Silas Lee and Cole Younger of Team Cozy stopped by Jakarta for a stop on their Asia tour to share their backstory, their upcoming plans, and a little advice for aspiring photographers and creatives in the "crazy, amazing" city, as they called it.
Collaborating with the multi-brand sportswear store Seek, the photographer/designer/creative pair's visit to the Indonesian capital was an eventful one: they had a tight schedule including a workshop, photowalk, talkback and more. Luckily, Globetrotter was able to catch up with them during a chat session with fans and media at Seek’s new store in Jakarta’s Pacific Place mall.
Having started out as something that “wasn’t serious,” as co-founder Silas Lee (better known as @bludshot) put it, Team Cozy has morphed into a global success. While working for Hypebeast, Lee met co-founder Ta-ku. Bonded by their love for sneakers and the fact that they’re both colorblind, the two hit it off. “We were just having fun on social media, taking pictures of sneakers and tagging #TeamCozy. Ever since then, the community, the blog were started,” Lee says. “We had the opportunity to [find a factory] two years ago, and that’s why we moved to LA. And ever since then, it’s just been about building the brand and continuing to build the community.”
Now, Team Cozy's looking to expand into the accessory business. “We’re trying to break into the camera accessory market,” Lee confides. “There really aren’t that many cool relevant camera accessory brands at the moment, [so we’re] making unique products for photographers.”
Meanwhile, Team Cozy has a clothing collection under its umbrella, despite (or perhaps, as a result of) Lee’s seemingly wavering feelings on today’s streetwear scene. Like everything else, he says, there’s the good and the bad. “You’ve got people who really know what they’re doing, and you’ve got people who really don’t know what they’re doing and just do things for the sake of doing it,” Lee says. “I don’t wear Supreme anymore because of that stuff. I loved Supreme, I’ve been wearing Supreme since I was a kid… James Jebbia was like an idol to me. I feel like half of these Supreme kids now, they don’t even know who James Jebbia is, which is crazy. So I always have love and respect for Supreme, but the past two years have been insane.”
He's still optimistic. “But there’s also good stuff happening too. There’s cool brands popping up here and there. Japan is still amazing... LA has a lot of cool brands,” he adds. “It’s depending where you’re looking.”
Above all, Lee and Younger (@cole_younger_) are photographers. Sitting in front of aspiring photographers and Instagram followers, the pair gave advice on how to stand out.
“Stay true to yourself,” shared Younger. Lee elaborated: “We say this to every city that we go to. You guys in Indonesia, you have really unique opportunity to create unique content cause you’re in such a crazy city. Your city is amazing, there’s so much going on, there’s so much life going on. Why not do fashion editorials, sneaker editorials, video content that highlight Indonesia more… I always see people tagging photos, but it always looks the same. It could have been shot in America, it could have been shot in Canada. You have unique opportunity to make your content stand out because of the place that you’re in! So why shoot a photo that somebody in Europe could have shot, somebody in LA could have shot? Find unique ways in your own environments to [show your] specialty to the rest of the world!”
Asked about what they find so crazy about Jakarta, Cole answers, “It’s very different than any other city I’ve ever been to. It’s insanity, but we’re just, ‘Cool,’ especially [when it comes to] photography.”
“It’s a jungle,” Lee quips, and Cole seconds him. “There’s so much life, so many people doing different things,” Cole adds. “You can spend seven lifetimes here and still not shoot everything that’s in Jakarta.”
To the aspiring photographers’ delight, Team Cozy also revealed at the event that they’re always open to welcome fresh blood in the team. “Talents speak for itself. When you see something that you’ve never seen before you’re just, ‘Wow, I need to meet this person! That stuff happens once in a while. You see somebody’s work, you’re, like, ‘Wow, that’s really cool,’” Lee says, while citing that he’s on the lookout for photographers who are “pushing boundaries” and displaying originality. “You can’t put a structure to creativity."
“[Cozy] is not one person. It’s always been a team,” he says. “So, call me.”
Header image c/o Seek