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‘There’s this energy of possibility that hovers over LA.’

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Feature by Michael Canning

Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Gui Borchert has lived in London and New York, although nowadays he calls Los Angeles his home. It's there that he works as Executive Creative Director at marketing, advertising and design venture 72andSunny.

Gui and his team helped bring the 2028 Olympic Games to LA with their work in 2017; he has also worked with iconic names like adidas, Google, Nike, Starbucks, MTV and Barack Obama. We spoke with Gui on his tips and wisdom for life in California, and why LA's contrasts make it so inspiring.


On where you’re from

I was born in Rio de Janeiro — the Los Angeles of Brazil, sorta.

On where you’ve lived abroad

I like to say I grew up in Rio, then grew up again in New York City, where I spent most of my twenties. After that, I spent two years in London before moving to LA.

On your neighborhood in LA

Venice. I think Venice chose us, really. We wanted to be near the beach but still have some character and texture around us. We fell in love with it right away and haven’t left since.

On your relationship with LA

After New York, I always had this feeling in the back of my head that I’d never be able to be as happy as I was there. But I love LA as much as I love NYC, and that says a lot. It’s where I first moved after getting married, where we had our kids, where we bought our first house. In other words, home. It feels like home.

Above: Gui inside aviator Howard Hughes original office at 72andSunny's LA campus. Below: Venice Beach

On first moving to LA

Treat your first week like vacation. Find local friends (or friends of friends). Spend a day biking around Venice, drinking coffee and some beers later. Drive to Malibu another day. Check out Silver Lake. Drive Sunset. Spend a little time in each neighborhood. Bar hop, window shop. If you see a bunch of tourists toting selfie sticks around you, you’re doing it wrong. Follow the locals.

And then, on your second week, it’ll be easier to deal with everything else. Don’t let your first impression about LA be about house hunting, work or paperwork. Spend some time falling in love with it first.

On finding a place to live

Don’t rush into a long commitment. Take the pressure off by Airbnb-hopping week to week, checking out different neighborhoods until you find something you love.

On what inspires you in LA culture

A lot. Most people think LA is a pretty one-dimensional place from the outside, but it’s such a diverse city, exploding with culture. There’s this energy of possibility that hovers over the city, and it’s contagious. Maybe it’s the magic of the movies; it makes you feel like you can do anything.

For instance, last year, alongside eleven other idiots, I took part in a relay run from LA to Vegas. It’s so incredibly stupid. But we were all like, ‘Yeah, that sounds awesome. Let’s do it.’ And it was awesome.

On the best thing about living in a new culture

Learning to figure shit out on your own, over and over again. Being exposed to radical change is humbling, exciting and inspiring all at once.

On creativity and planes

I write a lot on planes. There’s this study that claims we’re at our most vulnerable state when we’re inside a metal box flying at forty thousand feet in the air, and I find that it just opens up all the right nooks of the mind, and the thoughts just pour out.

On the best new phrase you’ve heard in America

WTF. I never thought I’d find a proper translation for ‘Que porra é essa?’ but trust me, WTF is perfect.

Los Angeles 2028 Olympic bid via 72andSunny

On the LA 2028 Olympic bid project

It was a dream project. It’s not often you get to be part of helping bring the Olympics to the city you live in. LA feels so relevant to modernizing the Games. This idea of reinvention is perfect for the Olympics right now. And the local support for it was overwhelmingly positive, so we got to work with some incredible talent in the process.

On LA’s creative culture

It’s energizing. I truly believe contrast creates gold, and LA is so full of contrast. The timeless magic of Hollywood with the new energy of tech. The mountains and the flats. The concrete and the water. There’s something disorientingly awesome about standing smack in the middle of all these polar opposites living in total harmony. It gets you in this making-cool-stuff mindset. It really is contagious.

On where you find inspiration

I’ll often bike to Deus on the corner of Venice and Lincoln. They make a mean flat white, everything on the walls looks amazing, the people are always super interesting and all the vintage bikes and cars are the cherry on top. The combination of coffee, design and characters is hard to beat. The galleries at Bergamot Station are a close second.

On something you just discovered

There’s this silly little funicular train Downtown called Angels Flight. All it does is climb these steps to the top of a hill, and come back down. Nothing special, but it’s whimsically weird. The train itself is like a steep staircase. And it’s across the street from Grand Central Market, so it’s worth crossing the street for.

Global adidas football campaign, 'Create your own game', via 72andSunny

On LA’s best-kept secret

Magnus Walker (also an expat) keeps his vintage Porsche collection in a pretty awesome garage near the Arts District. If you ever have a chance to check it out, do it. It’s breathtaking, if vintage Porsches are your kind of thing.

On good food

We’re at Superba all the time, so I’d be lying if I didn’t pick it.

On LA food trucks

I was at a kid's birthday party once, and an In-N-Out truck pulls up. It almost made up for the fact that we were at a kid's birthday party.

On a favorite gallery

Bergamot Station.

On a good Insta


On a good outdoor spot

Hike to the original set of M*A*S*H, at Malibu Creek State Park. It’s pretty cool.

On good coffee


On something from Brazil you need a fix of in LA

Pão de Queijo. It’s like a cheese-bread-dough thing, and it’s awesome. I found a little Brazilian supermarket on Venice Blvd that sells it.

On window seat or aisle

Aisle. I’m a control freak. I need to be able to come and go as I please.

On LA in one word



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‘You’ll be well rewarded by not taking LA at face value.’