Libertine Laundry - an evolution in Central California Style. Read on for our 1:1 interview with the guys from Libertine Laundry…
Vera Jones - Jan 05, 2007
VJ: How old were you when you first got interested into clothing and such?
JP: I have always had an interest in any creative expression. Whether it be art, music, or the business route I chose, fashion. My brother and I have always had an evolving style, but there was always a common consistency. I mean, we’ve been rockin’ Vans slip on since kindergarten.
VJ: Do you put stuff out every season?
JP: We get shipments in every couple of days.
VJ: Why Libertine Laundry? And who all is involved?
JP: We chose “Libertine” because of it is origin and definition. It’s a French word, as are my brother and I. It describes a man who lives without reserve, defies the status quo, and savors the unexpected. This is the type of guy who enjoys our boutique. And we chose the word “Laundry” because we want the guys who shop here to think of us as their personal closet. We are all about comfort.. stop in, grab a drink, catch up, and grab some goods for the weekend trip or just for the night out.
VJ: What do you see happening for Libertine in the future?
JP: Droppin in towns that have a desperate need for style. IE: Fresno.
VJ: What inspires you?
JP: Daily life. All of the partners involved have grown up in the Central Valley. Therefore we are very inspired by our Valley roots and surrounding areas. When you visit Libertine it’s obvious that we’re inspired by the San Joaquin’s well known agriculture history. All the décor was excavated from local barns and abandoned warehouses. From the plow that mounts our Libertine painting.. to the ceiling that is formed out of vintage fruit boxes. We embrace our history and love where we live. On the other hand we’re very influenced by Southern California and The Bay. The clash of the three allows us to curate a very eclectic collection.
VJ: Are you interested in doing your own line?
JP: Our house line will launch in spring. We are also collaborating with several designers to throw very limited custom Libertine pieces. We have some insane custom Libertine pieces dropping in February.
VJ: What do you like to do in your free time?
JP: What’s that?
VJ: free association. I say Iron-on you say ___?
VJ: Have you always wanted to own a boutique?
JP: It all started at a late night skate session in front of Chubbies in Clovis. A few of my closest boys and I were dazing on the idea of opening a skate shop.. I ran with the idea, and four years later.. here I am.
VJ: How has the location worked out for you?
JP: Beautifully. We love the plaza. It’s the most ridiculously appealing retail center in The Central Valley. We’re kind of hidden, which I dig. It sort of filters the traffic. Only the right people come in. It’s sort of a back alley feel in the nice part of town!
VJ: Where do you get your gear. I mean like what do you carry?
JP: We stock what we call “The Denim Lifestyle.” Dress up and dress down with denim.
VJ: So, do you go to a lot of trade shows?
JP: We cruise trade shows in search of new talent, but once we make the initial order we work straight through the designer himself/herself.
VJ: Do you personally pick all the stuff that goes in your store?
JP: We all have a say in what we stock, but buying is my angle.
VJ: You carry a lot of smaller labels also, though, don't you.
JP: We carry a lot of labels that are not as well known in this specific area, but have a high demand worldwide. Take for example a fashion line that we stock, Tsubi. Libertine has the Valley exclusive for Tsubi. I don’t really like cliché fashion terms, but Tsubi is seriously like the hottest fashion label out right now. But only a handful of people in the Fresno area are informed. We still stock it and push it. We try and not censor ourselves because of our location. I want our shop to be forward enough to helicopter to Robertson Avenue, drop it, and still be hip.
VJ: Who do you think your gear appeals to?
JP: The fashionable male. We’ve dressed The Eighty Year Old Copper River Member, The Skate Kid who’ll thrash his jeans the day he buys them, and The NFL Player. Therrian Fontenot (Defensive Back, Cleveland Browns) just stopped in about an hour ago and picked up some new additions to his wardrobe. Super stylish guy. Point being, we’re very eclectic.
VJ: You have a slick website - can people buy online?
JP: Not just yet.
VJ: I think of your store as more of a boutique style store, do you eventually want to have more than one location or do you want to keep it central?
JP: We have multiple locations already in the works. But Fresno will always be our baby.
VJ: I don't see you doing a lot of advertising.
JP: We don’t really. Our customer is such a small percentage of the community that it would be a waste to advertise. If they’re supposed to shop here, they’ll eventually find out. We do however network with influential businesses and organizations that are synergetic and complimentary to Libertine and the lifestyle that follows. We Love working with local anything’s and anybody’s that are aiding in the evolution of Fresno.
VJ: Free time stuff?
VJ: Favorite movie?
JP: I am waay too indecisive for favorites. So, can we agree on no more “favorite” questions?
VJ: Kind of music you listen to?
JP: The music I listen to is just like my jeans, the best. At this very second, I’m listening to Feist. As far as Radio, no one compares to KFSR 90.7, they blow everyone else outa’ the water! Non-censored, that’s the way I like it.
VJ: Can you join me in saying the central Valley is rocks? Just kidding.
JP: Sorry, I was zoning out.
VJ: Anthing else I should know?
JP: How about some shout-out’s? I’ve always wanted to do a long ass shout-out!...(In no particular order) Nouveh Magazine, Ephraim Clothing, Campagnia’s, His Magazine, Red Bull, RVCA Ryan, V.One Vodka, The Alex’s of TrueLove&FalseIdols, Katie Baby, Dirty Olive, Christian Audigier, Skully Bros, Sequoia Brewing Company..Moto Brew, FIVE, Casa Corona, 7Diamonds Mario, A-List Promotions, Gianperro of JetLag, Vanity Boutique, SheShe, BB.Pepper Girl’s, Diversions, MetroPark Crew, Wavelengths, Diego Redd, Elliott Smith, Jessie Baylin, Mercedez Benz of Fresno (Hook it up!), Elliot Hans of Literature, Cal-Custom Tile, Ben Gibbard, Le Roi Bakery, Wasabi, and all my Brotha’s and Babies.
Personal note: These guys are just good people and their style can't be messed with- Check out the gallery.
Libertine Laundry is located in Piazza del Fiore on the SE corner of Champlain & Perrin next to Privado Salon.