Living in a big city it’s easy to become two things: a local or a tourist, but thanks to Eric Fobair, we can all feel and dress like both, while staying true to our most prized inner values.
Feisty: What influenced you to start Local Tourist?
EF: When I was a teenager I came to understand I had artistic talent, I was drawing all the time and I was influenced from graffiti, Martha Cooper’s Subway Art, and when I learned that the clothes I been wearing Ecko Unltd was made by one man Marc Ecko…I then realized that’s what I wanted to do in life, own and design for my own clothing company, I was about 15 then.
Feisty: What made you start with drawings of women?
EF: What I was influenced by I guess, the drawings of women derived from the art I was sending to the Black Cat gallery in Culver City (LA). I was painting liquor and wine bottles and stenciling faces on them, I used to read a lot of magazines at that time and I’d see ads with faces that I like and that’s how the stencils came – its just a look that caught my eye. The line drawings were to give a bit more definition than the stencils and during that time Local Tourist was primarily just women’s t-shirts: soft cotton, burnout t-shirts with the simplified line drawings, simple elegant stuff.
Feisty: Why did you shift to sayings like Guard Your Heart and Positive Mental Attitude?
EF: After college and into LA it was just about branding, a lot of logo designs and bandannas, influenced form the emerging hipster club culture. Then to the pop up shop, The Local Tourist Spot, that’s where the ‘philosophy’ started, speaking with my own voice. Most recently I have been investing in my personal growth and development, hence ‘Positive Mental Attitude’.
Feisty: Did these mantras symbolically mean represent something in your life or to the brand?What is your personal meaning of these phases?
EF: Definitely, it went hand and hand with my personal life. GUARD YOUR HEART FEED YOUR MIND is definitely encouragement for an individual to invest in their life and dreams, don’t settle and you can always grow and expand.
Feisty: Local Tourist is known its for tees and bandanas, have you thought about expanding into more?
EF: Right now I’m happy doing what we do, for me it’s always been baby steps, other items, bigger, more intensive/complex production will come at the right time.
Feisty: Are you based in California?
EF: personally based in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. I had a pop up shop in downtown Los Angeles from July 2010-April 2012.
Feisty: You’ve had artist like Nipsey Hussle and Curren$y wear your shirts, is there any other person you’d love to see wear your designs?
EF: Actually that’s a question I’ve been asking myself recently. Both of the artists you mentioned, the connections were organic, one homie introducing me to another. To work with artists for me today it really has to be mutual, otherwise it just doesn’t work….I’m sure the next up and coming artist will align with us at the right time.
Feisty: What’s next for you and Local Tourist?
EF: This week we’re releasing Belly Revisited by DJ Spicoli, its a retrospective mix taking a look back at one of my favorite movies, Belly. Spicoli has beautifully crafted the movie using more recent songs, from the trap house and robbery in the beginning, to Jamaica, to Nas and DMX character’s effort to make a change in their life, if you’re a fan of the movie, you’ll recognize exactly what’s going on. Also, is a new beanie THE REAL ONES KNOW, last campaign was ORIGINAL CONTENT, now its about THE REAL ONES, Local Tourist is on the rise nationally and internationally and just as we’ve recognized up and coming artists the general public is recognizing Local Tourist.
Feisty: What is Eric Fobair working on aside from Local Tourist?
EF: One of the new hats I wear is a guest writer for Grungecake.com. I’ve have two Q&A’s published with Shawn Chrys and Fifi Rong. I have video interviews coming out with Lisa Lonewolf and a nice piece with a good friend Remy Fox and a lil’ guest appearance from lil’ Debbie.
Feisty: Being that this is Iamfeistyy.com and feisty represents adventure, ambition, boldness, and uniqueness, why should our feisty femmes be rocking your brand?
EF: I like what feisty represents to you! All of those aspects I see would be a wearer of Local Tourist, to be bold in a statement of ORIGINAL CONTENT, unique in repping Local Tourist and not something more main stream. Having a personal ambition through GUARD YOUR HEART FEED YOUR MIND.
Feisty: Tell everyone where they can check Local Tourist out at?