A Word: Peter and Al from PAA

A Word: Peter and Al from PAA at shoplostfound, Peter 1A Word: Peter and Al from PAA at shoplostfound, Peter 2A Word: Peter and Al from PAA at shoplostfound, Al 1A Word: Peter and Al from PAA at shoplostfound, Al 2A Word: Peter and Al from PAA at shoplostfound, Al and PeterPAA is the simplistic sportswear-turned-casualwear dream brand we all want and need come to fruition. Based in NYC, Peter Jurado and Al Verik met a few years back and became friends via common interests in key cultural areas such as music and clothing. Ever since, they've started building their unique take on menswear through effortless staples like pocket t-shirts and caps. As they begin to expand and grow their vision, we reached out to get a feel for where their heads are at now in the PAA journey and get some back story to how it all goes down. Take a read!

How did you guys meet? How did you begin discussing starting a brand together?

Peter Jurado: We met at a party at my apartment through a mutual friend. We were just friends who shared common interests; food, music, apparel, fabrics, mostly. Over time we had mentioned to each other how it would be fun to work on a project together be it music or clothing. We decided on making some headwear together, not only because we're both passionate about headwear, but because we just wanted to start small. We wanted to make something simple and do it well.

Al Verik: Shout to Louis Joachim.

You recently decided to focus full-time on PAA. Congratulations. What’s been the most useful experience prior to PAA that you’ve been able to bring into the present?

PJ: Thanks a lot, guys. For me, it was my youth. Whether it was through sports like basketball or skateboarding or music through hip hop and djing. I always had a large interest in garments and I try to think back to how to certain pieces made me feel or what I liked about them.
AV: I’ve always been curious about a lot of industries and fascinated by people who are able to coexist in different worlds professionally. This curiosity may have stemmed from working in the music industry while simultaneously trying to get paa off the ground. To me, the process for many creative fields can be used interchangeably. Music is what Peter and I first connected on and often use it as a reference point for what we do with paa.
We’ve read about your affinity for ‘90s sportswear and ‘sportsdad’ as muse, but were there any other inspirations during the genesis period of PAA that we may be surprised by or that are not readily visible?

PJ:  Nothing in particular. Maybe New York City? I find a lot of inspiration from walking around. Whether it’s the people or random things I see. There’s always something that gets me thinking.

AV:  The internet. For me as an outsider, the internet created the ability for me to immerse myself in the world of clothing with no occupational context. It was late 2012 when the initial paa conversations took place. At that time, RSS feeds were my main source of consuming content. Whenever I become infatuated with something, I tend to explore a subject from front to back. The web was (and still is) a platform for me to dig deeper and educate myself about the stuff I’m into. I didn’t have any experience making garments or accessories nor had I ever started a business but through this exploration I felt informed enough to give it a go.

You guys started with hats and have expanded into other articles in the past few seasons. What have you learned from experimenting with silhouettes and has anything transferred back into the design process?

PJ: I think that we learn something new every time we develop and produce an item. Even if it's the same style, but in a different fabric. Every fabric reacts differently, so sometimes after learning more about it's character through wearing it, the fabric sort of leads us into another design.
AV: When it comes to working on a new style, especially if it’s an entirely new category for us, I have to remind myself that there is an evolution to the design process. Our initial intentions are not always where we end up. There are also constant limitations to what we can achieve as a small operation but I feel that pushes us creatively every time we come back to the drawing board.

What’s new for FW18?

PJ: We're really excited about the introduction of our hosiery and knitwear categories. It's our first time launching a sock and sweater, both of which are made in the USA. It's something that we've wanted to do for a long time.
AV: Our outerwear offering has expanded this season with the addition of our Trench Coat and a few quilted pieces, namely the Puft Jacket and Gymnasium Jacket. It’s a category we feel strongly about and are hoping to evolve for seasons to come.

If FW18 had a soundtrack, what album or collection of music would it be?

PJ: I've really been enjoying the recent John Coltrane "Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album.”
AV: There’s probably Joanna Brouk’s “The Space Between” playing underneath this season somewhere.
What are you excited outside of menswear at the moment? Sports, music, art, culture, etc.'
PJ: Looking forward to the upcoming NBA season. I'm a Laker fan and it's like we have a completely new team this year. It's a young, yet deep crew, so it'll be interesting to see how they all play together.
AV: Introducing my nine-month old daughter to the world and discovering all that she teaches me.

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