SUBSERVIENT: Matias Thread & Denim Project

A couple of weeks back a business card from 2008 jumped in my path.  I was rifling through one of my storage containers, when I saw Matias’ information.

In 2008 I met Matias Sandoval at a clothing convention (designers show off their newest line and buyers buy).  I was newly birthed into the freelance world and trolling for potential clients.

After a quick search to see if he was still in business, I started composing an email.  I was stoked to see that he had weathered the economy and was still working.  30 minutes later my phone rang.  I was greeted with “Hey Sean, it’s Matias.  I’m glad you reached out!”  We caught up.

Matias needed some imagery that he could take with him to trade shows (like the one described above) to promote his Fall 2012 clothing campaign.

He described his line as “working man’s clothes.”  He further described his clothes as having a traditional side (use of denim) and a luxe side (use of wool).  This reminded me of the gap between the rich and the poor.  Coincidentally that morning, I heard on the radio that the gap between the Rich and the Poor was growing in America.

I set out to whip up a narrative that could be used as a vehicle to promote his clothing.  I pulled in elements from the Occupy movement coupled with a twist of Los Angeles style (Matias is based in LA, so I wanted to pay homage to that).  The word “Subservient” kept creeping into my brain.

A pig’s head was desperately needed for the shoot.  One of my models told me to check out a butcher shop in Huntington Beach (CA).



A butcher walked over and asked how he could help me.  I asked if he had any pig’s heads for sale.  He showed me one in the display freezer.  It was huge and frozen solid.  There were all kinds of other interesting heads in there too.  I asked him if it was for sale and he told me to wait.  He had to check with the owner.  Two minutes later the sound of cussing and yelling came racing through the customer area of the butcher shop.  This was followed by a medium-sized, pot-bellied American (probably from Texas).  “Fucking vegetarians are always trying to run me out of business!” The owner was obviously not a fan.  He looked at me and yelled, “Are you a vegetarian?”  I said no.  Even if I was, “no” seemed like the right answer.  “What do you want?” he yelled.  I asked if the pig’s head was for sale.  “Give the kid the pig’s head,” the owner declared.   And just like that, a free pig’s head was check-marked off my list of things to do.

This has very little to do with the project I created for Matias Sandoval.  However, that experience was memorable and led to this shot.

A lot more people showed up to this shoot than I had anticipated.  My assistant ended up having assistants.  Those assistants had assistants.  The same went for the styling team.  There were assistants galore.  Yet in the end, everyone lent a hand in creating a killer set of images.

“That was the most intense thing I’ve ever been a part of!” said Matias.  It appeared he was happy too.

Thank You:  Matias, Bianca, Pennylane, Mr. & Mrs. Sandoval, Jeremy, Lauryn, Diana, Erika, Curtis, Mark (you really know how to fly a MiG jet?), Sarah, Greer, Dillon, Cameron, Ulysses (sorry if I spelled that wrong), and the weatherman for making it sunny.