Welcome To Looseworld
By Sydney Zarp
The clock strikes midnight, and a sea of yellow taxis roll up to Broome and Centre Streets. Model-like girls and dudes wearing Nike kicks pour out of the cars and flood down the stairs to the entrance of the club Southside. As they pass a rowdy crowd they cannot help but laugh at the people who have been waiting for similar treatment.
Skyler Gross, the co-founder of Looseworld.
Overcome by the thumping music, this crowd of 20-somethings is taken from the real world and welcomed into another dimension. These silver spoon babies will easily dry the bar, ordering shots upon shots on to each other’s open bar tabs. For the next five hours nothing matters except who will hook-up with whom. They are not worried about rejoining reality until early the next morning.
This is Thursday. This is Looseworld.
Skyler Gross, 22, was born in Malibu, California which is squeezed between the Pacific Ocean and Hollywood, which explains his distinct laid back demeanor. His privileged childhood is illustrated by colorful memories of his extravagant “Barmitzfa” and his foreign travels. Thinking back to when he was 10, Gross remembers posing for a book cover. “I modeled for a book cover about jaded children in Hollywood. I guess they were right,” he says.
Regardless of his lavish upbringing, Gross knows what it means to work hard. Building his own company from the ground up, Gross has proved that he understands the value of the dollar.
Whether filming his senior thesis, “French Diss,” or throwing his Looseworld events, Gross knows how to acquire and use his resources to his advantage. His drive and motivation comes from his childhood of watching his father live the ‘good life.’ He realized that in order to live an easy life he had to find his niche in the business world.
His company, Looseworld, is a new media marketing and distribution platform. “We have a blog, Looseworld.com, where we feature special artist from all mediums,” Gross says. “Then once a month, we have an event called Looseworld Presents where we invite people who will want to invest in the artist we are featuring.”
Gross’s ultimate goal is to eventually evolve into a production company and open a store where they sell both Looseworld gear and gear of the featured artist. Gross’s attitude and business approach are far from stereotypical. Take his company name for example, Looseworld.
“Looseworld is a way of life. Loose is what you make of it,” he says.
Gross explains that his life has always been loose and proves his point by telling a story about when he was 16. “During high school I went to a school in Switzerland, called TASIS. It was all because of one Monday night I was caught smoking weed in my room, and my parents decided to send me to Switzerland,” he says. “It was supposed to be a punishment for always getting in trouble for dumb shit, but really it was the best three years of my life. How could it not be? I was in another country doing whatever I wanted.”
It is stories like these that set Gross apart from the typical businessmen. Gross admits that he is lazy, but school was not that difficult for him. “I knew how to get the most from doing the least.” Sweet-talking his teachers and charming his way through work has been his strategy for the past 16 years. Now with a company on the line, Gross is learning that his swagger has become a part of the business. Keeping up a ‘loose’ lifestyle is all a part of the game and is a factor that catches investors’ attention, he says.
Alex Bittan, 22, co-founder of Looseworld, confesses the he always knew that he would end up working with Gross. “We grew up together, so we know each other down to the core,” Bittan says. “We both know what we want out of our lives, and quickly figured out what we have to do to get there.”
Most soon-to-be college graduates are dreading the day when they leave the comfort of school. Some students are looking into other options after college, because they have realized that there aren’t many jobs available right now.
A recent Monstertrak.com survey found that 71% of companies say they plan to hire fewer people this year than they have in the past. The Washington Post said that, “Seventy-three percent of today's graduating seniors will leave college with student loan debt, at an average of about $23,000. This means that about 70% of the 2009 college graduates will move back home after receiving their degree.”
Many of these graduates may be forced to return home to live with mom and dad to save money, and get a local job in their hometowns. But not Gross. Obviously his business is just beginning to emerge and has yet to reach its goal. But, the success of the previous three events sponsored by Looseworld, and the thousands of daily hits to the blog is a sign that that they are moving in the right direction. And, there is a waiting list for Looseworld apparel, but the guys made me an exception and hooked me up with gear.
At the end of May, Gross will graduate from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts with honors, and will soon be ready to hit the real world, with no intention of moving home.
“This is what I want; this is what I have always wanted,” he says.