ABOVE: TWO WARRIORS OF RADNESS LOOKS.
With December fast approaching and a spell of sweater-worthy weather having already arrived, it’s fascinating (to say the least) that some of the most seasonally, stylistically appropriate pullovers come from Southern California-based brand Warriors Of Radness. Originally founded by Rick Klotz, the line was born out of the artist-entrepreneur’s planned departure from the business he still frequents. “I spent a year just fucking around,” says Klotz. “Surfing, traveling, partying, and chasing women.” It was through this retreat that WOR came to fruition. “I was always into thrifting for old surf gear, and wanted to start a line with the same exuberance of beach culture from years ago,” Klotz adds. “It really just started for fun with no future in mind.”
What began as a carefree exercise in creation is now a fully formed clothing company, with a CFDA/GQ nomination for “Best New Designer” under its belt and stores like the trendsetting Opening Ceremony giving the line’s patterned crewnecks, mod coats, and Teamster jackets their sought-after seal of approval.
Although Klotz cites the CFDA nomination as a “once in a lifetime thing,” the industry vet does not get the same rush from celebrity clients, an asset some designers hold near and dear. “I don’t get excited about famous people wearing our stuff,” Klotz tells us. “I kind of get embarrassed.”
Where Klotz does seem to get a similar kick is in “fucking with the ignorant”—the designer created a set of pieces dedicated to the “GLSA” (Gay And Lesbian Surf Association), a concept that first commenced as a way to mess with more chauvinistic surfers. “It started as a kind of prank,” the designer explains. “We loved surfing, but despised surf culture and a lot of the narrow-mindedness you come across at the beach. We made stickers and T-shirts, and then friends suggested we take it more seriously.”
So what would Klotz suggest is the best mix of WOR items best fit to bear the winter chill? “Our wool muscle pants, sweaters, and trench coats,” says Klotz. “Then combine these pieces with a hot ‘Mexican coffee’—Kahlua, tequila, extra tequila, hot coffee, and whipped cream—and that should keep you warm and buzzin’.”