Last year I interviewed the co-founder of the clothing line Jet, Mike Brando. Since then the Chicago native, but California based clothing designer has come out with a new line that encompasses the comfort, versatile, and athletic vibe of the brand. I was lucky enough to catch up with Brando and ask him a few questions about his new line:
What made you want to release a new clothing line with a new vibe?
We developed Jet in 2013 as a result of desire to make something for ourselves rather than clients, but until late 2014 there wasn’t much structure to the brand. Each shirt design was its own and there wasn’t much consistency with the brand or our mission. The Fall 2014 release of Jet is a completely new brand. We got rid of all the products and started over with a new look, mission and approach. This “reincarnation” will give us a greater path to follow with our future and supporters. The New Years drop is our winter collection and a way for us to come into 2015 strong.
What were you trying to say with the rebranding of Jet?
Jet should be completely relatable to anyone who supports us. We wish to build a worldwide team of unique people and have each person know that they contribute to the brand mission. Without others we could not do what we do or continue to grow.
How do you want people to feel while wearing the new pieces?
Comfortable. Comfort is everything to us. Whether you are active in a performance tee or relaxing in sweatpants you will feel at peace with your garment. Every piece is lightweight and soft to touch. Our goal is to be a source of energy for those who wear Jet, both physically and mentally. It should not feel as if you are wearing a brand, but more so that you are wearing a portable battery pack that feeds you positive energy.
Did it suddenly hit you one day to remake Jet? Or have you been plotting this for awhile?
A rebranding of Jet was not in our plans. We took a trip to Las Vegas to attend the Agenda trade show and it certainly opened our eyes for our potential. There were many aspects for a brand that did not come to light until we saw the world’s top brands in one place. We gathered valuable information and resources that we know use to better produce our products. What stood out to us most was that although these brands were unique in their own right, collectively they all were very similar. The patterns, designs, materials were all the same. To follow these trends would not offer creativity, only a guideline to success, but this was not our idea of success. At this show we realized we needed to go the exact opposite direction of the trends and appeal to something more meaningful.
I’ve noticed that the Fall 2014 line is more athletic, who would be your ideal athlete to wear your brand?
There is no ideal athlete or model for Jet. We appeal to the everyman because we are the everyman. Some of us train hard, some of us train just enough, some of us do not train at all, but the important part is that when you wear Jet you are defining yourself. Many brands are worn for status, designed to describe a person within a glance. Jet is worn as a question of who you are, defined by a reflection within.
Do you have a favorite piece in each line? If so what and why!
The favorite according to nearly everyone is the hooded pullover. It just may be the most comfortable piece of clothing known to man. My personal choice to wear every day in any setting is the quarter zip. It works for use during or after recreational activity or even for a night out.
From the winter collection it is a unanimous love for the sweatpant. This style of sweatpant has become popular and proves to be very comfortable and versatile.
What has been the feedback with the changes to Jet?
All feedback has been very positive and the change has been accepted by our supporters. The mission is strong and the clothes are now consistent. Despite the addition of an athletic feel there is no discrimination of who should wear Jet. Our production quality has increased, as well. Each item has a sewn on octopus label, a custom inside tag, Jet tagline on the back and orders come in a personal Jet box with stickers and tattoos. People instantly love receiving a box with our logo and mission that has been gently prepared for the customer.
Can we expect another line in the future?
We plan to work hard in the new year with the help of many to get into stores, gain supporters of the mission and develop new unique garments. Our current collection is well-defined, but fashion moves very quickly and so there is a good chance we will have many more items to present come summer 2015. Water sports have been a big influence on us and we would like to accommodate our water lovers with some top quality gear.
As a Jet aficionado I can personally attest to the comfort and genuineness each piece has to offer. I can be seen wearing my hooded pull to class, to the gym, or to a hang out sesh with my friends any given day of the week. Members of the Chicago Bears and Chicago Blackhawks are also known to don Jet. It is definitely worth your time to check out Jet, and see with piece best accommodates your life style. Links have been provided through out the interview, as well as HERE.