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Curated By:

DEREK GALKIN



TODD SNYDER: YOU’VE BEEN IN CALIFORNIA FOR MOST OF YOUR LIFE. WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT THIS PLACE?

DEREK GALKIN: I was born and raised in Encinitas, immersed in action sports from the beginning. Surfing, skating, snowboarding — in that era it was a lifestyle. California back in the day was the American dream, from Hollywood to Big Sur, a little bit of everything, and it remains a special place. I’ve traveled, but California will always be home.

TS: YOU’VE ALWAYS GOT A LOT GOING ON. HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED WHEN YOU’RE SO CLOSE TO THE BEACH?

DG: Living in Santa Barbara allows me to work within my passions. Fashion, board sports, wine, design, cars and architecture all fall under California Culture. It is a simple lifestyle that allows me to focus and spend time on my craft.

TS: LET’S TALK MORE ABOUT AUTOTYPE, THE DESIGN COMMUNITY PLATFORM YOU CO-FOUNDED A YEAR AGO. IT’S SUCH A COOL RESOURCE FOR ALL KINDS OF GREAT DESIGN

DG:Autotype has been brewing in me for years. It’s a platform to curate design and empower designers. Throughout my career I’ve been influenced and supported by my peers and mentors. Autotype is a place to nurture that, a platform to give design students a head start and the kinds of opportunities and connections I had. We curate designs that we love, we tell the stories behind them, we sell products, and then a percentage of that goes toward scholarships and mentorships.

TS: WHAT’S YOUR VISION FOR AUTOTYPE AS IT CONTINUES TO GROW AND EVOLVE?

DG:Our mission is to inspire today’s youth and empower the future of design. It’s about connecting talented people the way we do. Networking. Synergy. That’s what makes this industry go ’round. And I want everyone who appreciates good design to be able to to find something they value in our shop — whether it’s an architect in New York or a student at ArtCenter [College of Design].

TS: WHEN DID YOU FIRST START TO BECOME INTERESTED IN DESIGN?

DG:My parents instilled a love of detail in me from an early age. My father worked for a German printing press company called Heidelberg, and between his affinity for print and his infatuation with German automobiles, I got the bug. I had no real choice. I grew up with a real appreciation for the idea that simple, functional design makes things easy. It’s beautiful and thoughtful and makes your life better.

TS: DOES YOUR YELLOW PORSCHE HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH YOUR DAD’S LOVE OF GERMAN CARS?

DG:My father always had an affinity for pastel yellow Porsches. I always leaned on the safe side -- white, silver and grey — until about 6 years ago, when I found the perfect car. The right era, the right mileage, the right history — and it happened to be pastel yellow. A 1997 Porsche 911.

TS: YOU’VE BEEN IN FASHION FOR MOST OF YOUR LIFE. LET’S TALK PERSONAL STYLE. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR APPROACH TO CLOTHES?

DG: I always want to be the most dressed-down person in an overdressed environment, and the most overdressed in a really casual environment. I really gravitate towards pieces that I call “cultural annuities” — I mean, something so familiar and classic you can wear it every day.

TS: WHAT’S “CLASSIC” IN YOUR BOOK?

DG:For me, a man’s wardrobe is defined by your shoes, your watch, your sunglasses, and your coat. You can wear jeans and a tee and be a cowboy, a surfer or in fashion, it’s just a question of these defining pieces. So I think for basics you need a good pair of denim, a good pair of chinos, good navy tee, a good jacket and you’re good.

TS: IS THERE A BIT OF THE LAID-BACK CALIFORNIA INFLUENCE IN THERE?

DG:It’s the opposite of trying too hard and overdoing it. California style is basic and clean and functional. You have to be able to go from morning walk on the beach to coffee to a meeting in LA to a casual dinner at night, and wear the same uniform through all of that. In other cities you dress the part, make a definitive costume change. But in CA there’s consistency. Coffee and wine gets you through the day, all in the same uniform.

TS: SPEAKING OF WINE...YOU’RE ALSO IN THE BUSINESS OF VINO THROUGH YOUR COMPANY ROOM.

DG:In addition to being a design platform, Autotype is a full service creative firm, and being based in Santa Barbara we became the go-to agency in the wine industry. I really fell in love with it all — from farming by day to sophisticated dinners by night. But wine is intimidating for most people. With ROOM Wines, we take people on a journey in winemaking, an exploration that fuses art, analysis and adventure. We experiment, and we work with some of the industry’s best.

TS: WINE, CARS, BEACH, ART, DESIGN. YOU’RE REALLY SELLING ME ON THE CALIFORNIA LIFESTYLE.

DG:Whenever we have friends visit from New York, they say, “Why don’t we live here?” You can. You absolutely can.