Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hazz-Been by Johnny Hazzard

Johnny Hazzard has always loved fashion and he began creating unique clothing at an early age. While taking a glass blowing class at Kent State at the age of 16 Johnny met a hippie that taught him how to tie dye. In a weird twist of fate, pop music star Boy George saw Johnny in a club and ask him to be “the face” of his new clothing line, B Rude. Suddenly Johnny became Boy George’s muse for the fashion brand and was appearing in international campaigns for the clothing line around the globe. Hazzard also became sought out by other designers and has appeared on the runway for other design houses such as New York underground favorite, Heatherette.

After years of working in and around the fashion and entertainment scene, Johnny decided he wanted to develop his own fashion brand. In late 2009 Johnny launched plans for his own clothing line called Hazz Been. Johnny’s commitment to the Green Movement has played a major role in developing this new eco-friendly organic clothing line.

Hazz Been is a retro and vintage inspired eco-friendly organic clothing line that is one part hippie, one part grunge with a large dose of southern California cool. Johnny launched the brand with a line of T-Shirts and will continue to grow this line with plans to eventually launch an accessories category underneath the brand umbrella.

Plans are underway to expand Hazz Been into retail chains across America. At the moment you can purchase Johnny Hazzard’s Hazz Been in boutiques in Washington DC, Los Angeles and New York City.

The Hollywood Bureau caught up with Johnny and got to sit down with the designer to get to know him better:

Q: What is your background in Design?

A: When I was a wee lad I used to cut up my school clothes and sew patches on the knees and elbows of my pants and shirts. I would take paint markers and draw cartoon characters anywhere that I could. My Mother was an expert seamstress and was always in her “craft” room where I would often hang out going through her endless supply of thread and different colored bobbins. In high school I learned to tie dye and after that was off and running taking anything light colored and turning it into a brilliant colored garment.

Q: What inspires you with regards to your collection?

A: Many things inspire me to do different things at any given time but what I find the most inspiring is other people and their vision; art is about inspiration. I also like to do designs that have a message but at the same time I like taking a break from thinking so much and put some random, meaningless animated figure holding a kitten with horns just to break it up a bit.

Q: Who are your favorite designers?

A: There are so many fashion designers out there and in some way, all of them provide me inspiration, so I don't really have a favorite. I have always found it interesting to learn about other's experiences and how these experiences inspire them in different ways to create their collections. To me fashion design is just exactly that....inspiration through experiences.

Q: Who is your customer/demographic?

A: As of the moment, due to my background and current line of work, my customer base tends to be the gay male and their friends but I’m hoping to include not only them but their straight and bi-sexual friends, co-workers and family members.

Q: Where do you see the line in 5 years?

A: I of course see my line(s) in department stores but I also see myself having a string of real hip boutiques with not only my stuff but also works both functional and not from local artisans. I think it’d be really cool to also teach classes on candle making, knitting and screen printing given by the local artists themselves; not only can you buy the art directly from the artist him/herself but also be taught by them.

Q: What is your favorite shirt in the line?

A: I would have to say that “Hollyweird” is my favorite only because I have spent so much time here and find that word to be so incredibly accurate.

Q: Where are the shirts produced? From what?

A: The shirts are supplied by a company based in Atlanta, Georgia called alternative Apparel. They produce apparel in developing countries with a strong commitment to fair trade practices and environmental responsibility. Their vendor guidelines and principles are in line with the Fair Labor Association and the majority of their factories are WRAP certified (Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production). In addition to operating in a “Fair Trade” spirit AA also has pioneered the recycled material movement by creating their Eco line; a line consisting of 100% Organic cotton, recycled polyester and using rayon, a very sustainable plant material. As of today my shirts are not made of organic cotton but with the support of the people and my fans, I, like AA, hope to be able to put my profits into buying 100% organic cotton shirts and supporting the Green Movement one shirt at a time.

Q: What are the retail prices?

A: The shirts sell for $18.75 plus shipping

Q: Where can I get one?

A: baby!

Q: What is one thing about you that nobody knows?

A: Hm. I love heavy metal; Godsmack is one of my most favorite bands.

To shop and purchase some of Johnny's latest t-shirts from his Hazz-Been Collection at