Hand made stage clothing… I’m so in love with these words! Too bad I don’t hear them that often, but when it comes to the brands that give their sweat and blood to make those boys and girls on the stage lose their pathetic jeans and tees and finally start looking like the rock stars, I always say “Keep ‘it coming! I want more!” I want to see the rock gods up there and not just a bunch of school kids in their street clothes. Get all those garage bands out of my sight and gimme Motley freaking Crue or something, am I asking for too much? I don’t think so. Anyway, today I’m glad to present you one of the best rock’n’roll clothing brands I’ve seen so far. It’s from Los Angeles and its name is Junker Designs!
This story has begun in Texas where the future Junker Designs founder Tod Waters was born. Being a die-hard rock music fan he had a certain vision of a perfect rock hero and believed any worthy rock star should look awesome. His favorite bands like KISS, New York Dolls, Hanoi Rocks or Ramones all had their own visual styles and the idea of music being extremely close to the fashion happened to make a prefect sense for Tod. During his High School years he started to make his first sketches based on how he would dress his favorite bands (would be awesome to take a look at them!) and suddenly came up with his first attempts to design something real and wearable, plus to make some cool drawings on his friends’ jackets. In 2000 he moved to Los Angeles and was lucky to find a lady who taught him how to sew and how to work with leather and other materials. His special focus was leather and everything he could use with it to make it look not ordinary, and you can get what I mean by looking through the brand’s portfolio. The first real things Waters did were leather pants and a waistcoat, and guess what – Lenny Kravitz himself saw that waistcoat on Tod and bought it right away! Wasn’t that a perfect beginning of a cool rock’n’roll success story?! Hell yeah, it was. The second and final founder of Junker Designs was Giuliana, a talented clothing designer whose vision was very close to what Tod had in mind. The guys started working together, crafting the coolest hand-made rock clothing they could imagine and soon got their feet in the door of some serious showbiz…
Here are just several big names Junker Designs has made the concert outfits for: Jyrki 69 of The 69 Eyes, Marilyn Manson, Vince Neil and Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Dimmu Borgir… Want more? Well, I hope you know well such people as Alice Cooper, Glenn Hughes, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, Chris Kael of Five Finger Death Punch, Chuck Garric and Calico Cooper of Beasto Blanco/Alice Cooper Band, Scott Lewis of Carnifex, Gus G of Ozzy Osbourne Band, Bill Kaulitz of Tokio Hotel, Josh Todd of Buckcherry, Andrew Dennis Biersack of Black Veil Brides etc etc etc, not counting lots and lots of other top level musicians, actors and models! Even Britney Spears!
Alright, what we’ve got here… Junker Designs have made a name for themselves dressing the rock stars and basically that’s what you can expect when you’re about to visit their website. In spite of the fact they use many different materials I’d say the most favorite here is leather and they do some kind of magic with it. It surely takes a lot of imagination and skills to age, cut and sew the things this unique way. All the little details, like laces, patches and various metal pins and spikes seem to be in a complete disorder, but from the second look you start to see this special monstrous harmony Tod and Giuliana always manage to achieve. Some of the garments look like they were created for another “Mad Max” movie! Something about a futuristic alternative post-war world where only Zakk Wylde and Rob Zombie survived. So if you’re still wondering why the hell such high profile music stars tend to order their stage clothing at Junker Designs, I’d have damn many reasons for you, and the main one would sound as simple as it seems: these guys get it. They do get what the real rock’n’roll is about and they do know what kind of aesthetics a real rock hero should represent. Not more, not less.
Apart from the rock star clothing the brand sells some more “civil” pieces like tees and hoodies with some brutal and expressive illustrations by Vance Kelly, Christiane Shillito, Travis Haight and finally Tod Waters himself. You can also get anything with the Junker Designs “upside down cross star” logo and I mean anything, including t-shirts, backpacks, caps, pants and so on. All in all the clothing by Junker Designs isn’t cheap. Sometimes it’s even plainly expensive if we’re talking about the stage clothing, but you should know there’s nothing cheap in the hand-made world and if you want to wear something really unique you should be ready to spend a fortune. Especially since in this case it would be worth every penny.