Sean Bones, formerly of the weatherman-named band Sam Champion, has more than music happening this summer. While the guitar player is releasing his debut album, Rings, in July and has shows on May 28 at the Mercury Lounge and June 12 at Bruar Falls, he’s also nursing sartorial ambitions. Bones and his fiancée run and design a line of swim trunks under the moniker S/S FRIENDS, making him one of the few New Yorkers who’ll we’ll be listening to and wearing this summer. Henry Melcher talks with the musician and designer.
Why did you decide to make shorts? Were you worried about the stigma against guys wearing them?
More than making clothes, I started S/S FRIENDS because I had to get re-excited about making things. I was hitting too many walls. It happened that swim trunks worked for a lot of reasons and our “fashion line” gave me the opportunity put music out on my own.
I’m not sure of any stigma with shorts. I don’t wear shorts unless they’re bathing suits. We wanted to make a pair that wouldn’t look funny when I wore them with a button down shirt to my old job.
Do you have any intentions of changing the traditional male pair of shorts?
No, there’s no fashion initiative other than to make fun things and pair them with music releases.
How do you think your shorts line will effect your musical career?
My idea to mess with the idea of a “fashion collection” was just that. If anything, it tempted me to actually put out a reggae record, which then led to an opportunity to make the album I just made. Since I handed it in a couple of weeks ago, I’ve had people road test the new songs wearing a variety of bottoms—swim suits, dungarees, bikinis, pajamas and plain cotton panties—and they’re all enjoying what they hear.