Recently, I discovered Stoned Immaculate, an online clothing store that immediately captured my interest with a super-cool, retro vibe. I guess that’s because I’m (partly at least) a Modern-Day Hippie, the buyer persona that Stoned Immaculate’s Creative director Elliot Hans targets.
I interviewed Elliott to learn about his business. But first, here is a description of what he is capturing in the clothing designs.
"A 70's love child born in Topanga Canyon, Stoned Immaculate echoes California's golden era and our deep appreciation for all things vintage, Stoned Immaculate is crafted in small batches sustainably and ethically made close to our hearts with passionate attention to quality, detail & attaining the perfect fit.
We’re inspired by a culture of freedom, beauty, and sovereign expression while playing in the unified field of consciousness and love. We reflect the golden era of Now and the gentle warriors of our Future.
You can wear Stoned Immaculate knowing that you are carrying with you all of the memories and energy of a time when hair was long, love was free, and the music was capable of taking you to a place you've never been before.”
It’s rare for me to find a website that appeals to me at such a fundamental level, so I asked Elliot how he nailed his buyer persona.
“We make the T-shirt that is meant to be hanging in your closet next to that concert tee that your dad gave you,” he says. “We create your new favorite T-shirt because the other has basically fallen apart.”
As an owner of many dozens of T-shirts, I can appreciate that sentiment. While my father never gave me a vintage tee, my Stoned Immaculate Music is my Only Friend T-shirt is my current favorite.
Stoned Immaculate creates much more than just T-shirts. While most of the clothing is for women, there are some unisex designs.
That dreamy 1970s look
I love that the photos and videos on the website have a 1970s feel, so I asked Elliot how he achieved it.
“Everything I shoot is on film, usually 35 millimeter [for stills] and Super Eight [for video],” Elliot says. “I have Super Eight cameras shooting actual Super Eight film, which costs a fortune if you can find it. There's a resonance using film in this way.”
Also important is that the models look like they are from the 1970s. He says that he wants people who are natural looking, and they wear very little makeup in the shoots. Everything is filmed on locations that look just like they did in the 1970s, with everything correct for the time.
“I want to be unique, and I want to have stand for something,” Elliot says. “It is important to have integrity and quality with things like jewelry and cars. I think about it even down to the way that a European car door closes. I want to get right, to deliver the feeling of the brand. It’s a feeling that comes from music and fashion and art and architecture and album artwork. I'm always sniffing out ways to achieve that integrity.”
Stoned Immaculate has an old-school Instagram with photos and videos with 200,000+ followers as of this writing. Elliot is not being a slave to the algorithm by focusing on what’s hot (like vertical video), rather he delivers what his buyer persona wants, high-quality vintage-looking clothing shot as if it were from the 1970s.
A recent video for a collaboration with the Rolling Stones, generated 25,000 likes, more than any other video shared by the Stones.
Unlike other manufacturers of hippie themed clothing, you won’t see cliché cartoonish versions of hippies at Stoned Immaculate. You will see beautiful design, high quality materials, a shirt or sweater that authentically looks more than 40 years old.
Disclosure: Elliot sent me several sweaters and a T-shirt at no cost.