Filmmaker Casey Neistat recently joined forces with J. Crew to document their latest attire – The Ludlow Traveler Suit – in a quirky yet highly enjoyable short film. The result shows the filmmaker traveling around the globe putting his durable attire to the test. Here, he takes us behind the scenes.
Life+Times: You created a film called “Travel With Style” to showcase the Ludlow Traveler suit. What was your original idea about the direction of the film?
Casey Neistat: Flying on airplanes is one of my favorite life experiences. With that I spend a lot of time in the air and see all kinds of weird shit. Everyone has their own travel style; sweat suits are my least favorite looks, and suits are my favorite. This idea predated J. Crew, as did my desire to make a film about it. When I connected with J. Crew, it just seemed like the perfect marriage – a great opportunity to realize this idea.
L+T: In the film you do many things including surfing and snowboarding in the suit? What was this like?
CN: Suits are not hi-function clothing. Their primary role is to make you look good. They’re not good for much else including all the antics in the movie. Surfing strangled me to the point of me being concerned for my own well being. The snowboarding was so cold that I was shaking on the inside (you know the feeling?) and operating a chainsaw in a suit presented it’s own challenges as well. But who cares about that stuff – when you wear a suit, you look great doing it all.
L+T: I know you’re pretty regimented about “travel style.” What are your tips for traveling with ease?
CN: I have a small bag and carabineer. When you get in your seat, attach the carabineer to the seat pocket and the bag to the carabineer then put all your loose stuff in there like your wallet and your phone. That way, all your stuff is organized for the flight. That, and I always bring a skateboard for getting through airports. This is something that I’ve done for 10 years.
L+T: You travel a lot for work. How did the Ludlow Traveler change your ‘packing process’?
CN: It didn’t. Forever I’ve stuffed all my clothes in a bag. Now, finally I have a suit that I can also stuff in a bag and trust it will look in good shape when I pull it out.
L+T: You and your suit traveled all over the place – nine flights to eight cities – showing off the versatility of the suit. Where did you travel?
CN: We were all over the place. All travel decisions were based on where we could get in our narrow time frame and other arbitrary reasons. We were in Mexico simply because the water in LA was too cold to surf in a suit. Then while we were there we met a girl, found a motorcycle and so on. The hotel interior stuff was San Francisco. We were supposed to be there to shoot an entirely different scene but that didn’t happen. The snowboarding came about because we had a few free hours to spare so we went to Big Bear.
L+T: What are you currently working on? What’s coming down the pipe?
CN: I’m doing a fellowship at MIT at the moment working with the social-computing team of their Media Lab. My self-imposed manifesto while I’m there is to only do work unlike anything I’ve done before.