Whenever we launched Arka, we weren't really sure as to what we were. We had ideas of what we wanted to be, but in many ways, you are experimenting until you find something that works and you stick with that. Any young startup brand will be concerned with having the perfect name and perfect logo that will resonate in the consumer minds. As anyone who is new to any industry, we looked at brands that we would like to emulate. Some of these brands included, Obey, Altru, Imaginary Foundation, and Freshjive. Those of you not familiar with Freshjive, the brand founder is Rick Klotz who is currently embarking on another brand called Warriors of Radness. What drew me to Klotz's work is the fact that not only was it controversial, it was done in a highly intelligent manner. Judging from his artwork, I felt that he had a high awareness of pop culture and the current state of world affairs. When word came out of how he was de-branding Freshjive, I have to admit, it got me scratching my head a little bit. Why would someone spend 20 years building a brand and on a whim decide that he no longer wants to put any logo or the name Freshjive on any of his garments? You can read his thought process here
Here is an earlier version of his logo,
He later abandoned the logo and and adopted this:
In today's environment of heavily branded lines in all genres, spanning from high end fashion to low end street wear, the trend seamed to be people wanting to flaunt what they are wear and essentially be walking billboards. Klotz's strategy was to do the exact opposite of what other brands are doing. It was an interesting angle however there are some flaws. For one, most people associate with brands because they stand for something. Whatever the philosophy the brand associates with, by purchasing their clothing, you almost associate with their ideals. For example, The Hundreds embodies the skater mentality. They wanted to appeal to the authentic skater crowd that represents the rebellious, anti-establishment attitude. Therefore, by wearing The Hundreds, you associate with that as well.
I think what Klotz realized, is that today people have become so obsessed with brands, that they are no longer realize if they like something for what it is or because of the label that it's attached to. I think for people who have been fans of Freshjive over the years, this move shouldn't be that surprising. Klotz has always been someone that avoids going against the grain. I see this entire maneuver as a message to his consumers. I feel like he wanted people to buy his product because it's dope and not because it's Freshjive. Personally, I'm a big fan of this because it says a lot about the current state of consumerism. I honestly don't know how successful the move was because as of today, I don't think Freshjive is being sold anywhere and Klotz has moved on to Warriors of Radness. However, as someone who is a part of the clothing industry and a big fan of many brands, I really do appreciate his message.