Menswear Mondays: Fashion designer Brien Hollowell on his line, Jesus Pistols
All photos by Mauricio Rocha
While many students focus on studying for their future careers, some manage to start up their own companies while still taking classes. One of these overachievers is Brien Hollowell, a Metropolitan State University of Denver student who's the owner of Jesus Pistols. Find out more about his clothing line, what inspires his personal aesthetic, and even what's inside his bag. See also: - Menswear Mondays: Metro student Peyton Kyer on his furry style - Menswear Mondays: Industrial dancer Jolt Holcomb on his Clockwork Orange style - Menswear Mondays: Graphic designer Vladimir Von shares his DIY style
Name: Brien Excell Hollowell.
Spotted at: Auraria campus.
Profession: I go to Metropolitan State University of Denver for business, and am starting my own clothing line, Jesus Pistols. I also draw and do black-and-white photography.
2013 jam: "Diamonds," by Rihanna.
Favorite film: I like Quentin Tarantino's films because he goes through the fire and is controversial.
Style inspirations/icons: Kanye West, and A$AP Rocky is an upcoming fashion icon. I always was inspired by glam rock like David Bowie and Queen growing up. I love the Roaring 1920s look, Michael Jackson and even the Power Rangers as fashion inspirations.
Favorite accessory: Chains. I always wear at least three chains at all times.
Favorite color: Red.
Style mantra: Fly by faith, not by flight.
Shops at: Thrift stores, art stores, even dumpster-diving. If it feels right, I'll get it and make it art. I even shop at H&M sometimes.
Hollowell wears a shell necklace as a headband, as well as dog tags that go with the military look and a rosary to add to the religious aspect. "I like to take everything, many genres, and blend it all together," says Hollowell.
Inside his bag are a couple of books: Vogue covers, A Visual Encyclopedia of Military Jackets and Hollowell's own sketchbook. There are also business cards, a prop Jesus pistol made from wood, and black Ray-Ban aviators.
A Denver native, Hollowell learned to sew as a teenager; he says men should put more effort into their appearance. "Look presentable at all times and dress for the occasion," he advises. "Even if you are having a bad day, looking good can make you feel better. Dress for success."
Looking at Hollowell's sketches, you can see the process of his ideas. "Every day is a fashion show," he says. "How you carry yourself and also what you put on the outside tells a little bit about what's on the inside. Right now, I'm really into the WWII jet pilot look clashed with 1980s punk rock."
Style analysis: Hollowell shows how blending clashing cultures like Jesus iconography with dangerous pistols can create a positive message. His clothing line positions fashion as religion, since we Americans are fixated on pop culture. And there's nothing wrong with worshiping fashion if it gives way to a more enlightened being, Hollowell says, explaining that Jesus Pistols is the spiritual anthrax to stop evil-doers.
Amen to fashion, Denver.
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