Jeremy Arviso is a straight up guy. He doesn't mind being honest and upfront, and he actually seems to relish living in a genuine state of mind and bringing that sense of raw authenticity to fashion and art.
His work is vibrant and energetic; you can almost visualize him painting when you see his brush strokes on the canvas. He moves back and forth between two-dimensional painting and graphic art and three-dimensional fashion with ease, and much of his 2D work informs the designs seen on his streetwear.
His brand is RVSO DSGN (a play on 'Arviso Design') and he's Navajo, Hopi, Pima, and T'ohono O'odham. We caught up with him to talk about his inspirations and challenges.
BB: Jeremy! Thank you for taking the time to share your work with us. Can you tell our readers about how you got into fashion?
JA: I received an airbrush for my 14th birthday when I was in High School in 1994. I started airbrushing my own shirts and backpack, pager, etc. I started getting orders. By my Junior year, my mother taught me how to use a sewing machine and I started making my own jeans with custom patches and pockets. I printed my first design in 2000 and learned to shoot and print in 2001. I started my first label, RezRocket, in 2005 in San Francisco, CA, and my second label, Noble Savage, in 2012, and now RVSO DSGN in 2015. I do it because it's fun for me and I have a hard time finding designs I'd like to buy and wear.
BB: I hear other designers share that sentiment- that they need to create because current options don't adequately represent their style or identity. Can you describe the general process you go through to create your work?
JA: It depends, sometimes a vision will happen immediately and it comes out very quickly. Other times I sit and sketch, revise, revise, quit, start over, etc. Traveling is a great way to get creative juices flowing, real life events, shit you don't see everyday. I'm kind of older and not into the sneaker craze like I was in my 20s so I tend to think a little ahead of the curve.
BB: Thinking ahead, or differently, has definitely helped to set you apart! What else inspires you?
JA: My son Kainoa, he just turned 4 this year. He's amazing, my best design to date. I'm also inspired by my friends and family and my past relatives and ancestors.
BB: I like to ask our artists this next question because the answers vary so much. What does Native fashion mean to you?
JA: I'm not sure anymore, there's so many fashion labels appropriating our designs, image and culture. I take that same angst and push out my own work. I drop about 2-10 designs a month. Native fashion to me is what our ancestors wore. Getting ready to go out an fuck shit up, like war path gear and war paint. To me, that's Native fashion. Even today, you can see those same styles reinterpreted into something you can wear at Coachella. It's annoying as fuck.
BB: You've been working in graphic art and streetwear for around 10 years now; what has been your most challenging project to date?
JA: I'd say my recent interview with The Hundreds at their headquarters in Vernon, CA. They asked me to be a part of the documentary that The Hundreds co-founder and creative director Bobby Kim (aka Bobby Hundreds) is making called "StreetWear". It's a documentary about the style, culture and people that make up the global phenomenon. The streetwear movement is worldwide and I watched it, I became a part of it when it happened while living in San Francisco during my 20s (click here to read more). I was selected to come out and tell my story. It was a big honor to meet them and get positive encouragement and recognition for my work. I've been doing this for a long time and to have The Hundreds give me props is HUGE. I also just finished up a video biography that will drop in the coming days. It's been a labor of love.
BB: What do you hope to accomplish with your art and fashion?
JA: Make people think. Piss off certain others. Make a life for myself, my son and my family. Represent my family.
BB: Who are your favorite Native designers?
JA: Virgil Ortiz. He's the man, he was the man before anyone was paying attention to Native designers. He's always been ahead of the curve by leagues, I look up to him as a Native artist and designer. He's true to himself and his roots and is very successful. I dig my friends Bethany Yellowtail and Sho Sho Esquiro for their tenacity and use of rare materials that mean something to us. Alano Edzerza too, he's a buddy of mine as well and his art/design is unparalleled.
BB: What is something that a lot of people don’t know, but should know, about your tribe or home community?
JA: I'm from four tribes (Navajo, Hopi, Pima, and T'ohono O'odam) but we're all located in Arizona. I was born and raised in Phoenix, which is surrounded by reservations. I think people should know that the city has grown immensely and in a few short years the city limits will reach the edges of every reservation that surrounds Phoenix. It's already happened to about 90% - it's kind of crazy to see how quickly humans multiply and take land.
BB: Last, but not least, what is a random but interesting fact about you?
JA: I've traveled to Japan (two times), Spain, Italy (also two times), Austria, Jordan, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, England, and I lived in the Czech Republic, and I was never in the military. I give mad props to our brothers and sisters that have served. Other than that, I'm not that interesting.
Ha! Well, we think Arviso is pretty interesting, and you can see more of his cool work at RVSO DSGN, or under his Instagram handle, eyerock78. View his Summer/Fall 2015 Lookbook at this link. Also, snatch up his Air Fight Tee on BBB now.