Tory DuVarney, co- partner and founder of Handsome Devil, is and always has
been heavily ingrained into the Southern California “Board Culture”,
which he's been an active part of for years. After graduating from UC
Santa Barbara, he started to put some Handsome Devil designs together to sell
to friends at local surf and skate shops - - he sold everything he made. Dave
Perry is the co-owner and he previously owned sizable vintage clothing operation
for many years and bought and sold approximately four tons a month through his
wholesale operation and his retail stores. Tory and Dave have produced clothing
lines for several other companies over the years and then decided to concentrate
on their own line.
Dave notes: “Basically, our line is and always will be all about maintaining
an edge without looking like the wearer is trying too hard. Based in
the heart of downtown L.A, we're all too familiar with the fact that there
are way too many men's lines out there that are bordering on ridiculous
and so we want to bring a cool name with unique hand-drawn graphics using quality
tops and hats (all manufactured to our specs) that make the wearer feel he has
something that makes him an individual. The first thing that Lisa Kline said
when we presented the line to her was 'this feels great.'”
Who do you envision wearing this collection?
Our clients range from Josh Duhamel to Slash, from Orlando Bloom to Mickey Rourke.
We have pro footballers, baseball players, software developers and architects
wearing our stuff so everyone who is fed up with Ed Hardy or Affliction
and any other brand that now lacks a unique quality
, can and does relate
to our designs. We definitely have a counter culture influence; myself and my
partner in Handsome Devil, Tory, we're into both racing and vintage motorcycles,
we surf, snowboard and are passionate about music and style. So anyone that
really wants to embrace life and make a statement of individuality relates to
Handsome Devil and to us, from X-Gamers to X Box'ers, we love 'em
In a world without Myspace would Handsome Devil still exist?
Absolutely! Myspace has been a great viral medium for us as far as sharing our
vision and allowing others to have access to the “lifestyle” that
is Handsome Devil. Without that it would have been a bit of a task to reach
that guy in the Mid West whose best way of connecting with the culture centers
across the is online. We're in an amazing environment right now with the
online medium almost eclipsing the need (or desire in my case) to go to the
retail stores. God loves the independent and specialty stores and we need them
more than the mass retailers in my opinion but through blogs and editorials
such as this one in Fashion Ledge, with a little hard work and tenacious networking,
we can reach people we never would have had the opportunity to in the past.
Our team here at HD is focusing strongly on exploring all the avenues of New
Media right now as we believe that through mediums such as Twitter, Facebook,
Flikr and others we'll be able to reach our core client easier, especially
as the traditional retail model is changing so dramatically due to the current
financial mess our economy is in. Our new web site, which should be up by the
time this goes to 'print' is going to reflect that movement towards interacting
with our customers through Social Networking. Tory and I are also fortunate
that through our work with other lines we're always around musicians and
people in the TV business so we have a good network of associates but Myspace
and other community driven sites are definitely a great help when it comes to
sharing our vision.What do you think are the biggest trends right now?
Having had a vintage clothing operation for some years I was anticipating that
the 80's would come back around; it was inevitable. But I never thought
that when it did come back that it would last this long and morph so well. Other
than that a lot of men's shirts you see in stores still have really big
hits, huge designs with serious washes and other treatments. Big designs I'm
OK with if the artwork is worthwhile and unique but all the stains, fake wear
and tear, studs, crystals, multi colored skulls and other crap I really can't
stand and it's definitely on it's way out. I see plaid worming it's
way back into the casual fashion scene again (long live Grunge!) and Liberty
prints are rumored to make another splash in 2009.
What trends are you seriously tired of?
If I see another skull I'm going to puke!! Mark
Ecko, what are you thinking mate?
I can't believe that he even
sees any of his low priced cut and sew line before it hits retail stores. Something
else I'm seriously tired of is so called 'designers'
taking classic icons of popular American culture (is Christian Audigier in the
and completely ruining them. The next thing you know Evel Knievel
and Michael Jackson will be clothing lines and their images will be on frigging
air fresheners!!!! Be unique chaps, it doesn't take that much effort.
What's next for Handsome Devil?
We are lucky enough to have a group of awesome artists in house that 'get
it'. They specialize in hand drawn designs
so we can't
be copied, hence we'll reinvent ourselves, change up our designs as necessary,
always staying close to our root client and the reasons that had us start the
company in the first place. We intend to continue to introduce styles that guys
want to wear with great artwork and designs that they can feel good in. We're
big on 'feel' at HD so it has to fit and feel right when you're
If you look at the most successful artists, be they musicians, designers or
actors, they metamorphosize their styles and adapt to their influences
growing with the tastes of their fans and their clients. Twenty years later
they'll still be successfully doing what they love because they listen,
they innovate and adapt. Handsome Devil is no different. We also want to expand
our line to include Organic product
as Tory and I especially
are interested in that avenue. Surfers are very aware of the ramifications of
pollution and other environmental problems and having been the Chairman of SAS,
(the equivalent of The Surfrider Foundation
), it's something
I've been passionate about for quite a while. We're working with
a Bamboo/Pima cotton mix right now which you should see a lot of in the market
pretty soon if not already.
Then in the near future we want to expand into denim, button down shirts and
other cut and sew designs. We have this awesome line called Beautiful Disaster
coming out in '09. Basically it epitomizes the Hollywood train wreck a
la Lindsay and Britney with a swift middle finger aimed at the paparazzi that
makes then breaks them. The line will be on custom tops that ladies will enjoy
wearing with tag lines and designs that are cheeky and edgy; they'll love
it. We're going to step over the line with this one and upset some people
but it's definitely going to be worth it.
Words of wisdom from Dave Perry of Handsome Devil:
Be passionate about your line(s), design what you like to wear yourself and
above all enjoy doing it. Everyone at Handsome Devil proudly wears what we produce.
Have fun with it and if it ever ceases to be fun then go and do something else
because it will show in your product and the buying public is smarter than you
think. Oh and always remember any BS that you write down in interviews.
Where can Handsome Devil be purchased:
Currently we are picking and choosing boutiques/retailers carefully as we don't
want to sell our product in places that don't give it the credibility
it deserves. We're in no hurry to have our stuff in every store in like
some brands I could mention, as that limits your shelf life. For instance, hardly
anyone in LA wants to wear brands such as Ed Hardy or Von Dutch anymore because
of the way it was forced down people's throats. We'd rather take
the slower approach, as we're more interested in longevity than anything
else, that way we're never a trend.
Right now we're searching for a team of reps that understand our brand
so if any of the readers are interested you can reach me at David@handsomedevilclothing.com
Tops are all made to spec in the U.S using quality cottons, then custom dyed
and printed locally in L.A. The price range is from $35-$45 for tops and hats
range from $30-$40. You can buy at the Lisa Kline stores in Los Angeles and
directly through www.handsomedevilclothing.com