In July, I took part in the 2015 Vans Warped Tour Festival in Wantagh, NY where I got to meet and interview Troy Lano, founder and owner of the clothing company “Then, Now, Always”. It is now time to let you discover more about the amazing brand he created and share his really inspiring story.
Never Seen : Can you tell us more about yourself?
Troy : Nice to meet you, my name is Troy Lano. I own the company “Then, Now, Always” which originally started up in Portland, Oregon. I am a ten year veteran musician I guess you could say. In fact, after doing music for ten years, I started my own clothing company. We started branding the little wood necklaces and it kind of caught on at Warped Tour after we came back years after years. Just by promoting these things out in the lines in the morning, we ended up solding four thousand of these necklaces every summer until we finally got in as an official vendor at Warped Tour. But here is a little bit about my story : I travel full time with my wife and my little French bulldog, with the company. We have a little RV that we live in and we do this full time, nine months out of the year.
Never Seen : How did the idea of creating your own clothing company came up?
Troy : It is kind of ironic because back when I used to be in a band, I worked a bunch of part-time jobs. Lots of them were retail jobs for clothing companies and I actually tried to escaped them. I was like “I will never take retail seriously” and then I ended opening my own retail shop which is kind of funny. The idea came from our album title back in the days. It was called “Then, Now, Always”. I just really love the branding of the triangles and the terms “Then, Now, Always” really has a sharp, very staight-forward meaning. I thought that this was something really powerful, that this could be used through clothing, you know. It is easy to be just a clothing company but I wanted to start a clothing company with a message and a mark. “Then, Now, Always” came from a poster that I saw when I was transitioning throught my faith. I was raised catholic and kind of got out of my faith and said, you know,” I’m going to do my own thing” but God came after me. The poster said “Jesus, Then, Now, Always”. It directly just spoke to me. It was a reminder that no matter how much I change my mind or change my heart, God never changes his heart towards me. It is always the same kind of love of a father and a mother, you know. That is such a simple message , yet so powerful. We get to be a clothing company to present that in front of everybody that ask us that question.
Never Seen : How would you descrive the new summer collection?
Troy : I’m really proud of the new collection and I litterally just released it online today at thennowalways.co. It is called “Made for life, not death”. Basically the concept is that we are made for so much more than this life. We live this life and we will end up dying one day but that does not mean that we are dead in the next life. You know, I kind of like that thing of what we do in this life will go throughout eternity. Remember the movie “300”? One of my favourites. We kind of put that up in front of people to choose life and not death wether that be negativity, depression or isolation. We want people to choose to live life to the fullest and at the same time know that we have been through so much more than this life. We are not made to die.
Never Seen : Why did you choose Warped Tour? Also, did you get to play Warped Tour as a musician?
Troy : Warped Tour is always my scene. I was a musician for ten years. We actually tried to play Warped Tour as a band. In fact, in 2009, I tried to go out with my band’s CD and started hustling it out in the lines, just like everybody else out here. It turned out to be this really good thing so I kind of combined the necklace with the CD as a package deal. It is just a natural progression that I turned into this clothing company. I wanted to stay with the market that my heart is into: the music industry, the kids, just the youth culture. Warped Tour is this natural thing that basically helped build our brand.
Never Seen : What’s next? Do you want to go internationnal? Can we actually find everything in stores?
Troy : We do international. We ship international. We have actually done Warped Tour in Europe back in 2013. We did Germany, Switzerland, Austria, UK, and the Netherlands. We are definetly planning to just expand us online. There is no plan right up now to go into stores as we really want to try to be direct to consumers because everybody is just shopping on the website through their phones.
I would like to thank Troy Lano for taking the time to answer my questions.
See you soon on another adventure