INTRODUCING: BRADY LANGE

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Last week we gave you a teaser on our @oaknyc Instagram of the latest accessory arrival to OAK stores from Portland-based designer Brady Lange. Now, the half-moon bracelet, available in small and large, can be purchased stores and on oaknyc.com. To introduce you to the brand, we’re giving you an interview with Brady Lange himself. We chatted with Mr. Lange about his positive outlook on life and design, the pros and cons of the Internet age, and his dreams of becoming a country singer.

Shop Brady Lange at OAK.

OAK: Getting to the crux of your design mentality, it seems like you’re all about making something positive out of negative experiences, and looking for the silver lining in everything. Did you always have this sort of attitude when dealing with hardships or adversaries? If not, what was the moment that turned you onto this way of thinking? What is the most difficult thing you’ve had to overcome?
BRADY LANGE: I have always been a pretty positive person, I think when you have dimples its sort of mandatory.
I love working with the ideas of contradictions: highs, lows etc. So the idea of finding the bright in the dark always kind of comes out in my work in some way. In the past I have been around some pretty negative people and that just seemed like a really exhausting way to live – to dislike and complain about everything. So I’ve tried to adopt a silver lining attitude. Sometimes it sounds unrealistic and gummy bears and rainbows, but I like the idea that anything is possible. It gets me excited about what I can accomplish in the future. The most difficult thing I’ve had to overcome was believing in myself. There was a time when I had self doubt despite what people were telling me and it took taking the positive aspects of what was around me to expel that doubt and turn it into inspiration.

OAK: The bio on your website is quite cryptic in the information it shares about you. Do you believe in the Internet age, where everyone’s personal information is extremely accessible, that people can still live their lives anonymously? Will the pendulum ever swing back, or are we now forever doomed to live our lives for the world to see?
BL: I think you can live anonymously if you really try at it, just because the platform is there doesn’t mean you have to take the stage. I know people who aren’t on any social media formats at all and they seem to be functioning just fine, I just have no idea what they are wearing today or what they thought of the new Superman movie. Sometimes I’m surprised at some of the personal things I put up on Instagram and Facebook. Who cares what I was wearing as I cleaned my house? Well apparently 50 people, go figure. Eventually the world will collapse under the amount of information being thrown out there and society will spin into a Mad Max sort of situation and we will be forced to actually talk to each other face-to-face. But it will probably take some sort of dragon apocalypse for that to happen, so until then: today I had peanut butter toast for breakfast, #wiwt camo shorts and a cotton/cashmere tank, check it out! I just added a sale section to my website, and OMG isn’t my dog adorable? Follow me @bradylange (but seriously, my dog is adorable).

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 11.21.52 AMBrady Lange small ‘Half Moon’ bracelet. Brady Lange large ‘Half Moon’ bracelet.

OAK: Going off that, the positive side about information being so accessible is that it gives people a platform to expose their work to many people they wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise. How has social media and the Internet positively affected you?
BL: Social media is crazy. I’ve sold items to complete strangers on the other side of the country because of things I’ve posted. It’s a little daunting that in order to be viable in today’s market you have to be on so many different social media platforms but it’s also pretty amazing and cool that you are able to reach so many more people than say, even ten years ago. I love that I have people following me from all over. And I feel like this makes me sound like an old man, but it’s really neat to be living in a time where so many cool new things are happening, but it can be exhausting trying to keep up with it all. #fashionmarketinginternneeded

OAK: If you could pick anyone, presuming they know you well enough to do so, who would write the forward to your autobiography? How has this person inspired you? Has his or her influence bled into your work?
BL: I think I would have my best friend Erin write the forward to my autobiography. She knows me better than anyone and we’ve shared a lot of experiences that play into my work. Well actually no, I would ask her, and she would say no because she hates writing anything creative. We’d laugh about how it would be terrible and then I would ask my sisters to write it.

My two older sisters would probably have something funny and snarky to say about me growing up and it would be perfect. They both inspire me because of their beauty, work ethic and general awesomeness. Whenever I am designing I always think of them. I want to be designing something that would make them proud of me. I feel like they are always there to ground and humble me, and knock me down a peg or two, which is always good.

OAK: What about the Pacific Northwest influences your work?
BL: The damn rain is a constant influence living in Portland, as cliche as it sounds. It makes me want to create happy fun clothes to battle the dulldrums of the grey wet winters. I feel like I’m always designing for summer even when designing for winter.

OAK: What would you say to your high school self knowing what you know now?
BL: Check the attidude. Skinny jeans, they’re gonna be huge. Don’t get that credit card. Life just gets harder and more rewarding [so] enjoy every day. She’s not into you, but that guy…

OAK: What was your childhood dream job? If you could have any other job other than designer (or – assuming you could do something else in addition to designing) what would it be?
BL: When I was a kid I really wanted to be a school bus driver but then I watched the Oscars and from then on I desperately wanted to be a big Hollywood actor. If I actually had a good singing voice I would try to be a country singer. I’m pretty sure there is a niche for an ethnically ambiguous gay country singer that needs to be filled right? Realistically though, I haven’t really thought about that very much. In my adult life I’ve just always known I wanted to be a fashion designer. I could see myself maybe romanticizing being a firefighter? While I don’t know if I could cut it as a firefighter, I feel like that would be rewarding and it interests me. But since this is all hypothetical: billionaire playboy philanthropist.

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OAK: What can you tell us about the future of the Brady Lange brand? Can you give us an exclusive about where you plan on taking things going forward?
BL: Things have been happening so quickly for me this last year, so if it continues like this then the sky’s the limit. I’m focusing on continuing building the brand and getting into select stores. I’m working on Spring ’14 now which I’m really excited about. I can’t say anything about it right now except for the future looks bright.

OAK: Describe yourself in three words.
BL: Nostalgic laid-back vibrancy.

OAK: What’s your favorite thing  to do in the summertime? And to end on a positive spin, what’s a silver lining to the fact that summer is already half over?
BL: Enjoying a cold beer outside in the sun is pretty much the best. The silver lining to summer already being half over is that there is still an entire half of summer left to go! Plus tank tops are a great transitional layering piece going into Fall.

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