KNOTORYUS TALKS TO DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY (PT.2 AKA THE 2014 INTERVIEW)
(above images : Devon Halfnight LeFlufy at his atelier )
A little over a year ago, Devon Halfnight LeFlufy’s then-fiancée, the gorgeous and lovely Goedele contacted me to see if we were interested in an interview with her boyfriend who was about to graduate from the prestigious Antwerp Fashion Academy with an ovation from a jury comprised of a.o. the Antwerp 6, Suzy Menkes and Hirofumi Kurino. The result was an interview that to this date gets a lot of love from all over the world. This time around, the super talented designer contacted me himself with a short : “Yo D, I hope you are doing well. I think it’s time we have another one of those chats. Would you like to come visit the studio?”
So much has happened within the span of one year : Devon Halfnight LeFlufy just won the first Flanders Fashion Fuel grant of € 50.000. Different items from his graduation collection were proudly worn by stars like Ciara, Rita Ora and Diddy’s n°1 girl Cassie, but most important of all : his collections are now sold in prestigious and almost all of my favourite -dear Dover Street Market & Colette, come on now!- stores. From L.A & New York to London, Antwerp, Osaka and Tokyo. Meanwhile, in KNOTORYUS/DEVONHALFNIGHTLEFLUFY related news : I had the distinct pleasure of using his creations for a shoot with Nicolas Karakatsanis & Toon Aerts. Afterwards, when I approached his studio for the Andy Warhol exhibition while he was in Hong Kong, the word he reportedly sent back was : “Give her anything she wants”. And of course we both now share the experience of being on set with the amazing Alex Salinas.
Safe to say, there was loads to talk about, son. Too much maybe, because this is a long read. But in the words of KNOTORYUS’ Immi, whose tastelevel I deeply value and who does NOT have time for bad fashion stories or interviews : “If you guys did a recurrent podcast, I’d listen the shit out of it.”
(above and all campaign images by Alex Salinas)
KNOTORYUS : Since our talk last year, what has been the biggest fashion lesson?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : We are trying to get a good grasp on what is commercially viable but at the same time completely faithful to the brand’s ideology. Thanks to Instagram and Facebook you can get really nice feedback directly from consumers. Our fans are passionate about the brand, not just because we make cool clothes, but the collections, and thus the pieces, resonate with them. When they wear something from Devon Halfnight LeFlufy, it’s empowering. Whether it’s sexy or confident or just really fresh: this is what it gives them.
KNOTORYUS : I completely understand. I tried to explain that to someone a while ago. They threw some shade towards a brand I wear a lot -not Supreme- and I took it really personal, because I identify with the people behind it and the energy they put out into the world. And she was : “But for most people it’s just a band wagon thing.” And I had to explain that for me it isn’t. Life is a fucking battle field and whenever I step out into the world in the morning I want to wear something that makes me feel ready. Does that make sense?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : 100%. I remember when I got my first leather jacket. Huge moment! I felt invincible. I think someone can have that same feeling from our clothes. Whether it’s well-cut dress pants or this T-shirt that wears really well. I think that is what people want, along with being something they might not have known about before. Something fresh. You always have to balance it with what the buyers want though. They’ve been quite conservative in the last years. But it is part of the game and you play with that. We are trying to confer the fact that the brand is more than just freshness; we have really nice dress pants and shirts. Not just press worthy stuff, but also some nicer pieces for your wardrobe. This is a newer part of the collection, which has had an excellent response.
KNOTORYUS : I really had to laugh when Cassie was wearing your T-shirts, and although she is absolutely stunning, the biggest deal for me is the fact that your clothes are hanging in P. Diddy’s house! That’s so crazy!
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Yeah yeah yeah! Maybe he washes them or something (laughs).
KNOTORYUS : Are there other people that you’ve seen wearing your stuff that you’re really happy about?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : When Cassie started to wear stuff, Rita Ora did too. I think she has actually bought a lot of stuff. Ciara wore the Selena Los Angeles T, before she got pregnant. We have a little wish list of people that we would love to see in our clothes but we don’t actively seek that sort of thing out. I guess it’s super typical, but there are some art people on that list for my own enjoyment. It would be really cool to see Slavoj Žižek wear something, even though I don’t think it would affect my sales in any way. We’d also want Frank Ocean or Pharrell, but there is plenty of time.
KNOTORYUS : Frank Ocean would be a really good fit.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Frank Ocean transcends so many genres, that’s what I like about him.
KNOTORYUS : The thing with Pharrell is that when he wears something, he wears it to death and then it’s over after a couple of seasons, you know?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Totally, people are watching him too closely, it’s like his exposure is too potent.
KNOTORYUS : Frank would be really cool.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : I was super close to him last summer
KNOTORYUS : Like six degrees of separation?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Only two degrees! Goedele, my wife, broke her foot a month before our wedding and she was going to a physiotherapist. And when Frank Ocean was doing a festival in Belgium and he had a problem with his wrist and went to the same physiotherapist three hours later.
KNOTORYUS : So close!
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : It could have happened!
KNOTORYUS : Was it funny to you that girls immediately started to wear your stuff?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : I was kind of expecting it. Once the main collection is more mature, we’d love to start a women’s collection. Maybe even having them linked, but doing some specifically female garments, would be nice. My first education was in womenswear so I have the experience, I just haven’t done it since I came to Antwerp.
KNOTORYUS : So, you made the conscious choice when you came to Antwerp to just do menswear?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Conscious, yes. But the Academy also left everything up to us. They said : “You have to look inside and see what you viscerally want to do”. And for me it turned out to be menswear. It’s something I inherently understand. My relationship with clothing comes mostly from my own experiences with it. So it was just a natural fit, it made sense to me. Menswear is interesting, it’s a bizarre world with ‘strange rules’. Womenswear is fantasy, almost anything is possible. But with menswear it can become clownesque so quickly. You are more limited in what you can do and that is exciting.
KNOTORYUS : Since I’ve seen you last year, a lot of things have happened. You were in the running for the H&M Design Award?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : That was a really nice experience. they took us around a bit.
KNOTORYUS : How does that work, do they approach you first?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : It was my second year in the contest, the year before I was in the semi-finals. So they knew me and they were sort of joking already that I should apply again next year. The Creative director, Ann-Sofie Johansson, was on the jury at the Academy so it made a sense for me to enter. They treat you so well during these contests. They fly you around, you stay in nice hotels. You get used to a guy holding your name at the airport (laughs). But I have learned that it was not my ‘type’ of contest. I do think Eddy Anemian deserved to win. A great collection and a super sweet guy. And I’m really curious to see how they’ll commercialize his designs because what he did in that collection was pretty particular. Ultimately, this is a contest to commercialize something and my work is already commercialized. I think there was a paradox there that might have muddied the water.
KNOTORYUS : It seems like you take the times you don’t win really well, but doesn’t your ego take a hit every time you don’t make the cut? I don’t think mine was made for that kind of rejection.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : It might not seem like it, but I’ve had my fair share of rejection. You kind of get used to it. The way these juries are set up is completely out of your control. I used to stress out about it, but in the end you just have to put in the best application you can. Whatever happens after that is outside of your control. Like with the Fashion Fuel contest. My profile was great for the mandate they were looking for, but obviously there’s a jury. They pick four people. You never know how it’s going to twist. An internal jury is a completely autonomous entity that you can never fully predict. There were other great designers that didn’t even make it into the top 10. So I’ve become used to it. There is always politics involved in these contests. It sounds like whistling in the dark to make you feel better, but it’s not about being the best, but about being the best for their criteria. And if I’m not, that’s okay.
KNOTORYUS : I love that you won the Fashion Fuel funding. It’s € 50,000 per designer spread out over 4 seasons?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : My season’s over, SS15 was one of the seasons, but my designs were at the factory already. So I hope for SS15 we can do a presentation or well-focused visual communication in some sense, which could go from a music video to a fucking bake sale.
KNOTORYUS : Did you say bake sale? That’s so digital of you!
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Yeah man, there’s gonna be Pac Man on the cookies (laughs). Fashion Fuel is great because Flanders has so much talent and they need to support it in a comprehensive way. I think that’s what Fashion Fuel is trying to do. Really select people that they feel will benefit from the money and the business advice.
KNOTORYUS : Did you like the showrooms you did in Paris?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Absolutely! It works really well.
KNOTORYUS : Is it easy to get everyone there?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Yes and no, some people are in love with seeing new things, but then there’s people who are really reserved and it’s more like a purely business activity to them. These people are more stand-offish. But we’re lucky because most people are curious; they’ve heard my name and wonder ‘what the fuck this guy is about’. We are steadily growing so I can’t really ask for more
KNOTORYUS : Devon Halfnight LeFlufy, it’s a name that sticks, huh?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : It’s a blessing and a curse! (laughs)
KNOTORYUS : After our really in-depth talk last year, I had to read somewhere else that you interned for your former headmaster Walter Van Beirendonck. How did we not discuss this?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : It was more informal than an actual internship. Basically what happened was, I finished my third year collection super early. Walter and I were joking around and he told me I had to come help at the studio. And of course, me being the opportunist that I am, I took him up on it.
KNOTORYUS : That’s not being opportunist, that’s being incredibly smart!
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : (laughs) So I helped him leading up to fashion week and in his showroom. Now every once in a while he needs like a thousand tiny things to be ironed on and I’ll be there. I feel I have a huge debt to him that I will never be able to repay. Walter was so influential to me coming into myself as a designer.
KNOTORYUS : He’s seen it all and he still gets up and does it.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Walter is a smart man, but he also wants you to learn the lesson for yourself. He never gives you the answer. He points you were to go and shoves you off into gravity. Which is good because if you give someone the answer they don’t remember the lesson.
KNOTORYUS : Did you see the TV-episode of “Happy Birthday Dear Academie” where you got the ovation of the jury for your graduation collection?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Was it that Canvas thing, I didn’t see it!
KNOTORYUS : We saw it with our little girl because she loves Walter sightings. She’s been wearing his kids’ designs since she was a baby and kind of thinks he’s her personal wardrobe designer and that she’s on a first name basis with him.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : That is so fucking cute!
KNOTORYUS : And then you were up, the judges saw your stuff, and Walter went : “Devon, this is really really good.” And everybody started applauding. So she was like “Who is this guy”?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : (laughs) I haven’t seen it, I get a bit embarrassed with those things.
KNOTORYUS : So you don’t watch a lot of TV?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Sure, I do.
KNOTORYUS : Like trash TV?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Yeah, like ‘Love & Hip Hop’. You too?
KNOTORYUS : Only Atlanta!
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Yeah! Oh snap! Waka Flocka Flame is on.
KNOTORYUS : I know!
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Oh, shit. It’s so funny, right!
KNOTORYUS : It cracks me up. But for me, either I watch documentaries or interviews with intelligent people to get inspired or I watch trashy internet stuff.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Yeah, and I feel I have a three to six month cycle. One season it’s all ‘Gossip Girl’ and the next it’s underground Japanese stuff. It depends on the period you catch me in.
KNOTORYUS : How has the married life been?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : AMAZING. But actually it’s exactly the same as being boyfriend and girlfriend. I really love it. I’ve found my life mate with Goedele. Our first year of marriage was also the first year of my business. I think we’ve bonded for life over the drama and tears.
KNOTORYUS : Is she more of a listening ear, is she involved at all?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : She is the CFO and does the admin and prospection. She played a huge part in my application for ‘Fashion Fuel’ as well. I put everything down in broad strokes and she sculpted it down into something consumable. Without her I wouldn’t have had won the sponsorship. I don’t envy her because I’m a very difficult person to be there for. I don’t even know what kind of support I want. One time it’s a cookie and the next it’s a harsh slap across the face. There’s no way of telling! My needs are super erratic so I can’t believe she manages it so well.
KNOTORYUS : Is she the opposite of that?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : We’re both pretty big feelers.
KNOTORYUS : So in a way you probably give her the same thing.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : I think we’re similar in our emotional profiles. That sounds uncomplimentary, but somehow it’s good.
KNOTORYUS : That’s good, it’s a balanced relationship. If you’re the only needy one the whole time…
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : We’re both needy workaholics, so it’s perfect!
KNOTORYUS : Let’s talk about Alex Salinas, who shot your gorgeous campaign images again! Because now I’ve worked with him a couple of times as well…
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Yeah, you guys did the Andy Warhol shoot and then a couple of editorials after that.
KNOTORYUS : De Morgen asked me to do something and told me I could choose my own photographer. For me if you give me a choice, I always want the best that’s available. And everybody told me there are a lot of great photographers in Belgium, which technically there probably are, but not a lot of them make me feel some type of way when I see their work. Or have an aesthetic that I really relate to. Alex is one of the few. And then I shyly asked him and he was like “yeah, sure”.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : “Yeah, see you on Thursday! Six pictures, three hours it’s nothing!”, in his deep voice. (laughs)
KNOTORYUS : After the first shoot was done, he just turned around and said to please call him if needed him again. And I held him to that. (laughs)
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Yeah, and with you he probably gets a bit of a budget. With me it’s more like : “Here’s fifty bucks. Let’s spend it on MacDonalds.
KNOTORYUS : I love working with him, it’s not about big ego.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : No, it’s not. It’s about big vision.
KNOTORYUS : Yes.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : From the beginning of my Master’s year, I knew that I needed to find the right person to collaborate with. Then someone recommended him to me, because I was having trouble finding the right match. There’s Willy Vanderperre, Ronald Stoops, Frederik Heyman and Alex. These were the ones whose work I find interesting. And Alex, if you went to his website there was no information. Back then there was a picture of a wilted flower, a robot and some instant noodles. (laughs) I immediately felt like we had something deeply in common. So I wrote him and he wrote me back “Let’s meet”. What makes the collaboration so cool is that he can synthesize and articulate my work before I can. He finds a way to communicate it that adds a facet that I wasn’t even able to see myself. For this collection I told him, “There’s something retro about it” and he went: “I don’t get it, Devon, what’s the retro thing?” But after a fitting, he really got it and ran with it. When there’s someone who brings just as much to the table (or with Alex he brings more) as you do it’s such a great feeling.
KNOTORYUS : And Alex is really proud of it as well. Because when I was shooting with him at his house, right after he did your campaign shots for this season, during a quick break he said : “Did you see the pictures I did with Devon in the other room?”
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : That’s so good to hear! We get a lot of mileage out of the pictures, it’s been in Vogue, Dazed and some other stuff. We have some pages in L’Uomo Vogue aka Vogue Italy’s September supplement. The reason it works so well is because our aesthetics are kindred. Cross your fingers that he won’t be too busy next time. I really give him carte blanche and want him to collaborate and take it somewhere I might not have. I don’t want to hold him back because I know I don’t need to. My favorite picture from the FW14 shoot, took us 45 seconds, it was ridiculous. It was “snap” and “Okay, let’s go get burgers”. (laughs)
KNOTORYUS : Which picture was that?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : The glowing head picture. That was the last one we did that night and we just knocked it out. Alex, man. He’s crazy. The only other thing that I revere in that way are the Arena Homme + editorials by David Sims. They are so incredible.
KNOTORYUS : You just mentioned those photographers, what do you think about Pierre Debusschere?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Who is that again?
KNOTORYUS : He’s been doing Dazed & Confused and AnOther for a long time, but he recently shot to fame with his contributions to Beyoncé’s visual album?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : I don’t know, I am not informed enough to pass judgement. What do you think about it?
KNOTORYUS : I’m proud of the fact that it’s Belgian, I also think it’s super interesting to see him and his crew work with #BeenTrill which is ex-SHOWstudio’s Matthew Williams and Virgil Abloh’s collective and Virgil is Kanye’s right hand man. It’s just this whole Brussels’ clique that seems to have caught the attention of the big guys. I’m really interested to see what they will do with that. If they’re going to use that money and power to get really crazy and next level on these pop culture icons.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : That’s what I always wanted to be : next level. I hope my clothes are next level.
IT IS OK TO LIKE BROWN
KNOTORYUS : The last time you told me that people had said that you were on-trend because ‘Spring Breakers’ was also coming out and that it was a bit unfortunate. But now there’s nothing out there like your stuff in my opinion.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : With my master’s collection it came back to zero, in a weird way. From there I started to explore new things. In the end I didn’t mind the ‘Spring Breakers’ connection, it was just a bit of a pity that people simplified it so much. They same goes for spring breakers. To me it is a serious social commentary. This ‘American trash’ part of my aesthetic is super strong but there are all these other facets that are starting to cross over and become more evident. I’m also becoming a bit more comfortable in my design. There are things that I’m starting to be willing to admit to liking.
KNOTORYUS : Like what? Something that’s not considered cool?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Like brown. It’s okay that I like brown.
KNOTORYUS : Was that a thing, you felt you couldn’t confess to before? Where you were not allowed to use brown in the Academy?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : I had a girlfriend when I was in my early 20’s, and she mocked me for my love of brown. But what can I do, I’m Canadian! (laughs) I’d wear like several shades of brown at once.
KNOTORYUS : Not just one brown, I love it.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Dominique, you should see the Pantone brown section. It’s incredible! I guess I’m more comfortable with that now. More free to play with colors…even brown.
KNOTORYUS : Is that also how you decided to go retro for F/W14-15?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : I guess that’s something I was scared of before. I knew I wasn’t mature enough to handle topics with too many fashion complications. Now, if I want to use neoprene, I’m going to use it. There were things I stayed away from because they had certain connotations, I’m more willing to tackle and add new connotation to them. I have these weird red 70s track suits coming out that are neither here nor there, they’re such cool garments. It’s literally this dead stock 70s fabric. It has neoprene attributes but it’s a jersey. They are fresh and retro and it don’t know what decade they were made.
KNOTORYUS : So you came out of your designer puberty, where you were scared of…
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : I’m scared of less things now. I’m more comfortable. Maybe I’m entering puberty? I still have so much to learn and discover.
KNOTORYUS : Yeah, you should still throw a tantrum from time to time. Are you mad at some things?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Mad? I don’t know. Was I mad last time?
KNOTORYUS : You did say that fashion marketing is still too powerful and that you were hoping that there would be more fun to be had. What shift would be good for you?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : I’d love it if pre-collections disappeared. But maybe I should think of something that might actually happen.
KNOTORYUS : So you don’t think pre-collections will die?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Never, the pre-collections supersede the main collections now . If there was going to be something to really help fashion it would be that retailers started viewed themselves as partners to designers agan. I feel like retailers should take on less brands and fully support the ones they do. All these big designers started with 5 or 10 retailers when they started, but they bought entire collections. Now they pick a few little things. You get sold in 50 stores but you can’t survive and that’s really weird. I think there needs to be equilibrium in the commercial aspects of fashion. There are still stores who do that, and they are the best stores. The stores that people love to shop in and designers love to be sold in. These stores that actually make a conscious decision about a brand.
(Above image : Devon Halfnight LeFlufy F/W 14 window at LOUIS Antwerp)
KNOTORYUS : What do you think about VFILES?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : It’s right across the street from Opening Ceremony NY. I think that what they did for Hyein is super cool. I love her. I’m super curious for her collection.
KNOTORYUS : You already plugged her last year and you were absolutely right.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : She’s super cool.
KNOTORYUS : I’ve never been to the physical VFILES store but I follow them online because they’re really everywhere…
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Everywhere! You can’t miss them. On one hand it’s cool because they do the little TV shows and the Mike The Ruler thing. Then you go to their webshop and there’s a lot of brands. I am curious where they are going to take it form here
KNOTORYUS : I didn’t know it was right across the street from Opening Ceremony.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : A couple of hundred meters. On the other side of the Jil Sander store.
GOD’S GIFT TO FASHION
KNOTORYUS : How did it go when Nicolas Karakatsanis came to your private sale?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : This guy is such a sweet guy! So funny. He’s a bit flaky.
KNOTORYUS : Because he’s a genius!
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : He’s like a mastermind cinematographer.
KNOTORYUS : He’s the best DOP alive. He never did fashion print photography when I worked with him. The “I AM A GOD” shoot for Kwintessens we did together was the only time. But it was super exciting on set to see one of my heroes gravitating towards your clothes since I respect the shit out of you as well. He’s not a real fashion guy but he knows better than anyone else what looks good because that’s his job. He knows what has character. He does the Dior and Dior Homme films with Willy Vanderperre. Did he buy anything?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Yeah, he bought a couple of things and was really nice. It was weird because, when people buy out of the studio you want to give them a bit of a deal. But he wanted to pay as much as possible. We had to negotiate but in the reverse way, like mirror world negotiation. (laughs)
KNOTORYUS : That is so amazing.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : When you meet him you that feeling something was happening with him. I’d love to work with him.
KNOTORYUS You have to. Have you seen any of his films?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : I haven’t, I have to admit.
KNOTORYUS : He did the final movie with the late James Gandolfini from The Sopranos. It’s coming out soon.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : A full length feature film?
KNOTORYUS : Yes! There’s a couple of new ones as well, they are huge Hollywood movies.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : It was really good meeting him, I hope he comes back.
KNOTORYUS : Do you miss your family?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Yeah, I miss them but we see each other regularly. They travel to Europe a lot and we try to meet. Or I was back in Vancouver for a month after fashion week. Stuff like that.
KNOTORYUS : And there’s a fun part to living in internet days as well. It feels like they experience the adventure with you, because they see your press and collections online.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Yeah, but I think they can’t gage the difference between whether I’m in Weekend Knack or Vogue… They are just like: “You’re God’s gift to fashion/What is fashion??!” I have one aunt, who is a photographer’s agent, she gets it. My dad still thinks I make womenswear. They are all super supportive, though. I love it.
KNOTORYUS : What about that Complex article: “10 things Hypebeast didn’t ruin yet”? That title made me laugh so hard .
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : They didn’t even contact me, they just did it! So funny! Who else was on that list? That was a nice Google alert.
KNOTORYUS : When Complex happens, do you think it does anything saleswise? Maybe in The States?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : I don’t know, maybe. I think press is a long game. Or G-Dragon wears your shit and you sell 100,000 items online. Then it’s quick.
KNOTORYUS : G-Dragon’s insane. I love him.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : He’s super funny. One of my interns is from Singapore and one of her friends sent her a picture with G-Dragon. “We need G-Dragon to wear some shit”, I joked to her.
KNOTORYUS : Yeah, of course!
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : This is something that helps sales, when you get to see a direct link. But to have meaningful, sustainable brand recognition it takes time and a hundred Complex articles. It’s a process.
KNOTORYUS : Dazed is still important.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : It straddles different markets. Dazed is cool.
KNOTORYUS : It still has a lot of pull.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : I was checking out the blog the other day and they have like super funny stuff. Just the right amount of fashion, art and trash.
KNOTORYUS : There’s this really young guy who was an intern maybe just a year ago but now he’s a staff writer. He writes a lot of stuff, really poppy and funny stuff. It gives it a funny edge. His name’s Trey Taylor and he gives it a fun twist. He does really good interviews as well. He gets to meet these movie icons, but goes straight for the gossip. It’s fun. He is a bit bitchy, he’s got some sass. But anyway, I think it’s great to see that Dazed is still supporting you.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Isabella is super cool. Like you said, I think they’ve turned it into something really interesting and super different then it was 5 years ago. To see a positive evolution, you don’t see that very often in publication.
KNOTORYUS : Would you like to do something with Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio? Maybe more like a movie thing?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : I don’t know, yeah maybe generate some sort of content with them? That would be the most interesting thing to do with them.
KNOTORYUS : Watch Nicolas’ movies! Or his music videos. They’re more to the gory side of things, which is interesting. He’s darker in a way. Maybe you’ll get inspired and click more. He’s really fun to be on set with as well. It’s a really good vibe but shit gets done. That’s the way I like to work.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Me too. Bunch of worker bees.
KNOTORYUS : And you still have time to crack a joke. Or eat a hamburger.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Totally, there always have to be burgers. Burgers or miso soup.
KNOTORYUS : What do you hope will happen in the next year?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : I don’t know. I want to have my team more permanent and more of my structure set. I really love working with the same people all the time. We get to know each other. With the right five to ten people, including press and sales, you can have enough to take over the world. It’s starting to come together. The people I want to work with tend to gravitate towards my work so once we connect things can more quite quickly.
KNOTORYUS : Do you feel like the Belgian press has been okay for you? Is it just enough, is it not enough, is it too much?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : They’re super supportive, they’re always contacting me and asking sweet things. Even the city of Antwerp did a really nice article with me and one of the guys I graduated with. I’m super happy to be appreciated in my home country. But you are kind of the only Belgian journalist that we actively contact.
KNOTORYUS : I’m honored.
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : We’re honored. We stand for the same things.
KNOTORYUS : You just said ‘home country’, so you’ve fully embraced being Belgian?
DEVON HALFNIGHT LEFLUFY : Yeah, my passport is in administrative hell right now. But I will have a Belgian passport soon, so I’m not going anywhere anytime for awhile!
KNOTORYUS : Best news ever.