NASASEASONS Is Leading The Dad Hat Renaissance
For the past three years, NASASEASONS has established itself as the go-to brand following the Renaissance of dad hats. Starting as the product of what a young Alex Daillance believed was missing in the fashion world, its collections are now stocked on the most reputable retail shelves. NASA’s recent repertoire of collaborations defines it as a fashion staple of the recent pop-culture. In response to their growing influence, NASASEASONS decided to take a step away from accessories and release their first ready-to-wear collection. We sat down with NASA’s executive team to discuss inspiration, headspace, and what’s next for the brand.
Hey guys! First of all, would you please introduce yourselves?
Alex: I’m the creative director of NASASEASONS, a brand I co-founded now three years ago when I went to high school in Paris. Right now, I’m pretty much based in New York, Paris, and LA.
Will: I’m Will, I’m in charge of directing marketing and branding for the line. I’m from Connecticut. I left school recently. I don’t go to college anymore, I’m living in New York. I’m really living the dream.
Amaury: Hey, I’m Amaury. I would say my defining trait is that I really like chicken, but other than that, I’ve been working with NASASEASONS for a while now making their visuals: photos, videos, and helping define the brand. I am into post-internet aesthetics and I feel that the camera is an afterthought.
We’re sitting down together right now in commemoration of your latest release, the first NASASEASONS ready-to-wear line. This is a big jump from a brand that was originally only focused on hats. What brought you to make hats? Then, how and why did you make that jump into clothing?
Alex: Right, the brand started with hats. A few years ago, we released a few hats that ended up at Colette and eventually a few different stores. NASA has been largely known for being an accessory brand. It became pretty successful at that. And pretty much the only reason why we made hats in the first place was that they were easy items to produce. We were really young. I only wanted to put out products that I really liked, and I felt that I wasn’t yet able to produce clothing like jackets, long sleeves, or short sleeves, that I would like when I was only seventeen years old. I had a lot of shit to deal with, and hats were a relatively easy thing to do. I made very simple products that fit my tastes. I, personally, don’t wear hats, but I like seeing my product on other people. When it came developing the brand, our distributors would end up asking for more. I began to ask more of myself. I told myself that it was finally time to make more than just hats.
I made pieces that didn’t necessarily connect directly to what I did before but connected with what I wanted to see put out into the world. A jean jacket I make won’t connect to a particular hat that I did before, but it connects to my style. It’s about the new things that I want to bring. In the case of the jackets, they’re really good denim made in the same factory as both Balenciaga and Vetements. The sleeves are really wide. I visited a bunch of thrift shops in L.A. and bought tons of old jean jackets. There is one that I bought that I still wear today. The sleeves were huge, made for superman’s biceps. Really baggy. I made sure to include that in the jean jacket I made. The length of the sleeves on the NASASEASONS jackets are relatively short. I only wear jackets when they’re rolled up. I wanted people to be able to showcase their wrist jewelry or tattoos. This collection also features a bunch of tees that are inspired by movies that I like. Kubrick and Lynch are some of my biggest visual inspirations. A lot of our hat’s phrases link back to Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut. The quotes on the caps are usually about jealousy or self-obsessed culture.
Will: A big thing that we all talked about with this new collection, because it was a departure from just the hats was how to bring the same vibe that we got from phrases to clothing. I didn’t always work with NASASEASONS from the start, so I have an interesting perspective being a customer. I put the hat on for the first time. It’s a cocky phrase, but it felt really good to be wearing it. It’s hard to pull off – but that’s part of the appeal. We wanted to bring exactly what was behind those phrases to our ready-to-wear collection. There’s something intangible that went into the cut-and-sew.
Alex: I wanted to make products that I could see paired with my hats. It comes from a very personal level. When you see people actually wearing the products, it is a really fulfilling feeling, because it is a nod to my personal vision. I want to see my products resonate with other people
Sometimes, it doesn’t go so well. I’ve made hats that barely sold at all, and I’ve made hats that became insanely popular. It’s interesting to see what types of products work and which ones don’t. The ones that sell aren’t necessarily the ones that you thought would be the most successful. It’s like music.
What was a product that had different success than you thought it would?
Alex: I didn’t think that the I Came to Break Hearts hat would be so big. The phrase is so cocky. It’s so hard to pull off. But in fact, I realized that people like what it stands for.
It’s almost too in-your-face.
Alex: It’s so blatant, that it becomes cool. It’s kind of interesting because by making these phrases, we make fun of the people that would wear the phrases seriously. The people who buy the products have that same satirical view. They themselves are poking fun at those who would really believe in those phrases.
How has living in different places influenced your work?
Alex: I really try to make pieces that are actually relevant. They take inspirations from cultural references. I’m trying to assert something new about them. I want to create pieces that don’t already exist. I wouldn’t create a jean jacket if my cut wasn’t completely new. Levi’s does great jean jackets. I’m able to take in the different ways that people dress. I take specific people as inspiration sometimes. I thought about Kaia Gerber going to Nobu Malibu to design this collection. More and more, I think of characters, and I try to dress them. That way, it makes the brand very authentic.
What’s the vibe of this collection?
Alex: The brand is really about brand-obsessed youth culture and romance. These are key themes that define our post-internet world. My generation is one that has been marked by technology’s stamp. At 12, I signed up for Facebook, at 15, I signed up for Instagram. Ever since I’ve been on those platforms, my life has changed. Certainly now more than ever before, we are more drawn by fame because of all the followers. It’s not bad, but I’m trying to comment on that in a funny way. Kind of like how Warhol did portraits of Marilyn Monroe. He criticized fame. I like that the brand is self-explanatory. The phrases on the hats are kind of the logos. Fame is not something that is quantifiable. Everybody has their own interpretation of fame. Now social media poses the question: are you even famous in real life? That crisis about fame identity is really funny and I want to comment on that. I love it when very famous people wear my clothes. I sent Mick Jagger an Almost Famous hat! The question is how to transmit it. There’s something else to it, the lifestyle. We build the brand based off of what we do every day. We party every day. We want to transmit that vibe through social media and the events that we do.
What’s the mindset right now?
Alex: We’re excited.
Will: Right now, we’re in work mode. We’ve been in New York for a few weeks now, posted up in a hotel room. We work until about 8 pm. After that, we have people over and party. We wake up and do it all over again. We’ve been meeting with really cool creatives that give us great advice on the next steps. We just met with Chrome Hearts. They’re very family-oriented. They told us how difficult it is to make a brand with those values today.
Alex: What I like about Chrome Hearts is that they were able to really create a whole universe. Everything in the store is about Chrome Hearts. I want to replicate that with my brand. It’s hard to do that. Now, when we’re exposed to so many different things and know about methods of getting more exposure, it’s easy to think that there’s a certain formula that you need to follow. But at the end of the day, it’s about consistency. Chrome hearts still uses the same logo since they began. You really have to take a step back and not look at what other people are doing. Do your thing. By changing what you think is cool because of new trends, you will fall off.
What’s next for NASASEASONS?
Alex: I’m trying to marry. [to Will] we could actually brand that as a NASASEASONS marriage. Almost Married. [laughs]. We’re trying to work on a collaboration with an artist. We can’t say a lot more just yet, but we’ve been having several meetings with Universal Music to collaborate with a relevant figure that we believe in. We do a lot of parties, it’s something that’s very ingrained in our corporate culture. We want to collaborate with somebody who fits into what we’re trying to bring.
How has the response to the collection been?
Alex: People on social media platforms have been really excited. I’ve received screenshots of people purchasing on SSENSE.
Images courtesy of NASASEASONS
Stay tuned to Milk for more