Dylan Richards and Sebastian Hunt saw eye to eye the moment they met at 17 years old. The New Zealand-born and raised creatives yearned to be anywhere but home, where support for their vision was scarce. Despite the limitations in resources and opportunities, the synergy between Dylan’s attention to detail and Sebastian’s devil-may-care attitude eventually made its way to Los Angeles where they were scouted to work alongside Kanye West as YEEZY’s ghost stylists in 2015. Now over half a decade later, while a lot has changed – not only in terms of the duo’s work – the mindset that bonded them together eleven years ago proved to be unwavering with the birth of their fashion label, Entire Studios.
Founded in 2020, Entire Studios follows an ethos of accessible luxury aesthetics and high-quality simple designs. Such a holistic approach reflects Dylan and Sebastian’s experience in styling for editorial and personalities; while the former let their imaginations run wild, the latter holds them accountable to understand individual preferences.
From styling A-listers to achieving instantaneous sell-outs of the brand’s first collection, the pair are living their ultimate fashion industry dream. Yet, they’re as grounded as ever: making do with distance and time difference – with Dylan in Los Angeles and Sebastian in New Zealand – and continuously releasing designs aimed at catering to every person.
HYPEBEAST recently connected with the two Kiwi stylists-turned-entrepreneurs, with the pair opening up about challenges through their journey and transitions between different roles, the mindsets that have gotten them this far, and how they want to continue growing as a brand.
Given you grew up in New Zealand, then moved to LA, what cultural influences made your work different from people you worked with?
Sebastian: We’ve got a particular preference for what we want everything to look like because we’ve worked so hard to get here. Dylan and I spent a couple of years really focusing on trying to build our images even though we weren’t making money nor getting jobs because it was just about working until we had a future overseas. We tried to avoid commercial clothes in New Zealand by going through thrift stores and sharing things we make on our Instagram/portfolio, which was how we got scouted to go to LA. It wasn’t an overnight thing, and I feel like people who are in fashion in New Zealand don’t usually go that far.
Dylan: We did a lot of problem-solving to accomplish the kind of work people were interested in despite not having access to fashion houses to pull resources from, so being in New Zealand gave us the mentality to think outside the box. I’m glad that we started without social connections to someone who designs at this place or someone’s family who owns that brand because we had to put in that extra mile to showcase the level of work we were capable of. Being particular has helped boost our brand this fast.
What were defining moments when you felt you were breaking boundaries and getting reactions?
Dylan: Getting scouted to move to LA to work in the styling team. It showed that something we were doing must have been breaking boundaries to some degree because we were just two young kids from New Zealand; it was like getting picked up in a haystack. From that day onwards, we evolved. It wasn’t only about proving to people who didn’t believe in us, it was also proving to ourselves that we were able to accomplish something so big.
Sebastian: Another moment was it being a significant risk for us to stop styling and start a brand, not knowing whether it would work out. We started with three puffers and were hoping they would sell out in two weeks, but then they sold out in two hours. So accomplishing a straightaway sell-out was huge since we worked so hard towards that moment whether we realized it or not. And we were able to do something that made everyone recognize what Entire Studios is.
What was it like when you first started working with "big names?" Was there any pressure because your styling work would reach millions of people?
Dylan: I like that we got thrown into a deep end where there’s a bigger platform to put our work on, even if we’re going to get criticized. Yes, there is pressure, but pressure is good honestly. It’s crappy when you see people disagreeing with your work but the positives of getting more feedback outweigh the negatives, so we kind of ignore it.
Sebastian: I don’t easily get offended by criticism, but it’s a lot of pressure being on that kind of platform and even having our brand because everything’s out in the world. We’re going to get comments regardless but it’s not anything we take to heart because I feel like as long as we‘re following our vision, it’s coming from our hearts and minds, and it’s doing well for the brand, then that’s what’s most important.
In terms of qualities like personality and mindset -- how do you complement each other?
Sebastian: Dylan’s much more of a work-non-stop, working at night, like Seb-why-aren’t-you-working vibes, which is good because it pushes me. I try not to stress over the little things so I can help Dylan get things done when he’s stressed about a situation.
Sometimes it’s so difficult dealing with both of us, but it’s just like any duo, there’s always going to be fights and disagreements but it’s worked this far. We like to figure out how to work together to make things exactly how we want rather than be the kind of yes-man that just agrees with the other. We've been through so many different experiences together, that I'd say, if we can deal with being 22 and figuring out how to order food in America with no money, we can build systems together.
Dylan: Our different personalities really balance each other out. When I’m purely focused on making something the best thing ever, it can get quite tense. And because Seb is a very humorous kind of person, he knows how to lighten the energy.
Seb and I are almost polar opposites, which has helped us land in every situation we’ve had on top of our skill sets. We have entirely different opinions on almost everything, but it pushes us to find ways around things. Instead of having two of the same person, it benefits having different perspectives.
You went from being stylists to entrepreneurs; what was the transition like?
Sebastian: Luckily, Dylan's high school friend works in production, so he offered to direct us in the right way. We ended up hiring him full-time and he’s helped us a lot.
I'm learning how to operate a brand that’s doing well with money circulating because I’m interested in what it takes to run and make a business as big as we can. Dylan keys all the designs, and we've just got someone else on board who will assist him in more technical designs.
It gets challenging because it's escalated so quickly with serious things like taxes and big invoices. When I get stressed, I think, "This is what I signed up for, so I need to learn quickly and figure it out." It's good that we're getting overloaded with work and orders because it means we’re doing well and we don't want something slow-paced.
Dylan: Seb and I've luckily built up good friends and good contacts having worked on the fashion stuff for a minute now so we have a good surrounding of people who know a bunch of dos and don'ts which has helped us a lot.
Because of how fast everything's escalating, we have a new celebrity, a new wholesaler, or a new publication hitting us up every day, which is such a great issue to run into but as Seb said, it's getting quite intense. It doesn't leave us much room for trial and error in creative vision.
Entire Studios’ brand purpose states that it will "cater to every person -- irrespective of age, gender or body type" -- how do you hope to promote this?
Sebastian: Right now, we don’t have millions of dollars to do everything, so it’s more focusing on introducing the brand and setting the tone of what the vision is. We try to do as much as possible with being accessible, functional, and well-designed. The end goal is to branch out to be a very inclusive brand that the entire world could wear.
Dylan: It’s a lot of trial and error because it’s the brand’s early days. Entire will become more welcoming to every person with time as we inject different sections into the brand. We went from one jacket to dresses, trousers, vests, and other jackets, and then we brought in our sweats so that we can cater to people with an effortless, everyday style, or the person who wants to go out wearing a dress.
Can you elaborate on quality, design, functionality, and accessibility and how the brand meets the four pillars?
Sebastian: We set those four points because a lot of brands don’t necessarily cover all of them, but they’re important. In terms of quality, we made a 600-loft down fill for the PFD jacket, which is the same as your standard North Face. Accessibility-wise, they tend to sell out fast, so we’re still working on that, but we made them as affordable as possible so they won’t break the bank while still being high quality.
Dylan: Everything about the PFD has ticked all the boxes. With the HBX drop, we used the heaviest fleece and we thought carefully about the cuts, proportions, and silhouettes. I’m constantly battling with our team to lower the price point because Seb and I relate to the accessibility part of not having heaps of money growing up. We didn’t have access to half the things we wanted fashion-wise because we couldn’t afford it, so we try to make our brand as accessible as possible.
What can we expect going forward for Entire Studios?
Sebastian: We have our third main collection and swim capsule coming out a couple of weeks apart. We’re introducing our sweatsuits as blanks in cool colors; new styles of puffer jackets that we haven’t done; and new fabrics that we’re working with. We are trying to elevate every collection.
Dylan: We just put out drop 2.5 which was a nice injection before we go big. Drop 3 is an extensive collection and then the swim capsule will be another smaller release after. There’s always gonna be new colors.
How do you want to challenge yourselves moving forward?
Sebastian: Every day, we’re challenging ourselves. We wake up and there’s a new thing we have to deal with, accomplish and overcome.
Dylan: It’s an ever-going challenge because we have to try to outdo our last. We need to get our thinking cap on and think about what to do differently. Even with the PFD puffer, there were all these things that bugged me the more I saw it on people. So with the HBX drop, we came back with the fixed-up version with a few minor changes of the proportions, a little exaggeration of some sections, and the arm zips removed. I want to continue improving everything and the PFD puffer jacket is in a place that I'm very happy with now.