Jordan Betten is the founder of Lost Art, a brand that specializes in very high end, intricately crafted leather apparel and accessories (including leather guitars), popular among countless rock-n-roll legends including Steven Tyler, Lenny Kravitz, Axl Rose, and Sheryl Crow, as well as Hollywood A-listers like Julia Roberts and Heidi Klum. While he’s still not quite a household name, the philosophical designer’s leather pieces have been featured in a number of glossies including Vogue, W, Rolling Stone, and Elle and he has amassed a cult following of collectors – Lenny Kravitz being among his most loyal – that appreciate his one-of-a-kind pelts and skins.
Aside from designing clothing and accessories, Betten has a thriving art career as the founder of Betten Art. His work, often compared to Jackson Pollock, includes paintings and sculptures. We spoke to the multimedia artist who yes, wears leather every day, about what it’s like designing for music legends, his feelings on other designers knocking-off his creations, and more.
The Fashion Spot: You’re both an artist and a fashion and accessories designer. Do those intersect and inspire each other or do you think of those disciplines as separate entities?
Jordan Betten: I live my art and create everyday freedom. My mediums change but each piece represents quality, attention to detail, and an aesthetic that is Jordan Betten's of Lost Art.
tFS: That must explain what attracts so many legendary singers to your brand, right? How did that come about?
JB: From the individuals that make the Tribe, the supporters and wearers of Lost Art, the true Rock Stars at heart, they spread the word and fuel my fire.
tFS: Can you single out one star that was particularly memorable to work with?
JB: For me, it's about building relationships and we have been fortunate to build so many. Each star has their own story. Recording studios with Lenny, playing music with Axl, hanging in Joe Perry's tricked out tour bus, Metallica backstage and limos…living Lost Art. I only wish I had every Rock Star who has played my guitar sign it — it would be a treasure.
tFS: Is there anyone you haven’t worked with that you’re itching to design something for?
JB: Every collaboration is rewarding. I am happy when my client is happy. It would have been nice to dress Jimi Hendrix because he encompasses the spirit ofLost Art.
tFS: What is it about leather and animal skin that you find so alluring to work with?
JB: The attraction goes back to my childhood, growing up surrounded by nature and learning to respect nature.
tFS: Any piece that is particularly memorable for you?
JB: Too many to choose just one, but I'd love to see them all together.
tFS: Do you have a particular woman/man in mind when designing?
JB: Sexy cool confident woman/man.
Lenny Kravitz; Sheryl Crow (right)
tFS: Do you pay attention to fashion trends when conceiving your designs?
JB: Lost Art has a clearly definable aesthetic and we do not sway or change our style, but we do evolve and are always creating new pieces that capture and reflect the times.
tFS: When you started your line in the late 90s, you came up with some gorgeous leather pieces that have since been imitated by a slew of other designers. What¹s your reaction when you see another designer come out with something that echoes one of your previous designs?
JB: When the inspiration is acknowledged, I am flattered and happy to see the impact Lost Art has created.
tFS: What is your day-to-day wardrobe like?
JB: Everyday my Lost Art hemp or leather pants, T-shirt, and leather jacket
tFS: Any luxury item you¹re currently lusting for?