Wednesday, November 4, 2009

5 Minutes | Alyasha Owerka-Moore

For our second installment of the '5 Minutes' feature we caught up with a gentleman who really requires no introduction. Although if you had to put Mr. Alyasha Owerka-Moore's resume and accomplishments into perspective it would go something like this: The Brooklyn born San Diego transplant is one of the creative minds behind some of the most successful clothing, music and skate projects. On his resume of companies he has founded and worked alongside are Alphanumeric, Fiberops, Bop N' Stomp Records, American Dream, CPSL Snowboarding, Shut Skateboards, Triple 5 Soul, Transworld Skateboarding, Stereo, Real, Krooked, Adidas, Nike, DC Shoes or In4mation and that is just skimming the surface.

Today Alyasha balances a majority of his time between his denim company, Fiberops, which he founded in 2002 alongside Tatsushi "Tabo" Kagaya, creative direction for Bop N' Stomp Records and working on the resurgence of street label Alphanumeric. When he isn't knee deep in design and art direction, fabric research or iChat harassment from yours truly you can probably find him skating or DJing in the San Diego area. Enjoy.

5 things people don't likely know about me are...

1. I take my craft (design) very seriously. However... I do not take myself very seriously.
2. I've been skateboarding since I was 14...1984.
I collect vintage switchblades, straight razors, and socks. (socks are not vintage but the collect consists of approximately 200 pairs.)
I am a partner in a Rockabilly Record Label called Bop N Stomp Records.
I DJ Rockabilly, Garage Rock, 40's-50's and 60's RnB - Rock N Roll, Psych and Freak beat twice a week.

5 things I don't leave home without are...

1. Glasses
2. Wallet
3. A pen
4. Clean Socks & Boxers
5. Comb
6. Phone

5 individuals that have inspired me are...

1. My Mother... Carolyn Owerka
2. Heather Worley Telo
3. Virtuous Sanchez
4. Tatsushi "Tabo" Kagaya
5. Anthony Harrison

My 5 favorite spots in New York City are...

1. St. Nicks Pub (149th. - St. Nicholas)
2. Otto's Shrunken Head
3. The old Bridge Banks before they tore up the base.
4. Muhammad Changs No Pork Chinese food ( I think they changed the name. )
5. Freemans Restaurant

My favorite design book is...

Critical Path by R. Buckminster Fuller (Not necessarily a "Design" book.)

What first attracted me to the Rockabilly scene was...

My mom has a large record collection. Among them many "Jump Blues" (Basically the roots of Rockabilly by primarily Black artists) classics. When I was really young (7-8) I would put on Louis Jordan and Wynonie Harris records and bop around the house listening to them.

In 1984 I met a kid from Boston named Jake Burlingham. Jake introduced me to skateboarding. He lent me copy a cassette called "Rockabilly Psychosis and the Garage Disease". I was hooked from then on. This was my discovery of Hasil Adkins, The Cramps, The Sonics, Meteors, Link Wray and a host of other great Psychobilly, Garage and Rockabilly artists.

Later, in Sophmore year of high school I dated a wonderful young woman named Heather Worley. SHE was a huge influence on my sense of music, style and design. I can honestly say that most of the stuff I wear and listen too today was somehow introduced or a direct result of Heathers influence. Heather was originally from Texas and introduced me to tons of contemporary (at the time) and traditional rockabilly. (Side note... She later went on to work for Knoll in their Japan design studio for many years and is still a brilliant designer and is married to an equally talented Musician by the name of Alberto Telo.)

The thing that has attracted me the Rockabilly "scene" in my adult years is the sense of timelessness and tradition. At shows and events people are very cordial and polite for the most part. Although the "scene" is referred to as "Rockabilly", you will find that it encompasses many facets and sub genres such as Rhythm and Blues, Doo Wop, Jump Blues, Traditional Rockabilly, Western Swing, Neo-Billy (Stray Cats), and Psychobilly (some will argue Psychobilly's place.) .

The music I primarily DJ is Rhythm and Blues, Jump Blues, Stompers and Screamers. Basically, the BLACK music of the period. Late 40's to 50's BLACK music in short. I do not own one Elvis record. Killer music, Great Folks and no trends. (I do not consider myself any sort of authority or aficionado on Rockabilly ... Just a huge fan of the music).

Heather Worley and Alyasha Owerka-Moore in front of LaGuardia HS 1986 (Misfits shirt c. 1986)

My dream car is...

1955 - 58 Toyota Crown AKA Toyopet.

If I wasn't designing or Dj-ing I would be...

Most probably working for my mother in Textile Conservation and Restoration.

If I had the opportunity to switch places with any designer it would be...

I do not know that that I'd like to trade places with anyone. I'm quite happy with my life and who I am. But, I'd like to visit certain folks studios and get to pick their brains for a while.

The most rewarding project I have been involved with would be...

Designing a guest artist board for Krooked. Working on music with Bill Laswell .

If I could have lunch with anyone dead or alive it would be...

Le Chevalier de Saint Georges, Buckminster Fuller, Howlin' Wolf, Bo Diddley, Screamin Jay Hawkins, Issey Miyake, Nobu Kitamura and Ralph Lauren.

The last article of clothing I purchased was...

Black and Grey yarn dye thermal shirt from Target.

The best words of advice I ever received were...

Not exactly advice given to me directly, but an insightful quote that struck home.

"A designer is an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist and evolutionary strategist." -R. Buckminster Fuller

If I had to wear one pair of shoes for the rest of my life they would be...

Thats an interesting question ...It would have to be a pair of shoes that could keep my feet dry and warm in winter. Keep them cool in summer. I'd have to be able to skate in them, yet also be able to wear them to formal events. In all honesty ... I am not sure that pair of shoes exists.

Although during our iChat conversation this image was fired over.

My drink of choice is...

Moscow Mule ... No bitters ... Ginger Beer NOT Ginger Ale.

After completing this interview I am off to...

Finish up some work, then go skate.

Make sure you come through on Monday for Alyasha's Monday Morning Playlist feature. In the meantime check out Aly's blog Stack-Aly.

(photos via Alyasha)