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Blog

  • Field Report: Grand Re-Opening Of FLW's Hollyhock House

    On Friday, February 13th, The Hollyhock House, designed by iconic architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, was opened for a unique 24 hour event titled #WrightAtNight. The LA Mayor, Press, and general public were all invited to enjoy this once in a lifetime opportunity to see the unveiling of the newly restored Hollyhock House. We were stoked to be able to cover this event as this specific house along with the other works from FLW stand out as timeless designs and are still respected today as true modern works of art.

    Hollyhock House

    History

    If you follow the life and works of Frank Lloyd Wright then you are familiar with the Hollyhock House in East Hollywood. It is a unique masterpiece designed using the Mayan Revival style found in a portion of FLW's works. Built in 1919-1921 as the personal residence of oil heiress Aline Barnsdall. Due to budget reasons, the full project was never fully completed. In 1946 Wright's son performed restorations to the house that were never appreciated as they did not keep to the original design planned by his father. Then again the house underwent a restoration after damage received from the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, opening in June 2005.

    In 2008 the property was submitted to the US National Park Service and designated as a World Heritage Site and soon underwent its most recent restoration proving to be the most meticulous in respect to taking the house back to its originally design and purpose.

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    The event was set to open at 4pm on Friday so as we arrived a few minutes early, we were greeted by a manageable line. Within minutes, the line began to grow as thousands of Angelino's began to arrive after their work day ended.

    We quickly learned that Mayor Eric Garcetti was running a bit late and that the tours would not begin until after the press event had wrapped up (and it hadn't even started yet)!

    Mayor Eric Garcetti along with members of the LA City Council

    As we waited for our tour to begin, we we took some moments to soak in the architecture as the sun lowered over the Westside.

    Frank Lloyd Wright's personal Bentley was on display near the front door of the house - not too shabby!

     

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    It was finally time for the tour to begin, we had waited in line for a few hours but as you will see in the following photos, it was worth the wait. Photography is normally disallowed in the house but for the grand opening, press and photographers were welcomed in.

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    There were a few guides to provide information on the restoration and history of the house as we toured the property. The dining room set seen above is the only original furniture to remain in the house. Off to the right you can see the kitchen where some of the cabinets are missing their doors.

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    A rare glimpse of a glass corner seen here on the left side. This technique was also famously used by Wright on Fallingwater.

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    The house was designed with a tunnel that would allow water to flow from the courtyard pool under the house, to the moat in front of the fireplace. Water would then continue to fountain on the northwest side of the property.

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    The library

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    Even the attention to detail on the door handles was impressive.

    It was a great night for the city of Los Angeles and for the preservation of modern design. We want to send a big thanks to the Mayor and the city for undertaking the restoration and allowing us to be apart of this grand opening....And to CoolHaus for the ice cream.

    View more photos from the evening by searching the hashtag #wrightatnight.

    The Hollyhock House can be toured daily. For more information, visit the Barnsdall Art Park Foundation website.

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  • Field Report: KITH Pops Up For "West Coast Project"

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    Ronnie Fieg and his style juggernaut, KITH were at it again last Friday opening a pop-up on Abbot Kinney in Venice.  The event marked the release of Ronnie's collaboration with Asics, dubbed the West Coast Project.

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    The space, imagined by Bang 3 Design, looked incredible in shades of blue, white and silver.

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    As you would expect from a KITH release, the line formed the night before and stretched around the block.  It still dragged way down the street when we arrived for our personal tour of the shop.

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    I must say that the shoes, themselves, are definitely worth the wait.  Ronnie's vision for the rebirth of the Gel-Sights comes in two colorways, dubbed Atlantic and Pacific.  I copped a pair of the Pacific's, myself. So get your hands on a pair of these!  The buzz was big and Ronnie delivered once again on the expectation.

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    HEX Co-Founder, Dan Maravilla checking out the new kicks

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    Dan Maravilla and Thomas Cykana, KITH

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  • Ghost Writer: Brian Kachinsky - Bikes Over Baghdad

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    We first met Brian Kachinsky a fews years back at Woodward West.  We liked his vibe and style, and he liked our gear so it was pretty easy to get along.  Brian calls downtown Chicago home, but his second home is wherever his suitcase happens to lay at any given moment. He has been in the BMX game for a while and is still riding as hard as ever. Known for his unique and aggressive approach to street riding, Brian has traveled all around the world and ridden in some of the most obscure, and often forbidden, locations on the planet. Brian has been a long-time friend of Hex, but once the backpack comes off, it’s game on.  We hope you enjoy Brian's exclusive words and pictures below as he tells about his involvement with Bikes Over Baghdad in support of our troops overseas.

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    Sometimes traveling is war.  Delays, sleepless nights, waiting in lines, navigating an unfamiliar land, lost baggage, language barriers, the list goes on.  In the past two weeks I have flown over 14,000 miles and, as I sit in this hotel on a rainy day in London, I am counting down the hours until my flight home to Chicago tomorrow.  Just prior to this, I was in the Middle East on a tour called “Bikes Over Baghdad” whose main mission is to assemble BMX riders to go boost morale for the troops out fighting a real war.

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    The Middle East is an interesting place.  While there is a lot of turmoil, it’s always amazing to me how many calm, peaceful people you meet along the way.  Bringing BMX closer to the front lines of these conflicts is something we’ve been doing every year since 2009 and is something we enjoy doing.  The sacrifice we make by bringing ourselves into this seemingly dangerous situation is something we do on a daily basis riding BMX anyways so, in a way, it’s a logical combination since the troops over there have a similar mindset.

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    I think that mindset, however, is misunderstood.  BMXers, much like the vast majority of troops and Middle Eastern people we have met along the way, aren’t just blood thirsty adrenaline junkies.  We are just normal people who have the same desire for excitement and happiness as everyone else around the world.  Throughout these journeys and travels I have come to find that 99.9% of people are good.  People, in general, usually have the best intentions and are willing to help out.  This mindset can be seen in something as small as helping you pick up a quarter you dropped out of your pocket, or as big as helping another country get back on their feet after a hardship.  The majority of troops we have met fit this mold.  They are normal people from all different backgrounds who happen to do an abnormal job.  I’m fortunate to have seen this firsthand.

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    Even though I wish war didn’t exist, I am more than happy to join with my friends to make others smile, laugh and enjoy life.  Even if this moment of entertainment is a finite period of time, the feeling resonates for much longer.  The feeling of helping others is always just as rewarding as when others help you in times of need.  You don’t need to go to travel to the Middle East to achieve this (but if you have the chance to check out this or any foreign land, I would suggest it).  This can be achieved everyday at home.  Open a door for a stranger, help someone with their luggage, give someone a couple of your french fries at lunch, or just simply smile.  If we all did, then the world would be a better and more peaceful place. These small things will add up to big changes.

    - Brian Kachinsky

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    Follow Brian on twitter and instagram at @bkachinsky and facebook.

  • Billabong Pipeline Masters - When Dreams Become Reality

    Hawaiian Surfing Hexploration
    Upon my return from the two and a half week odyssey that embodied a videographer, surfer and entrepreneur's journey of self worth at surfing’s proving grounds I realized the significance of the events that had taken place. The road less traveled was upon me, a dream turned reality after that one wave, that one clip and that one event. I personally, had realized the childhood dream of charging Pipeline and my buddy was there to capture it. In reflection, how many people actually get to realize their dreams at the Super Bowl of surfing while history is made in the backdrop by one Gabriel Medina?

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    #HEXplore Hawaii

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    Rad bridge in Haleiwa Hawaii

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    North Shore Bike Path

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    Nick Surfing An Epic Pipeline

    The Youngest Brazilian Surfing Champion
    With the door wide open after fellow Brazilian Alejo Muniz knocked out 42 year old contender Kelly Slater the smell of victory was in the air. One down, one to go... World Surf League number two, Mick Fanning of Australia was grinding it out for a hopeful fourth world title but it was crystal clear in the performance and the energy that this day was already written before anyone paddled out. The first Brazilian was destined to win the WSL World Tour of Surfing's greatest achievement, a WCT Championship and do so confidently at the world's deadliest wave. After dropping excellent scores on nearly every wave Gabriel had the title in his sights and nobody was going to stop him. It felt like I was at a soccer match as hundreds of Brazilian fans dawned flags, surfboards, towels, sarongs, bikinis and shirts screaming vai Medina! Moments before he clinched the world title a flog of fans charged the shoreline filling the sea with yellow and green as they made sure their champion’s feet wouldn’t touch the sand while they carried him up the beach in kingship fashion. Vai Medina!

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    Medina With His Trophy

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    North Shore Celebrations

    No Longer Dreaming
    "I've been dreaming of this moment my whole life and now I can stop dreaming, it's a reality!" the 20 year old prodigy said. On that day he matched Kelly Slater as the youngest surfer to ever win a WCT Championship. Lastly, that moment, the impending championship had increasing significance because it stoked the passion and fervor of the probable Brazilian Storm that will likely follow. Gabriel wore the weight of a country on his shoulders and it showed physically and presently in the water. Medina accomplished what no other Brazilian had before him, he became the best surfer in the world and now, he’s no longer dreaming about it.

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    Brasilian Flag

    Nick Mohnacky BioNicholas Mohnacky - HEX Ambassador
    Through a combination of great values, ability, creativity, networking and focus, Nicholas Mohnacky has amassed an impressive body of work while partnering or working with some of the world's largest technology and media companies like: Zynga, Yahoo, Tribune and Cox. Nicholas is a surfer, videographer and tech entrepreneur currently working on his startup Surfr App. Surfr is like Yelp for surfers, featuring 9,000 surf spots, restaurants and hostels around the world.

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    @surfrapp on Instagram & Twitter

  • Spring 2015 Lookbook

    Check out the latest from HEX in our Spring 2015 Lookbook that just dropped!

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  • Angelino Heights - LA's Oldest Suburb

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    While living in a major city, it is easy to overlook the history. Los Angeles is the 2nd biggest city in the US, one full of opportunity and ideas, huge buildings and modern homes. It’s easy to fall in love with LA, everything is appealing: the weather, the location, the culture and the lifestyle. I moved here from Chicago over four years ago and I was instantly hooked. After living in different areas around the city, my girlfriend and I got lucky and stumbled upon a quiet neighborhood just east of Echo Park called Angelino Heights.

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    Those who are familiar with Los Angeles and its neighborhoods know that Echo Park used to be one of the worst areas in the city. It has since gone through a ton of changes and now is a popular and trendy area with a completely remodeled park/lake, amazing views of the city, and great restaurants and nightlife.

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    We weren’t sure what we were getting into, since we were both unfamiliar with the neighborhood, but we were in for quite the surprise. Angelino Heights was everything we wanted it to be, quiet, friendly, scenic and right next to downtown. The Victorian homes and steep hills made us feel more like we were living in San Francisco.

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    Angelino Heights was created at the height of the Southern California land boom of the mid 1880s. The elevation of the hill offered an amazing city view and a quiet suburban atmosphere for the upper middle class residents. A cable car was located right off Temple Street and could bring residents downtown within minutes. Plans for the 101 Freeway started in 1924 and its construction went on for years, stretching through the Cahuenga Pass to Studio City. The 101 tore Angelino Heights in half, and a bridge was built from Edgeware Street across the 101 to Temple Street. This gave the neighborhood it's tombstone-looking shape and brought a rush of new residents to the area.

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    During the banking recession of 1888 construction of the heights stopped, which formed the Victorian island of houses that can still be seen today. From 1900 on, higher density housing surfaced and homes were turned to apartments. In 1970 many of the Victorian houses and historical structures were restored and in August 1983, Angelino Heights was declared the city’s first Historic Preservation Overlay Zone. What this means is, you can’t make changes to a historical house, can't renovate without extensive approvals,  and any new houses in the zone must be built using the same architecture and materials as the original antique homes.

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    The highest concentration of preserved Queen Anne-Eastlake Victorian homes are on Carroll Avenue, although you can find them scattered throughout the neighborhood.

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    These beautiful houses have a view of the LA skyline from their back windows...talk about property value!

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    Historical artifacts such as this horse tie-up and boot scraping block can still be seen on Carroll Avenue today.

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    Someone needs to refurbish this beauty. I believe it is for sale, but I can't imagine the asking price...

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    The street is full of amazing houses, that have been restored and taken care of over the years. While living here, we would always see movies being filmed. The film industry loves this neighborhood and you can see these beautiful houses in tons of movies and TV shows. Some well known examples are: Mad Men, Deuce Bigalow, Charmed, Grandma’s Boy, Fast & Furious and Michael Jackson's Thriller video.

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    A scene from Mad Men (below) looking back on chararcter Don Draper's childhood house (shown above today).

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    3P1A0168The "Thriller" House today (above) and from 1982 (below) in Michael Jackson's famous 15 minute music video.

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    The house used in Grandma's Boy (above) was used throughout the movie and made it onto the cover (below).

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    This neighborhood truly is a hidden gem. We lived in the only actual apartment building in the heights. There are plenty of houses that act as multi-unit apartments, but this was the only four-story apartment building. It backed right up to the 101 and had one of the best roof views I have ever seen. I spent more time on the roof than in my apartment! The view was spectacular and I saw some incredible sunsets against the beautiful skyline. Being minutes from downtown and living across from one of the best schoolyards in the city made for some amazing skateboarding.

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    If you are ever in the Silverlake or Echo Park area, head east of the park on Bellvue and cruise up Douglas. If you are going east on Sunset, turn right on Douglas. Definitely check this neighborhood out and take in the view from Carroll and Edgeware. You won’t see a lot of “for rent” signs, as these apartments go fast. For more information, history and some super old photos of Angelino Heights, check out: http://historicechopark.org/id58.html

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