Back to the Streets with Rochambeau

The boys of Rochambeau get dark and serious with their collections — remember how they pitted lions and mammoths in a fight to the death on their sweaters? — but how do they dress themselves? We caught up with Laurence Chandler and Joshua Cooper to get their personal guides to streetwear style.

Milk Made: Who are some of your men’s street style icons?

Laurence Chandler: Our boy who’s not necessarily immediate to the clothing: Vinny Ponte — this skater who also has a shop, Rival, which is right on Hudson, which became kind of like a sub office at the beginning stages of Rochambeau. We spent more time there than in the office, so he’s played roles in what we’ve gone on to do.

Joshua Cooper: I think also Supreme, obviously. Even though everyone loves Supreme, I think that they make a real quality product and they’ve been true to their roots. They come out on top; they’re a great business.

MM: I can tell you guys know this is your thing.

JC: Our roots are definitely in street wear. We’re like the younger generation of kids learning from the guys building what streetwear is today. It was invaluable for us just to learn the ins and outs of what makes a brand strong and how important it is to be authentic. You see all these brands now that are coming out with puns on high end fashion labels like Hermes and Prada and all these things. People are making goofy T-shirts and it’s like a one-hit wonder. It’s cool at the moment, but it fades away.

LC: It’s not a brand or identity. It takes a lot.

JC: It’s a gimmick or punch line. Like it’s cool. Make money where you can. There are definitely a lot of authentic brands that come out of New York that are still doing it and have been for the past 10 to 15 years, which is really cool. I look up to it.

MM: Personally, what do you like to wear? How do you identify your own style?

LC: I like to have fun and play up certain things, but it changes. Obviously during the day we have a lot to get done. So some days we’ll literally be in basketball shorts just because we’re that busy. But then at night we’ll both get fully dressed up and rock some of the crazy stuff that we make. There’s a versatility to it where it’s like even if we’re in New York and we’re chilling with our friends and skating or something versus when we’re in Paris for men’s market. It’s a whole different thing and just being able to adapt and be comfortable. It’s never something that’s being forced which I think is the key thing.

JC: But I mean to name a couple brands — I really love Rick Owens stuff, Acne makes a great product, APC.

MM: Do you guys learn anything from each other?

JC: Absolutely. I think we both have strengths. It’s a great working environment. We always have two perspectives and a lot of times where people are working alone, ego is a big part of decision making and thinking you’re always right. I think we both have humility and are able to accept when one or the other is correct. It’s great. I learn a lot.

LC: It’s also fun too though. Josh was just on a trip and there was a release that he wasn’t going to be able to get and I was like — I’m going to kill him with this. I’m going to get this and just going to wait on it and rock it in October. Then he got back and he had it already.

JC: We’re definitely always trying to one up each other in a playful way.

Photo by Francois Lebeau

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