before starting on new projects. He simply likes an idea and runs with it, whether the followers come or not. Of course…the followers do come. I mean, come on, it’s Levi Maestro! Keep your eyes peeled… 2013 is going to be a big year for the STRO.