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November 25, 2013

In Studio With… Field Scout


Photo Credit: Mor Weizman

Editors' Notes

Ryan Hartman of Field Scout in his downtown L.A. studio.

Photo Credit: Mor Weizman

Editors' Notes

Sketches at Field Scout's downtown L.A. studio.

Photo Credit: Mor Weizman

Editors' Notes

Sketches at Field Scout's downtown L.A. studio.

Photo Credit: Mor Weizman

Editors' Notes

Ryan Hartman of Field Scout in his downtown L.A. studio.

Photo Credit: Mor Weizman

Editors' Notes

Field Scout's downtown L.A. studio.

Photo Credit: Mor Weizman

Editors' Notes

Field Scout's downtown L.A. studio.

Photo Credit: Mor Weizman

Editors' Notes

Field Scout's downtown L.A. studio.

Photo Credit: Mor Weizman

Editors' Notes

Fabric swatches at Field Scout's downtown L.A. studio.

Photo Credit: Mor Weizman

Editors' Notes

Field Scout's downtown L.A. studio.

Photo Credit: Mor Weizman

Editors' Notes

Ryan Hartman of Field Scout with his dog Luna in his downtown L.A. studio.

Photo Credit: Mor Weizman

Editors' Notes

Field Scout's downtown L.A. studio.

Photo Credit: Mor Weizman

Editors' Notes

Field Scout's downtown L.A. studio.

Photo Courtesy of Field Scout

Editors' Notes

A look from Field Scout's fall '13 collection.

Photo Courtesy of Field Scout

Editors' Notes

A look from Field Scout's spring '14 collection.

Photo Courtesy of Field Scout

Editors' Notes

A look from Field Scout's spring '14 collection.

Photo Courtesy of Field Scout

Editors' Notes

A look from Field Scout's spring '14 collection.

Photo Courtesy of Field Scout

Editors' Notes

A look from Field Scout's spring '14 collection.

Every season, Ryan Hartman of menswear line Field Scout focuses on a particular global region, and the place influences the textures and colors of the new collection. Coordinates for the geographic region are even stitched into garments in the line that is packaged and shipped inside Hartman’s downtown L.A. studio and warehouse. The backstory is a telltale sign of the designer’s attention to detail. “One of my theories,” he says, “is that the inside of a garment should look better than the outside.” He points to a simple blazer in his fall ’13 collection (inspired by the Pacific Northwest of Ireland). “Every seam is taped, the fabric is designed and made in Japan. It’s our version of an unstructured blazer,” says the Venice resident. Hartman layers it over a sweatshirt and under a coat. “It’s all extremely adaptable, for the modern mobile man,” he adds.

Hartman founded Field Scout, a utilitarian line of sportswear with a dash of military tailoring, in 2010. He says a Native American field scout functioned as a protector and leader, and Hartman’s own adventures into the wilds also inspire his designs. Indeed, Hartman grew up surfing in Oxnard, as well as hiking and backpacking around the world. “Half the fun is heading somewhere new, figuring out the language, the food, the culture,” Hartman notes. After a childhood spent in Southern California, he ended up in San Francisco where he tended bar and stumbled upon Rolo, the famed men’s clothing boutique. “It was the first time I’d seen modern minimalism,” he says. He took a job there and “fell in love with the Belgian Six, Veronique Branquinho, Raf Simons, Helmut Lang.”

Thirteen years later, now steeped in the fashion business, Hartman found himself back in L.A. by default. “I wanted to be able to produce in the U.S., to account for how things are made and sold.” He found manufacturers downtown, and his team does all the packing and shipping of designs in-house. “I can control recycling and reusing that way,” he explains. Hartman estimates that he currently produces about 85-percent of his clothes in America. He also designs accessories such as knit beanies that are crafted by people he’s met on his far-flung travels, including Peruvian knitters. “The hats are made by Incan ladies I met on a surf trip,” says Hartman. For spring ’14, Hartman is looking to Morocco. The coming collection is filling his studio with khaki in various colors of sand, and shirts that reference the convergence of the Mediterranean and Atlantic Oceans and the region’s famed tile patterns. “A sense of place gives things a heart and soul,” says Hartman.

By Elizabeth Varnell

 

Pictured: Ryan Hartman of Field Scout in his downtown L.A. studio.
Photo by Mor Weizman

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