Throughout my entire automotive career I’ve attempted to connect my passion for cars with my other interests whether it be action sports, fashion, or art and music. I’ve always understood how each facet of the culture can interconnect and weave itself into daily life. From the personalization of choosing what outfit to wear each day to the customization and styling of the car to the music selected while cruising to any destination – this is a daily story that gives a snapshot of a lifestyle. Upon hearing about this new brand I had to learn more.
Until now there has been no brand that has captured the vintage automotive and motorsports enthusiast lifestyle in such a meticulously and detailed manner. Period Correct was born out of pure passion for automobiles. The brain child of Bryan Calvaro, the brand and flagship store, has been in his think tank for several years before the official launch last week.
Period Correct as a retail outlet serves to provide a very well curated assortment of automobile memorabilia for purchase. Automotive collectibles, magazines, books, art, and even furniture is available. The modern designed space immediately tells a story and captures the imagination for any car enthusiast that steps through the front doors. At any given time automotive museum quality vintage Porsches, rally cars, and BMWs can be found on display as part of the showroom experience.
As a brand, the collection of apparel and goods, are inspired by automotive culture and the nostalgia and passion for motorsports. Much like the classic vehicles on display, the designs of the goods are very detailed and handcrafted using the best materials available.
I had the opportunity to sit with Bryan to speak about the launch of the brand and his inspiration behind it.
JOHN PANGILINAN: How was the concept of Period Correct conceived? You mentioned you’ve had this idea for a long time.
BRYAN CALVARO: From visiting and traveling to Japan and seeing all of the concept shops that were doing, but for me I was visiting a lot of garages and used car specialty stores for BMW Alpinas, Porsches, old vintage Ferraris. Seeing how it was curated and it wasn’t a huge space, but there were two cars in there and I always visited there book stores. So I would visit two or three stores, but never one store that combined the whole fit. So I said, “Wow,” that dealership was pretty amazing there was one guy sitting there with a magazine rack and two cars for sale and that was all Porsches. So I went to another spot and it was all the best car models for 143. Then I went to go visit another store that had the same size or scale as Barnes and Nobles, but one entire wing is all cars. So I would hang out at these places and would always dream of building a brand for guys that are like-minded with similar hobbies, whether it was cars, furniture, architecture, vintage watches – it was something I wanted to curate in my own way. So with this brand it allowed me to display all of that.
Why now? How was the timing right to launch the brand and retail shop?
One is capital. I didn’t have anyone to raise the capital to do it so I had build it on my own. So timing was everything. I was very occupied doing other things in the business. So while I was buying cars and enjoying going to the races and watching this whole world and every time I would visit these events I never seen the lifestyle portrayed either in a brand or in a flagship store of some sort. So for me it was timing. I think everything happened in God’s way with me being able to get the space with the history. From 1976 to 1992 this was Porsche Parts Obsolete. It was Rod Emory’s, who does the Outlaws, where his family established their first business selling Porsche parts. So the history of the block and what was here and of course after a good friend, Mark Arcenal, offered me the space it was a no brainer. I wasn’t pursuing him on the space because I wasn’t quite ready, but the time came when he said, “Hey it’s ready now. If you want to take it, it is available this month, if not they are going to offer it to someone else.” So I jumped at the opportunity to turn the dream / concept into a reality.
Where does your car passion stem from?
I grew up loving cars. Any car that would pass by me or the boys we shout out any car that drove by. We knew what every make was. We knew every Ferrari, every Porsche, every BMW was as it drove by. I’ve always loved cars since the early age of 4 or 5. I had old photos in my room of the ‘78 or ‘79 Porsche Turbo, which I was able to buy the 930 Turbo. I had all the car models in 1/18 scale. My folks knew I was really into cars. I even have an old photo with a Testarossa at the age of 7 and I remember telling my parents that one day I would buy this car. I was able to buy a 512 TR that was kinda the same concept. I always had a car fascination whether it was remote controlled cars, 1/18’s, 1/43’s, or full-scale models, which I only dreamt of having.
Tell me more about the name, “Period Correct.”
Period Correct is basically a term that I’ve seen used and I’ve used myself when speaking about vintage cars. When I was buying cars I would say, “Are these wheels period correct for the car?” or “Is this steering wheel period correct for the car?” “No this is an ‘85 steering wheel and this car is a ‘75 so it shouldn’t be on there.” These terms started to come up and that name stuck with me.
Even in the furniture world, I have a big fascination with mid-century modernism. I donated a lot of time with the Eames family and have heard a lot about things being period correct for certain homes with furniture. It’s a term that I’ve always used and it stuck with me and was embedded in my brain for a long time.
Then to translate it into this brand. Period Correct is more of a lifestyle than a term used here. It is still being used whether its motorcycles or automotive, but it became more of a lifestyle as the way I see it. If you live a period correct lifestyle, whether its the house you live in or the car you drive or the vintage watch you wear – that’s all relevant to Period Correct.
What are you feelings on those “restomods” and the guys building vintage vehicles with modern touches or current innovations? Or even the guys with their own “outlaw” style?
I really respect it. Even myself I have a ‘71 Porsche with a 3-liter. It’s carbourated. I really dig that. I like people putting their personal touches and building them within the style and making sure that some of the upgrades are helping the cars perform better. Period Correct is not here to nit pick people and say, “That’s not period correct.” Period Correct is a lifestyle term for us and that’s why we turned it into a brand. We want to portray the lifestyle. As long as they aren’t taking that 911 and putting something ridiculous on it like 20-inch spinners that doesn’t form fit to the car then that’s different, but something like Singer is amazing. Emory’s Outlaws with the 356 is art and beautiful. To each his own. Period Correct as a company is not trying to dictate or push people to have their car set-up OEM per se. Although we like our cars to that segment, even my cars are restored to a way that would upgrade them to period. That’s how I’ve always had cars. I’ve always stance sit a little bit better, made the wheels right, I added some decals, or hood straps – stuff they did in period, but again we’re not setting a blueprint for people for how to do what they want to do. Cars are great. That’s the best thing about this shop is bringing two crowds together or anybody. There’s a common language and it’s Period Correct. It’s going to be cars, watches, architecture, modernism, furniture, that’s what we are about here.
Your main focus here comes from your personal taste which is Porsche, BMW, and Ferrari.
I have a couple Ferrari’s, rally cars, a Lancia Delta Integrale EVO 2, BMW stuff like I said when I was starting and collecting that’s where I was budget-wise. I’ve always bought cars that I can afford and live within my means. I knew about Porsches and I knew about Ferraris, but I never had the wallet for them, as business got better the car collection got better. I’m basically a direct testimony for kids that are dreaming about cars they want to own. I was that kid only buying only the magazines or the 1/18’s or the 1/43’s or the RC cars to starting to buy and build my own collection. I wasn’t buying cars just to build a collection. I was buying cars that I could afford or love to drive and that I love to look at aesthetically and some I got to keep and some I got to sell, but I got to keep a good bunch.
So would you have an American muscle car displayed in the shop?
Oh yeah. In this shop would there be a muscle car or hot rod, it’s possible. But for my personal taste I’ve never collected those types of cars so I wouldn’t know where to start with that. I do respect them. People with all makes of cars are always welcome here. American racing is the backbone of California. Nothing against them and I do have a lot of friends that do collect muscle cars.
Let’s talk about the collection of apparel and accessories. It’s pretty complete for a new brand to come out with everything at once from top to bottom. I noticed that it is very detailed from the material selection to the color story. Tell me more about it.
My background is in fashion working with my brother. All of that experience along with visiting Japan and the shops and learning about different production and just visiting stores and mill houses – I wanted to just come out with more than just t-shirts. We are a brand first and happened to inherit a shop turned into a store. Previously to inheriting the shop we already had the brand. The brand was already trademarked, we had samples, and we were planning to launch online, so I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
There is a full cut and sew aspect to the line so you have some outerwear, you have fleece from Canada, which is some of the best around with the overlock stitching and of the best quality, with the shirts everything is US made. With the hats we worked with Ebbits Field to collaborate with them as they are the best in what they do.
That’s we want to do – partner with the best artisans and people that are making the best US made goods. That’s what we want to curate – something that is quality and having the direct inspiration graphically whether its race cars, texture, vintage racing, motorsports – all of it is relevant. That’s what has always inspired me. So all of those things play relevant to everything, of course you see it in the graphics of the tees, but also in the cut and sew if you see three stripes on the sleeve, people may ask, “well where did you get the three stripes from?” I took it from a 1955 Longnose Jaguar D-Type. I saw a photo while I designed the jacket and coordinated the blue color and we added the three stripes to the sleeve and it had a small inspiration to it. Everything kind of correlates with one another and that was our goal was trying to mix good quality fabrics produced here in the US and stand by our product.
How often will these collections come out?
Right now we are in Spring / Summer and we will have a Fall / Holiday. We are doing all four seasons. We are not selling wholesale right now. I am trying to curate the brand to the best it can be production-wise.
Do customers need to come into the store or is there an online shopping element?
Yes they can come in the store and we will have our online store launching in a couple weeks. There will be a lot of products available there for people that can’t come to Costa Mesa. We are looking forward to that since the response has been global. So it’s been a global movement which is something we are really excited about. We are really focusing on making the platform and the best goods before we go out there and selling to shops.
Speaking of goods. You have a few accessories as well. That blanket caught my eye.
Yes we have some handmade quilts. Another friend of mine from the Bay Area is hand sewing these quilts with inspiration from graphics and cars that I’m into and some old race graphics. Of course you will always see the meatball, which would display some of the race numbers so that is something that she put on some of the quilts. We made a carrier for it that was inspired by the leather straps off a 356 hood and you can roll that up, put it in the back of your trunk and go ahead and go to one of the races and lay it out.
We have candles and incense from Sierra Hotel and they helped put some packages together. We are all about the home as part of the lifestyle. Even the hand-crafted stools with the 356 embroidered materials. So everything you see here in the store – all of the stools and wood items are built from a wood shop that my family owns so its all incorporated in the design. I’ve designed everything here with inspiration from one of my favorite designers that did furniture, homes, and he has been a big inspiration for me. We are trying to focus on real hand-crafted goods with inspiration from architecture, vintage racing and motorsport.
Even the pocket squares and beanies are all US made. The bags are made here in the US and are coated canvas. Just good quality accessories that we can relate to and like.
The meatball has somewhat become a signature for you.
I love stuff with race history. A lot of stuff with race history today has become affordable for guys like us that are regular guys. That’s been a signature on a few cars I’ve done – on the 356 I did, some Alpinas, and some of the earlier cars. Some people ask if its that logo, but we are sorting that all out. Right now the logo is the core logo.
It kind of fits if you think of just the word, “period.”
That’s right. That’s “correct.”