Idol Moments: Meet Heathen Collective (+Blamo)

Indulge in a little stylish bad behavior with Heathen Collective

We’re all for civility, but we’ve been known to wander outside those bounds when the time is right (like certain sample sales and the *very* occasional fit of road rage on Van Ness).

Another, gentler way to venture into Heathen territory? The local label bearing that name from San Francisco designers Spencer Hansen and Shayne Maratea.

The leather jackets, hats and apparel for men and women from the current collection ($8-$850) display devil-may-care cool alongside an air sleek, urban sophistication. While work on their web site is underway, the folks at Heathen were kind enough to share some images from their latest lookbook and answer a few of our most burning questions. Read on for more on this local label…

Who is Heathen?

Heathen is an independent San Francisco-based designer clothing company that offers the world men’s and women’s apparel, accessories, hats, jewelry and a series of toys under its own label, BLAMO. Partners Spencer Hansen and Shayne Maratea and an entourage of many talented folks, including Cortlan Robertson and big sister Heather Hansen, presently constitute the company.

What’s the driving idea or inspiration behind the label?

The idea for the company was birthed by Spencer Hansen in rural Idaho over a decade ago. With a continuous flow of influence from photography, painting, movement, street culture, the music industry and world travel, Heathen has established itself as an ever-evolving innovative and imaginative company. The company’s designs are visually stimulating and often recognized for their clean subtle details and functional attributes. Heathen presents a collection for a population that desires timeless fashion through inimitable non-mass-produced garments.

How did Heathen come to be? How has the labeled changed over time?

The company began with hand-made one-of-a-kind garments but was primarily recognized for its hats. After years of custom work, the desire to expand in both medium and distribution led us to explore production opportunities. We began producing clothes in 2006 and since have grown from handmaking individual pieces to producing an entire collection. We’ve been able to maintain detail and quality by self-producing and distributing all our goods and staying true to the concepts the company was founded on.

Tell us about BLAMO, the Heathen toy line.

BLAMO toys are a branch of Heathen that emphasize the humorous, other-worldly side of the company’s imagination. BLAMO started with a few toys that charmed their way into people’s lives. Spencer’s toys are sculptural collectibles made from an assortment of materials, including metal, wood, bottle caps, glass and resin that offer the world an alternative to vinyl. In October, with the help of toy collector and creator Mikie Graham, we gave the toys a home of their own and created a BLAMO web site. The BLAMO family now consists of over 10 of Spencer’s designs, from custom one-of-a-kind to limited editions to unlimited runs with new toys emerging monthly. Guest artists also contribute to BLAMO and were recently featured in a self-produced art show.

Want to have a Heathen adventure of your own? You’ll find the label locally at Five and Diamond, Shotwell and shopping events such as Indie Mart and Union Design.

Lorraine Sanders is a fashionable little heathen at SF Indie Fashion

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