It was a mellow day in Lakeview, Long Island. The welcoming sun, breeze soothing - a great space for great minds to ponder the progression of the arts and thrift, while overlooking Malverne High School. Ace of the FlareScouts, BND, and I gathered to exchange ideas and perspectives on art, fashion, and culture. I had a few questions for the undefined mind with in Brandon Butler (stage name BND) and his plans to bring Long Island's burgeoning creative culture to the forefront.
Jonathan Mckinnon: Discuss your motivation behind shedding light on Long Island's talented rising art scene.
BND: That's easy, the struggle here in Long Island. People living in middle class think everyone is making money, but we all go through financial hardships in trying to fuel our creative endeavors. We must not forget that there is beauty in the struggle though. The struggle can be seen as "suburbia art" where we try against the odds to leave our mark as music artists, painters, etc., all while being the first movers in bringing in the new creative age of Long Island. The older generation didn't pass down any blueprints in how to come about this, so everything done by us is brand new which is fresh and appealing to the young and old alike.
Describe the mission of your movement?
I want to teach people how to rage, but rage cleanly.
Explain what it is to "clean rage"?
It's numbing yourself, and it doesn't have to be with drugs or alcohol. Some people get high off of music, art or even information - it sends them on a euphoric trip. Clean raging comes with mature minds. One major key to the concept is diversity. There's always a diverse genre of music, art, and people in the crowd of my festivals. You'll see people grooving to trap, indie, rock, and a wide array of music genres because they're in a safe environment where it's okay to be you and experience something different without judgement. In one corner you'll find music, another corner has painters creating live masterpieces, and another corner houses luxury thrift clothing for purchase - this is clean raging in the new creative culture of Long Island.
Explain how you were able to master the art of thrift?
Well I have a history of doing it. It's become more popular now to include thrift, but back in my youth, I was shopping at local mom and pop thrift stores with my grandmother. People like myself who have thrifted for 10+ years can see that thrift has changed as a whole with influences from music, blogs, movies, and etc. It's now healthier for the thrift and consignment community due to money funneling back into the concept of being frugal and minimizing waste. Shopping at a thrift or consignment store can also enhance your style and color palette.
What's the best advice you have for finding premium thrift clothing?
Pick what you want, but honestly don't make it look tacky. Also, smell your clothing before you buy it, so you don't get anything dirty.
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An explorer of men's fashion with inquisitive eyes, born and raised in Lakeview, Long Island. My inspiration comes from nature, city streets and the world wide web.
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