Woodie White is the type of immaculate multi-hyphenate who makes everyone else look dangerous. Along with his predominant clothes model, Oyster Holdings, White has launched a tennis membership, based a climbing membership (which has expanded into longer expeditions to locations like Lake Como and Napa) and not too long ago simply debuted a capsule assortment with none aside from Delta Airways . “Touring is a sport” is the ethos that defines Oyster Holdings, and in White’s thoughts, all of the hubs match collectively loosely beneath the holding firm, giving him the liberty to evolve alongside along with his personal impulses and outdoors pursuits.
“Oyster Holdings was began in 2014, and it is all based mostly round journey — we make sportswear for journey,” White tells InsideHook. “Which naturally led to our trademark: ‘Touring is a sport.’ Alongside that, Oyster Expeditions is the outside/journey/climbing/kayaking and touring hub, however there’s additionally a style element to it as effectively. With the title Oyster Holdings, I used to be establishing one thing that would embody completely different concepts because the model developed, with out pushing us right into a nook the place we have been about one factor particularly, so we might create these micro-categories all through the model.”
So how did he go about creating this health clothes mini-empire? By foregoing formal education and realizing he already had all the required expertise, from rising up throughout the youth tradition that huge manufacturers have been all making an attempt to attach with. Born and raised in Lincoln Park, Chicago, White got here up working for avenue groups doing “city promotions” for file labels and different company manufacturers — and he rapidly translated these abilities right into a crystal-clear understanding of the world of selling. Skipping faculty, he jumped straight right into a profession in style and moved to LA to work on the music, skate and clothes model LRG from 2004 to 2012. From there, he helped Don C launch Simply Don sportswear and led that group till about 2015, whereas concurrently launching Oyster Holdings the 12 months earlier than.
“It is a lot simpler if you happen to simply dwell it,” White explains. “I am not knocking any form of education, however I began out doing avenue crew stuff. Round that point, firms like HBO and all these different company firms have been shifting away from conventional promoting and including avenue groups, getting on to the individuals as a part of their initiatives. It did not matter if you happen to went to highschool or not, since you had extra information than the one that went to highschool — you are truly residing what they’re making an attempt to attach with.”
That boots-on-the-ground strategy continues to be evident within the varied communities and types that White creates and collaborates with. His bi-monthly climbing group meets each different Saturday at a TBD location — anybody can DM the model on Instagram to get the main points. Identical goes for the tennis membership, which accurately began out as only a T-shirt design, and round 2019 remodeled into an precise membership that meets each Sunday and Wednesday on the Rancho Cienega courts off Obama Boulevard.
White says his love for style is deeply rooted within the uniforms that come together with enjoying sports activities as a child. “My early parts of loving clothes got here from enjoying organized sports activities, since you all the time obtained uniforms,” he says. “Then, skateboarding introduced in one other aspect of that California fashion combined with skate. And when music actually grew to become part of my life — which was the late ’80s and early ’90s — that simply exploded my love for Polo, Hilfiger, Nautica and Timbland. Then, after all, Nike, due to Michael Jordan on the time.”
To get a way of the Oyster Holdings aesthetic, suppose Bo Jackson and his cross trainers or Andre Agassi’s Tech Problem motion — it is a mixture of fashion, performance and a touch of ’90s throwback vibes. Shiny colours, surprising patterns and clear traces outline the gathering, which incorporates additional collaborations with manufacturers like Adidas for his or her footwear line. And although Oyster has been round for almost eight years, it was truly the pandemic that helped spur the real-world offshoots, just like the climbing membership and Oyster Expeditions.
“The idea of expedition being a format of journey was all the time one thing I had tucked away as an thought,” White says. “However once I began to hike, it was based mostly on a necessity to be exterior in March or early April 2020, when issues obtained actually dangerous. Then I simply coined it as Oyster Expeditions and it obtained individuals considering wanting to return out and be a part of. It went from 5 or 6 individuals to 10, then extra, and it simply form of constructed alongside the best way. It was inside individuals’s consolation zones of feeling like, ‘There is a pandemic occurring, however we’re OK being round different individuals so long as we’re exterior.’ That was the formulation, and fortuitously it is nonetheless been rising with individuals getting again to common life.”
Lately, the hike group might span wherever from 25 to 50 individuals on a given Saturday, and White is fast to notice that anybody is welcome: “It’s very inclusive,” he says. Merely ship a message to the Oyster Expedition web page for the main points, and meet up that morning — though he additionally cautions that not each path the group hikes is appropriate for novices. Nonetheless, even if you happen to’re in a slower bracket — like I used to be on a current go to with the group — odds are another person is completely happy to remain again with you and ensure everybody will get to the highest of the mountain, no matter tempo. That is simply the type of supportive, judgment-free neighborhood White has constructed.
“I form of take a look at this like a well being membership,” he says. “There’s an open door coverage, and we do not flip anybody away; we similar to to ensure individuals know what they’re signing up for. My objective is to simply convey an increasing number of individuals out. Residing in Los Angeles, particularly for individuals who transfer right here from different locations, later in life, it is tough to make associates. It is a place the place you may simply come out, and say, ‘Hey we now have one thing in frequent, we prefer to be exterior, we prefer to hike.’ Then the connection can kind with out the primary couple sentences being ‘So what do you do?’ You are in a position to study individuals in a means that is extra natural.”
This text was featured within the InsideHook LA publication. Enroll now for extra from the Southland.