Our "Heartbeats" features aim to showcase the creative minds behind passionate projects in the fields of music and all other artforms.
words and photo by Shabnam Ferdowsi
What: 65ETICA, a clothing line and artist collective.
Who: Michael Becker and crew
Michael Becker, a sophomore Design and Media Arts major at UCLA, grew up in St Louis, MO within artist communities that embraced a DIY atmosphere. Moving away and onto college, he and his friends began running into road bumps and dead ends in terms of creative culture.
It was basically a process of saying: well instead of waiting for the right A&R to walk in through the door, for the right gallerist, for the right connection, we're just going to come together and do this ourselves and make it out of nothing.
The clothing line is just a starting point that has created a group of artists in various cities around the US, with its main hub here in LA. The line creates the profit that funds their passions for their individual arts. It's a brand that doesn't offer a lifestyle, but a a brandless product turning the whole notion of branding on its head (and maybe even giving it a subtle middle-finger?).
"We want your money" is what they tell you upfront, because honesty and transparency is what they're all about. By buying into 65ETICA, you're not buying into a lifestyle like most brands preach, but rather supporting a collective of artists who each individually care deeply about their crafts.
Think of it as a clothing company that operates like a record label. The idea is that 65ETICA is a machine that exists solely for the purpose of making money. It's a business, that's what it is. But that is only to protect our interests.The only reason why we care enough about our individual art to protect it to come into this world of PR and branding is to keep sacred the stuff that we are about so our artists don't have to feel like they're pouring themselves out on social media, compromising their integrity and craft. Instead we can all come together under this umbrella of 65ETICA and create that machine to protect our interests.
They're a group of artists who support one another and engage with the creative worlds around them. Young, passionate, and determined. Not to mention they're headed to Hong Kong this summer to make more waves! I'm so happy I connected with these guys, and can't wait to see what more waves they can make, what more scenes they can cause.