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Runway Tunes: Timo Weiland Gets Vocal About Hip-Hop

Alan Eckstein, and the duo behind Timo Weiland

Jack and Lazaro. Kate and Laura. Karl and Choupette. Two is often better than one when it comes to fashion design, and if you needed another case of stylish proof, just turn to this perfect pairing. Alan Eckstein and Timo Weiland, the cofounders behind the brand, hit it off when they met while interning in the fashion industry. Their mutual love for stand-out dressing paid off, too, as their collections are among the most colorful and attention-grabbing that hit the runway each season, and one we’d (totally) have our red carpet moment in.

With one nabbing a minor in vocal performance back in college and the other head-over-heels in love with jazz, it’s no surprise that both of the boys are nuts about music. But Alan? If Timo’s at marrying-Kevin-Federline on the Britney Scale of Crazy, Alan is full-blown, shaved-head, car-destroying Brit Brit, in the best way possible. Naturally, Alan took us through the ins and outs of their upcoming season’s playlist, even letting us in on the best runway song of all time, the Dior show that changed everything, and the adorable, jazz-loving weekend ritual he had while growing up in Long Island. With a love for Wu Tang, The Strokes, and an up-and-coming Brit you may not have heard of, it’s no surprise these guys come up with such stellar styles.

Tell us about what music you’re using for this season.
The soundtrack to me is the most important thing. I’m crazy about it. I’ve collaborated a lot with one of my childhood friends, Omri Esquire, He’s a DJ that I grew up with in Long Island. We’re just going down that path and we’re working with Timothee Verrecchia, Adrien Cothier and Spank Rock. But Timothee is someone that I wanted to work with for a really long time. He’s amazing. We’re all picking and choosing together as a collaborative project.

What kind of tunes are you sourcing?
We’re using some old-school hip-hop, we used some modern hip-hop, and then we’re creating some instrumentals from the band Actress. They’re a U.K. band. Actress is awesome.

Is there anything you’ve heard from the way it’s coming together that you’re particularly excited about?
I love this sixteen-year-old Archy Marshall, he goes by the name King Krule — I think he’s the coolest. I just love his music so much, but it’s a little downtempo for the show. I’m trying to include this sample from when he went by Zoo Kid, he had a song called “Ocean Bed.” It’s me and my girlfriend’s favorite song, so I’m trying to sneak it in there!

Would you say that you’re the music end of the partnership?
Timo and I met over music. I’m just crazy about it. I remember when I first got into fashion, and I was considering a career and building up my passion for it, I remember Dior 2007 [and its collaboration] with These New Puritans, which is a U.K.-based band. They’re classically trained musicians and they have this song called “Navigate, Navigate“, and I thought that was, like, the coolest runway piece ever. That was some really sexy shit right there. In fact, Timothee [and I], who we’re working with this year, sourced that together at the same time as the ‘ultimate runway song.’ Timothee’s worked with Hedi [Slimane]. So, that’s kind of come full circle, I guess.

Is there any song you’ve used in seasons past that sticks out to you as something you discovered and loved?
There are a couple, actually. Panda Bear’s song “Last Night at the Jetty” that we used for two seasons, actually, when The Strokes [newest album] came out, “Under Cover Of Darkness” off the Angles CD, it came out a week before our show and we put that at the end of the show. That was exciting.

Are you a big hip-hop fan? Have you liked hip-hop forever?
Really, I’m just a big music fan. I studied jazz history in school, so that was my thing. I think the first music I really grabbed onto and had an obsession about was hip-hop. I remember I was in sixth grade, someone gave me Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), and I was like ‘This shit is so dangerous!’ And I was a little Jewish kid on Long Island, I tried to put it in my mom’s car while she was driving me to school, and she yelled at me about it. She was like, ‘This is so crazy! So much cursing! Oh my God! This is terrible!’ and I think from then on, I loved it. I loved it so much.

And what about your jazz background?
I used to go to Bleecker Bob’s. My favorite thing to do on the weekends when I was a freshman in high school, or sophomore, I’d get a fake ID or try to buy a beer or something and go to Bleecker Bob’s and buy jazz records. I used to go to shows at Smalls every weekend. I’m just a really big music fan. You know, my jazz friends just love jazz. And some of my hip-hop friends just love hip-hop.