Jason Kennedy

This is for the people.

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The Kennedy Denim Company

NAME: JASON A.  |  LOS ANGELES, CA

INTRODUCING: THE KENNEDY DENIM COMPANY

SLOGAN: FOR THE PEOPLE

MISSION STATEMENT & ABOUT US:

My FIRST mission statement or About US info: 

Rather than starting off with what we're about, let us start by telling you what we're not.

We're not pro-skaters, graf artists, or rappers. We’re not an ultra ‘cool’ clothing brand that “gives the industry the middle finger” nor do we bring a deep philosophy on music, life, skateboarding, or nature. We’re not friends with any celebrities or fly around in private jets with girls that have overt tattoos all over their bodies. We’re not veterans in the industry, and we’re definitely not millionaires that drive around town in a Rolls Royce with bags of cash. 

We’re the new guys on the block. Born and raised in Los Angeles, we’re probably interested in a lot of the same hobbies you are, grew up watching and loving a lot of the same movies you did, and have similar dreams of ‘making it’ doing what we love doing...but that’s not what we’re selling here. We’re a lifestyle brand that isn’t here to sell you a lifestyle. We do jeans, and we’re not here to sell you on anything else. We’re definitely the underdogs when it comes to this industry, but we have a very simple and clear objective, and that’s to bring the best quality denim jeans to you at the best possible price. You’d think that would be a simple enough idea, but really when you love denim and appreciate quality and style as much as we do, it’s a constant struggle. But, we do it because we believe that you’re smart enough to know that a higher price tag doesn’t always mean higher quality. We do it because you shouldn’t have to compromise your style with cost. We find our inspiration solely from those of you that passionately are yourselves and live life truly putting more in to this world than taking from it. We respect you, and we promise to move this company foward with decisions that you yourself can come to respect.

The abridged version of about us:

The Kennedy Denim Company is a Los Angeles based denim company that takes deep pride in American Manufacturing. Backed with over 40 years of denim production and experience within the family, Kennedy was developed with an in-depth understanding of the market's demands for quality, style, & design. Celebrating classic American style with the perfect blend of timeless design and modern street aesthetics, Kennedy Denim Company is designed, cut, sewn, dyed, washed, & finished all in Los Angeles.

LOGO

That's it. A font logo, the year we were established, where we're from and where the product is made, along with our slogan. I'm not much of a graphic designer and so I tried to keep it as clean as possible and I was going for something more classic. Not too street, not too skate, not too anything but CLEAN. 

I still am in the process of trying to design an Icon of some sort as our logo but I just don't want to force one out. I'd rather have it come naturally and let the icon that will represent us be organically created. I feel that only then will it truly mean something to me and to everyone that sees it.

Any of you talented graphic designers out there want to earn some $$$?? Bring me some logo ideas. 

************************************************************************************************************************************************BILLBOARDS THAT COST US $1M DOLLHAIRS

Not as good as some of you are in the 'Photoshop/make it look real' skills but whatever, my billboards got prime real estate

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Also had to put one up in Jeff's neighborhood so he can bike by it everyday and admire it. You're welcome Jeff.

My business card mock-up: 

My website mock-up that is kind of sort of being made now: 



My E-store that will one day bring in bags of cash so that I can spend it on Haribo gummy bears. 

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COLLECTION CADS

My first CAD of my Spring/Summer '13 collection. 

Pieces were taken off and changed after entering the sampling stages, and even more was revised to this list once we went in to approving samples  for production, but for the most part everything here was made. If not made for the S/S '13 collection it's in for Fall or Holiday or even for Spring '14. 

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THE KIA | SOUL PROJECT

Had so much fun with this one because it's basically a DREAM project to be able to work with a car company. I just had to make two colorways

KENNEDY + KIA PRESENTS:  THE SOULFARI MOBILE

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Before I went into doing CADS for my season's collection, I like to do hours/days/weeks of research and take notes on what I like and don't like, what other companies are doing that I think is sick. I'll also take notes on what I think is whack, or a lot of times I'll take notes on styles that I think are just off the chain, sick but I would never go into doing because it's simply just not something people would buy. Those styles I keep in my "library" and always keep in mind. I always keep it in mind and day-dream ways of re-creating it, maybe even dumbing them down or sometimes injecting just a touch of street into it to make it more accessible to our market because it's a design from a designer that's in a totally different market. 

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This process for me usually takes the longest but in my opinion is the most fun. That's usually the time I look for some dope music albums and put em on loop and I basically go shopping. I guess that's what Jeff is talking about when he says Merchandising. I like to think of it as me just going shopping, looking for dope shit I'd buy if I was a billionaire and spending $800 on a pair of jeans or jacket ain't no thing. Then I re-design it and I picture in my head my friends when doing so. Take out or add things mentally in my head what I don't like or what I love and what I'd do to make it something we would all rock the shit out of everyday. 

After that I go into sampling to see if what I had thought of in my head is in fact something dope and wearable. A lot of times it really isn't and a lot of the times the pieces I didn't think much of turn out the sickest. After sampling and weeding out styles that just aren't up to par, I take a look at the collection to see if it all makes sense together.

Since I focus on bottoms and not tops or tees with graphics or fonts, It's hard for me to tell a story with my collection. I can only go by the seasons and express what I'm feeling is dope for that season with colors, prints and fabrics. 

Here's a few pictures of my Spring/Summer '13 Catalog that I shot myself in my garage. I didn't have the money to shoot in a professional studio, and I definitely didn't have the money to hire anyone so I set up this make-shift photo studio myself...which I'll show you AFTER all the catalog pics

I don't know much about photography, lighting, etc so....with a little bit of research online this is what I came up with.....I know, ghetto right? Whatever. 

I had a total of about 25-30 sku's within my first spring/summer season. Reason why I chose these styles was because A) I wanted to be known as THE bottoms company to buy from. Not just for the streetwear market, but for the skate market as well as hopefully the contemporary market and B) camo was always in, just because more people make it and more people wear it doesn't make it all of a sudden cool. 

The price point on all of these were set and budgeted for an average of $35-$45 retail. 

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ATTEMPT #2: FALL 2013

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This one was a hard one but definitely more fun. After shooting the first catalog myself in my garage, I knew I had to just step it up. I researched more into photography and studios and found out I can rent lighting equipment from Samy's Camera here in Los Angeles. I also got some help from a friend that had a studio so that helped a lot. 

Trying to add another bottoms style for this season, I decided to add a few ONE being the corduroy. I thought it might be a good addition for the Fall season because it's colder and also it's a "Fall" style. Although I didn't expect it to be a popular style with people, I still added it for the collections over all aesthetics and offerings to be really perceived as "The BOTTOMS company" 

Oh and I've also been watching a lot of MAD MEN and drinking scotch which magically transformed me in to Don Draper cause I've been wanting to come up with ad slogans for our styles. Really more for my own amusement than to try and get the people's attention. 

Another new addition to the collection that I've been really working on were sweat pants. I added these because really, who wouldn't want a dope pair of sweats for under $50? I felt that people would be more inclined to wear loud sweat pants if they weren't wanting to get loud jeans or chinos.  I called them The Jetsetter Sweats in the hopes that I can get a celebrity to wear them on their private jet and I can somehow get my hands a picture of it. But really I named it the Jetsetter Sweats because I always wear sweats when I travel and I'd like to wear these next time I do and imagine that I am flying in a private jet.

I reached out to friends with nice pads and decided to do a photoshoot for them there. I don't really have many baller friends but these worked. 

Found a girl willing to let us photograph her without getting slapped in the face. 

My favorite addition to my collection for this current fall season were these Jogger style pants that I called The Weekender. Reason why I called them Weekender was because Publish was pushing their jogger campaign so hard that I didnt want anyone to think that we're biting a style that they created which in fact isn't true. The jogger style pants have been around since.....the 80's and it was originially a style made for Women. Now everyone makes them from Zanerobe in Austrailia, Kith NYC and TOPMAN. I like this style because it's so sporty looking yet very stylish. Shows off my sneakers real nice and it's just a very trendy/forward piece. It was an expensive addition to our collection but I think it was worth it because it pushes our company to the forefront as a bottoms company that's not just pushing boring pieces but also the "magazine/blog" worthy pieces like Jeff was saying. Making these in Los Angeles was a nightmare but I got it down and can't wait to see how they do. 

The pricing on all of these remain at an average of $35 to $45 except this Weekender style which will be around $54. Just too much cutting and sewing on these, we had to raise the price on it. I added a crouch panel to help with the fit and the welt pocket + flap pocket adds a good amount to the price. Regardless, I love it. 

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The only store/target audience I really care about: 

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Our first real piece of press!

 

Came in at #7: I really don't know if we belong in the top 10 with all these brands with prices tags of at least $150 and over but I'll TAKE IT! 

Thank You Complexmag!

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OUR FIRST LOOKBOOK/PHOTOSHOOT:

On Location: Santa Monica, Ca

Photographer: My good buddy T. Kinnaman

I love this period of scrambling to get things done. It's not all quite there when you compare it to the likes of a Staple Design lookbook/photoshoot, but the fact that I can get good friends to come and help photograph, model, and all the while have a blast doing it....it's priceless.

It means a lot to me when I look at these photographs because I was standing right there, holding a huge reflector/foil screen thing. I was directing the models, the photographer, I tried hard to make it as relaxing as possible, cracked jokes, encouraged and yet tried to be as professional as possible when it came to getting what I needed. It was an experience I'll never forget and actually look forward to doing again. None of us that were involved in this photoshoot are professionals meaning we do this as a living. I make jeans for a living but I've never done a photoshoot like this.

I think it came out pretty great. 

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A nice feature on us on DENIMOLOGY.COM

It's such an awesome thing to see your stuff talked about on blogs/stores/customers/friends/etc. something you worked so hard on and poured your heart & soul into and to see it being appreciated is a really cool thing. I think this skill share thing acts as a forum where talented designers, and straight up hustlers can come and be inspired/pushed/motivated/challenged by seeing what others are doing. Love it. 

Contact:

website: www.kennedyforthepeople.com

email: [email protected]

Social Media: 

Instagram: http://instagram.com/kennedydenim

Facebook: www.facebook.com/KennedyForThePeople

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