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Design Duo Twin Beast Shares Where They Scope Out Art in LA

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Separately, Tiffany Ruiz and Zach Moldof are—consecutively—Ban.do's design director and pop icon Linda Perry's brand director/rapper (yep, check out Moldof's album for free here, and watch the video for its first single "Zone Zone" here). But together, they're Twin Beast, an LA-based design duo creating tees (they recently collabed with Urban Outfitters on this Just Dude It tee), pins, patches, DIY kits, and other cute, funny, and frequently irreverent goods.

Ruiz, a native Angeleno, and Moldof, a proud South Floridian, also happen to be collaborators in the romance department. "It's hard to find someone you jive with creatively and then are also intimately involved with. We just melded," Tiffany explains of their synergy. And Zach was similarly surprised by their common interests, telling us, "I tend to have a depraved sense of humor. Like, I draw dicks on stuff and she's like 'That's awesome!'."

Twin Beast, named for their nicknames for one another (awe!) combines Tiffany's 11-year experience in the fashion biz (she was instrumental at transforming Alternative Apparel's line) and Zach's innate sense of cool; his own personal patched/pinned-up denim jacket and its constant stream of compliments sparked concept of starting their brand and what they'd create together.

In the midst of furiously refilling their online shop with product (check back after May 6th for new tees and zines), the two met up with us for healthful concoctions at Los Feliz's The Punchbowl, where we touched on everything from the most "Totally Savage" (the title of Twin Beast's first collection) about Los Angeles to what's going on their summer mix tape.

What are you drinking?

Tiffany: I got the Wonder Greens. Anything with a lot of greens in it is always my go-to.

Zach: I got the Radiant Roots. It was my second choice after A Juice With No Name but, you know, sometimes you gotta settle and that can be okay.

What are you putting on your summer playlist?

Zach: Well definitely Brian Eno "The Big Ship." The first track on this album by The Congos [sings] "Row fisherman row." And something by Future Islands.

Tiffany: We just recently watched the documentary on the Talking Heads and getting re-introduced to them was really awesome, plus they're really amazing to watch. So "This Must Be the Place," I've been listening to that every day before work. That gets me going. And my favorite band is Arcade Fire so I have all of their albums on loop but I really like "Headlights Like Diamonds." And then I really love "Manhattan," it's by Tegan and Sara. I really love how upbeat that song is.

Most "Totally Savage" thing about LA?

Tiffany: Well, I grew up here so what I think is the most totally savage thing about it is that you sort of have to—if you're not from here—have someone to lead you, and the right people. I don't mean in a networking way, I mean finding your people. The city can be overwhelming and totally savage in that way.

Zach: I feel like maybe, what's that fisherman's shack we go to? This place downtown on Central. I think it's called Fisherman's Warehouse or Fisherman's Shack. But they just like fry up fish and I feel like every time I go and eat there I'm like [mimes eating food savagely].

So wait, how do you define "totally savage"? Is it good or bad?

Zach: It's flexible. So it could be people acting like wild animals, like totally uncivilized. Or it could be that you get in a zone and act like an animal, but it's not a bad thing. Or it could be used like "cool."

Tiffany: I replace it for rad.

Favorite beast?

Zach: Blue whale. Scientists don't know where they mate. We know all this stuff; no one knows where blue whales go to have sex. It's a mystery! They can dive so deep for so long, no one can follow. They go to some secret place underwater, then they have sex, then they come back. And they're the biggest animals on Earth.

Tiffany: I love zebras. I don't know if they're considered a wild beast, but they seem very wild. They're very stylish! It's an animal that's well-designed.

Favorite hood in LA?

Zach: I like Pasadena. I like to go up there and walk around and there's a bunch of places where I wanna eat food. It's not a bunch of tourists or people who are crazed out of their minds. There's a Whole Foods there. It's just easy. I'm kind of burned out on Hollywood. I've been living in big cities for the past ten years. It's really nice to be places that are quiet.

Tiffany: I'm a downtown girl. I could never live downtown but it would make me very sad to be separated from it for too long. My grandparents had a manufacturing business in the garment district growing up and so there's so many memories. It's also so awesome to see how it's evolved over the years.

Favorite place to check out art locally?

Tiffany: I feel like it's been The Broad lately. That collection was my favorite when it was at LACMA. I feel like I started being member at LACMA for that wing.

Zach: I think I was a bit spoiled by New York. I lived there about four years and just being exposed to art there, the museums and institutions that have built the art world as we know it. So it's not that I don't appreciate art in the smaller context but I feel like the kind of works I find in smaller galleries is not stuff I'm as interested in. But something like co-LAb Gallery in Highland Park will have stuff that I'm really into because it's obscure collages or drawings that aren't supposed to be, like, masterful works. On the whole I like The Broad because I can see artists that I really like, and work at a scale that's really immersive.

What's your signature outfit or article of clothing?

Tiffany: I'm a t-shirt girl. I'm usually wearing a t-shirt. I like to dress them up or down. I just have a lot of t-shirts.

Zach: I always have on Vans skate hi's or authentics and I always have on collared shirts. And the shirt's always blue or it has blue in it.

Best California slang term?

Tiffany: I mean, does "rad" count? Because I say that all the time. Rad and awesome. And I think I overuse "like" too much.

Zach: Definitely "hella." In high school I visited my friend who moved to San Fransisco and everyone was saying "hella" this or "hella" that and I came back to South Florida—and this is circa 1996 or whatever—and everyone's like "What's the matter with you?" And I was like, "Ya'll are hella stupid." It was so empowering to have use of that word.

The Punch Bowl

5820 Broadway, The Bronx, NY 10463 (718) 884-7322