COLLECTOR AND MAKER OF THINGS - SCOTT TEPPER OF IGNORED PRAYERS
From being Creative Director of HUF, Scott Tepper began Ignored Prayers with his close friends as an outlet for all things inspiring. Starting as a platform for sharing graphics, art, videos and more, the label is now a couple of collections in with a growing following around the world. Growing up between the East and West coasts of the USA, Tepper’s experiences of different cultures and his sentiment for all things vintage is expressed through Ignored Prayers.
Always busy creating and working on new projects, Tepper took some time to share more about Ignored Prayers and what drives him.
What was the motivation for you to move from being Creative Director at HUF to starting Ignored Prayers?
TEPPER: Ignored Prayers the brand was a long time coming. It had almost materialized into a brand a few times, many years before it actually did. The #1 motivator for me was my best friend, Chris Garcia. Chris had been encouraging me for years to launch it as a brand. In fact we both had matching IP tattoos and both left HUF around the same time. He passed away last year and I made a promise to him that I would see IP through. His name, along with our other mutual best friend Pepper (R.I.P.), can be found under every woven label, forever.
anything that resonates with me I collect it and reference a lot of it.
Ignored Prayers is known for its nostalgic references and DIY ethos, where do you find inspiration for graphics and new collections?
TEPPER: Not really sure, but I’m kind of a “hoarder”, although I prefer “collector”. I’m a reference material junky. I collect so much shit, whether that be design and typography books from the 60’s-80’s, old magazines, vintage spray paint, patches, vintage clothing ranging from Polo Ralph Lauren to bootleg Bart Simpson t-shirts…anything that resonates with me I collect it and reference a lot of it. Beyond all that, just growing up between both the east and west coasts I have been able to experience a lot of different cultures and aesthetics that directly influences every aspect of the brand now. IP is a reflection of things my friends and I are into. You can definitely see a bit of NYC and a bit of LA in everything we do.
Having collaborated with skater and photographer Jerry Hsu and artist Julia Fox in previous collections, where do you see streetwear cross between fashion and art
TEPPER: Apparel in general to me is just another medium to create with. Julia and Jerry are friends of mine and very talented in their own right. When we do a collaboration it is not really conscious decision to connect fashion and art, it is more of an excuse for us to get to work with friends. Making stuff with your friends and seeing it come to light is what it’s all about.
How do you see the brand grow while staying true to what it is?
TEPPER: Just going to align ourselves with retailers who share our vision and keep having fun with it. I believe that authenticity will resonate with people who appreciate our process and interests.
To what extent does the culture in LA and your time in NYC influence the brand
TEPPER: It is everything! I was raised in New Jersey, about 2 miles outside of Manhattan. Growing up I was constantly in the city…whether skating, writing graffiti, going to shows, whatever. Being young and out and about in NYC really will mould you, especially back then. You figure out how to get by and are exposed to so much. Same thing in LA, I’ve been here over a decade now and I truly love Los Angeles. I find inspiration in little things, whether that be a hand painted sign at an auto body repair shop or the embroidery guy at the swap meet. Both cities have such rich cultures permeating through them. It is truly a blessing to experience both.
As an artist yourself, what mediums or themes do you often explore?
TEPPER: I always felt like to be considered an artist you had to have a unique style you were known for and I never felt like I had just one style. Personally, I just like making stuff. I think of an idea and then figure out how to make it. That process is more rewarding than the finished product to me. Most recently I have been experimenting in sculpture and signage. I like to mix technology into pieces when it works...video, lights, etc...I wish I had more time to concentrate on all that but IP takes up a lot of my time. That is why I like to integrate that creativity into the brand. Other than that stuff I try to make zines and take photos every chance I get. I just like making shit. The process of it all, it calms my A.D.D. brain.
Favourite album or artist you've been into recently? Or of all time…
TEPPER: Beastie Boys - Paul’s Boutique
Any upcoming collaborations you can share with us?
TEPPER: This past weekend we will dropped a capsule collection with Colette and Club 75 at Complex Con. It was real honour to work with them. This coming spring we have a capsule collection coming out with longtime friend Hassan Rahim that is fucking incredible. Hassan is super talented. Lots of new projects on the way that I cannot reveal just yet.
I just like making shit. The process of it all, it calms my A.D.D. brain.
What are some things you cannot live without?
TEPPER: My friends…they are my family and my inspiration.
Best advice you've ever gotten?
TEPPER: “You suck until further notice…”