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  • at home with
    AT HOME WITH JOE SADLER
    We speak to the menswear designer about starting over with a new brand, and the California vibes that pervade his work and home.
    Sept 16, 2014  |  BY TARIQ DIXON
    While some people dread unexpected change, menswear designer Joe Sadler seems to warmly embrace it. Last year marked a series of new beginnings for Mr. Sadler. His widely successful clothing line Riviera Club - once a nominee for GQ's Best New Menswear Designer Award - fell victim to a trademark dispute and was abruptly discontinued. Soon after, Joe parted ways with his girlfriend of four years, which also meant finding a new place to live.

    While starting over isn't always easy, the cheerful and optimistic Mr. Sadler has no issues finding the silver lining. For Joe, the end of Riviera Club provided a new opportunity to broaden his vision, and imagine something even greater than his original concept. While RC was narrowly pegged as a So-Cal inspired surf brand, Joe wanted to tell a broader California story, inspired by men of Big Sur, Joshua Tree and beyond - a vision that guides his new brand CWST. And moving out on his own has allowed him to create the home he's always wanted - a process he began years ago, but is now free to exercise without any compromise.
    Having recently visited Joe's Silver Lake apartment, it's a shame to think his design vision was ever stifled. Adorned with a beautifully patinaed chesterfield sofa, a well-stocked vintage bar, and an extensive collection of vinyl records, Joe's home checks all of the major boxes of the contemporary bachelor pad - yet he manages to do so without any measure of predictability.

    At every turn of the head, I noticed another detail of Joe's thoughtful arrangements. Antique nautical gear, an array of desert succulents, a skateboard propped on this bookshelf for display - I soon realized how closely Joe's home mirrors the vision for his new brand. Sourcing inspiration from the entire California landscape, Joe's home tell a similar story of the worldly and contemporary California Man.

    Tour Joe's impressive take on the modern bachelor pad, and shop the products inspired his California-centric style.
  • How did the transition from Riviera Club to CWST come about?

    Essentially, we had a trademark issue, so rather than spend the time and money to fight it, we decided to change the name. Derek and I made that decision - Greg had already left the brand before any of this happened. In some ways, you could actually say it was a blessing. We wanted to evolve the line, but in ways we wouldn't necessarily have been able to with Riviera Club. CWST is just Riviera Club's natural evolution. It's a little more refined, but still has the California, West Coast DNA. I would say, the Riviera Club, guy grown up.

  • Did that evolution naturally occur with your changing lifestyle?

    Yea, I think so. Sometimes we were pigeon-holed as a surf brand - Riviera Club was - and I just wanted to capture more of the bigger California picture. The Big Sur story, the Joshua Tree story, the Palm Springs story - not just Southern California and not so resort. CWST is a little less surf, there are more street elements to it, and it captures some of this neighborhood. LA is a great spot, especially right here in Silver Lake. The city's become less prep, a lot more street. My Nike sneaker collection has grown considerably over the last six months, haha.

  • ...
    "Funny story with the sofa. I'd been digging Craigslist and thrift stores for an old chesterfield and finally found one on Craigslist. The price was too good to be true, but I emailed the guy anyway. Ten minutes later I get an email from one of my good friends from back home in Indiana. He just moved to Santa Monica, and the email read, “We don't sell to hillbillies!” He had just brought it back from Joshua Tree and posted it that morning. It didn't fit in his place, so I guess it was meant to be."
    - Joe Sadler
  • ...
    "That's a Riviera Club military-inspired piece from a collaboration we did with Lucky Brand a few seasons ago. I like to change that mannequin every few weeks. Keep it fresh."
    - Joe Sadler
  • Believe it or not, most weeks, my whole day revolves around this space. First thing in the morning, prayer and meditation, then yoga or a workout...

  • Tell us about the apartment. You said you had a lot of this stuff before moving in?

    Essentially, we had a trademark issue, so rather than spend the time and money to fight it, we decided to change the name. Derek and I made that decision - Greg had already left the brand before any of this happened. In some ways, you could actually say it was a blessing. We wanted to evolve the line, but in ways we wouldn't necessarily have been able to with Riviera Club. CWST is just Riviera Club's natural evolution. It's a little more refined, but still has the California, West Coast DNA. I would say, the Riviera Club, guy grown up.

  • Over what period of time was most of this stuff acquired?

    My whole life, really. Some of it's even from Indiana when I first moved out here, like most of the music stuff. I packed my parents' Sedan with as much as I could as I could fit - I literally could not see out of any of the windows when we drove out here. But I've been in California for ten years now, and as soon as I found out about the Rose Bowl and flea markets, I just made a habit of going to those every weekend.

  • Most of the music stuff is from Indiana when I first moved out here. I packed my parents' sedan with as much as I could fit - I literally could not see out of the windows.

  • ...
    "This is my dad's banjo - it's a 1935 Gibson Mastertone. The same guy who built Ross Stanley's banjos built this one. It's really special, not just because of its age, but it's something my dad treasured for a long time. I can play a little, but I'm a much better guitar player. I promised him I would learn."
    - Joe Sadler
  • Does that mean your design process takes place here?

    A lot of it actually does. When I'm researching or developing the season's story, I'll bounce around to local coffee shops, but most conceptual design and illustration happens here, along with the color and fabric process. When I'm home though, all blinds are up and plenty of natural sunlight is key. I'm a few floors up, so there's always a subtle breeze, even in summer. And although I'm in Silver Lake, I like to keep it as laid back and beach-like as I can. Obviously, music is important. I don't have a TV, so it's rare to be here without a record or the stereo playing.

  • TRNK tip
    FUNCTIONAL OBJECTS AS ART
    Rather than shoving his skateboard, guitar and favorite clothing in a closet, Joe embraces these objects as part of the space. Try taking a tool from your favorite hobby, and proudly placing it on a mantle.
  • shop the story
    CALIFORNIA THE BEAUTIFUL
    From LA's urban terrain, to the high desert of Joshua Tree, California's vast and varied geography looks great hanging on any wall. Check out some of our favorite artworks inspired by the California landscape.
  • I have more of an organic, soft-modern taste - very West Coast in style. There are some nautical elements, a little bit of the desert, but always California.

  • How do you spend your time when home at the apartment?

    Believe it or not, most weeks, my whole day revolves around this space. First thing in the morning, prayer and meditation, then yoga or a workout, coffee, a quick walk around the block and then into my work day. Music happens here in the evenings or weekends, but I try and get out of the house most nights. I need a change before I'm back into bed.

  • When I'm home though, all blinds are up and plenty of natural sunlight is key. I'm a few floors up, so there's always a subtle breeze, even in the summer.

  • shop the story
    THE 4 LAYERS OF A WELL-APPOINTED BED
    Start and end your days on a much better note by following these four layers of a thougtfully styled bed.
  • I just wanted to capture more of the bigger California picture. The Big Sur story, the Joshua Tree story, the Palm Springs story - not just Southern California.

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