THE ENSIGN DISCUSSES STYLE, MUSIC, & THE NEW YORK HUSTLE
WITH CREATIVE PRODUCER BLAKELY THORNTON
BLAKELY is wearing the CARLOS CAMPOS CARGO SHIRT
WHERE ARE YOU FROM ORIGINALLY & WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?
I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. I grew up playing competitive tennis and then my Junior year of high school I switched to football. That took me to Philadelphia where I played (or at least was on the team) at the University of Pennsylvania.
WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO NEW YORK CITY?
I grew up thinking I wanted to be in finance and picked UPenn because it had the best undergraduate business school. 2008 was a tough time. The markets were basically a trashcan fire made of human despair and corporate corruption. Despite all this, I moved to NYC in July of 2009 after landing a job at Bloomberg Financial.
YOU’RE A CLASSIC NEW YORK MULTI-HYPHENITE, A CREATIVE PARTNER AT SALTWATER & CHAOS, AND THE MANAGING DIRECTOR FOR FUCK JERRY MEDIA. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK WITH SALTWATER & CHAOS?
I met my business partner Brecht Van't Hoff at Ralph Lauren. We worked together in the RL Rugby Haberdashery in West Village back in 2011. Brecht has a background in direction and photography, and I had been doing freelance writing and production. One by one, jobs kept coming in, and eventually we decided we needed to form an LLC since we’d been creating music videos, digital shorts, and social media segments for large companies like Forever 21, Fox Networks, and Pernod Ricard.
We've been able to work with some awesome people along the way and build a great network.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU’VE FACED SO FAR WITH SALTWATER & CHAOS?The biggest challenge with running a small company is that everything falls on you and your co-founders. You are all at once, HR, Finance, Billing, Operations, Marketing, etc… You wear many, many hats. It’s both exhilarating and frustrating, but you learn SO much in the process.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST GOAL YOU’D LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH WITH THE CREATIVE AGENCY? HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?I would love to start doing more narrative, programmatic fashion films. I really think that’s where content is going. The currency in 2018 is attention, and creating something that is engaging and entertaining with a natural integration of product is much more effective than a still image or something overtly commercial. My favorite projects are the ones we’ve done for companies like Forever21 and Pernod Ricard.
BLAKELY is wearing the GARCIAVELEZ HIGHWAY PRINT SWEATSHIRT & AGOLDE SPLINTER JEANS
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO BE WORKING AT FUCK JERRY MEDIA? IS IT NONSTOP MEMES, CONTENT, & HILARITY?The media landscape right now is like the Wild Wild West. There are no concrete rules, and I think being a part of Jerry media allows me to be at the forefront of what’s happening. It’s fun coming to work every day with people that are shaping the way 50 million plus consumers are engaging with media.
IN ADDITION TO THESE PROJECTS, YOU’VE ALSO DONE SOME MODELING FOR A FEW SPORTSWEAR BRANDS. HOW DO YOU DEFINE, OR COMMUNICATE, YOUR OWN PERSONAL SENSE OF STYLE? WHAT ARE YOUR STYLE INSPIRATIONS?I feel like my style is very much internally driven. I do think the man makes the clothes, not the other way around. The most important thing for any man is to feel comfortable in what you are wearing. A man that exudes confidence in overalls can look more stylish than someone in an expensive three piece suit.
As far as external inspirations, I love the 80’s and 90’s. Richard Gere in American Gigolo, Dwayne Wayne from A Different World, Russell Westbrook, Jeff Goldblum, Any old photos from Studio 54. I’m not a afraid to take inspiration from different places, and I'm also not afraid to make mistakes. It's all a part of developing personal style.
WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? WHAT MUSIC ARE YOU CURRENTLY BUMPING?I need music to get through the day. I’m listening to the new Pusha T (loving this back and forth with drake), Childish (This is America), Jungle’s “House in LA”, SR3MM by Rae Sremmurd, and “In Mind” by Real Estate.
YOU’RE CLEARLY JUGGLING MANY PROJECTS AND IN THE NEW YORK HUSTLE. WHAT DO YOU DO TO KEEP YOURSELF ORGANIZED & GROUNDED?New York is amazing, the energy is addictive, but it can also be overwhelming. I try to get out of the city every six weeks and disconnect my email accounts from my phone (If I’m honest, I'm not good at ignoring them, even on “do not disturb”. Work will always be there tomorrow. I also love to exercise, I find it's the one time I can quiet my mind because it has to focus on what my body is doing.
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