Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Justin Tranter - Rock Star, Designer & Gaga's BFF

Justin Tranter, lead singer of Semi Precious Weapons, has been spending a lot of time in LA while recording SPW's new album.  Reigning from New York, he's bringing his talents across the country with his music and jewelry designs.  Semi Precious Weapons opened for Lady GaGa for her past few tours, so it's safe to say fashion was definitely considered.  Tranter began his music career in the Lower East Side of New York's underground music circuit where he met the Gaga (known to him as Stefani Germanotta).  We sat down with Justin to discuss the importance of fashion and how it impacts his life and creativity.

Describe your style.
Dirty future.
Where are your favorite places to shop?
My friend Jimmy Knehans makes most of my custom tights and jackets, so that makes life really good.  Ha!  Alter in Brooklyn, owned by Tommy Cole and Roy Caires, is probably my favorite store ever.  I also love Opening Ceremony, Barneys COOP, and the garbage, stripper stores and halloween stores!
Who/What influences your sense of style?
My friends are my biggest influences.  We like to call ourselves the Precious Empire.  It is a very subtle name for a very subtle group of people.
Tell us how you got started.
Well, it's always about music for me.  I went to high school for music, college, and so on.  But my mom has always done custom-one-of-a-kind jewelry design.  So whenever I needed a day job, it was always in jewelry.  While playing shows in rock bars in NYC, a sexy little brunette lady named GaGa was opening for us, and I was still working at a jewelry store.  I ended up getting fired.  I said to myself, "Fuck it! I'll make my own jewelry to sell at band shows."  It turns out everyone really liked it.  I busted my ass and ended up with the jewelry line selling at Urban Outfitters and Barney's New York under the name Fetty.  Fetty is a name I made up meaning "fucked up and pretty," obviously.

Tell us about your collection at Barney's.
 Through some friends and charm I got myself a meeting with the fab ladies at Barney's.  They loved my ideas and really worked with me to make it a full-on, high end collection of diamond zodiacs, diamond braille and of course some 14k gold weapons and damaged hearts.  Now it all seems to be coming full circle and 3 Fetty necklaces will be featured in Lady GaGa's Barney's Holiday Workshop this Winter.

What's your creative process, whether it's in songwriting, performing, designing?
I guess I just think of ridiculous shit and talk to my band members and friends about them.  It always starts with a spark that inspires something.  A guitar riff that starts a song, something someone said that starts a lyric, an idea for one charm - it all leads to a whole collection.
I know you're in LA these days, how would you compare New York style to LA style?
This is a very controversial question because NYC is home and it really is one of the most stylish places in the whole fucking world.  On the surface, LA style is pretty bad - it looks like a sitcom stylist dressed everyone.  But if you dig deep, I've found some amazing people and crowds with amazing looks out here in LaLa, crazy shit you'd never think of.  I don't know if that answers the question.  Boom!



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