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Ace: “I was Former’s first customer!”

Adam Jara

by Adam Jara

Guess who got the hottest shirt from the hottest brand? went live this morning with a cryptic image that you have seen on their equally cryptic @luxury29.99 Instagram profile. Except it wasn’t really live. The website designer apparently did not know how to put the thing damned thing behind a wall and so it was there for everyone to see except accidentally. Very much not like the couple humping in the Standard New York’s window on purpose. Very much like a geriatric man that forgot he had curtains and stood in front of his bay window nude.

Once posted on BeachGrit, a technically brilliant commenter, aptly named Extreme Nonchalance, discovered a link to the store hidden in the nethers. For a short amount of time anyone could go ahead and purchase a new shirt, sweater, or beanie to support their new favorite brand!

As the morning unfolded, I decided to follow the link to the store and see what Dane, Austin, Craig, and the rest of Former had been working on for the last few months. Right away the theme of the brand became clear. As my friend Maggie aptly put it, “the vagueness is so interesting.”


My wardrobe consists of mostly black and white so their digs will fit right in between the Sketchy Tank and plain black tees from Footlocker. Win, win. Hurrah for minimalism.

I’m a slave to posting my happenings to Instagram, which I promptly did, of course tagging @luxury29.99 that my purchase had gone through. Hooray! One of their first customers! Welcome Former!

About forty minutes later, I received a message from @luxury29.99. It stated the following.

“Haha. Hey this was a mistake. We’re not meant to live yet. We can’t ship this just yet but we will. If you don’t mind please don’t post anything else if that’s cool. How the hell did you find it? We’ll send you some extra goodies for the love. Thanks dude.”

I promptly responded, in a flurry of excitement, enlightening the Former lads that Extreme Nonchalance had found the link and posted it in the comment section. Naturally since I’m a fan of all involved and wanted to support small brands, I took down my post, even when they said I didn’t have to.

Am I Former’s first lucky hook up? It would appear so! After Derek broke the next development about the store being taken down, I began to reflect on how endearing the entire experience was. I don’t know who was on the other end of the Instagram messages, but I imagine Dane sitting in Carpentaria with Sammy on his lap, sipping a coffee and writing me back. Maybe it was Craig? Maybe Austin just finished heel flipping a six stair and saw the notification?

Who knows! I asked but haven’t gotten a response.

Most brands today have very little rapport with their fans, and the Former guys could have easily overreacted to my purchase. Alas, they didn’t. Instead responding with endearment, respect and class. How would Quiksilver or Vissla handle a similar ordeal? There aren’t corporate lawyers or social media teams overseeing the entire operation. It’s just a few friends that wanted to make their own honest brand that hopefully will resonate with fans and be a refreshing change in an industry dominated by brands outdoing each other with wacky prints and graphics on their products.

And don’t that make you smile?

Long live Former! The future is yours!