For Red Nose Day, an L.A. lifestyle brand is mixing uplifting quotes and quartz crystal
Is Advisory Board Crystals a lifestyle brand? Technically. A streetwear label? Reluctantly. A wellness company? Mistakenly. Five years since the label’s inception, its founders — couple Heather Haber and Remington Guest — are still reluctant to put their baby in a box. The one thing they know for sure is that their designs have become a driver for crucial causes — the latest of many being Thursday’s Red Nose Day.
“We realized we do drive awareness. We do make an impact and we can make a difference by what we do,” said Guest, who serves as co-creative director with Haber.
The L.A. brand, commonly known as Abc., has partnered with nonprofit Comic Relief’s annual campaign to end child poverty this year by offering a collection including a limited-edition hoodie, a T-shirt and a massive quartz crystal. All proceeds from the goods, including a $60 digital zine available Thursday, will be donated to the cause.
This project, like everything else Abc. does, is steeped in intention — a theme that’s been driving the brand since its start.
As for the couple’s story, boy met girl in the backseat of an UberPool in Los Angeles. They ran into each other again at the Ace Hotel later that evening, began dating, bonded over a shared interest in healing crystals, humanitarianism and overlapped work experiences. Both Haber, 33, and Guest, 31, worked for designer Scott Sternberg’s Band of Outsiders in the mid-aughts but had never crossed paths. They fell in love and decided to create Abc.
Their brand started gaining traction in spring 2016 after making its debut with a collection of baby-pink T-shirts, which were not only inspired by the aesthetics of a crystal but also incorporated their so-called healing properties by using a rose quartz-infused dye.
This affinity for crystals, vague existentialism and the arcane has anchored the brand through countless — and wide-ranging — projects in the last four years.
In addition to working with major retailers Bergdorf Goodman and Kith, rappers Lil Wayne and Joey Badass and arts institutions such as the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the brand’s scope has widened to include supporting benevolent causes.
In 2018, Abc. collaborated with artist Ai Weiwei on a hoodie to benefit the International Rescue Committee and the now-closed Marciano Art Foundation. When Haber and Guest worked with Lil Wayne, it was in part to raise funds for free information through the Wikimedia Foundation. They’ve also worked with Houston Rockets point guard Russell Westbrook to bring attention to Inner-City Arts in Los Angeles.
The Red Nose Day collection includes five limited-edition hooded sweatshirts ($500) made in collaboration with Swarovski, which sold out soon after going up on the campaign’s eBay for Charity page Tuesday. The heavyweight gray sweatshirts are embellished with 1,350 crystals in a brand graphic on the front, haloed by the embroidered phrase, “Suddenly we all understood it didn’t have to be this way and realized we have the power to change it.”
It’s a statement that applies to a lot of issues in the world, the couple said, and remains open to interpretation. But more than anything, it’s a reminder that the power to end child poverty is in our hands.
According to the Red Nose Day’s website, nearly 20% of children in the U.S. are living under the poverty line. Nearly double that live in homes that struggle with food insecurity. Worldwide, 1 billion children lack access to basic needs. These issues have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It really lined up with what we believe in and the humanitarian aspect of our brand,” Guest said. “We felt like it was a really important cause to get behind.”
Regarding the phrase emblazoned on the front of the sweatshirt, Haber said, “Seeing the mission statements that these organizations have, we try to eternalize them, think of what that actually is saying to us and how would we say it in another way.”
Also up for grabs through Red Nose Day’s eBay for Charity site is a colossal clear quartz cluster that Abc. sourced from Avant Mining. The bidding starts at $2,500.
An image inspired by this very crystal is depicted on the project’s T-shirt, which feature the phrase, “We are the force for transformation in this world,” orbiting the Red Nose Day slogan, “Change their story for good.”
As Guest points out, “Quartz is all about the amplification of a message.” The T-shirt also features a scannable barcode that takes you directly to the donation page for Red Nose Day.
A T-shirt comes free with the purchase of the $60 digital zine themed “People Saving Information.” It builds off Red Nose Day’s message to end child poverty, and will be available on Abc.'s website at 11 a.m. Pacific time on Thursday.
The project was conceptualized long before the pandemic shaped a new global reality. Comic Relief reached out to Abc. shortly after Red Nose Day last year, and they’ve been working on these pieces since. But the designs’ metaphorical message take on a whole new meaning today.
“The project really lends itself to the ways a lot of people are feeling right now,” Haber said. “It feels much more relevant to almost everyone.”
Get The Wild newsletter.
The essential weekly guide to enjoying the outdoors in Southern California. Insider tips on the best of our beaches, trails, parks, deserts, forests and mountains.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.