This website has been known to dwell on sweatpants in some great detail. Former Aesthetics teamrider (undoubtedly one of the most fashion-forward skateboard companies ever) and our good friend, Jimmy Gorecki, recently launched a company dedicated entirely to sweatpants. So, it was only appropriate that we sat down with him to discuss this latest venture and the journey sweats have had in skateboarding.
Why’d you decide to start a sweatpants company?
I have always just really enjoyed putting on a pair of sweats with a decent pair of sneakers and a basic tee shirt. Growing up, I looked up to guys like Josh Kalis and Rob Welsh. Obviously, these guys pioneered sweats in skateboarding. Off the board though, sweats were always though part of the cultures I enjoyed most. As a teenager, I would stare at the 36 Chambers album cover. They were wearing sweats and times. That shit was next level to me.
JSP itself happened in a weird way. One day I was just messing around with Earl Sweatshirt [of Odd Future] and said “I’m Jimmy Sweatpants.” I threw it on my Twitter and didn’t think anything of it. I showed up to one of the Street Leagues and someone was just like “Why don’t you just make sweatpants? You always wear them, and it’s already sticking with the Twitter name.” I put some thought into it. In downtown L.A., you could get anything you want made, so I started doing it as a one-off thing.
Where are you at with it right now, is it like a full brand or a small thing for one-offs?
It’s a small operation for now. I have one partner, and I want to grow it as organically as possible. I would love to make it the New Era of sweatpants down the line, but obviously that’s a ultimate dream goal. After I put the first run out, there were multiple brands that reached out to me like, “We’ve been trying to do sweats domestically for a couple years and you hit the nail on the head in a couple of months.” Everyone goes to Canada or China to produce them. I don’t know if it was the right place at the right time, but we were able to source a good fleece and sample a couple different fits that were comfortable.
Is there anything specific you’re trying to accomplish with it aside from focusing on domestic production?
I think it’s good to keep pushing the name and build relationships with the consumer, so when they think of a good quality sweatpants, they think of JSP. I’m going to do some tees and crew necks, but the idea is the pants. You kinda gotta accessorize sweats. I just want to provide a pair that you can throw on with the right shirt and sneakers, and wear them to the gym, skating or dinner.
To what extent are you involving skating with the brand?
I want to work with people that I’ve always looked up to. Sal Barbier has always been a huge mentor to me. When he did Aesthetics and Elwood, he didn’t shy away from doing things like sweat suits, velour suits or jerseys. One thing I’d like to do is collaborate with his SLB brand.
Then there’s Kalis, this kid Mark Del Negro, Pete Eldridge, and other people who will always be members of the brand to me for the simple fact that they carry on the torch of shredding in sweats. As far as building out a skate team, it’s a fine line with misconstruing non-skate brands with skateboarding, so I guess I have to stay just close enough so purists don’t think I am trying to milk a couple bucks from the skateboard community.
It seems like sweatpants or “comfort wear” has been having a real moment in past few years, be it in fashion, street wear or whatever. In your mind, what would you attribute that to?
I have no idea to be brutally honest. My buddy, who has been helping me with a lot of design work for my stuff, went to the past Bread & Butter trade show, and goes “Funny enough, a lot of these street wear brands are running sweatpants now.” I was really thrown off because I didn’t realize how many people were doing them. I guess you see it now because kids are dressing like ninjas almost with long shirts and crazy drop crotch sweats. That’s not my deal. I guess kids are dressing so different now and so open to wearing whatever that they’re like, “Fuck it, we’ll just throw some sweats in the mix.” I don’t understand the drop crotch sweats though.
My influence stemmed from way back when Aesthetics, Elwood and Dub were making them.
Why do you think people are have such fond memories for the era that those brands were a part of?
The people behind those brands that really backed the shit they made, and the skaters that rode for those companies exemplified those brand messages. Aesthetics put Cash Money graphics on board because they loved what they were doing with their album artwork at that particular time. Dub made a million swishy pants because that’s what their skaters fucked with. One thing that kills me is when you talk to heads nowadays, who you know wore ventilated warm up pants and mesh jerseys back then but are now in cords or skinny jeans, and they act like that era didn’t exist to them.
Skaters are nerds and they notice the weirdest nuances. Everyone pays attention to how someone dresses or presents themselves, but there are simultaneously other people going, “Who cares, just watch him skate.” Do you think that particular form of hyper-nerdism has value?
Yes, it does. They’ll always be kids that will identify with certain skateboards soley based on how they skate and that’s it. Then you’ll have the other kids who could care less about how someone skates because they just love the image of what they convey via their skateboard. I guess we’re all victims of it. I could never be M.J, but I sure as hell had all of his sneakers.
I wonder if kids still see through whatever way a skater dresses to their skate style. Like if you were to put a sweat suit on Dylan Reider, would they still be as hyped on the way he skates?
Kids are impressionable, so we get influenced to wear something or learn a trick because of a pro, but it seems like today there are more kids that all-around try to emulate the way someone skates entirely, both with clothes and full trick selections. “Dylan Reider kids” are probably a prime example of that.
I learned switch hardflips a certain way because of Kareem Campbell. I’m sure there are still a lot of kids who still try to figure out how to wrap an impossible around their foot the same way Dylan does. Nothing’s really changed in that regard.
What are you top three sweats moments in skateboarding?
The line Kalis has in the beginning of his Photosynthesis part with the switch nosegrind. Welsh’s Aesthetics intro with a S.F. Giants leather jacket, gold teeth, and sweats. Third is Biebel skating that metal theater ledge in Barcelona [in Fully Flared], wearing the biggest sweatpants ever. I actually asked him about that and he said “It was just comfortable.” Brandon is the man.