They may sell clothing, but don’t get it twisted, Good Posture is not a fashion house. It’s the lifestyle brand of Los Angeles Renaissance man Theo Martins. And the brand releases clothing outside of the typical fashion calendar because, as the man himself told me, “if everyone’s moving right, let’s move left.” For that reason, Theo has turned down essentially every store that has asked to stock Good Posture—he doesn’t just want to be “another brand in another store with another cool logo.” Instead he would prefer to be in his “own world.”
Martins has been in the spotlight basically forever. He appeared in Steven Spielberg’s Amistad at eleven and began DJ’ing starting at thirteen. As a solo musician, he has released two EPs, a mixtape, and an album. He also thrives behind the scenes. This year he opened a cereal bar in the back patio of streetwear store Virgil Normal to celebrate his favorite food, and in 2015, launched his first collection for Good Posture.
To Theo, “posture” is just another word for “taste”—which, in Los Angeles, is the ultimate currency. Theo attributes his own taste, about which he is not the least bit modest, to being raised by first-generation Nigerians in Providence, Rhode Island. West Africans, he tells me, are known for their beautiful color palettes, which inspired his vibrant Good Posture t-shirts and sweatshirts (Theo’s East Coast roots also infiltrate the newest collection in the form of gorgeous fleece jackets).
Growing up in a family of five, money was tight. Theo developed a classic uniform early, and with Good Posture he was committed to making tasteful products that were also affordable. During our conversation, he twice cited IKEA as an inspiration. When I asked about his favorite item in the collection, he surprised me by saying: “my brother.” The star’s 17-year-old younger sibling modeled some of Theo’s favorite items on the Good Posture website, including a Garfield T-shirt. Beneath a photo of his brother in his suburban home, Theo writes: “I don’t recall hearing about the story of first generation Africans living in America, but this is a start.”
I last interviewed Theo two years ago. He cited Kanye as a major influence and it showed—in his taste for metaphor and grandeur, his stream-of-consciousness expression, his typically shy demeanor punctuated by surprising moments of aggression. This interview revealed a slightly more subdued, Theo, but his passion and commitment to individuality remain ever-fierce. As Theo put it this time around, he derives “great enjoyment in fucking up the way people perceive things.”