June 28, 2009

tAz Arnold x yrb magazine x interview::

Taz Manian Rebel

by Regine Zamor
Photography by Jeff Forney

His mama and Kanye share the same birthday, he’s the father to two young boys and a Cancer who couldn’t give a shit about fashion. “My job is to destroy people with creativity and style, which actually doesn’t destroy but inspires them. That’s my job.” One third of the music collective Sa-Ra Creative Partners, Taz Arnold has been unfashionable for some time now. “It’s not that deep,” the South Central LA native casually emits with a cool West Coast tone. “I’m into style and art. I’m a creative person, and I’m into the science of what creativity is.”

So, who is Taz Arnold? “One of the most famous ‘boosters’ of Polo since the ‘80s, since I was a kid in high school. I’m known in New York, Detroit, Florida, Dallas, and I’m known from ‘boosting’ clothes for my collection. That’s how people know me. I was always beyond being interested in fashion.”

And then there’s a kind of honesty about him that you can relate to - the other side of Taz. “I was given half a tab of LSD when I was 3-years-old, but I grew up my whole life never drinking alcohol or doing drugs until like three years ago. I think that’s the reason: to start my life with an open mind.”

Whether he’s rocking black wings, leopard pants, cowboy boots or eight Gucci belts, Taz Arnold has had an open mind since way back. That open mind has manifested into Sa-Ra Creative Partners and, more recently, into his clothing line TISA Vision. Digesting a new level of creativity with the TISA brand, Arnold now has a platform where he is part designer and part consultant, sharing his philosophy and art with the likes of MCM, Pastelle (Kanye West’s upcoming line) and others.

It wouldn’t be just to label Taz as a fashion head. In fact, it would be the biggest lie we could tell you and a misrepresentation of the man. Instead, swallow the fact that Taz is a seeker, maybe even a seer, who was raised with pyramids and rainbows in his home, five minutes away from the beach. Among the infamous gang wars in South Central, Arnold grew up in the belly of LA’s style wars. “The majority of the people who lived in LA while I was a kid growing up dressed how I dress right now. That’s a part of LA’s culture that has never been exposed.” Taz continues in his style battles with a new angle: he’s claiming the rainbow and “officially taking it back.”

“A rainbow and color is natural and has nothing to do with someone’s sexual preference. It’s fucking ridiculous. The rainbow is for gay people, straight people, people who don’t have sex, kids, animals, everything.” If you’ve seen photos of Taz, you know that anything goes, and lack of color is not an option. “A guy won’t wear shorts above his knees because he’s scared of what people think. Like who the fuck dresses for other people? Why are you spending all this money so that you can look like somebody else?” Puzzled and passionate, Arnold settles for a minute to regain his composure and then softly stakes his claim. “The main thing is this - I’m taking the rainbow back.”

A look at his collection and it’s clear that Taz is serious. Rihanna and other celebrities have been sporting the colorful molded plastic knuckle rings, so by way of TISA, Hollywood chicks are now wearing “Love” across their fingers. An idea that sat in his mind for five years, the brand has allowed Arnold to introduce a range of products.

“I’m a person who will be bringing new things in the form of products; it’s not just clothes and apparel.” With TISA, like Taz, it’s more of a concept - one that equates to freedom and simply not giving a damn. “I don’t care about this fashion shit. I dress how I dress because that’s what I do. If you need my advice, or if you want to hire me to consult or utilize the TISA platform than let’s do business.” And fashion heads have been quick to tap into Arnold’s creative eye, including Phenomenon, (a brand that’s just starting to catch on that Arnold describes as “very dope”), another collection with MCM coming out for spring and summer and, as mentioned before, the much anticipated Pastelle line.

For More On This Feature Purchase Issue #92

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