by John Russel Jones

According to a profile by Paige Silveria in Purple magazine, “If “underground” still means something, you might ask the surfer, singer, guitarist, artist, filmmaker, and photographer Alex Knost just what that is. He does them all with energy and style. He transformed a giant warehouse, on the coast, just outside of Los Angeles, into his studio and a workspace for his band, Tomorrows Tulips. He also turned the space into the Costa Mesa Conceptual Art Center, a hub for his artist and musicians friends to stay and work.”

It’s like what if “Fast Times at Ridgemont High’s” surfer dude/n’er do well Jeff Spicoli was actually an overachiever? His Instagram feed features images that seem hard-edged and a-little-too-real, interspersed with the occasional link links to collaborations he’s done with Vans.

Knost is also doing a collaboration with handmade eyeglass frame company Raen. Based in Oceanside, Calif., near San Diego. The frames are the fourth collaboration and the first limited edition sunglasses he’s done with the company, and they have a decidedly retro-futurist flair. Dubbed Teenage Tokyo, the collection features three colors in numbered, limited editions of 200 each. The three combinations include a recycled black frame with dark smoke lenses, a new tortoise pattern with a bottle green lens, and in amber with a rose lens.

The design team at RAEN incorporated wrapped end pieces with beveling along the top brow in order to achieve Knost’s vision. Additionally, Teenage Tokyo features Knost’s handwritten Luxury Wig script on the side in a metal plaque alongside its individual number. To store the oversized frames, RAEN also constructed a new, fold-flat, pop-up case from recycled materials.
For more information, check out RAEN’s website, or call (760) 436-7236.