In 2011, Chris Stamp launched Stampd in Los Angeles—a clothing label influenced equally by street culture and luxury, and infused with inspiration from surfing and hip-hop. Just two years later, he debuted his first full collection. He’s since collaborated with brands like Bape, Vans, Gap, Puma, IKEA, and Ronnie Fieg of KITH.
Whitewaller spoke with Stamp about L.A. culture, art and design, and his top spots in town.
WHITEWALLER: When you launched Stampd, you wanted to bring a new voice to L.A. What is that voice today?
CHRIS STAMP: I’ve had a pretty finite vision of how I saw Stampd from the beginning. Influences definitely have remained the same since the inception. Luxury, surfing, and hip-hop were all things that I wanted to make sure came as underlying influences when you viewed the collection, and that still remains true today and has become even more transparent.
WW: How did you choose the location for your first shop, which opened in 2016?
CS: We opened on La Brea for a few reasons. Most importantly, if we were going to do retail, I wanted us to do something that was experience-based and that offered Los Angeles something more than just a brick-and-mortar store. I’ve always taken inspiration from Tokyo, and one of my favorite stores there was located on the second floor. That had been in the back of my mind since we started looking at spaces. I found an amazing space on the second floor on La Brea, which used to be an acting studio for years.
WW: Art and design have always inspired you. What’s seen in your home?
CS: My home is minimal—with more clarity and a “less is more” approach. I have an amazing Daniel Arsham eroded flag on our wall, as well as a few KAWS figures and a Futura illustration he did while painting our collaborative surfboards that are on display in my store. The Hermès “Mosaique au 24” platinum porcelain collection is one of my favorites, and I’m building a collection of homeware from that. My books are probably one of the only things you’ll see out. I have a few hundred photography and art books from some of my favorite artists, down to some design school students’ work.
WW: When you started Stampd, you financed your project and ran it all online on a “limited-edition” type of release. How do you feel that immediate reaction from the customer aided your future production, expanding first from just snapback hats to a full line of clothing?
CS: Finding balance between working with select stores globally and continuing to build the direct relationships with our customers have always been my two main focuses. Selling direct is super important, and you do get that immediate feedback from the customer, which is good to know. You have to look at how you distribute things in the future as multifaceted. Singularly channel focused, you end up limiting yourself and the exposure for your art.
WW: What are some of your favorite restaurants, spots, and places to see art in L.A.?
CS: Pura Vida, Mason, Élephante, Marvin, Matsuhisa, Jon and Vinny’s—I have these in a pretty regular rotation. I also love classic Mexican food from Tere’s or El Compadre. I always love seeing what’s going on at The Broad and LACMA. Morán Morán, Jeffrey Deitch, and Gagosian usually all have cool shows going on, too.