Q&A: HEX Co-Founder Trent Valladares Talks 2013 Spring Collection
With their new Spring/Summer collection being available this week, BallerStatus explores the story behind HEX's latest product line with the co-founder of the award-winning fashionable techcessories brand, Trent Valladares.
The new collection includes Axis Folio for iPad mini and hard shell cases for Macbook, both a perfect fit for those who favor prints and patterns. One half of the collection offers striped canvas with custom-print lined details, available for both iPhone and iPad; totes; and an assortment of the bags. If you're a more solid color person, the other half of the collection has Monaco blue and linen colorways, constructed in corduroy fabric.
How did the Spring collection come about?
Trent Valladares: We wanted something fresh that stayed true to our classic design vibe. So, we went with a cabana stripe for one group, as well as a micro-wale navy corduroy, and felt these really worked well.
What is your personal favorite item from the new collection?
I have two -- the new Cloak Backpack style I think is great; and I also am really feeling the hard shell cases for Macbook. They provide a very unique and tactile option that can truly personalize your laptop instead of just colored plastic shells.
In your opinion, what are the characteristics of good design?
It should not be forced. It should address a need in the simplest way possible. It should be timeless -- this is what can make something both look new and, at the same time, seem like it must have always existed.
How do you judge "success", in terms of design? Is it more rooted in functionality? Performance? Market acceptability?
We really start with whether or not we personally like how the design turned out. Would we use it? Does it make us feel good? If we are staying true to our design ethos, and we like it, then it usually works out pretty well.
Hex has collaborated with a few different partners over the past few years -- Supra, Far East Movement and The Hundreds, among others. Are there any companies that you'd like to work with in the future that you haven't worked with already?
Of course! There are many great companies out there that I think can fit nicely with what we are doing. We have a few great ones up our sleeves, so stay tuned.
Members of the HEX team include Far East Movement, Mike Mo Capaldi and 12th Planet. Can you speak a little about the team you've compiled?
Sure. I think more than a "team" in the traditional sense of the word, we look at our partners as just guys that are well respected, legit and talented at what they do. Our team actually digs HEX products and uses them and they actually all have a tech side to them, so they appreciate the functional aspects of our designs.
How would you define the direction of the brand?
The goal is always to stay true to our design direction. We want our products to be of the highest quality, feel and functionality. We find that the more we stay true to these directives, the more the brand brows.
What are your plans for expansion in design and business?
We are always looking at what's next. So, we have some great products and collections in the works. I don't think we are chasing expansion too much. We are trying to just keep doing what we are doing and see where it leads.