A hotel can mean quite a few things, symbolically.
In dream interpretation, especially from a spiritual sense, it can represent a traveling thru of an issue, an unsettled home life, or a longing to leave the stale state your life is in. All of that can hold weight to the dreamer. That’s the thing about dreams however, they are both intensely personal, and broadly open. They’re Lichtenstein’s Dot Matrix, as much as they’re Rothko’s broad strokes.
HOTEL 1171 is both pieces for founder Brett Baldwin. Except he doesn’t use frames. But he used to use skateboards.
Baldwin, 31, grew up in Encinitas, Ca. – a beachside metro right outside of San Diego that holds a special place in skateboard folklore. It’s where Tony Hawk is from. That should be enough. But there’s so many more from the world of street sport and culture ranging from Shaun White to Danny Way, to Blink 182’s Tom DeLonge that you stop thinking it’s an accident and start thinking it may be some sort of blessed portal for the freethinking creative with a authority edge.
Brett Baldwin is almost on that Mount Radmore along the So-Cal coast in Encinitas.
The former skateboarder lived and breathed creation and skating for as long as he can recall. He remembers summer skate camp, getting CCS Magazine in the mail, and the day his mom got him his first pair of Airwalks.
He spent elementary and middle school doodling and designing, creating brands and companies that would only exist on the back of notebooks and scratch paper, and always wanted to have a brand. By 9th grade he was the entrepreneur of the century, and only he knew it. There was always something there, whether the product existed or not.
He listened to punk bands and backpack rap, and thought of the Living Legends x Atmosphere show as the extended, better version of Christmas.
At 18, upon graduation high school, he worked at the legendary LRG clothing line. It expanded his vision and experience by leaps and bounds. It sadly couldn’t last forever, as college was right around the corner.
He gave college the old college try, to an extent. As much as any creative who knew the real score did, and within a year, dropped out of Cal State. He spent more time skating in underground lit parking lots til 2 am and scheming than homework.
But homework is for stiffs that need to be spoon fed test answers.
HOTEL 1171 would always be for those who had the heart and spirit to search for them, and the balls to ride the lighting to where ever it went.
After leaving Cal State, Baldwin started ONE PEOPLE PROJECT, an uplifting, unity driven streetwear line in the same vein as an LRG or Roots Collective.
At Agenda in 2007, he met then KarmaLoop buyer Wil Eddens, and Eddens saw the vision.
He started selling and growing OPP in a grassroots manner, and it caught fire. OPP was in all the right stores, and selling online. They even had a spot at the legendary GRAY ONE shop in Pasadena. When skate and urban chain Active Ride Shop formerly filed for Chapter 11, OPP’s biggest account, so did the brand.
Baldwin starting working in retail, which gave him an obscene amount of experience in every avenue and nuance in fashion. and gave him framework that every creative needs most. After that, he became the creative director for a Lacrosse brand, which showed him that even outside of the skate and urban lifestyle space, he could travel very productively.
He knew it was time to launch his own vision, complete with creative house that will draft and imagine both product and concept, from start to well marketed finish.
HOTEL was the name that popped into his head for the brand. It meant freedom, the ability to travel, and the visual most associated with the man on the move, and the nightly curtain draw for the adventurer.
HOTEL 1171 is currently famous for the “Satin Bomber” – but there’s so much more to come. The brand seeks evolve the pop up shop concept with the immersive narrative concept in actual hotels, and continue to unite the physical and digital brand experience as one.
For Brett Baldwin, this all started as a dream and a sketch.
Now, the universe has given him room keys.