Editor’s note; Don’t miss the Adult ENT Wine and Weed soiree (free wine and dab bar) on Friday, April 21st at Knew Conscious Gallery. Purchase tickets here.
By: Ru Johnson
Photos by: Justin Day
The air above us was hazy with smoke, stemless wine glasses scattered empty across the table before us and the remnants of our seconds gone giggles played their last echo. The man of the hour hunkered down close to the table and lowered his voice saying, “you know what phrase I just heard applied to me recently?”
I peeked at my homegirl across the table and gave her a wink and we said in unison:
He responded, “bedroom eyes,” before blowing a cloud of marijuana smoke into the air. I caught the look on my homegirl’s face and we both burst out laughing confirming the sentiment that yup, we were absolutely smitten with the evening’s happenings. Totally in love, even.
There’s a new crop of superstars fertilizing the grounds in Denver, Colorado, and they’re mixing the elements of fashion, music, branding and charisma into one massive entertainment market. Their ideas are fresh, new and unbothered by the tired gaze of disillusionment within the industry.
Brands are more innovative, independent and willing to push the limits of the conventional perspective. At the forefront of this independent revival and rebirth of “cool,” is Pines, creative director and founder of Adult ENT.
I heard about the Adult ENT launch party after seeing Blake Jackson’s photos from the event and was drawn in by the storyline. Adult entertainment, the homies and Blake Jackson behind the lens? I needed to know more so I shot Pines a short and proper DM to pique his interest, he responded in kind with a cheeky and engaging email and we decided to meet for wine.
Pines’ story doesn’t start with cliche’d anecdotes about stealing time to fuck with his Aunt’s sewing machine and making some wild creation everyone loved. Nor does it plateau with getting caught in an elevator with the designer at Givenchy and boom, overnight success, or some other sort of antics.
The Kansas City, Missouri native has simply always had wild style. Coming from a family of tough men (“my dad and my family, they’re all hood niggas,” he says with a laugh), Pines’ own style was driven from eccentricity of the music era.
“I’m from the Cudi era, where he was really the voice of what we were going through and also the style we embodied. A lot of niggas liked the pieces I wore, but they didn’t like how I put it together. I’d wear like this really dope shirt and pair it with shorts because I’m comfortable. A lot of artists with notoriety made that style more accessible for people,” he explains.
More than the clothing and outfits Pines’ rocked throughout high school (at this point living in Denver and attending Smoky Hill High School), people were attracted to the way he showcased his style with his persona. The man wearing the clothes and not the clothes wearing the man, if you will.
In a stroke of “everything happens for a reason,” after being in a car accident with a friend of his, they began utilizing the light rail in Denver as a method of transportation and developed “Bogus Photos.” a brief photo essay project meant to highlight making cool shit without expensive equipment, the “transit boys” and their idea took off. On another level “Bogus Photos” was a personal mission statement for Pines as an individual brand.
“I always had a tiny aspiration of being the ugly model, you know? Like something you’re not used to seeing and that challenges unconventional perspectives on beauty. So we’d just take pictures with our iPhones and put them through editing. I kept telling the homies, it’s gonna be corny for like one or two months cause you’re taking pictures of the homies but just trust me,” Pines’ says with a laugh.
The photo series took on a life of its own and the guys eventually went into plugging brand “Mishka” in their photos, as Pines’ had always been a fan of the company. A chance conversation with a rep from the company garnered an internship, an entire look book of Pines’ as featured model, and more than a pocketful of information on how to change the game.
Fast forward six or seven months after his return to Denver, with a self-titled collection release under his belt, they met the demand with ultimate supply, selling out of all the pieces before taking the brand development to the mattresses to re-vamp the image.
“The best part of throwing events with the release of a collection is the hand to hand transactions. I think that’s why people are also into buying things at events because they can meet us and feel the personality of the brand. We’re going to have that online dominance as well but what sets us a part is the experience for the buyer.”
And so, Adult ENT was born. It’s ironic that Pines’ calls the creative process of developing the brand a “rebirth,” because the sentiment and two-fold marketing model is essentially based on the full spectrum of being an adult.
“The people who Adult ENT is for are the working class. The creatives who still have a day job. Whether they just shot a high profile client, or produced an amazing event, and they still gotta clock in the next day. The Adult ENT side represents your vices and your releases. All the shit you do to get through this. That’s the backbone of what we’re about.”
By the time we’d gotten to the ‘bedroom eyes’ joke, Pines had given us a crash course in the Chinese Year of the Monkey, captured us with a story about smoking weed in one of the Dakotas and listened so intently to our reactions, for a minute I felt like the one being interviewed.
One of my other homegirls joined the fray, she, laughing, making jokes about Future and also falling under the spell of our nights’ creative director. After the final round of wine that definitely turned out to be the round too many, we hugged, exchanged Instagram follows and he made sure to confirm our attendance at the Adult ENT Weed and Wine party this Friday night.
At this point, we would have followed Pines and his bedroom eyes to the fucking moon. He gave us another nod from under his dad hat and we watched as he peeled off down the street on his bike. Walking to the car with my friend Karma Leigh I said, “so do you want to go to that party on Friday?” She looked at me knowingly and nodded slowly saying, “definitely.”
Pines Instagram: @hurtpines
Pines Twitter: @HurtPines
Adult ENT Instagram: @adult.ent
Join the #AdultCult on the three day tour. Check the haps below.