Born X Raised | Culture and Cred On Speed Dial
![Alt Text](https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/56c346b607eaa09d9189a870/f12e1c14-4cc6-463f-bd86-098145e1b123/B%26R-4738-Edit.jpg) It was as if some magic dust had laced the Santa Ana winds. The pandemic was receding, a spanking new five billion-dollar stadium in Inglewood was finally welcoming live audiences, NFL superstars Odell Beckham Jr. and Von Miller were bound mid-season to the City of Angels courtesy a pair of all-in, high stakes acquisitions, and iconic, fabric of LA brand, Born X Raised had a collaboration with the very team that acquired said superstars, the eventual Super Bowl champions, your Los Angeles Rams, who would claim victory in the final minute of the game on the shoulders of a quarterback who’d never won a playoff game??? Like, wtf!? How good can it get? It’s true that in the dismal course of the pandemic, hometown heroes the Dodgers and the Lakers also brought home championships—albeit without audiences—so how could this sea of fortune come as a surprise? In many ways, it doesn’t. LA is a global capital for many things, and sport is no exception. But this was different, this was special. And I’ll tell you what was really special: seeing the Born X Raised x Rams collaboration worn all over the stadi um at the Super Bowl. But not just there. Out on the streets of Inglewood, in the bars and restaurants all over the city, in the clubs and parks and traffic jams and offices, as the lead up to the most watched game in the world hit fever pitch. You see, Venice-founded Born X Raised is a brand of the people. “I can’t help but think we’re some sort of good luck charm for LA,” says founder Spanto, when asked about the emotions related to seeing the Rams collaboration ride the eventual wave of a world championship. “We made this brand for the real people, real Angelenos, so to see them wear it and represent it the way they do, to say that I’m proud would be an understatement.” The ethos of real Angelenos is baked into Born X Raised, which Spanto founded in 2013 and runs with his business partner 2TONE, and it’s not just demonstrated by an ongoing series of crossovers and capsules (a recent Y2K homage engages artist Jane Moseley, actor and director Gilbert Trejo, pro skateboarder and Flaunt alum, Leandre Sanders, and Ho99o9, who share some pages of this very magazine a few thumbs over). It’s demonstrated in badass parties inclusive of ravers, freaks, founders, and aficionados... everyone is there. But it’s also evidenced in an uncompromising brand identity that remains loyal to the city of which it was birthed. In times of glory, in times of transition, but also in that hour of need. Here now is a quick conversation with Spanto and 2TONE, whom we can’t wait to see more on the scene as the world (hopefully) continues to get back on its sneakered feet.
What about LA continues to surprise you? Spanto: The ever-changing landscape, and how LA continues to seem to be coming and going at the same time. LA loves to forget. 2TONE: How it keeps getting shittier but is still also thriving at the same time. A complete yin-yang solid gold dog shit anomaly. But, I’m from here, here for it, and I love it. How important has community been to you in these trying couple of years? Spanto: Aside from just this couple of strange years, community has always been the cornerstone of my existence. It’s not just me, it’s always been about us. 2TONE: We’re nothing without our people. I’ve leaned on my community for support more than ever the past few years. How do sports teams and sports identity in LA inform your collection aesthetics? Or is it more about the spirit? 2TONE: It’s about the people who support the teams more than anything else. The communities of die-hard fans who live for and keep the teams alive. Spanto: For me, it’s about the spirit, when the Lakers or Dodgers win a chip and I go outside to be around all my Angelenos! The spirit is so strong you can cut it with a knife. Born X Raised is about that feeling.
What have you learned about yourself lately that you would like to share with the world? Spanto: I’m relentless as fuck, and if terminal cancer can’t stop me, you can’t either, so don’t even try. 2TONE: Just because I feel something doesn’t make it real. What is your favorite LA intersection and why? 2TONE: The circle in Venice. Spanto: Ocean and Moomat Ahiko, cause the PCH douses my brain with nostalgia. What is your favorite thing to do on a Sunday? Spanto: Eat pozole from Garcia’s market, ride my softail, and wrestle with my kids and Rottweiler. 2TONE: Very long hike, a big lunch, and a long nap. You guys just announced a collaboration with Indigenous Enterprise, a dance troupe, film production, and clothing brand out of Canada and the US. Why is it important to connect and create with these suppressed, and in many ways forgotten, creative voices? Spanto: There’s a very elegant simplicity to this culture that I think a lot of people overlook. I grew up all around it, and it’s something that’s true to me. All my creative visions come from within myself and my experiences. I’m just giving you my life story in little pieces.
Photographed by @CamraFace