Words and Photography by Carleton Curtis
Chad Muska is bigger than skateboarding. Let’s just get that outta the way. For decades now, Chad has completely shattered skateboarders’ expectations of what’s possible on a board, on the clothing rack, or even on the wheels of steel. Seriously, how many times have you heard people write-off his fashion sense as total lunacy, then 9 months later they’re repping the same kit? So yes, Chad is just bigger than skateboarding. Aside from being “The Muska” to us, he’s also been a DJ, an entrepreneur, Hollywood starlet arm candy (multiple times), boombox aficionado, and now, owner of his first-ever retail store. And it’s all been 100% self-made.
Chad invited me over to his new L.A.-based store today, called Factory 413, which opened last Saturday on Fairfax Avenue—the north side of which is home to Supreme, SLB, The Hundreds, and countless other streetwear boutiques. Ahh but don’t expect more of the same: at Factory 413, you’ll find a mix of the best-curated vintage clothing you’ll ever see (but at a price) along with KR3W and Supra‘s hi-end gear. Above all, the shop is a place for endless creativity. But enough of my bullshit, let’s hear the backstory from the man himself…
(TO STEP INSIDE FACTORY 413, CLICK THE SLIDESHOW TO THE LEFT!!!)
Let’s start off with the background of Factory 413. Where’d the idea come from?
Basically it’s an outlet for me and Angel (Cabada) to be creative and do things without limitations. I want to be able to make whatever I want and put it in here, you know? We’ve had a lot of hype with the Skytop shoe… everybody’s always like, “Where do we get it? Where do we get it? But there was never really a good place in L.A. to buy it. So not only do we want to be an outlet for Supra shoes, but also for small runs of custom stuff. Aside from that, this place is going to be my office and creative base.
So your office will be here also?
Yeah out back and upstairs we have a place for product placement, so people can pull stuff for editorial, movies, or commercials. We’ll also have full runs of the Supra and KR3W stuff. I’ve even got a 4-color silkscreen press here, we’re going to shoot photography here, plus design, and so much other stuff. The reason we called this Factory 413 is because we want this to be like a factory for content and material.
Fairfax is definitely a hotbed for skate boutiques these days. You’re down the street from the majority of them, but you still ended up on the same street. Was that a conscious decision?
We didn’t intentionally end up on Fairfax, it was just a matter of finding the space that would work for us. I wanted a big, open area. We looked at all kinds of buildings on La Brea, Melrose… even Hollywood Boulevard.
How much of a joint venture between you and Angel is this?
It is, but it’s more my baby, you know? Because Angel is really focused on keeping KR3W and Supra up and running. We can only wear so many shoes, but we both contribute to this a lot.
Are you gonna sell Brigada in here?
Umm, I don’t know yet. They’re my homies and everything but I’m still waiting to see if they can pull it together too. We sell KR3W and Supra stuff in here but that’s not the direction this place is gonna go. Factory 413 isn’t gonna be skate-oriented necessarily.
What about your personal designs? Will Factory 413 be carrying that stuff?
Yeah, this is gonna spawn a whole new brand. Factory 413 is going to be a brand for both guys and girls; I’m working on a new line right now, with cut-n-sew and all that.
Are you gonna be at the tradeshows this month?
Probably. I’ll be at ASR but I just cancelled out last-minute with Bread & Butter. I just need to be here a lot over the next few months getting the machine up and running. Eventually I have some people in here to help me though.
What will your clothing line entail? Where will it stop?
I don’t know. This is all one big huge experiment for me—I’ve never done retail before. It’s a matter of trial and error. Right now I’m having a lot of fun with women’s wear… a lot of girls have been wearing it out. Even a unisex line is in the works: blazers, tanktops, jeans.
You mentioned before that Factory 413 wouldn’t be heavy on the skate. So is this more of an extension from Supra’s NS (No Skate) line of shoes?
Kinda but not necessarily. I mean, no matter what I do, I’m a skateboarder for life. That’s never gonna change. But this is a little beyond skateboarding because skateboarding has a lot of limitations: prices, the content you use… you can’t get too controversial so this is my place where I can do whatever I want.
413 S. Fairfax
Los Angeles, CA 90036