LOS ANGELES — The Stockroom marked its 25th year as a premiere destination for sex toys and bondage gear with a collaboration befitting of its impact on adult entertainment.
The new JT Signature Collection, which is being unveiled in a stunning ad campaign and catalog featuring adult superstar Stoya, represents the culmination of a quarter century of innovation from The Stockroom, which was founded by Joel Tucker in 1989.
Steve Diet Goedde, the celebrated fetish photographer who has worked with The Stockroom since the ’90s, captured the images of Stoya for the anniversary project, which also includes a short film produced and directed by Creative Director Juanito "Johnny" Blanco.
“The Stockroom was founded on the idea that kink and adventurous sexuality could be and should be beautiful, intelligent, civilized, and fulfilling,” Tucker told XBIZ in an exclusive interview. “Through the years, we have emphasized thoughtful design that combines beautiful form with meaningful function, careful workmanship, and efficient production, with the aim of making truly superior-quality products available and accessible to the world.
“That is my attempt, in a few words, to describe the company’s DNA — its original concept, core values, aesthetic, and history. The idea of the JT Signature Collection is to manifest it all in a line of products commemorating 25 years of doing what we do.”
Tucker worked closely with The Stockroom Designer O’Shay Nunn to develop the JT Signature Collection, which is launching with eight individual pieces and “two distinct, specially packaged sets, all handmade in The Stockroom’s Los Angeles workshop,” Nunn said.
Nunn told XBIZ that he and Tucker endeavored “to create a collection of bondage restraints that were undeniably beautiful and contemporary, but truly functional and able to stand up to real play.”
He called the creative process for it “casual and organic.”
“We didn’t want to rush it,” Nunn said. “I personally spent a couple of months curating different colors and types of leather along with beautifully finished hardware.
“Immediately we were attracted by the pairing of the rich Bordeaux-colored leather and 18k gold-plated hardware. Energized by the combination, we moved onto selecting the restraints that we wanted to become the collection.”
Nunn continued, “Initially we started with our popular Premium Garment Leather Restraints and designed the rest of the collection based on these classic Stockroom designs. We spent about four months designing and fleshing out the rest of the collection.”
The JT Signature Collection will be introduced to buyers at the Adult Novelty Manufacturer’s Expo Jan. 12-13 at the Burbank Marriott and will become a permanent part of the company’s Stockroom Originals.
Nunn described the feel of the collection as “luxuriously romantic servitude.”
“The JT Signature Collection is gorgeous,” said Stoya, who has become one of the most sought-after models in adult entertainment today. “The warmth of the color palette and buttery texture of the leather makes the restraints easy to relax into, which is one of my favorite ways to interact with bondage. I'm positive, however, that they could be put to much more stern use if one desired. As for a favorite piece, I do hate choosing and think they're best as a set.”
Blanco, the in-house creative director since September after nine months freelancing for The Stockroom, said that producing the ad campaign shoot was his inaugural venture.
“With Stoya modeling, Steve Diet Goedde photographing, O'Shay Nunn designing and Joel Tucker inspiring the entire team, I felt total confidence throughout the experience,” Blanco told XBIZ.
“Mr. Goedde is famous for his shots utilizing natural light—with this in mind, I built the set around a large window with a southern exposure to accommodate his visual aesthetic, while also facilitating Mr. Nunn's creative styling. It was my goal to visually articulate the elegance of the collection, building a spacious set with a muted, golden warmth to compliment the richness of the collection. It may be our silver anniversary, but this collection is pure gold—well, gold plated.”
Blanco continued, “Stoya's reputation as the intellectual high-fashion model, pro-sex feminist who freely and openly oscillates between the adult industry and the upper echelon of couture, proceeded our meeting. I called a friend and asked for an introduction.”
Nunn noted that it was The Stockroom's social media manager, Jennifer Lynn Szanja, who initially suggested reaching out to Stoya.
“We all instantly fell in love with the idea,” Nunn recalled. “Stoya is such a classic beauty that she quickly became a muse for us, and I couldn’t be happier with the way she represents the collection.”
“Stoya is perfect for us,” Tucker said. “She is undeniably and irrepressibly erotic, courageously kinked, and capable of uninhibited abandon, but she also has a rare quality of elegant feminine beauty fused with the sparkle of intelligence and creativity that is present in everything she does no matter how overtly sexual it may be. We are fortunate to have found such a good match for our style and our message, and such a lovely model for our newest line.”
Stoya, the 2009 XBIZ Best New Starlet, is considered among the most high-profile performers in adult thanks in part to several mainstream crossover opportunities in recent years. In 2013, she graced the cover of the Village Voice.
Now a resident of New York, she has only appeared in about 60 titles since 2007, making each of her new performances an anticipated event. One such occasion was her smoldering turn in John Stagliano’s “Voracious Season Two” vampire epic this past summer.
“Mr. Blanco is a fabulous creature-about-town, so when he asked me to come discuss a special project I headed down to Silver Lake immediately,” Stoya said. “The story of how The Stockroom came to be is one of my favorite origin anecdotes in adult entertainment and I'm so honored to have been chosen to help commemorate the milestone of their 25th anniversary.”
Stoya continued, “Steve Diet Goedde is a genius with light and cameras. I'd been wanting to be photographed by him since, gosh, 2006. To have my shoot with him finally happen under Juanito Blanco's artistic direction, wearing O’Shay's beautiful work was so wonderful.”
Goedde told XBIZ he has been doing most of The Stockroom’s photo shoots for the past 15 years.
“My use of natural light and elegant locations complimented Joel Tucker's vision—we together established the company's visual aesthetic in the late '90s,” Goedde noted.
The JT Signature Collection photo shoot unfolded at Stockroom Hall in October.
“I've always been a fan of Stoya both as a model and as a writer,” Goedde said. “She's incredibly beautiful, intelligent, and funny—she exudes a great spirit in her presence. Since we shared a mutual admiration, the shoot flowed naturally; we were able to play off each other effortlessly. In fact, we hit it off so well that she agreed to write the introduction to my next photography book—due out in mid-2015.”
Goedde added, “I'm exceptionally proud of the results of this collaboration. I've been wanting to work with Stoya for years and always imagined what our images would look like together, and these exceeded my expectations.”
The photographer said the dynamic of shooting stills while a short film was also being shot “actually worked out quite well.”
“When I shoot solo, it's up to me to determine the scenarios in terms of where the model is positioned, the general story, and what kind of emotional energy the model conveys,” Goedde explained. “Because this project had a pre-determined narrative, I was able to work within the confines of its story and concentrate more on the photographic elements. After having done some still-photography for motion pictures in the early '90s, it was nice to work in this capacity again.”
Blanco said the weight of the project stimulated his creativity, leading to the video portion of the campaign.
“In commemorating the 25th anniversary of The Stockroom with The JT Signature Collection and Stoya as its official model, I was inspired to make a short film,” Blanco said. “I felt it was most appropriate that Mr. Tucker should appear in the piece.
“He is more reserved than one might expect of the founder of a company like The Stockroom, and not necessarily the type who jumps in front of a camera. But those of us who get to know him come to appreciate his quiet good humor and creative inclinations.
“To put him more at ease, and show him in his natural element, I decided to add a piano to the set. In this film vignette, Joel plays his piano, seducing Stoya into submission. Not many people know this about Joel, but he comes from a family of musicians, and is a talented composer and pianist. We have a beautiful piano in Stockroom Hall that he and his father often play. I've shot Joel a few times, and understand the need to distract him into being comfortable enough to bring out the more creative and playful side that the public rarely sees. Putting him at his piano with Stoya by his side was the perfect situation.”
Blanco added, “I am all about collaboration. I discussed the concept with Mr. Tucker, Mr. Goedde and Mr. Nunn, and inspired by their input, I put together the vision, the storyline and the set, and produced the film. It was an artistic synthesis that came from a collaboration of several talented and creative people, and I am happy with the results and proud of what we created. I am also gratified to work with a company that values and supports this sort of work, since it’s what I do best and enjoy most.”
For the initial launch, The Stockroom will be the exclusive retail outlet for the JT Signature Collection.
Tucker said he is thrilled with the results.
“Steve Goedde’s photos of Stoya, and the video directed by Johnny Blanco are similarly perfect,” Tucker concluded. “I allowed others to take the lead in the creative direction, and let the project flow naturally, trusting Johnny's and Steve’s sensibilities, and they captured something about the company’s essence and the intentions behind this product line which said it all better than I could’ve said it myself, essentially without words.
“It’s one of many examples of how, though I may be The Stockroom’s founder, for a long time now it has had a life and a heart of its own, whether I’m there or not.”
Joel Tucker and Stoya photographed by Steve Diet Goedde at Stockroom Hall in Los Angeles.