At Home With...John Frierson
Since 1961, Fred Segal has been defining Californian style. The iconic Sunset Boulevard store opened its doors to the first ever international Browns Nomad pop-up at the beginning of September, launching an eight-week British invasion in Los Angeles. We caught up with Fred Segal President, JOHN FRIERSON at his home in LA to get the low down on our new neighbourhood.
How would you sum up what you do in a sentence?
I’m the mayor of Fred Segal.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A rock star.
What did you do on your last day off?
I was on an island in Maine with my family doing as close to nothing as possible and loving being together.
Who do you most admire?
My wife. She’s the Creative Director at Creative Artists Agency. It's a super hard job and she is always poised and smart and creative.
What's the last dream that you can remember having?
It had something to do with Gal Gadot. Actually, a lot to do with her.
If you could do anything without fear of repercussion, what would you do?
Live off the grid somewhere where there is no outside noise except for nature, I really crave this. And I would probably drink Sake for breakfast lunch and dinner. Maybe overthrow the US government.
If you could find out the answer to any question in the world what would you ask and why?
The secret to truly sustainable energy, because I have two beautiful daughters and I want them to have a beautiful life.
In the movie of your life who would you choose to play yourself and your romantic other?
Maybe Borns could play the younger me? With Gal Gadot.
What’s the most exciting thing about the fashion industry today?
People care about the makers, about the art and craft of fashion and how it makes them feel. This is different from the marketing-led fashion world of recent history. And this makes it much more about the people and doing business together as people.
Describe yourself in three words…
Petite, giant, hungry.
What’s the most surprising thing we’d find out if we looked at your phone?
That its tiny. I think it’s an iPhone 5.
Currently, its Talia by King Princess.
One thing you can’t live without?
My New Yorker. I’m a total insomniac and it’s been a constant companion in the middle of the night for over 30 years.
What was your first job?
I started playing in a band when I was 14 and I actually made money doing that. Once I moved to NY, I was busing tables at night for cash and I started my own creative/design agency during the day. So, I never had a real employer other than myself until I was in my forties.
The best advice you've ever been given?
My dad used to say “always put the rotten side down” which was about using existing materials while still caring about the aesthetics. He built an amazing cabin on a lake with mostly found materials. And I think sustainability and design need to go hand-in-hand.
Who’s the coolest person you know?
Do I have to answer that? Diane Keaton. I love her!
What do you consider to be true Californian style?
There’s no seasons, no rules. California is all about freedom. People live uniquely and love freely. But it’s surprisingly hard to get the right mix - vintage and lifestyle driven pieces, denim to athleisure, or a hero sneaker. You have to live it, break it in and find luxe in the simplest of pieces. A lot of which you already own.
What’s your favourite thing about London style?
London is unabashedly face forward, they put colour and style and tailoring together in ways that are totally fearless. Most of the world second guesses itself but London is fearless.
What’s been your biggest fashion faux pas?
When I first moved to NYC I bought a brand new “overcoat” in a store uptown. It was a woven mauve-ish fuzzy thing with a belt and it hung way below my knees. It took me about one day to know it was wrong. But I still can’t get that day out of my head.
Your house is burning what do you save?
We were evacuated last year in the LA fires. My wife was out of town and it was 5am, and all I took was my daughters and the dog. And we were actually so happy to just all be safely together that day. I did grab the hard disc with photos of our life together. I’m just not very materialistic.
What are your favourite LA hangouts?
Fred Segal is by far the most fun place to hang out in LA. It’s like a nightclub during the day with a crazy mix of characters. And I like Solstice Canyon for hiking, the Hollywood Bowl in the summer, Rustic Canyon with the kids, maybe the beach.
What advice would you give to your teenage self?
Think before you jump. And buy some Apple stock.
If you want to really impress someone where would you take them for dinner in LA?
Our new restaurant Tesse is one of the hottest food places in LA right now. It has a two-star Michelin chef using California ingredients. Its got a great vibe and our store is open late at night. Sushi Park is a classic LA strip mall place with amazing food. You just can’t believe it exist where it does. So, I love to surprise people there.
Who would you most like to be stuck in an elevator with and why?
King Princess. So, I could tell my two daughters I was hanging out with them.
If we forced you to name drop, what story would you tell?
I worked at CAA for 10 years and now at Fred Segal where celebrity happens every day and I don't even know where to start.
Sum up the Fred Segal loves Browns collaboration in five words…
Love, supercool, transformative, fun, togetherness.
Photographer: Jonathan Middleton
Stylist: Sally Bottomley