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EDGLRD, the filmmaker’s new venture, partners with SSENSE to dress these characters in the latest styles.

Featured In This Image: Rui arm warmers and Rabanne tank top. Featured In Top Image: LU'U DAN sweater, Collina Strada pants, Rick Owens boots and Coperni dress.

On rare occasions, Harmony Korine brings his kid to the office. One Thursday morning in November, he arrives at the EDGLRD headquarters in Miami’s Design District at a bit past 11:30 AM, holding the child’s hand, and soon a member of the team is running new work by Korine. “It’s a whole other level,” he says, excited by the character animation displayed before him.

Despite being less than a year old, the operation is already showing signs of outgrowing its space: white walls papered over with concept art, skateboard prototypes, long desks occupied by laptops and large monitors, and a physical product table for the development of horned masks and other wearable art pieces; EDGLRD is staffed by people adept with visual FX, fine art, social media, 3D printing, gaming, skateboards. They hail from respected galleries and the special effects trenches of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the 30 or so employees now put their heads together to imagine new possibilities for visual culture across mediums. They throw around words like “IP” unabashedly. The smaller breakout rooms for meetings and calls are occupied. It’s bustling.

Featured In This Image: Rick Owens dress.Featured In This Image: Chopova Lowena jacket, Chopova Lowena skirt, Gerrit Jacob hoodie, Coperni shirt, Rick Owens sneakers, Rokh shirt and Kiki Vargas dress.

This multimedia design collective is the new venture from a filmmaker who has for his entire career sustained a loving tension between high and low culture, the pleasures of trash and the shock of the avant-garde, the insularity of fine art and the wide expanse of cable television. One of his more recent credits is a 7-Eleven advertisement. EDGLRD’s cofounder, a second-generation animator from Brazil named Joao Rosa, says his coworker is not ironic: “He just genuinely finds all these things really beautiful.”

“What do you think,” Korine asks his son. On-screen one of the FloridaLords, a collection of characters born from the cheerful provocateur’s experience living in the most memed state in the union, moves about. It’s like Gummo, his 1997 feature about a cursed Ohio town, for the Sunshine State. From the primordial stuff of the artist’s short written descriptions, an animated figure now writhes on a monitor before the 50-year-old director’s progeny. “These don’t exist, we just created them. They’re not even real people,” Korine says. The child takes it in.

The plan is to build an entire world around the FloridaLords; they’ll be one wellspring of IP at EDGLRD, and will potentially appear in video games, movies, TV—you name it. For now they’re on SSENSE wearing Rick Owens and Marine Serre.

Using Korine’s character sketches, creative director Nicolau Vergueiro fleshed out the biographies of the FloridaLords with care. Born in New York to Brazilian parents, raised in Brazil, and educated in Los Angeles, Vergueiro moved to Miami for EDGLRD, as did the rest of the team (save Korine, who has lived there for almost a decade). A right-winger with some money and no culture is the stereotype of the Brazilian who relocates to Miami, according to Vergueiro, but he’s found the city pleasantly lawless and rich with possibility.

Along the way, collaboration and conversation with Rosa pulled him into the collective’s orbit. Vergueiro watched Korine’s upcoming feature film AGGRO DR1FT and joined up. Rosa put together the special effects team for AGGRO DR1FT; it looks like it was shot with a thermal imaging camera. (EDGLRD’s current staff evolved from the AGGRO DR1FT squad that Rosa built.) It’s about a hitman and Travis Scott plays the villain. Contemplating the plot is probably a mistake.

Pick your analogy: Korine as madcap but benevolent cult leader, setting loose assembled international talent in America’s tackiest paradise. Or not a cracked guru, but rather a kind of Nick Fury, gathering his superheroes to form the Avengers—only instead of fighting apocalyptic threats, they’re dreaming of outrageous manifold content to harness and inspire generations who are uninterested in the traditional pleasures of feature-length narrative cinema.

The FloridaLords are an Avengers-esque group of misfits at the edges of society who combine their wares and abilities to do something larger than themselves. At one point, Vergueiro says, there was discussion that the EDGLRD staff would perform the voice acting for the FloridaLords.

“This is a grimy Marvel,” Rosa offers. He knows firsthand, having worked on VFX for Captain Marvel and Thor: Ragnarok. A talkative, passionate, restless presence—during our conversation, he roams the office from its back windows to the entrance, introducing me to various colleagues through his laptop screen—Rosa expresses his deep admiration for Marvel, especially its genuine roots in comic books. But he also saw how large the machine has become. “Luckily, in Thor, I had a shot where he goes through galaxies that I did pretty much on my own. It was a very unique experience of being an artist almost solely responsible for an entire shot. Normally the work is diluted between so many artists.”

At EDGLRD, the goal is a process that’s additive rather than attenuating. The FloridaLords sprang from Korine’s brain but Vergueiro nurtured their stories; the animators gave them form. SSENSE is clothing them, in a series of stills that introduce these characters to the world for the first time. But this won’t be the first time they occupy your screen, if EDGLRD has anything to say about it.




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