Feb 26, 2016 5:54PM

Streetwear Specialists Jakob Hetzer & Reese Cooper Are All About The Real Deal

U do u.

Meet 18-year-old Reese Cooper and 19-year-old Jakob Hetzer, two talented guys who are making things happen in the streetwear fashion game. Hailing from London and Hamburg respectively, their creative smarts have seen them do marketing/consulting/design work with brands like adidas and Rhude.

We caught up with the good mates to talk about their respective labels, the lol way they met and what it's like to be "a thing" on the internet. 

Taylor Glasby: You're both currently working on clothing lines. Tell us about them....
Reese Cooper: Jakob's brand is pretty contemporary but also high end and dirty. It really just matches the way he dresses, which is like a soldier/motorcycle punk but going to church. It's really for his own idea of what it should be and not for any certain market.
Jakob Hetzer: I love the fact that Reese's collection so far is very multifunctional. I feel like you could go rock climbing in a full RC outfit and then go to a fancy dinner right after without having to change.

How did you two meet and what cemented your friendship?
Jakob: We spoke first briefly through Instagram or something. But about a year and a half ago I was stranded at Heathrow airport and I tweeted about it, and Reese just replied saying, come to my house, so I just showed up.
Reese: I think I was showering when he showed up so my Mum just let him in. I came out of the shower not knowing he was there, walked into my room and he was in my desk chair on his laptop. He just said, "Sup," and that was about it. We became actual friends that time he was in London.

Alongside design, what recent projects are you most proud of?
Jakob: The projects I'm most proud of are pretty much all based around design, but it's cool that we made a book together out of photos we had from the past few months. We came up with the idea, chose pictures, had it printed and had it online for sale literally within 24 hours.
Reese: We work incredibly well together [outside of the clothing lines]. We also do a lot to help kids we find talented, all behind the scenes stuff.

You often work with brands... who do you guys partner with and what do you bring to those brands?
Jakob: I only work with people I connect with on a personal level. I bring graphic design and general fashion design capabilities to the table for them such as my work with Rhude currently.
Reese: I'm the same way about people I work with. Currently I do a lot of marketing and creative consulting.
Jakob: We work really well together when it comes to styling or visual work so we're starting to get into things like that with brands.

What does it mean to be a person who "influences" other people via the internet?
Jakob: I hate giving myself these kind of titles. I'd definitely say I've influenced and inspired some people through my presence on the internet, but at the end of the day, I think there are more important roles and figures that kids should be inspired by.
Reese: Most kids who see us will never meet either of us in person. They'll never be able to have a conversation with us for whatever reason so the internet is our only point of access. To a kid who can only see us via the internet then yes, the title applies. But if it's people who have met us or see us around, then no. We speak the same messages in person and are the same people we are online. Influencers online or not. Internet is just point of contact.

Though you work separately, it seems like you talk to each other a lot about what you're doing. Do you give each other advice?
Jakob: We talk all the time about what we're working on so naturally we give each other advice and help each other out. Reese isn't a yes-man. He's honest and critical, which is very helpful when asking for advice. He knows how to approach things better than me and knows how to translate ideas into real life.
Reese: I don't think we've gone longer than 12 hours without talking in the past 18 months to be honest. We both know more than each other in certain fields so we do what we can to pass that on to each other. Jakob knows way more history than I do fashion-wise and takes me to school daily. There's no competition between us either. If one of us wins, we both do.

Is fashion design the long-term goal for you?
Reese: Simple answer, no. As of now there is no long-term goal, just experimenting and doing what I like. For the moment it's clothing design but I know I'll move on at some point. Once I no longer relate to the stuff that inspired me in the first place is when it'll get tricky. I just know I want to end up in a nice house in a country far away from any sort of scene.
Jakob: I totally agree. I don't know what's going to happen or what I want to do 20 years from now. I just know I'll keep making clothes because that's what keeps me going. It's my everything.

Do you put a lot of thought into the stuff you post on Instagram?
Reese: Instagram is just a platform to post and say what you feel or think, but everyone is afraid to. Just post what you want, it doesn't matter, it's an app. My Instagram looks curated but that's just because I'm very picky about what looks good. It's the same with Jakob. We could post a certain two dozen photos and gain ten thousand followers but what's the point? Followers aren't real unless they're following you for you, not the images people will think are cool, you know?
Jakob: Obviously I have to care about my content to a certain extent because it is a form of marketing, but if I just post what represents me the most, it makes sense, and it can't be fake. So if people like it I'm cool with that. If they don't they can move on. Also it's just Instagram, like Reese said. Don't let it influence you too much and don't care too much.

What's a trend you'd like to make happen in 2016?
Jakob: I want to make paying for your own shit cool again because this "finesse culture" thing is getting out of hand. People wear full outfits of clothes they hate because they got it for free and think they sound cool posting that online.
Reese: One hundred percent. People won't travel without a free flight or go to a party without guest list. Everyone is too self-entitled to do shit for themselves or even support the people around them. It's holding us back as a culture.

Photography: Elliot Morgan
Text: Taylor Glasby