We had the good fortune of connecting with Wayne Chen Delgado and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Wayne, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
The thing about balance is that it will lead you to happiness. But, from what I’ve seen, an unbalanced life, where someone is truly devoted to one craft, job, sport, or one idea– that’s when excellence can be achieved. I’ve been focusing on my work as a director and my health. I’ve already sacrificed so much in other parts of my life. I can only imagine what some of my contemporaries are sacrificing. I don’t aim to be the greatest who ever touched a camera– I just want to continue doing what I love and spending time with those who inspire me. In that sense, my life doesn’t feel unbalanced– I feel I’m where I’m supposed to be, whatever that means.
What should our readers know about your business?
I noticed that society’s priority has shifted in fashion. In many ways, capitalism is responsible for a decline in originality within the fashion industry, as consumerism cripples creativity. Especially in streetwear and other youth culture, the priority has become hype– I want to see art prioritized.
JM New York emphasizes how a clothing brand incorporates every facet of the arts. It’s become a portfolio of sorts for my partner, Jerahmeel, and I. I treat our promotional videos the same way I’d treat a narrative film, and Jer treats her physical pieces the same way she’d treat a painting. By releasing meticulously hand painted pieces, and creating an immersive visual world around our work, we hope we can start the process of changing the way people view their clothing and expectations from brands they support.
Our motto: Fine art ready to wear.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As a big fan of Kaws, I was shocked that there was a 26 foot tall statue, “BFF”, five minutes away from my school. I visited the statue a lot my first semester of college, feeling lucky.
If you have some money in your pocket, Abbot Kinney has some beautiful cafes to spend it.
My favorite beach is Venice, because of its skatepark with massive bowls, and an energy that I always say reminds me of NYC somehow.
If you’re in LA you need to watch a 35 mm film at the New Beverly Theater…blew my mind.
LA has some of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen, and lots of hills to watch them from. The last day I was in LA last year, my friend showed me this hill near my school overlooking Dockweiler Beach. That’s my all time favorite spot in LA.
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?
There are a lot of people who have changed the course of my life for the better. Of course, my parents, who have given me endless support and pushed me to pursue excellence from an early age. I’d like to thank my high school history teacher, Franco Visone, who was a Communist before it was cool, and encouraged me to analyze the systems within the world around me. I’d like to thank fellow young creatives who have trusted my vision. Some of them were total strangers I met at skateparks, online, or just by chance. They’ve been a crucial part of putting together productions. I give infinite thanks to my partner in crime, Jerahmeel Mendoza, who is the most gifted person I know and amazes me every day.
Gabe Flores Jerahmeel Mendoza Wayne Chen Delgado