Little Black Diamond: From fashion to festivals and everything in between.
According to the dictionary the name Diamond is derived from the ancient Greek word (adámas), which means “proper”, “unbreakable”, and “untamed”. This definition is synonymous with Adrienne Shon and her company Little Black Diamond. LBD is a clothing line that features colorful dance and nature themed pieces that can be worn during the music festival season. With the current state of music being geared toward the rise in popularity of Electronic Dance Music, better known as EDM, this year has boasted more music festivals than ever before. Tommorowland (Belgium), Hard Summer (Los Angeles), Electronic Zoo (New York), Ultra (Miami), Movement (Detroit), Lights All Night (Texas) and Electric Daisy Carnival (Las Vegas) just to name a few. When speaking to Adrienne about what inspired her to create a company geared toward the dance music scene, I remember her lighting up with joy that can only come from an actual love for something as she explained how in awe she is with this culture. How loving, caring and accepting the people are and how she feels a sense of being home when attending festivals with many like minded individuals. We hear all about spreading Peace, Love, Unity and Respect and what Little Black Diamond does that sets them apart from other companies is that they actually deliver this in every way.
Who is Adrienne?
I’m a 25-year-old EDM maniac and Northwestern University graduate. I’m in love with the rave and festival scene and devote myself to the amazing people in it everyday through this brand I am creating, Little Black Diamond.
What inspired you to create Little Black Diamond. How did the company come about?
It always comes back to the music. It started with my obsession with Dance Dance Revolution when I was a kid. Before they released the game for PlayStation in the United States, my friends and I would hit up the local bowling alley and spend all our quarters on the DDR machine. The place was old, a little shady, and smelled like your grandparents’ house. And our beloved game was the shiniest, newest thing in there. Then, over time we discovered Darude, DJ Sammy, happy hardcore, Robert Miles. We were a bunch of nerds (still are) and not a lot of people listened to that kind of music back then.When I finally went to my first rave, I was amazed by the culture of acceptance and love in the scene. I was fresh out of the punk rock scene, at the time, and neon colored hippies trading beaded bracelets and giving out free hugs was a stark contrast to thrashing around in mosh pits. The good vibes, and upbeat tunes, and of course, the dancing pulled me in headfirst.
Then, we went through this technological renaissance several years ago and Electronic Dance Music exploded. New artists coming up overnight, riding the wave of something we’ve never heard or experienced before. It’s really the most exciting scene to be apart of right now. My love for the scene, the beautiful people in it and all the amazing music is what inspired me to create Little Black Diamond. I can’t have a nine to five desk job, I need to be inspired by something raw and real or I just can’t do it. I slave away for the scene because the amazing people I meet inspire me to bust my ass everyday.
What would you say is the biggest challenge for you, or your company in this line of clothing?
I’ve been endeavoring in this for over a year now and it’s definitely like any other startup company — you start from scratch, which means I wear a lot of different hats everyday. Some days, I’m designing. Some days, I’m out schmoozing and networking. Some days, I’m taking inventory. Some days, I’m prowling for merchandise to offer in our store and some days, I’m bringing together creative minds to come up with something that will resonate with people in the scene, which I love. The biggest challenge is not having enough hours in the day. But I’m definitely happy in my pursuits. I wouldn’t want things any other way.
Where can we find your clothing?
We have a pretty online storefront at LittleBlackDiamond.com. We also vend at events on occasion, which I enjoy because I get to meet all kinds of crazy beautiful people in this way. We’ll be vending at Lighting in a Bottle in Temecula, California from July 11th – July 15th.
Upon doing my research, we came across “Kandi for a Cause”. Could you tell us more about this and touch on “kandi” for those who are new to the scene or uninformed?
Ravers make kandi out of beads, traditionally “pony beads” that you used during summer camp as a child, and trade them with one another at events. I started Kandi for a Cause because I wanted Little Black Diamond to give back to the community and spread PLUR (Peace Love Unity and Respect) outside of the festival scene. I make unique kandi, along with some amazing volunteers who devote their time and resources to help the cause, and sell them for charity. We donate 100% of the profits to the National Foundation for Autism Research. Selling kandi is generally frowned upon in rave culture, but I feel raising money for charity justifies it. I’ve had a lot of positive feedback for Kandi for a Cause, and have exciting developments in the works to help further our charity efforts.
What’s next for Little Black Diamond?
We have several new designs in the queue that I’m stoked about. I’m always looking for designers to work with, so there’s some super fresh stuff in the oven that we’re creating with amazing young talent. As I mentioned, we’re planning to move further with Kandi for a Cause. More accessories are in the works, especially for dudes, and we’ll be vending at Lightning in a Bottle from July 11th – July 15th. It’s gonna be a trill time!
Name the last 5 songs that you have listened to.
Norin & Rad – Bloom (I’ve been listening to this every day lately, it’s so invigorating and refreshing and just makes me feel like a fresh bitch)
Chromeo – Bonafide Lovin’ (The RAC remix)
Justice – Audio Video Disco (Live)
Pretty Lights – Hot Like Sauce
Seven Lions – She Was
What are your personal feelings toward the rise of Electronic Dance Music?
I’m all for it. People who complain about more assholes entering the scene as EDM rises in popularity need to accept responsibility for their scene. They need to realize that only we are responsible for passing on the culture of acceptance and love. Also, this weird recent culture of rejecting an artist simply because they are popular is just laughable. We should celebrate the artists who become popular yet remain true to their craft. The more, the merrier!
Who are your favorite artists: DJs and Producers?
I could blather on for hours about this, but right now I’m vibing really hard on this old school throwback funk resurgence. I was overjoyed when Kaskade returned to his chill, deep house roots and the most beautiful sets of my life were magicked into reality by Pretty Lights. I love how they sample very old, very soulful tracks and produce a funky-sexy, intense and deep (yet calculated) sound. And I’m obsessed with Seven Lions. I loved his set with Porter Robinson at the Palladium a few months back. Jeff Montalvo has amazing hair. Have you seen him head-bang during his sets? Looks like a fucking shampoo commercial. But anyway, I love his music because it’s the perfect balance of mystical trance and grinding dub step.
Seeing as your company creates looks that are geared toward music festivals, do you personally attend music festivals? If so, which festivals? And why?
I do! I love them. I try to attend all the big west coast Insomniac massive, because those are always a good time. I pop into the underground in Los Angeles and San Diego too. I love shuffling (as my cardio exercise, because I go to the gym but sometimes it bores me to tears) at this warehouse venue called “Somewhere Loud” on Fridays. I go for the same reasons that I started Little Black Diamond for — I love the music, I love dancing my ass off and I am intrigued by all the new people I meet in the scene. I also love how anything goes festival attire-wise. I love festivals because self-expression is encouraged.
If you had to sum up your experiences thus far by one song. What would it be?
I.D.G.A.F.O.S. by Dillon Francis. So many people are afraid to live the lives they envision in their heads — stop giving a fuck or a shit and just go for it! You will be much happier in your pursuits, working towards transforming yourself into the person you’ve always wished you could be. Also I just love Dillon Francis. The man is a comedic genius, definitely the artist that makes me laugh the most right now.
Any parting words for the readers of GrungeCake?
Do not fear the unknown, and do not fear failure. Failure is an inevitable part of life. Accept it, learn from it, and move on wiser than before.
Beautifully said indeed. To catch up with Little Black Diamond, be sure to look for them at Lighting in a Bottle in Temecula, California and dance with Adrienne for us. She’s so amazing!
For more about Little Black Diamond, just click here.