Laurence Chandler – Proof7, USA, multifaceted creative company

March 30th, 2009
Partfaliaz interview Laurence Chandler
proof7
Hi Laurence, please, could you introduce yourself and Proof7…
My name is Laurence Chandler and I am a partner in Proof7 a multifaceted NYC based creative company. Our business is a unique model based upon our tremendous production resources that comes from generations of experience in the printing industry thru my partner Josh’s family. Proof7 utilizes its production resources to provide print solutions for some of the globe’s most renowned creative agencies from Weiden + Kennedy, to TBWA, to smaller independents like Anomaly, Staple Design and Strategic Group.

Aside from providing our exceptional client list with print strategy we have various internal projects that distinguish us from the competition- for 5 seasons we have released the P7 brand collection at various tradeshows including Magic and Bread n Butter – we have always tried to do something that doesn’t conform to the market – we never showed on the floor but would use our resources to throw events and private suites to meet with buyers and press; we have had the pleasure to work along side such staple brands like Mishka, Mighty Healthy, Reason, King Stampede in putting on amazing parties that pushes the various projects of all brands forward.

Our constant creative endeavors resulted in an amazing relationship with Davey Gensler and the KDUs. Gensler is the madman behind the worlds largest creative collective and we have come together to produce the bi-annual Solstice artbook. The purpose of the book is to showcase the most talented and innovative in design and put together a unique piece that is ad-free and unlike anything out there. We will strategically release these in conjunction with the major market weeks and have created an amazing global following as designers are constantly looking to have their work featured.

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We are also launching a highend menswear collection, Rochambeau, designed by the extremely talented Michael Venker, previously with Marc Jaccobs and Helmet Lang. Rochambeau is the culmination of all the experience we have gained through our various projects and is our attempt to be ahead of the curve in where the market is going in terms of male consumers looking more for high design, amazing fabrics, and greater sophistication in their garments. We have been featured in Surface as one of the top 10 new menswear designers to watch and our debut collection sold out of OAK nyc in its first week. There are many major things on the horizon as the brand continues to expand.

All of our projects coexist seamlessly as the worlds of production and design merge to create a constant stream of creativity and expansion – there is never a routine, and never a boring day.

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What about Proof7 clothing ? It seems to be wellknown all around the world, particularly in the T-shirt market, do you have in-house designers or is it art collaboration depending on the seasons ? Which artists did you work with ?
P7 clothing is a collobrative effort twice a year where we work with some of the most amazing talents in the world to define that season’s aesthetic. In the past we have worked with Electric Heat, No Pattern, Lex the Flex, Breed, Monaux, Brad Digital, Spaceknuckle, Edgarista, and others to produce extremely dope and often limited releases.

For our new project Rochambeau, we have taken the design in house to hone in on the aesthetic and create a brand identifiable by its extreme quality and attention to detail- Michael Venker is head designer and Daniel Roedler is the assistant- together they form the creative talent behind the brand.

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I’ve read that the special environment of NYC is something particularly inspiring for Proof7. Can you tell us more about that ?
Our growth as a company and its various brands has been contingent on the non stop environment of NY- we are immersed in a culture or creativity that promotes entrepreneurialism. When we started Proof7 it was in college with a goal of making a mark in the city- what once may have been a gang became a brand that represented who we are and the lives that we are living– we documented our growth through our website proof7.com and its blog and it has brought us some amazing opportunities.

In NY business might get done in the back of a kitchen in a new dope restaurant over a joint and some Stellas or it might be in the conference room of a major agency. You have to be adaptable to all terrains and willing to take some risk.

Proof7 is dedicated to the production of publications with a vision of quality, how and where do you wish to expand that vision ?
As printers we have a special bias for the value of a printed piece- and so we show pride when producing our own publications. We treat everything with the greatest care b/c ultimately we look at things from a consumer prespective- what would I like to read, wear, buy, and this translates into the creation of our projects.

When working on a publication we will use the highest level of quality in everything from graphic layouts to paper stocks to binding techniques. We provided unrivaled printing quality with the mentality to do things that no one else is doing and it works.

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Proof7 is producing The Solstice but don’t proof7 also contribute to it? Some of the artworks are illustrations of proof7 logo, how does this collaboration happens?
In everything we are involved in we like to have our own creative input and we look at these as opportutities to expand our brands audience while putting out the talent of some the most creative artists, photographers, stylists, and designers.

We exist on creating and expanding relationships- for example if a designer is looking to do a book we will work closely with them to create innovative print solutions to make that happen, in return they might create a graphic for the P7 collection or a new sticker campaign, we will then feature that work in the publication of the Solstice and it creates a very organic relationship of give and take.

What are Proof7 projects for 2009 ?
We are looking to thrive while the world crumbles- the old models are dead and we take great pride in being amongst those who are going to be responsible for defining what comes next- in all industries you can feel it- there is a fear amongst the older generations that there is a collapse- which is true to a degree but this void allows for fresh innovation and a new set of priorities. We are pioneers of a new model of business and a new way of living – we don’t work 9 to 5 we exist in a global community of tastemakers and trendsetters who are going to be responsible for the next big thing.

Projects in the works??? keep your eye on Rochambeau, Costa Rica, Silver, many more unique publications, working closely with major global brands, Sour Diesel, charities, time travel, the rebirth of hip hop, Undergrind, the death of the old guard, the girls at lookers, Jameson shots, Sergio “the Salmon” Bello, cellphones controlling your lives and shopping habits, secret membership clubs, more US banks to fail, the explosion of India and China, Newt Gingrich, no more nikes and fitted hats, buying islands, watching the spanish channel and food network, the rise of Kenny Powers, interns, hover boards, juggling, the creation of a new internet that will be much more regulated in the future and the current WWW becoming an enter at your own risk no mans land, creativity, the death of the US dollar, the IMF proceeding with centralizing a global currency, Nuclear power, Paris, Kanye West falling off, jazz, back to basics, people living in bubbles, another debt crisis, vietnam in afganistan, meals in a stick of gum like willy wonka, hot air balloons, lapdances and romances, clean air, and other fine things.

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