Q&A: John Hook On Living The Dream And Starting A Fashion Label

Last week, the photographer John Hook made a stunning announcement. On Facebook, the busy husband and father of one turned to social media to announce the launch of his new lifestyle brand, gypsy free wanderer hawaii bae freedom body chain coffee mocha bish bliss ootd drift something.

Between his busy schedule of shooting weddings, fashion editorials for magazines such as Flux, and taking road trips and posting a lot of pictures of the road trips on Instagram, we wanted to know how he could fit this new venture into his life, and why.

In this exclusive conversation over Facebook messenger, the fashion pioneer tells us what inspired the change in careers, and why wandering, to him, is not the same as being lost.


James Cave: Hi John Hook

John Hook: hiiiiiii

JC: Thank you for joining the conversation. Tell me. How did gypsy free wanderer hawaii bae freedom body chain coffee mocha bish bliss ootd drift something come about?

JH: Well I was on pintrest.


JC: Pinterest has inspired a lot of people. Was there a particular piece that just struck you like lightning?

JH: I’ve just been going through so many things in my life, reading a lot of books with inspirational quotes and stuff. Ya know. I’ve always wanted to share my love for crafting. At the moment, I’m at home seeing if I can tie an actual piece of pizza around my crotch and sell that as a bikini. Pizza is so hot right now, figuratively and literally. It burns.

JC: Oh, is it like a pizza thong, or will there be pizza on the back, too? It sounds so experimental.

JH: Yeah, it’s like that ”new new”. The back actually is just a string. I know its hard for girls to avoid those butt tan lines, especially when they are modeling so many different designers. My new string technique will help avoid the embarrassment of previous swim wear tan lines from yesterday’s intstagram shoot.

JC: People are sure to love the functionality of that. So, several people have asked so I want to be sure to ask you, will you also include a line of jewelry made with shells harvested by your wife as she was skin diving on Kauai?

JH: Yes, though I can’t tell you where we are getting the shells, it’s like “my own sanctuary” ya know, my own spot that I own cause I go there once a week and take a bunch of photos of myself there (but the secret is to post my beach pics on different days, so it looks like I’m totes living on the beach everyday). I’m just trying to set myself apart from everyone. You know. Do something new. Nobody’s starting their own business right now doing bikinis and jewelry; it’s a serious endeavor, it’s not something you do just because you don’t want a real job. I told you about my secret to success?

JC: No, but please tell us!

JH: I’ve invented a new hashtag #willfuckforfollowers

JH: It’s led me to other like minded individuals with the same drive and dedication to make a business work on social media.

JC: I even think you could carry this philosophy into apps and social networks, totally disrupt the industry.

JH: Ya

JC: How will you support this dream? Will you take up the tradition of marrying a professional surfer, or will you live off of your parents?

JH: Great question.

JC: Thank you. Moving on, how will you fit it into your schedule that is already full of funtography assignments?

JH: Definitely showing a surf lifestyle is really important, but in Hawaii, there’s like people on my waves and stuff, like all the time, so it’s hard for me to get those photos where it seems I’m like totes living the dream, lady sliding with my gal pals solo mission style. I think for me, I’m gonna go at it a little untraditionally. I’m gonna save up a lot of money working hard, then blow it all doing “something I love.” Like I said, this is not only my dream, it’s who I am. The bikini lifestyle, sunrise shell bangles, flower crowns, yoga class, inspirational quote… NOBODY IS DOING THAT RIGHT NOW.

JC: You’re exactly right to see yourself as a pioneer to anyone who is a child, grown up, man, or woman. But what about Kama the surfing pig? Will there be a line of baby ‘kinis, little pizza rolls that Kama can wear, for example?

JH: We’ll see.

JC: Kama is the only subscriber to the Offsetter right now so I feel a duty to ask questions that matter our reader.

JH: Hey, if that little piggy is willing to do a trade instead of getting paid, then yeah.

JC: OK. This one I’m just asking for a friend, an aspiring model. If one were to submit oneself to be considered as the face of gypsy free wanderer hawaii bae freedom body chain coffee mocha bish bliss ootd drift something, what does that person need to do? Is there a pose that I can take that says “pick me?”

JC: I mean is there a pose that *she can take.

JH: mmm. Yeah, like if the pose has a lot of boobs, that’s pretty good… It’s hard to say, ”My parents don’t have instagram, so here,” in a pose but if ”she” can pull that pose off, then it’s a win. You know, you can’t go wrong with a dirty mirror selfie… AS LONG AS THE CAPTION IS A GOOD QUOTE… Picture this, bikini, dirty mirror selfie. Caption: “Rumi is my bae’.” It’s like, soooo good, on so many levels.

JC: I know you’re busy with your journal and your selfies, so I won’t keep you much longer. I only have 9 more questions. Word on the street is your first fashion show will be down the street from the fashion show at night market in November. Any standout pieces you can tease us?

JH: My pieces will incorporate a mix of how I’m feeling now and how I’ll be feeling in the future. I’ll be telling a story with my pieces, definitely seasonal for the seasons of Hawaii. Using hot aloha print patterns. Very vintage and shabby chic, with a sprinkling of edgy. I’m gonna take a risk and use young boys to model the ‘kinis. And best of all, get this, everything is non-GMO.

JC: Well, I know I speak for everyone by saying we can’t wait to see your styles, be jealous of them and then copy them. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us! Is there anything you would like to add?

JH: Nah, I’m just gonna go wander and get lost for once.

photo of john hook by david chat, fashion art by dallas nagata white.


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