For being a product of the internet, JJJJound’s founder Justin Saunders remains elusive, despite having worked with some of the biggest names like Kanye West and Virgil Abloh. Instead, he lets his own creation, JJJJound, live and breathe on its own. Perhaps it is Saunders’ reserved nature that has allowed the brand to metamorphosize between digital and physical, intangible and tangible, indefinite and extremely precise all at once.
IT STARTED AS A MOODBOARD
Founded in 2006 during the blog era, Justin Saunders used JJJJound as an online platform which stood out as being one of the only ones to focus exclusively on visuals. Interested in the patterns and themes found in design, Saunders became a precursor to image curation pre-Instagram and Tumblr, something that seems so apparent to us now. JJJJound quickly grew in popularity due to its unique nature at the time and its incredible grasp on a satisfying, curated style, capturing the interest of today’s leading designers, from Matthew M. Williams to Virgil Abloh and Heron Preston.
THEN CAME THE TIMELESS CLOTHING
Considering the blog’s ethos has always been, and remains today’s brand ethos, “examine the recurring patterns in timeless design”, it only makes sense that JJJJound’s garment output would fit into that aesthetic. Nowadays, the brand offers all-white, minimalist courier bags and earthy-toned straight trousers, but the JJJJound’s entryway into apparel was the epitome of a natural soft-launch.
By the early 2010, JJJJound became a physical entity, first with an art show at the HVW8 Gallery in Los Angeles where Saunders’ emails and tote bags were created and sold for the event. Soon enough, accessories and small products started appearing on the website, including caps, socks and beanies. By 2015, the brand was commissioned by the Copenhagen International Fashion Fair to create a range of 200 screen-printed tees and Saunders’ grasp on tangible fashion took off ever since.
AND SO DID THE LIFESTYLE PIECES
Although JJJJound may be best known in the streetwear circles, its offering is far from just clothing. During its early blog days, and still today on Instagram, JJJJound curated design, not just clothing, that also incorporated images of apartment furniture, plants and old cars. So, it only makes sense that JJJJound’s product output would encompass all that it aestheticizes. From candles to coffee beans, JJJJound is a brand that creates and provides an entire universe, just as it watches, curates and documents it.
THE FOOTWEAR IS WHERE THE COLLABS ARE AT
While on the clothing side of things JJJJound has only collaborated with a select handful of people, the list of its sneaker collaborators is quite the impressive feat. The first footwear released in 2016 already came in the form of a collaboration with Victory Sportswear and just a year later, JJJJound was reeling in the big names with a collaboration with Vans, with a trio of Old Skool shoes.
The brand has now worked with the likes of New Balance on multiple occasions, Reebok, Asics, Dr. Martens and notably BAPE in 2022 on the BAPE STA. While the sneaker craze is always trying to outdo itself with over-the-top designs and colourways, what makes JJJJound’s sneaker collabs stand out is that they feel so naturally JJJJound. Monochromatic or in muted tones, the sneakers produced always look exactly what you would want and expect out of the carefully curated world of JJJJound.
AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT’S A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING
What makes JJJJound so unique, is that it can’t be defined as just one thing. It is just as much a brand, as it is a moodboard, as it is a person, as it is a design studio, as it is an aesthetic. Even though JJJJound has taken a commercial route in the past decade selling products, it has never felt like a sell-out move. Instead, the world Justin Saunders created online has surfaced into the physical, always retaining the same goal in mind: contextualising ideas that are both inspiring and pleasing to the eye.
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