Meet our legendary USA General Manager, Benny. Located in the heart of LA, Benny oversees the growth of our brand in the US while also making sure you can get your hands on the latest Thrills threads from coast to coast. We know you love meeting our team, so we thought we'd check in in the midst of the craziness to see how Benny's going and what he's been up to. Imagery by the talented Vivian Kim. Check it out.
Can you give us a round-up of what you do at Thrills?
General/Brand Manager for the USA…I’ve been with Thrills for just about a year and a half now, so I’ve been overseeing the brands launch here in the US Market throughout that time. 2020 has been a bit of a handbrake for many parts of the US business’ initial plan but we’ve been incredibly lucky to push through with such an incredible team in Australia and the US and the brand continues to grow here. I just can’t wait til we can get back to business as usual and open the store/office we’ve been planning and throw some damn parties again!
Benny wears the Quad Check Bowling Shirt.
Where are you based?
I’m currently based in Silverlake in Los Angeles. I’m originally from the Northern Beaches in Sydney but have been in the US for the past 8 maybe 9 years between here & New York…. I’ve lost count but heard that they give you a gun when you get to 10 years….
What’s COVID-19 looking like in LA?
It’s been a really fucking wild year in LA to be honest, from COVID hitting, to riots/protests, fires and now whatever you call this madness of a political election. I think the biggest challenge has been workwise as we’d just started to build up momentum with the brand here and had literally just held our official launch party with Monster Children on Feb 15th and then the country went straight into full blown lockdown on March 15th.
I do try to keep my head out of the media as much as possible and live life though so on the whole it’s been a pretty good year personally. My girlfriend Verity & I got a little 8-week-old Goldendoodle named Cosmo in February this year so worked out pretty perfectly us heading into lockdown with him. We’d also been planning to move to the East Side from Venice for quite some time, but just hadn’t found the right place yet and then in March we found the most amazing 1920’s home in Silverlake which we’ve just been spending a bunch of time decorating.
What are your tips for staying sane during this time?
I’m not really one to ever stop or take a breath… so I must say it’s been nice to start to enjoy a slightly slower pace this year. I do love travelling for work, but it can be really hectic being on the road so much out of the year with trade shows and meetings in so many different cities. If there was one tip, I’d just say make sure you always take time & space for yourself.
Benny wears the Political Free Fall Merch Fit Tee.
What have you been wearing? Any style icons you’re looking to for inspiration?
To be honest I don’t really steer away from Black/Vintage tee or Black/White pants or Denim & Dr Martens…hasn’t changed much for quite some time so not too sure who my style icon would be… actually I’d have to say my girlfriend is because she’s got the best style out of anyone I know….
I’ve been living in one of our latest collaborations with Jim Saah… wear it with the graphic or inside out. Our Denim are also the comfiest jeans I’ve ever owned. I stick with the Chopped fit. Love our graphic tees too, been wearing the Flaming Moe graphic to death and it’s just started getting a little chilly in LA so have been wearing the hoodie or our Endless Crew neck too.
Benny wears the Henry Merch Fit Tee.
What have you been listening to? Give us your best music recs.
My music taste is all over the place, it all depends on the time or when and where I am… I miss home a lot, so I listen to a lot of Australian music, new and old. NTS Radio is also a go to pretty often, there’s so many different genres and I find a lot of different music from there.
What kind of things do you get up to on your downtime?
I’m a pretty social person so it was pretty weird not being able to see anyone for so long earlier this year although LA/California have a lot to offer close by when it comes to the outdoors so have definitely been lucky to still be able to surf & hike and duck out of the city when we can. There’s miles and miles of trails to hike up in the hills of LA which are about a 10-minute drive away so have been trying to explore as much of them as possible with our madly energetic pup.
You’re always travelling - where are you off to next?
Well, as I mentioned I’m usually traveling around 3-4 months of the year showing our seasonal collections to retailers and visiting our stockists across the country but since everything’s been mostly digital over the past 6-7 months we’ve been trying to get away on quick little trips as much as possible over weekends and explore different parts of California as well as some other spots close by like Utah, Arizona, Nevada & Ensenada which have been super fun.
We actually just got back from a 2-week trip down to Mexico City, Mazunte, Zipolite & Puerto Escondido in Oaxaca which would have to have been one of the most incredible trips we’ve been on & I’d highly recommend it to anyone once travel opens up again. The culture, food, landscape & history are amazing.
Since winter is on its way here, we’re looking to do Aspen & probably head back to Mexico City at some point!