Under the Radar is Highsnobiety’s weekly celebration of upcoming talent. Each week, we’re spotlighting an emerging brand that’s bringing something new to the worlds of streetwear and fashion.
Mister Green was established in 2015 as a lifestyle brand responding to cultural shifts around marijuana. Founder Ariel Stark-Benz launched Mister Green as an online shop to revamp the tired image of stoner culture and head shops — you know, faux-Rastafarian colorways and cheap bongs — into something clean, minimalist, and contemporary.
As our last Under The Radar highlighted, getting a brand off the ground in 2018 is no walk in the park. However, three years and “no weekends off” after Mister Green’s conception, Stark-Benz’s brand has tripled its product offerings, quadrupled its customer base, and opened a permanent brick-and-mortar store in Los Angeles. Expanding on its initial lines of tees, the brand now carries accessories, leather goods, homewares, and fragrances, notably a woody Palo Santo-inspired scent called Hippie Shit.
Mister Green’s FW18 drop features anti-nuclear weapon sentiments and subtle psychedelic elements on green, white, and navy tees and hoodies. Some of the standout items come from Mister Green’s lifestyle selection, where wanting to get high doesn’t mean stuff can’t look nice. The brand’s collaboration with Canadian accessories specialist Alterior produced the leather Ceremony Case, a zip-up pouch for all your smoking paraphernalia in a premium light tan leather with low-key gold foil branding on the exterior.
Stark-Benz’s intuitive decision to elevate the aesthetics and lifestyle attributes of marijuana tapped into something that has rippled out globally. As the so-called “Green Rush” has pushed marijuana into the mainstream — hello, Canada! — Mister Green has made a space for itself that sits somewhere between cannabis culture and lifestyle brand.
Its store opened a year and a half ago on a strip of East Hollywood. “It’s on a street that’s known to locals as being the best way to pass through Hollywood without getting totally stuck in traffic,” Stark-Benz explains.
He recalls when physical stores served as subcultural hangout spots, a place to find your tribe. “I’m a little more old-school in a sense that I remember a brief amount of time in my life where the internet didn’t even exist,” he says. “So I grew up very much, like, seeing one of these store-rat kids. My life was like being a fixture around shops that I really admired and I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from. So I definitely wanted to create that same thing.”
With the “Green Rush” showing no sign of letting up, there will likely be a surge of weed lifestyle products and brands popping up, with everything in the end probably led by corporations out to spin a profit. But as a brand whose roots are already embedded firmly within stoner culture, Mister Green stands at the vanguard of the 21st century’s new green frontier.
Now, catch Mister Green in our documentary about the effect of California legalizing weed.