BEHIND THE SEAMS: Weekend Society
When we first heard about the clothing company Weekend Society, we knew we wanted to do a collaboration! If seeing the clothing that seemed to be almost custom made for our Sun Junkies wasn’t enough, hearing about the philosophy of the company sealed the deal. We were lucky enough to get our wish, and spent a day with one of the Co-Founders of the company, Jason Joyce, and some of his friends. We met near their home turf, on Manhattan Beach, and spent the day hanging out, getting the story of the company, and feeling the real vibe of what Weekend Society is all about: connecting with people that have common interests, and pursuing their passions.
Labeling Men: What first made you decide to start a clothing company?
Jason Joyce (Co-Owner and Co-Founder of Weekend Society): Andres [Andrieu, Co-Founder and Co-Owner] and I had both been doing our own creative projects; our paths had crossed a couple of times when we were at University. Andres was doing the graphic side of things, I was playing music in a band and writing, so we identified each other’s creative strong points and were like, "What would it look like if we collaborated on something together?" And that ended up taking the form of Weekend Society.
L.M: We love the philosophy behind the company! What came first, the idea for the clothing or the philosophy of the lifestyle that you promote?
J.J: Our philosophy definitely came first. When we sat down and knew we wanted to collaborate, the first thing we did was spend a lot of time talking about the big ideas, knowing whatever we did was going to be multi-faceted, that it wasn't going to have just one output. We wanted to set the tone by riding on some themes, inspirations that would drive the creative work we were going to do. That kind of says a bit about us, the guys behind the brand. We are always looking forward, always looking for ways to push ourselves. We knew the first output we were going to have was going to be clothing, but not the only thing. Anything is really possible if we get the right vision out.
L.M: Can you explain a little bit about the philosophy of your company?
J.J: Our philosophy, which is "Never Grow Boring," came about with us talking through this idea that you're never too young or old to pursue the things that you love, the things that fill you with a creative drive, that passion of being alive and in the moment. We first arrived at the tagline we knew was going to be the undertone of everything that we were going to do. That led to the mission statement of what we stand for, which led to the "Weekend State of Mind.”
L.M: How important was it to you for your clothes to be Los Angeles based?
J.J: For us, it was very important at the start. One, because of control. We had much more oversight working with local producers and people we can actually bring into the office and visit and articulate what we wanted the final product to look like for each of the items that we were doing. Second, there is just so much access out here. There is a wealth of resources, opportunities anywhere you turn, people doing equally what they love, with us giving the prototypes and vision that we see and letting them take that one step further creatively. That's where it started.
We are always open to working with other people across the way, all of our products at this point are made in the USA and sweatshop free. That's something important to us, doing business justly. We've been able to do it out here so now it is just a matter of as we find new styles or new things we want to make, finding people who can do it and understanding where we are coming from and want to do.
L.M: How does what you wear affect your mood?
J.J: I think what you wear does affect your mood from the minute you buy it. Andres and I were talking and I was sitting there and thinking about why somebody would want to buy our stuff and wear it. I realized the whole idea of when you're shopping, you are purchasing with a story in mind. When you go and buy new jacket, tank top, sure, you can buy that anywhere and it would suit its logical, basic needs of keeping you warm or keeping you clothed. But when you're looking at specific brands and styles, you're doing so with a story in mind. You're thinking, "What am I going to be doing while I'm wearing this?" Envision yourself going to a specific event or traveling, whatever it is, there is always a story behind it and we try to apply that to each new item we introduce.
L.M: What would be the one go-to item from your collection?
J.J: Our go-to item, which has been our best seller, is our "Rootless" tank top. That was the first item that we truly collaborated on, the first thing that had all the gears in motion, both Andres and I getting our "hands in the pot" to create that design. It’s reflective with people really enjoying that. We've seen on the site that every person who has bought it has a different meaning towards what the saying [Those who wander are not always rootless] means towards them and their lives. It’s really the first piece we hit the mark on, really trying to include a wide demographic of people, make something that would resonate across the board.
L.M: Awesome! It must feel special that it was your first collaboration and that it was well received…
J.J: Yes! That set the bar for what was to come next. With our “After Party” tank top similarly, we hit that same stride. Started from scratch, hand drawing, sitting and brainstorming until it was just right.
L.M: What do you do on the weekends that helps you "Never Grow Bored"?
J.J: I would like to say I don't spend my weekend working on Weekend Society things, but anything Weekend Society isn't really work. I would say otherwise, there is definitely a lot of adventuring with friends. Usually around some type of event is what I find myself doing, usually a creative event, whether it be going to movies at Hollywood Forever Cemetery or art gallery openings or concerts or other types of shows. There is usually some type of creative element involved in something that someone equally, in their own right, has worked hard to produce and put on. I find those are the moments that most resonate with me and feel most alive.
L.M: Any advice on how to "Never Grow Boring?"
J.J: Our sentiment behind it (the phrase) is that the weekend is a state of mind, that you don't have to wait until the end of the week to do what it is that you love. It doesn't have to be a specific thing that has to fit into a box. Like sailing around the world, we'll get a message saying, "Hey! We are at port for a week, can you send us tank tops to the ship yard, we are headed back out!” Equally, on the other hand, I like to think of my grandma, whose thing is going to play bridge with her friends, socializing and playing card games, and that’s her weekend. That thing that just gives you that “verver” in your chest, that vibrant, colorful feeling, embrace it and you don't have to wait until the end of the week to do it. And if it’s 5-10 minutes a day you think about it or spend just a little time doing it each day, it’s what’s going to keep you going and drive you.
L.M: Any dating advice or an LA dating story?
J.J: Both Andres and I have seen the more interesting side of LA. My dating advice would be to look for people who commonly identify with what you're doing. The people that I've bonded with the most or continue to have ties with, have been people I've met at events I've gone to that have something that resonate with me, whether it’s a movie premiere or First Fridays at the Museum of Natural History for concerts. Those types of things that you're already going to have a common connection with, whether romantic or not, you'll have somewhere to "step off" on and hopefully that leads to dating or at least a collaborative friendship.
L.M: As we are called Labeling Men, what do you think your label is?
J.J: I would say my label is the antithesis of just one label. I think that my approach is at different times I could be labeled different things. And that’s my way of living out the weekend; sometimes I'm playing lacrosse, teaching the football league, then other times I'm more on the creative side, writing short stories and there is no way I could say, "I'm just a writer" or anything. I try and take in as many different aspects of what is around me as I can.
J.J: YES! The Multi-Labeled man!
L.M: What about Weekend Society? What would you put that label?
J.J: We kind of struggle with that. In a business sense, you're always supposed to have your demographic in mind , that main target audience and that’s kind of the thing that we have to do but don't want to. That goes back to our slogan, where no matter what you're not too old or too young, so we want to really hit all different demographics. We get the 20-somethings who are pursuing their dreams, doing what they love, that is who we find is wearing our clothes and that’s kind of the simplest label. But we get tags on Instagram of older couples in San Diego that are retired and have a little boat and go out on it for an hour and that’s their thing. Another guy who is a big supporter of the label is going to the NBA Draft and that’s another complete demographic than the LA fashion-forward creative type. I think that doesn't answer your question but we go across all labels!
Visit www.wkndsociety.com to take a look at their newest collection, and follow them on social media @wkndsociety
Interview by Mischa Teichgraeber
In Photo: (from Left to Right) Dan Paustian, Labeling Men Founder Amelia Williams, James Wolfe, Labeling Men Creative Director Eric Fulcher, Labeling Men Co-Founder Mischa Teichgraeber and Weekend Society Co-Founder Jason Joyce