Photography courtesy of Lust and Fond.

People We Love

Interview with Edward Friend & Lamartine Neto, Owners of Lust And Fond Vintage CLothing

by Lynn Cline

Lust and Fond, a Santa Fe clothing business that specializes in vintage blouses, pants, dresses, jackets, robes and accessories, was founded by life and business partners Edward Friend and Lamartine Neto. They decided to call their business Lust and Fond because “Lust is our harder, edgier side, and Fond is our softer, romantic side.”

Friend, a native of Brazil who has lived in the United States since he was ten years old, has had a love affair with vintage clothes since high school. He is a trained hairdresser who worked at various vintage stores while he was in his twenties. Neto, who arrived in the United States in 2014 after enjoying a career as a multimedia artist in Brazil, has worked professionally in the fields of art direction and photography as well as in set, costume and graphic design.

An ever-changing inventory

Accessed by clients online (lustandfond.com) and at a booth in El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe (555 Camino de la Familia), Lust and Fond has an ever-changing inventory of vintage clothes made from natural fabrics, such as silk, linen, cotton and wool. To date, Lust and Fond has nearly 12,000 followers on Instagram.

What is the story behind the founding of Lust and Fond?

We officially started the business five years ago in Los Angeles by doing the flea market circuit and high-end vintage shows. We were invited to participate in shows produced by A Current Affair [a community of vintage clothing sellers who regularly present shows in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City]. This really opened doors for us. We opened a showroom in Los Angeles but had to close it due to COVID. We decided to come to Santa Fe in September 2020 to regroup and see what life is like in a different place.

 

Do you each have a favorite vintage decade or period?

We have different tastes, which is great because it means that we can cater to a large audience. But what we have in common is that we both like clothes from the 1970s. It’s the period we both gravitate to. The 1970s wasn’t just about bell-bottoms and polyester shirts. To us, it’s the most influential period of fashion. Most people aren’t aware that top designers during this period pushed the fashion envelope. Their designs are still inspiring today’s designers.

Quality craftsmanship is very important to us. When we shop, we buy pieces with a timeless quality that don’t look “dated” and can fit in with contemporary styles.

What are the different ways you acquire high-end vintage clothing?

We go to thrift stores, auction houses and people’s homes to see personal collections. We’re very picky about what we buy. If we see an item with embroidery, for example, we have to examine it carefully to be sure it’s hand-embroidered. Quality craftsmanship is very important to us. When we shop, we buy pieces with a timeless quality that don’t look “dated” and can fit in with contemporary styles. Each piece we buy is handpicked by us. Finding great items is very time-consuming.

Who is your typical client and what are they looking for when they contact you?

A wide range of clients are interested in our clothes. We cater to collectors and shoppers in all age groups. Our clothes are also sought after by professional designer teams and have been featured in TV shows and in the movies.

Printmaking in a Perilous Time

The pandemic changed life in many ways for Jesse Wood, a collaborative printmaker and founder of Heterodox Editions. He studied at Albuquerque’s prestigious Tamarind Institute and was enrolled in classes at the Institute of American Indian Art when the coronavirus shut things down. Wood finished the semester online, but then things shifted. “My seven-year-old son, Calder, is also out of school, so I have 24-hour duty as a caregiver — that is the biggest thing that I’ve been doing differently,” he says. “I’m not really making art. I’ve had to leave printmaking for the time being because it is so studio centered, requiring a lot of equipment and space. Instead, I’ve been relying on kitchen-friendly materials such as watercolor, pencils, pens, paper, really simplifying the material. So Calder and I have been making art at the dinner table.”

Despite the isolation of the times, Wood hasn’t abandoned the collaborative art of printmaking. He’s partnered with other printmakers, providing them with stones for their work.  “In lithography, you use a limestone slab to print from,” he says. “I’ve built a graining station to prepare the stones in my backyard. Lithography is a collaborative art, and while we can’t work in the same room right now, I am still able to translate artists’ works into graphic editions. Working as a collaborative printmaker is central to what I learned at Tamarind Institute. It’s something more than just expressing myself.”

Nicola López, who grew up in Santa Fe, is an internationally renowned artist working in printmaking, installation and drawing. Based in Brooklyn, she was on sabbatical from Columbia University this spring when she and her six-year-old son traveled to Italy for her fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. Shortly after their arrival, though, the coronavirus outbreak forced them to their next destination earlier than expected, Santa Fe, to visit family and allow López time to work on an installation for the Albuquerque Museum.

“It all just seemed to fall into place, and the museum’s Visiting Artist program gives me a nice project to be working on,” says López, who converted a carport at her mother’s house into a studio, where she created Haunted, an installation of large-scale prints and video that explores the indelible, destructive ways that humans alter landscapes. “I’m really grateful to the museum for honoring the commitment and continuing the project when many museums haven’t been able to do so for a variety of reasons,” she says. “I’m also really grateful to have this project. It’s a way to deal with the challenges of the time.”

Lithograph by Santa Fe artist Jesse Wood
Jesse Wood, "Dog Path Gothic," 2019, lithograph, 20 x 15 inches
A scultpure of a white bull
Star York, Big Medicine, 2019, bronze, 25 x 14 x 15.5 inches

A Hammer and Hope

Award-winning metal sculpture artist Jamie Burnes had to reconfigure his studio in order to keep producing large-scale, one-of-a-kind animal and abstract works made of steel and found objects — stones, petrified wood and tree trunks. “The fundamental practice of making my art has always been large in scale, so I do a lot of pieces that go in public spaces,” says Burnes, who exhibits his work at the Gerald Peters Gallery. “I have to have someone help me to just move them physically, and so we’ve been working on the practice in the studio of trying to make these pieces, but not be on top of each other like we normally would be.”

Burnes also set out in a new direction that he’d long contemplated. “I’ve started to focus on smaller works that are more accessible,” he says. “I have some clients who’ve expressed interest in these larger pieces, but they don’t seem comfortable in this environment commissioning them. So, I thought it was a good time to explore new ideas.”

Working in his studio offered Burnes a break from the upheaval of the world. “You go into the studio and just hammer and weld and cut,” he explains. “My work is super labor intensive, and each piece is unique. I don’t have the benefit of casting and repetition. But to just go and spend two hours hammering, it is definitely a relief.”

Abiquiú sculptor Star York, whose epic career spans forty years, spent part of the pandemic working on a piece that had beguiled her for years. The bronze sculpture, Big Medicine, is a white bull buffalo. “It’s something I have thought about for probably decades,” she says. “I’ve always wanted to try to capture the spirit of one of these big bulls and the complexity of who they are [as reflected] in their face and in their gestures — a strong creature that has this regal presence that also has that kind side, too.”

The white buffalo that York sculpted is based on the real-life Big Medicine, a famous white buffalo born in Montana in 1933. “He was enormous, and he lived for an exceedingly long time,” she says. “The white buffalo represents hope for a better future and that’s so significant right now. It’s very laden with symbolism.”  She chose to depict Big Medicine in a reclining position. “I thought it would just be appropriate for the times,” she says. “It’s lying in wait . . .  I also found myself wanting to do babies — puppies, bobcat pups. I do believe that when we feel concerned about how the world is going, the young people are the ones who have the time to make the change, the energy to make change, because to make change is not easy. It’s a hard thing to initiate. That’s where our hope lies.”

Sanctuary in the Studio

A bronze sculpture of a tall woman with a shawl
David Pearson, I-la, edition of 9, 2020, bronze, 37 inches high

Despite the world’s chaos, renowned sculptor David Pearson was able to keep his regular work habits. Ensconced in his rural studio, he could tune out the dire news of the world and focus on his stunning figurative and abstract works as well as patinas and wax works, exhibited in his wife’s gallery, Patricia Carlisle Fine Art.

“The coronavirus hasn’t thrown any hiccup at all in my situation,” Pearson says. “I live out in the country, so I just walk from the house down to my studio, and I only go into town probably once every two weeks. I didn’t have to think about the virus. Patty and I stopped listening to the news probably about a month after the whole thing happened because it was just so, ‘the whole world’s crumbling.’”

The business of selling art, however, did change. “The gallery slowed down,” Pearson says. “And the foundry had to shut down, and that cut production so there was definitely fear there, and I’ve heard all the stress in employees’ voices. The whole production of the world just shut down in so many ways, so that was very fearful.” Working in his studio helped. “Always, I feel better working on art, especially when I’m sculpting,” he says. Pearson used this time to complete I-la, “Islay” in Gaelic, a tribute to a past queen of a Scottish island. “She was a queen, a ruler with a vast army, and she cared for her people. She is an embodiment of feminine power,” he explains.

Forging Ahead

A bright red sculpture
Christopher Thomson The Gathering #1, maquette, recycled steel

Master blacksmith Christopher Thomson was in the middle of creating a 14-foot sculpture for a Chicago show when the pandemic struck, radically altering his plans. “Spring for us is usually comprised of frantically forging public sculpture for shows and then my wife Susan and I driving them to their locations throughout the West,” Thomson says. “I realized the show in Chicago was going to be delayed or canceled. Our galleries were closed; nothing was selling. So, I stopped forging on the big sculpture. I still came to work every day, mostly working on maintaining the machinery. It was quite disorienting. I didn’t realize how much I depend on routine.”

Thomson’s gallery, La Mesa of Santa Fe, may have been closed, but that didn’t stop small miracles from happening.  A developer from Colorado who was walking along Canyon Road came across Thomson’s vibrant sculptures in the gallery garden and, thanks to a note with contact information left by the gallery owner on the door, arranged to buy three of Thomson’s large sculptures. Then, an internet customer in California bought eight smaller pieces.

“It wasn’t enough money to pay our shop overhead, but it was enough to lift my spirit,” says Thomson. “We got a PPP [Payment Protection Program] loan and my seven employees all came back to work. In many ways we were lucky that our lives did not have to change that much. We had extra time in our home, shop and the magical wild canyon of the Pecos River below. There was even extra time for kayaking, which inspired me and inspired my work most of all.”

Lynn Cline
Contributor

Lynn Cline is the author of The Maverick Cookbook: Iconic Recipes & Tales from New Mexico. She has written for The New York TimesBon Appétít and numerous other publications. She also hosts Cline’s Corner, a weekly radio show on KSFR 101.1 FM.

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