INSIDE: Entire Studios

Dylan Richards and Sebastian Hunt return to Aotearoa, having styled some of the biggest names in fashion, from Kanye’s YEEZY collection to Justin Bieber.

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What made you decide to leave L.A. and base Entire Studios in Aotearoa?

Dylan: We mutually agreed that for this new chapter in our life, coming back to New Zealand would offer a space where we could be more focused, without the distractions of the L.A. lifestyle. In the long-term we do plan to relocate back to L.A. (once it’s safe to travel again), as we do see it as our forever home.

Now back in Tāmaki Makaurau, you’ve settled into a space that serves as both a living and working area. What’s a typical day at your home/studio like?

Sebastian: I’m a super early riser, I like to enjoy the silence of the morning before Dylan wakes up all hot and heavy with some new idea he dreamt of. Living in a three-storey building allows us to have a lot of our own space, both business and personal. After breakfast (or lunch, depending on how advantageous we feel about the luxury of working for ourselves) we typically both spend most of the day in our studio, researching, doing fittings, shooting, or meeting with our production manager, Jordan.

How do you balance work and life, especially given the space is combined in that way?

Dylan: Creativity doesn’t have office hours — ideas strike at any time. Both Sebastian and myself are prepared to work any hours of the day to bring these ideas to life.

The space is beautifully put together. I love how it’s full of these unique, interestingly designed pieces, and then you have the exposed brick walls and mattresses on the floor to kind of balance things out. Tell me about your design influences and what the process of fitting out the space was like.

Sebastian: We loved the space straight away — it was a recently refurbished blank canvas for us to work with. A sense of comfort is created with the pairing of natural light with high ceilings, a height which we emphasise with low furniture. We have always liked both mid-century modern and post-modern. In our upstairs living room, we have a burgundy sofa, best described as a bootleg Bellini, which we often move the sectional elements of to create the perfect seating landscape. We like imaginative, humorous forms, and bright colours. The 60s/70s space age was a good decade for furniture — I like the suggestion of visitors from outer space, UFO-inspired lighting and décor that captured another great infatuation of the time and offered a creative perspective of the possibility of extraterrestrial life, birthing an era which encapsulates the marriage of design and contemporary culture. I’d like to think our studio blends a 1970s gay businessman’s space age office with American Psycho undertones, and the smallest hint from the De Stijl movement.

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Above & BELOW
PDF Puffer Jackets.

“I’d like to think our studio blends a 1970s gay businessman’s space age office with American Psycho undertones, and the smallest hint from the De Stijl movement.” — Sebastian.

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From what I’ve seen on Instagram, the space changes often. Do you feel as though it’s evolving or do your tastes head in different directions?

Dylan: Curating our space is intentional, but the evolution of it is more off-the-cuff. If we like a reference or see a pre-loved piece that could fit into our space, we rehome it. Sometimes we add it to our collection, or use it to replace something instead. We much prefer second-hand over new furniture,
as it’s generally better designed, built, and considered.

Given the space seems to change often, how are you acquiring new pieces for it? How do you like to source? Do you source locally? Any favourite spots?

Dylan: Auckland’s auction houses can offer some good finds. We love going through Auckland’s thrift stores almost weekly — whether it’s for new furniture, entire references or personal pieces for our wardrobe. Both of our Los Angeles homes had interesting furniture, simply because of how accessible beautiful second-hand furniture is. Good finds can be found at Babelogue and Mid-Century Swag, but other than that, Auckland’s well-designed vintage furniture offering is definitely lacking.

Do you see your studio space and the upcoming Entire Studios brand sharing an aesthetic? Do they share influences?

Dylan: Yes, they both share a specific aesthetic, grown from the same seed. We’re building an ‘entire’ lifestyle, because design doesn’t start or end with clothing.

You live and work together — how do you deal with differences of opinions when it comes to taste and aesthetic, or are you so aligned that it’s not
an issue?

Sebastian: We are on the same page most of the time. Working in a duo definitely offers challenging moments, but when it comes to work we both know it is strictly business, never personal. We have been a duo for over eight years now and will continue for our foreseeable futures. Our disagreements push each other to consider alternative perspectives, and creates an understanding of why some things will and won’t work.

Tell me about the area Entire Studios is based in? Do you have favourite restaurants and takeaways in the area?

Sebastian: Our studio is in Balmoral, so there’s a lot of choice. Xi’an’s [Food Bar] hand-pulled noodles are definitely the food highlight, and Auckland’s best ginger biscuits and oat milk lattes are made by my lockdown BFF Ash at Dominion Road’s Ace Coffee Shop.

Instagram seems to have played a huge part in building Entire Studios as a brand, already achieving somewhat of a cult following without even launching yet. How much of the time and effort that you put in to Entire Studios is directed toward content creation? Is there a method to it?

Sebastian: Honestly, not a lot of time goes into the Entire Instagram. We didn’t really want to get too much into it before launching, but it has organically been doing really well. Instagram really helped push our careers by offering a global audience to see a public curation of our work and what we like. Similarly, the Entire Instagram has created interest already just from the informal imagery we’ve created in our studio. Through Instagram, we’ve had numerous requests for celebrity pulls and even some wholesale requests as well, without even posting any lookbook imagery. Once we’ve launched, we’re looking forward to being able to dedicate more time to creating content and focusing on our Instagram.

How would you describe the Entire Studios aesthetic and what kind of person do you envision wearing it?

Dylan: Entire Studios is based on four pillars: Quality, affordability, functionality and design. Our aesthetic will always be luxury, but Entire will be accessible regardless of income. Entire’s ranges will be affordable, serve a purpose, be simply yet thoughtfully designed, high-quality, and ethically-made. We welcome any person to wear Entire Studios, and within time E.S. will cater to every person — irrespective of age, gender, or body type

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Above & Below
The lounge.

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“In our international and local careers, Sebastian and I have had a lot of experiences best described as ‘character building’. We view all of our past experiences as a boot camp which gave us the foundational knowledge and skill set necessary for running our own business.” — Dylan.

A bathroom.

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the office.

A bedroom.

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“Creativity doesn’t have office hours — ideas strike at any time.” — Dylan.

the lounge.

the dining room.

You’ve cultivated a brand identity that’s so distinct from the rest of the Aotearoa market, which has struggled to break out of the commercial and conservative. Has the industry here changed in any way since you first started your careers about a decade ago? What kind of impact would you like to see Entire Studios have on the local fashion landscape?

Sebastian: When we started working, we’d made a firm choice to always carry out our vision, not the vision of others. Eight years ago, social media wasn’t the marketing tool of today, and working in the industry required fitting into that commercial sphere. Social media removes the barriers of access to the very small fashion industry, letting new creatives outside of the norm grow supporters of their work, unlocking the gates so many in the industry tried to chain shut.

We want to inspire young New Zealand creatives to take risks, because your audience is no longer limited geographically — it’s online, where scouting and casting happens daily. Being from New Zealand is central to a lot of brands’ identity, but Entire just so happens to be founded by two people from New Zealand. Our HQ is based here, but that’s not the long-term plan for us.

This project is obviously something really personal to you both —
it’s kind of the first thing you’ve really stamped your names onto and claimed as your own after years of being “ghost” creatives. In what ways does the Entire Studios brand reflect who you
are as individuals?

Dylan: In our international and local careers, Sebastian and I have had a lot of experiences best described as ‘character building’. We view all of our past experiences as a boot camp which gave us the foundational knowledge and skill set necessary for running our own business. I’m very grateful for every opportunity we have had that brought us to this point, but we are excited to take the next step — having full creative control to showcase our most genuine vision.

What’s the stone cold truth about launching a new brand in the middle of Covid times?

Dylan: We have always been pretty comfortable taking risks. We were working on Entire before Covid, and we’re fortunate that no plans are changing, just accommodating the understandable delays.

Who or what are some of the things that have kept you inspired and motivated throughout the process, and have helped bring your vision to life?

Dylan: Every project we’ve worked on has started with a clear vision and an understanding of the steps needed to get there. Entire is no different to this. This vision is motivation in itself, as we know that we have the talent to fill the market’s gap in quality, affordable, functional, well-designed clothing. Our history of reaching our goals provides comfort and reassurance that we can reach these next ones too.

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entire studios

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