As big fans of the L.A. clothing brand (it was hard not to be if you were into glam/sleaze rock’n’roll in the late 80s/early 90s!), we thought it would be interesting to share this interview of Drew Bernstein (Lip Service founder) by our favourite paper zine Bubblegum Slut. Thanks, Alison for letting us share it.
Read more cool Bubblegum Slut archives at https://bubblegumzinearchive.blogspot.com/
Alison’s intro (August 15, 2022):
t the time this interview was published (2007 / Issue 28), Lip Service clothing’s founder and CEO, Drew Bernstein, aka ‘Lippy’, had no real need of doing press, much less UK fanzine press.
His L.A-based alt. fashion brand had been outfitting the likes of Axl Rose since 1985, and true to its strapline, ‘The Original Cult’, it boasted a global, cult-like following. Fans calling themselves ‘Lippy Addicts’ built extensive fan-sites, and traded Lip Service’s limited-edition, highly collectable punk/goth/fetishwear designs for considerable sums.
In a bid to discover what sort of scheme or sorcery I used to secure an interview with Lip Service’s CEO, I started digging through the old Bubblegum Sl💙t inbox. The shockingly mundane answer is that I fired off a long-shot email, and three days later Lippy wrote back, apologising for the ‘delay’ in replying, and saying ‘call me tomorrow’.
While a lot of the fashion content in the zine’s later issues never really worked (eventually, I want to do a series of posts about regular columns which failed, no matter how much I forced the format, and fashion looms large on the list), this feature is a rare exception, which I remember fondly.
There are a couple reasons for this.
Firstly, I was a MASSIVE fan of Lip Service’s designs. The attention to detail on this stuff was unmatched by any of the brand’s competitors.
Secondly, having the chance to chat with Lippy himself about the work that went into realising those details – be it sourcing padlocks for a fetish line, or finding the perfect white flocking technique to create ‘lines’ on the controversial ‘Coke Fiend’ collection – turned out to be a rare opportunity, not be repeated. On 18th August 2014, I was shocked to learn of Lippy’s death by apparent suicide, at the age of 51.
For a ton of bonus images related to this feature, check out Story Highlights on the Bubblegum Zine Archive Instagram.
For vintage Lip Service catalogues, head to the Redemption Clothing archive.
Veglam: I bought my first Lip Service clothes in 1990 at Red Balls On Fire in London and I still own them after all those years!:
The brand has reissued some of their earlier designs these last years.
More info: https://lip-service.com/