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Customization is all the rage these days. We declared DIY customization to be one of the biggest trends of 2016, and it seems like the demand for one-off pieces isn’t slowing down anytime soon. A$AP Rocky and his #influencer crew have been spotted in tons of pieces by Australian artist Pauly aka @himumimdead, and stylish Koreans have been making their own imitations of Raf Simons and Vetements pieces, too.

Luke Esquibel, aka @lukevicious, is an LA-based designer who also provides next-level custom pieces for customers who are after something a little special.

Luke’s done unique pieces for the likes of Wiz Khalifa, The Weeknd and Frank Ocean — whose amazing hand-treated A.P.C. jeans can be seen above — and recently launched a new collection of commercial pieces, dubbed “Era of Terror.”

YSL for WIZ #lukevicious #1of1 #custom #handpainted #ysl #leatherjacket

A post shared by LukeVicious (@lukevicious) on

We caught up with Luke to get the low-down on his unique services, and to find out the story behind his latest collection, which can be seen in the gallery above.

What’s the story behind your recent collection?

Era is simply short for Era of Terror, it’s my personal visual interpretation of the times we are in at the moment… with powers of the world and what not. It can be abstract, but people tend to look into this way too hard. Which honestly I’m open to interpretation, why not create graphics that start/spark a conversation? My process is simple, I observe things going on around me, pick a subject and run with it, whatever imagery comes to mind I sketch, and turn those into full fledged graphics.

Talk us through your custom service — what’s been your favorite / craziest pieces so far?

I pretty much only get contacted by stylists but I also take requests from direct customers. My favorite piece so far is the denim jacket created this year for Taka, a Japanese musician from a band called One OK Rock. I had full creative control — it was really experimental — and watching his performances made it a bit easier to incorporate new things to the jacket, such as a back loop feature for hanging flannels, bandanas, tassels etc.

What do you think of the heavy metal trend that’s going on in rap and streetwear at the moment? Is it getting played out?

It’s definitely interesting. I know the attraction is more about the graphic elements and not really about the bands themselves, but on the other hand it still shines light on great hand-drawn graphics. As for original band tees, they will always be relevant, but what I do believe is played out is the aesthetic itself that brands continuously try and mimic.

How does your business break down between custom pieces and the regular pieces? What do you think is driving the current demand for customized pieces?

Both are extremely limited and I drop them simultaneously. Once I finish the mainline, I create custom pieces that are complimentary to the collection. However, the regular pieces of the mainline are offered in small limited runs, which I don’t restock. I like the exclusivity it offers to customers.

In my opinion, the need to stand out is whats driving the demand of custom pieces. I think people find more value in one of ones, especially in an industry saturated with fast fashion.

Who are your favorite brands and designers?

I love CdG silhouette play, Supreme graphics, and the presentation of Vetements. However, Alexander McQueen was my introduction to fashion, through the work he did for Bjork, and in my opinion, a true visionary.

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Words by Alec Leach
Freelance Writer/Editor/Consultant

Alec Leach grew up in Brighton, England, but now lives in Berlin