Period Correct Is The Fashion Label That The Automotive World Deserves
“Period correct” is a term that we’ve all used to describe the minutae of the cars we obsess over. That lug nut? That’s period correct to that year! Those Fuchs wheels? Nah, they’re off by a year, not period correct.
Founder and Creative Director of Period Correct, Bryan Calvero, took the time to sit down and walk me through his vision for this space, his brand, and what it means to bring the high fashion, collaborative mindset to a niche like classic motoring.
Ted Gushue: Tell me about Period Correct.
Bryan Calvero: Period Correct is a concept, it’s a lifestyle brand that I started, and it’s basically a direct reflection of my personal interests, from motor sports, classic cars, Porsches, Ferraris, to Group B rally cars. Anything that I was into that had to do with motorsport, mixed with my background in fashion and being in the fashion industry. It’s basically a direct reflection of me.
TG: What was your background in the fashion industry?
BC: I had a sales agency, I basically helped consult for different brands that sold to Japan, that sold brands here in the U.S., just numerous brands. I was more on the field end of it, and always wanted to design my own line one day. Basically Period Correct came about with me trying to figure out what that was, what the brand identity was going to be. That’s what’s great is that I design stuff that I like, that I want to do.
Even this next season, the whole collection, all the materials are from Japan. Everything is sewn in L.A. and U.S. made, so I’m just making quality good products that I want to see out there. There’s really no format or, “Hey, we have to make this many jackets”. I’m stepping away from what I learned in the corporate world as far as fashion went, and just getting back to having fun.
TG: In terms of your brand, what does the phrase Period Correct mean to you?
BC: Period Correct is more than a term meaning, “Oh these wheels are period correct for that Porsche. It’s from ’69, the wheels are from ’69”. I’m trying to define Period Correct more as a lifestyle. If you like motorsports, if you like the old cars, if you like modern architecture, if you love vintage watches, this brand is for you. I built this kind of union during my time working with different brands. Anywhere I traveled, I was able to visit amazing art collections, or see great shops with old vintage watches, or go look at an amazing furniture store that had Mid Century furniture. It’s more of a lifestyle. They always used to joke, they’d be like, “Oh, Brian is a renaissance man, and he loves stuff of a day where he wasn’t even born yet. His interests, he’s engulfed in the ’50s and ’60s automobiles”.
TG: I have the same affliction, and I find sometimes that the best way to describe it is that it’s a nostalgia for the way that things never were.
TG: It’s almost a romanticism that we look back upon these eras. We have this mystical “Vaseline over the lens” view on the world of motoring as it once was, or at least the better parts of it. Not the impractical and difficult and painful parts of it, but the beautiful parts. That seems like what you’re trying to celebrate with Period Correct.
BC: Yeah, exactly. First and foremost, Period Correct is a clothing brand that happens to have a flagship store, and the building that the store resides in had Porsche history. It had automobile history because it used to be Gary Emory’s shop called Parts Obsolete. I was talking to Gary at Luftgekühlt 3, and he was telling me, “Hey, my shop had 904 parts, 906 parts, 4 cams. We had race car racing engines from 907’s. We had almost every part you could think of,” because that’s what they did. The people stop by and say, “Oh yeah, the Porsche transporter was stored in the back”. To have that kind of direct connection with a shop that used to be open from 1976 to ’92, that was big for us, that’s why I couldn’t miss the space.
Everyone’s like, “Wow, it’s hard to find, it’s not really on a main street, how do you guys survive? How do you guys make it work?” We’re a destination shop. It’s also my design studio and office. We’re proud to be there because it has that history, and everyone’s saying, “Oh it’s all Porsche,” but to talk a little bit about the car side, is someone asks me, “Are you a Porsche guy?” Of course, I love Porsches. But I also love I love Alfas, I love BMWs, I love Group B rally cars, I love Ferraris. I love cars. I love cars with race history, I love cars that are setup to have a little racier feel.
I don’t knock cars that aren’t “period correct”, I have a car that isn’t completely “PC” engine wise, it has a modern engine in it, but I drive it every day. Do I have the factory engine stock put away with the stock trams? Yes, I have it. It’s rebuilt, it’s sitting ready to get put in if I’d like to, but I’m not by any means, and I didn’t start Period Correct for people to bring their car by for me to judge them and to say, “Aw man, those wheels aren’t Period Correct. That color’s not Period Correct for the car”. No, man. I’m a car guy and to each his own. I’m not here to judge anybody for what they love.
TG: It’s more of an attitude than a designation.
BC: Yes. Exactly.
TG: Could you say that your brand is like the “Supreme” for automotive enthusiasts?
BC: No. By far Supreme’s in their own lane. I definitely wouldn’t want to be compared to any fashion brand out there. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel. I’m designing pretty much basics that I like to wear, and if it’s something I like to wear, then I’m making it. The thing is, you can’t compare period correct to any brand right now, because there’s nobody that I think of that’s doing clothing or fashion inspired by motorsport or by classic cars and putting their touch on it. It’s very difficult for me to compare it to anybody, and if I was to say a brand that I really like from Japan or anything like that, or Supreme, I’d be…that would be such a premature gesture. For me, we’re our own brand. We’re not street wear, we’re not urban, we’re not surf, we’re not motorcycle. We’re just a US made brand making quality goods that is inspired by the owner’s life passions work. For us, we have a great connection and have a brand ambassador who I also call a partner of mine, Jeff Zwart who validates us in the motorsport side. That’s big for us, that we’re not just a brand that’s saying, “Oh yeah we’re doing this and doing that, and we’re not out there, and our guys aren’t really out there”. No, just won Pike’s Peak, Period Correct was on the car, we were proud that he won and won in his class. He’s been a best friend of mine and mentor, and I definitely call him a partner.
TG: Are some of the cars that are on display at the destination shops, are those his or are some of them yours?
BC: It varies. At times they’re mine and then we have a silent partner who provides some of his very special cars. Then we have Zwart’s cars. The Martini car that’s in the store now belongs to our silent partner.
TG: The Monte Carlo?
BC: Yeah, the Lancia Beta Monte Carlo which is just an amazing car. Like I said, those kind of unions started with the close friends of Jeff Zwart’s, he’ll put in the 906. He’ll put in the 914-6, we mix it up.
TG: So what’s next for you guys?
BC: We’re launching our second collection, our “second drop” per se. When I designed the first collection, not to make any excuses, I had to design a collection for the store, as well as building the store, designing the store, and building the store at the same time. This is the first time I really got to sit down and got to sit with my designer, Brian Shore, who is one of my head designers. From day 1 he’s been with me and we bounced ideas back and forth. We make and design what we feel is relevant to us and not to the market or what we think is trending. We don’t do stuff like that. We’re designing, we’re excited to drop our second collection. It’ll be shot next week, and then it’ll be probably be available by May 1st. We keep pushing it because we only release products when we’re ready.
We’ve got a collaboration coming out with Stand 21, we’re doing some racing gloves with them. We’ve got some interesting projects on the marketing side with Vans. We’re doing some pretty neat stuff, but we’re collaborating with friends. That’s what I do. Somebody might say, “You know what? That collaboration you’re doing just doesn’t make sense. I don’t understand it, I don’t know why you would do it with that brand”. Well, it’s easy: they’re my friends. Some people might not understand what they’re going to see in the future, especially…I can’t really leak it out yet, but we have something special coming out in May, and people aren’t going to expect that.
The brand I’m collaborating with has no direct correlation or any relevance with cars except the owner loves cars, he loves Porsches, and I love Porsches, and we’re good friends. We decided to put our brands together, and that’s the beauty of owning and not being owned by a corporate company. We’re out here independently doing stuff that we just want to do. Whether people like it or not, you either love it or you don’t: that’s just how we do it.