We had the good fortune of connecting with Adam Mars and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adam, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I began my clothing brand, Adam Mars, when I realized the outfits I was designing for musicians like Post Malone and Billie Eilish were turning into a full-time career. Although I’d flirted with the idea of having a clothing company since I was a teenager, clothing wasn’t really on my professional radar. I earned my MFA from OTIS in 2007 and had received some success in the fine art world as a painter. So starting a brand that focused on custom and limited-edition clothing was a way for me to continue working with exciting musicians and translating my creative ideas onto clothing for a larger audience.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve been fortunate to have a good grip on the pulse of pop culture throughout my creative career. Whether I was deep frying tabloid magazines to comment on our celebrity appetite, speaking about the post-internet world with artworks like I Loved You, then I Googled You, or decorating the freshest pop stars in outfits built for smartphone viewing, I’ve tried to make art that is truly contemporary.
Now, I may have been better off tailoring my work to an audience more prone to collecting art that looked older than me, but I managed to attract just enough supporters to foster my rollercoaster career. And fate had a lot to do with it. I really do believe in fate. I also believe in talent, and I’ve spent many thousands of hours developing my craft, expecting to lure the attention of art dealers, curators, and clients en route to a successful career. However, a chance encounter with gallerist Kelsey Offield on a sidewalk in Culver City and a random post on Instagram that stylist Cathy Hahn saw helped open professional doors that my art alone couldn’t seem to budge. Both times, it was when my career seemed to be trending in a rather sh*tty direction. Today, I get to design clothes for Axl Rose, my childhood idol, and my favorite band, Guns N’ Roses. So, I’m always curious to see what mind-blowing detour fate is going to send me down next.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
For the sake of this question, let’s pretend that traffic is free flowing like the golden days of the pandemic and my best friend has no dietary restrictions and is impervious to hangovers, I’d make sure to go to the following places.
1. Dodger Stadium (my favorite place in the city)
2. The Rainbow Room (my favorite rock n’ roll bar)
3. Malibu Surfrider Beach (my favorite place to surf with way too many f*cking people)
4. The Norton Simon Museum (my favorite art museum in the LA area)
5. Little Prince (my favorite restaurant)
6. Jumbo’s Clown Room (my favorite “dance studio”)
7. Harvard and Stone (my favorite music club for indie music)
8. Taix (my other favorite restaurant)
9. The Greek Theater (favorite music venue for bigger acts)
10. The Roosevelt Hotel (favorite throwback establishment with a David Hockney pool)
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to dedicate my shoutout to my wonderfully dysfunctional family. I was born in Laguna Beach, CA the son of a former biker and an active hippie. The home I grew up in was like Forest Gump’s mom’s house meets the bar from Star Wars—a wildly entertaining gathering of loving misfits where I was never told to turn down the music or stop drawing on the walls. For years I rebelled against my parents by getting straight A’s and not smoking pot, hoping that a more polished lifestyle would lead to a better future. But in time, I learned that a lot of the “proper” families were far more f*cked up than mine, and I was beyond privileged to grow up with a supportive family who allowed me to be me, no matter what I wanted to be.
Alex Mars Tony Turrietta Payroll Conner Sorensen Alex Inez Eddie Obrand Alex Mars