FF: Tell us a bit about yourself and your clothing line and how it all got started.
57-33: My name is James Dawson. My girlfriend Loretta Nguyen and myself started fiftyseven-thirty three about 11 months ago. We make tees and hoodies in Oakland. We use all American made sweat shop free apparel. We screenprint using water based/solvent free inks and stencil using non-toxic paints. All our production is done by us in The City of Oakland. Some of the work is done in our live/work in East Oakland, the rest is down at the Hieroglyphics warehouse. I know the guys at Hiero from doing photography. If you want an Indie role model, check out Hiero- they went Indie back before it was the norm. I made my living as a photographer until we started fiftyseven-thirtythree. I've photographed LOTS of people: The Killers, Arcade Fire. I even photographed The Backstreet Boys once.
FF: When you're not designing awesome tees and clothes, what do you do?
57-33: Mostly I do all the other stuff that comes with running this company. Loretta and I do most of it ourselves. Designing is such a small portion of it. There's ordering, marketing, mailing, deliveries, bookkeeping, inventory, web stuff... I could go on and on, but it's sufficient to day there are a LOT of little things to do. I don't have much time for much else. Occasionally I'll watch a video. I'll pick one movie and watch it in sections over and over again for like a month. I usuall just fall asleep after about 15 minutes. I like Bogie movies and Spalding Gray. Currently I'm watching Glengary Glen Ross. I'm a little addicted to Cnn.com, too.
FF: When did you start designing your own clothes?
57-33: When I was a teenager I used to make my own stuff. I'd make stenciled shirts for my girlfriend just for fun. I just cut paper stencils and spray painted wife beaters. I did one of President Gerald Ford that I still like. About a year ago I decided to teach myself how to screenprint. That's when it all started.
FF: Who inspires you and who are your favorite designers?
57-33: I get inspired by odd random things: a poster I see on a telephone pole or something someone said to me years ago. I don't go shopping very much, so I'm not even sure who's out there or what they're doing. A lot of it comes from music or the news. I spend a lot of time listening to things because it's something I can do while I work.
FF: What are your favorite local shops?
57-33: Like I said, I don't really shop that much. Most of the stores I know because they carry our stuff and they're all awesome!! Rag Co-op, Pandora's Trunk, Paragraph, Verse, The Giant Peach, Anonymous Venice, Fabric8, Black and Brown, AsianICandy, Fawn, Pro Arts Gallery, and Still Life.
FF: What advice would you give to other Indie artists?
57-33: Don't be lazy. You don't have to know what you're doing but you do have to work hard. Believe in yourself and stick around long enough and you'll get somewhere.