Setting the Tone: A Conversation with Bijan of New Tone Studios

One theme that has remained constant amongst creatives is the nature of resilience when it comes to how people shift in the midst of a complicated pandemic and social unrest. Whether it be music, art, or fashion, these cultural industries have all had to find new ways to grow their footprint with new hurdles presented in front of them at any given point. Today we are featuring an individual by the name of Bijan Celani who heads New Tone Studios, a multidisciplinary creative house that tries to tell stories through clothing and other creative outlets. Bijan has put a heavy focus on connecting with artists when they stop in Vancouver, Canada to spread the vision of what he’s built from the ground up.

Now there are many brands out there that are started up with these goals in mind, but an underlying driving vision is what separates the top tier from the countless streetwear brands that have come and gone over the past decade. Bijan has been crafting New Tone Studios long before his first piece of clothing was ever sold, the ideas have been in his head. Combining the clothing with elements of music and live events has him creating a new standard for what people expect from the brands/individuals they choose to support. Its gone beyond fire pieces, selling a mindset around the clothing is just as essential to stand out in a saturated market.

His hustle paired with the quality of his designs is what lead him to provide clothing to many of your favorite rappers. In fact, you may have seen his clothing at a concert, T-Mobile ads, or in a number of music videos as he has found a way to share his story and clothing with people he once idolized. His clothing has been worn by names like Post Malone, Ski Mask the Slump God, Lil Mosey, Lil Keed, 88GLAM, MadeInTYO, and even the legend that is JuiceWRLD. With touring completely halting this year, Bijan has not slowed down his grind in continuing to develop his brand by setting up a physical retail/studio to house more content and artists when the world resumes once again.

Being that Bijan is only 22 years old, he has only really just begun to establish his legacy as a designer in his own right. Now, a majority of the interviews we do here focus on music, but Bijan has put an emphasis on tying his clothing to the larger culture. In this interview, there are some gems dropped for any young creative who are looking to create a brand for themselves. That life isn’t meant for everybody, but New Tone Studios is a perfect example of how you can build something out of nothing with a creative vision and being able to take hard L’s along the way. Read our conversation to learn more about the story behind his brand and some useful advice for any young dreamers looking to embark on a creative journey of their own.

Check out their Instagram to familiarize yourself with New Tone Studios before reading if you’re not already!

LL: Introduce yourself for those unfamiliar!

I’m 22. I’m from Vancouver, Canada and I run New Tone Studios. 

LL: How long have you been developing New Tone Studios? 

Technically my whole life, since It’s the first real platform that I’ve created as opposed to doing random photography and videography work in the past. We just passed the 2 year anniversary of it being out to the world, but it took me a couple of years of planning and strategizing until I  realized I finally had built up enough knowledge and resources to actually put a name to everything.  

LL: Can you tell us a little bit about the brand itself? 

New Tone Studios is a lifestyle brand. Clothing, music, parties, photography, film, anything that exemplifies innovation.  

LL: You have a very iconic logo with the rhinestone angel on a lot of your pieces, can you speak on the story behind that? 

I love angels. 

LL: What does “New Tone” mean to you? 

“New Tone” to me means modernizing a new way of communication through design. The overall tone of the clothes and parties is contemporary, and I think the name is synonymous in the way  I try to live. I’m looking to push art in a forward direction in the long term, and I’m in my own world trying to bring new and distinct ideas to light for as long as I can.  

I think adding “studios” to the end of the name references to my appreciation of process. Being in studios where a musician is recording, an artist is painting, or a photographer is shooting,  there’s a sense of gratitude I feel toward witnessing work in progress. I also think I was sort of foreshadowing; fast forward 2 years and I’m operating full time in my own studio in Downtown  Vancouver, so it all makes more sense now. 

LL: Who/what initially made you want to make clothes in the first place? 

I think over the years I’ve learned to utilize the thoughts I was having in a way that could leave an effect on other people, besides just myself. I love the idea of trying to figure out why, when we put on certain clothes, it leads to a momentary shift of identity. I’ve loved clothes and design since I was young, but it wasn’t until the last few years where I really realized that I could alter the way I dress and control the fit and design of clothes to suit my lifestyle and my mood. My first real introduction to clothing design was me just cutting the hems off of all my hoodies to make me more comfortable when I was boxing or working out. From then on I just started leaving that personalized touch on everything I wore, I think of it like an unofficial signature.  

LL: What inspired you to do more with your branding than just sell clothes? 

I want to leave a good first impression on people when they find the brand. Usually, for people, it’s seeing our Instagram page, I don’t want it to just look like we sell clothes. I’m designing a  lifestyle to go along with the clothes on your back, I don’t even consider myself a clothing designer. I’d call it life design. 

LL: Who was the first person that gave you a shot to share your story and send them clothing to wear? 

I think the first people to really give the clothes life were 88GLAM. I linked up with them when they were in town for a show and they showed a lot of love, I think Camino ended up wearing one of the pieces for the rest of the tour. Juice Wrld also wore our clothes very early on which was crazy, RIP to a legend. 

LL: Early on you linked with Denim Tears, what knowledge did he have to share with you on what you were building?

He’s an OG and one of the few people I take any sort of inspiration from. We randomly met at the Chateau Marmont in LA, I think we share a common interest in telling stories through clothing and nightlife… 

LL: How did it feel having Post Malone embracing the brand so fully and repping it on several public occasions? 

Pretty sick, and confusing, but at the same time, rewarding. I put a lot of effort into the clothes I  make so seeing anybody, in general, wear my stuff is gratifying, let alone one of the biggest artists in the world. Like, he can literally wake up and choose to wear anything he wanted to,  and he woke up and put on some NTS. That’s fire. 

LL: What is your mentality when it comes to engaging with artists that tour in Vancouver? 

It’s cool getting to show people that there’s actually cool shit they can check out besides just going to their show and leaving the city right away. That’s a primary reason why I opened up my showroom Downtown, I want it to be a cultural hub for photographers, musicians, designers,  etc.  

LL: Do you have any wisdom to share for a young kid with aspirations to create their own brand? 

Prepare yourself and understand the field you’re getting into. Take a step back and ask yourself,  what am I contributing to the world that doesn’t already exist? Does my art resonate AND  influence? Experiment and try new things. Don’t get caught up in the materialistic side of fashion, make sure your living real life, discovering and solving problems, collaborating with people, and take every opportunity that’s thrown at you when starting out. Strive for authenticity,  your own struggles are actually your own mechanisms to succeed. And put yourself in tough situations, privilege buries ambition, and will 100% without fail stunt your growth.  

LL: Are you looking to do any artist collaborations in the future? 

100%. Collaboration is the essence in which good work comes about, that’s something I’m slowly getting more accustomed to, as I’ve always worked better alone.

LL: When we weren’t on lockdown, you threw some innovative parties that tied in your brand.  Are you planning a big comeback event once this is all said and done? 

We’re raging as soon as they open up the gates. We’re working on international pop-ups too, so look out for that. 

LL: What made you start your STUDIO SOUNDS playlist? 

It just ties into the brand perfectly, they’re soundtracks for different scenarios we put ourselves in.  Going out to the club, designing a collection, working out, there’s a playlist for everyone. It’s also a way for us to work with DJ’s or other cultural figures to come together and clash worlds while the world’s still on hold. We recently collaborated on a playlist with London Based DJ, Skinny  Macho, who’s also one of my favorite DJ’s of all time. He does a lot of Boiler Room sets in the  UK. You can download all the playlists straight to your phone from our website.

LL: Which artist would you most want to give your clothing too? 

Lil B. 

LL: Where do you see New Tone Studios going in 2021? 

Everywhere. 

LL: Any final words for the Lyrical Lemonade readers? 

Real art always wins.