Fullerton-based clothing brand Learn to Forget stands as a vibrant representation of rebellion and artistic expression in Southern California’s counterculture. Founded by Reilly Herrera and Mike Cambra, the brand intertwines the spirit of skating, graffiti art, and punk rock prevalent in Orange County and Los Angeles.

Reilly Herrera’s journey into the world of counterculture began early in life, marked by his innate talent for drawing and a penchant for going against the grain. Growing up in Fullerton, Herrera’s interests in graffiti, skating, and punk rock music converged, shaping his unique perspective on art and expression. His college years further fueled his creative journey, delving into oil painting and graphic design, providing him with the tools needed to navigate the mainstream art world.

As the bassist for Night Versus, Herrera’s artistic endeavors extended to designing band merchandise. However, his one-of-a-kind style found a separate outlet when he started printing shirts independently. The venture led to the inception of Learn to Forget in 2013, a collaboration with longtime friend Mike Cambra, the drummer of Death by Stereo.

From its humble DIY beginnings, selling merchandise out of garages and car trunks, Learn to Forget has evolved into a global phenomenon, with products available in over 400 stores worldwide, including a partnership with Zumiez. The brand maintains a commitment to local production, with most designs printed locally and ensuring quality. Even when outsourcing is necessary, Herrera prefers locations like Pakistan for their craftsmanship.

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Learn to Forget’s product range includes trucker hats featuring fonts reminiscent of death metal and hardcore band logos, jackets adorned with anarchy symbols, spider webs, and skulls. The designs pay homage to the rebellious spirit of punk rock, skating, and graffiti scenes, mirroring Herrera and Cambra’s upbringing in these distinctive subcultures.

The brand’s website showcases statement pieces with slogans rooted in punk community values. Messages like “Never Above You, Never Below You, Always Beside You” and “Respect Existence or Expect Resistance” echo the essence of the punk scene. Influenced by the politically charged punk band Propagandhi, Herrera and Cambra’s designs challenge the status quo and encourage individuality. Learn to Forget, born out of a mindset that unconsciously challenges boundaries, continues to push the envelope with boisterously confident statements and provocative designs.

The brand has ventured into collaborations with Pabst Blue Ribbon and iconic punk bands like the Adolescents, celebrating the 40th anniversary of their self-titled album. Herrera and Cambra aspire to expand collaborations with more bands, musical acts, and brands such as Dickies and Obey, envisioning a sustainable independent venture. 

For Herrera and Cambra, Learn to Forget goes beyond a brand to become a trailblazing platform for artistic expression. It also serves as a response to the absence of financial safety nets for those immersed in the counterculture. The duo hopes to create an amplified sustainable business that allows them longevity in the industry without the need for conventional employment. Standing out with style, Learn to Forget thrives by staying true to Herrera and Cambra’s vision of what they find cool. Their approach of boldly doing what they believe in has propelled the brand’s success, making it a prominent player in the world of counterculture fashion.