It has always been a recipe for success when you follow your passion. That is exactly what LD and his friends did when they started Pitchfork New York Hardwear. A clothing company that revolves around the art and music scene they love, the designs and authenticity of the brand is one that could only have come from the hardcore scene. This streetwear brand is one that all of us hardcore kids can relate to. Good guys who followed there dream and are now able to see the successes that hard work brings. The company has become more than a brand, but a family, which brings me to this rad dad feature. The hardcore family is one thing, but LD is also the father of two. Get to know a little more about LD, Pitchfork, and his take on being a dad.
Tell us about what you do, who you are, and how you balance your career with being a dad?
Hey, my name is LD, and I am one of the owners of Pitchfork Hardwear, a clothing company based out of NY. 12 years ago, my partners and I started PF, and we started this as a Family, and wanted to grow it into something we could be proud of. We were all friends prior to PF, and all come from the NYHC background with a passion for the music and the lifestyle, and put a lot of that feeling into our brand. We had no idea what we were doing, none of us had any clothing experience, but we learned along the way…kind of like being a parent. Sometimes my days can be long, so balance is often difficult. I take my daughter Isabella (6) to school every day so that’s always nice bonding time for the 2 of us, and plan on taking my son Nico (4) as well when he starts. Being that I can’t see them much throughout the day, I like to hang out with them at night, and help put them to bed, read them books before sleep. We try and read to them every night.
What does being a modern-day dad mean to you?
I like to be involved in a lot of what my kids do- school, sports, whatever. I go to parent/teacher conferences, all of that. Don’t know if its me personally, or things are a little different nowadays. I couldn’t picture my father at a parent teacher conference, that’s not to say anything bad about him either, times were different. You can learn quite a bit from what your parents did or didn’t do. Learning from my own mistakes, and not repeating them is extremely important. Not being too proud or stubborn to say I messed up, and telling my kids, I was wrong, I apologize, and I want my kids to feel close to me and like they can tell me anything, if they messed up too. I don’t necessarily look, dress like or have the same interests as most of the other parents in my neighborhood or my kids school…but I have fun and my kids do too. We teach our kids to be themselves and love themselves, we will always love them…And they should always respect others and treat people how they expect to be treated, whether they are different from them or the same.
How did becoming a father change your life?
You no longer have to worry about only yourself, wife, friends and fam, adults basically…now you also have to worry about your little ones that need guidance and protection. They are the most important thing to you, and there are creeps and dirtbags everywhere and you are now on full alert at all times. You can’t control everything obviously, but you want to try your best to stay around for your kids. I quit smoking when my wife was a few months pregnant with my daughter. I never thought I’d quit smoking. I started eating healthier, organic, low fat. My wife Lisa always ate healthy and she’s a Dietitian, so that was helpful. I also had to start thinking about things like insurance, savings, college funds, etc…haha, basically becoming a responsible adult/parent I guess. …And PATIENCE…I’ve gotten some much more being a parent- you don’t have much of a choice.
Whats the greatest part about being a dad?
To start, waking up to my kids every morning, and starting the day. Whenever you come home they are so happy to see you, and you are to see them of course, and you get a big hug. Such a great feeling, hopefully they are always that happy to see me. I also love introducing them to new things…Music, sports, places, whatever, anything new to them. We try and play music in the house a lot, turn the TV off. Not necessarily Hardcore or Metal or anything, some but also like older classic rock, 80’s stuff, old school Hip-Hop, stuff like that. 2 of their favorite songs are WAR- Lowrider and Beastie Boys- B-Boy Bouillabaisse (Hello Brooklyn) haha- they love the bass on that one…I love that.
Can you share a funny story about being a father?
I can be somewhat of a germaphobe. Took my daughter to Trader Joes to go food shopping, just me and her, she was about 4 yrs old at this time I think. She had to go to the bathroom, and I didn’t want her to sit on the bowl, so I decided to hold her up, but in like a sitting position, so I had one arm behind her back, and one under her legs. Problem was, I was standing somewhat in front of her. I was wearing Adidas pants at the time, the ones that make noise when you walk, and all the sudden, I heard something, but didn’t feel anything yet. Just a sound like spraying a hose on a tarp. Then I realized that she was peeing all over me, nothing in the bowl. It was shooting straight out- I thought it would go down… I finally moved out of the way, she was pretty much done at this point, so I stood her up, cleaned myself up and finished our shopping…wet with pee.
What advice can you give any new father out there?
Tell your kids every day that you love them and hug them, and don’t be too busy for them, always make some time, even if you are busy. On top of telling them every day that you love them, also tell them that they can do anything in life. Encourage them to do whatever they want to do, and instill the confidence in them to do it. Expose them to as much as you can, and try your best to give them whatever tools they need to succeed, whether it be a guitar, a skateboard, a soccer ball, whatever. I saw something someone posted on IG the other day- “One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or try harder”…As a father, I think this is some of the best advice I can give my kids…Im going to frame that for both of my kids rooms, so they can see it and read it every day.
Just as I was finishing typing this all out, I got a text from my wife that read like this, thought it was funny to share as a parent to a little boy…
“-Nico had his first pee in the cup in the car experience. He said “That was AWESOME”. Glad to know he is walking directly in your footsteps.”
Haha! That’s great man! Thanks so much for doing this feature, and we wish you all the success in the world. Keep up the good work, brother!