Updated: Oct 22
article by: Emma Karla Peet
Since moving to Los Angeles, I have come in contact with a lot of creative and interesting people who I believe within only a few years will be the pioneering creatives of our culture. One of these people is Zabastian, designer and creator of the fashion brand Esqape as well as the shoe brand YRU. Esqape is different from other brands because it sells sustainable clothes, such as the jacket, shorts and shoes made from recycled plastic bottles.
I decided to sit down with Z and share more about the core of this sustainable clothing brand.
At what moment in your life did you decide you wanted to be a designer?
Portrait by Ashlyn Des Roches
I never decided, it was decided upon me. If you’re good at anything creative I think it’s because you put your heart into it. Dancing was the first creative thing I did actually. I was born dancing, mostly tropical dances at family parties. Then while I was at school, I would draw a lot of characters, mostly cute ones or comic book characters. I loved anything supernatural and out of this world. The fashion in these worlds created to me was an expression of our inner spiritual representation. You can present that through fashion. I wanted to pay the bills and do something I like. Fashion and clothing have always seemed very tangible. Its physical value made it easy to pursue.
When did you start Esqape and how would you describe it?
Esqape was born in 2015. I was meditating one day, which is how I come up with my designs now, and I had an image of the escape key pop into my head. Esqape means to escape from the box we are all set in and the way to escape is through your heart, which is why we focus so much on love. Your heart is the connection to freedom and the higher paradise within every moment. I felt that image was a message from a higher place. The brand branched off of my other brand YRU. My team and I wanted to do more than just product service, we wanted something that had more heart behind it and have broader limits than the shoe brand. Escape is clothing, shoes, any type of wearable art, events, music, everything.
When did you realize that Esqape was becoming successful?
I think there is a long way to go still. I suppose success would be a form of feeling satisfied and grateful. I’m grateful, but I’m not satisfied. I mean there are moments of success and accomplishments but there has been nothing to sit back and retire on. One thing about branding and fashion is that it keeps moving and that is what’s so exciting about it. We cannot sleep, relax and say that we are successful because we stay hungry and that’s how it grows.
You have quite a following on Instagram, do you rely on the platform a lot for selling your products?
I think of it more as a showcase, like a window display. You have to go about it with all kind of various angles. Image is everything now because we don’t shop retail anymore. Everything must be expressed about the brand through an image now. You need a social presence these days but it doesn’t define a brand.
What sort of aspirations do you have for Esqape?
In this current season I see it becoming fifth dimensional. More than just being aesthetically pleasing, I think these designs would be enhancing our higher selves. Such as meditation crowns, crystals, eye wear, and our 5g protection material. It’s all either giving back in a sustainable method or it’s elevating our inner spirit. I feel like we are losing our connection with the earth through all of the synthetic stuff we have. Our 5g protection is fabric that is made out of woven silver and protects from all the EMF fields around you, which are cross-interfering with your body. If there is a 5g tower next to you, you probably will have a hard time sleeping, or have a headache, or get stressed out more easily. We also have graphene stickers that are made with NASA material that provides radiation protection for the military and NASA. But now that we are surrounded by radiation, this material is also good for us citizens to use. You just stick these stickers on your phone which is emitting the most of it.
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to start their own brand?
Focus on service and how you can help create something that will help and is original. Helping in a repetitive way might not be helpful. To fill in something that is missing, something that no one else is doing might be more challenging in the beginning but will take you further.
Press the Esqape key whenever you feel you need to let go and that’s always within you.
Thank you for reading!
Portrait by Ashlyn Des Roches