The often outspoken founder of the brand formerly known as Freshjive, Rick Klotz spoke with Bobby Hundreds regarding the recent de-branding of his label Freshjive. Foregoing any logos and branding starting spring 2010, Klotz discusses the reasoning behind this ground-breaking move and the anticipated difficulties down the road due to this move. You can read the whole interview here.
I think this may come as big news to many, but I’m not surprised. I feel like this was a long time coming. Can you give our readers a basic breakdown of what you are trying to do, and what fueled this decision?
First off Bobby, thanks for this little interview. Besides some usual blogging by the usual suspects, you’re the first entity that’s bothered to ask me more details about this new change.
Throughout the years I’ve become uncomfortable with this business of branding and brand identity. I’m not the type of person that buys something for the brand name. I’ve also never done a very good job at creating a captivating identity to our own brand logo. Also, within the streetwear culture, the promotion of a company’s brand has become downright silly to me. What’s amusing is I still really enjoy designing gear, graphics, and even logos. But when I see kids wearing company logos it reminds of people who are trying to be a part of a “tribe” or “gang”, as if they need to be part of something, which seems to go against the idea of individualism in style.
So are you doing this to make a statement and prove a point, or are you simply following your heart? For example, are you seeking to incite change in the fashion industry, or does that not even cross your mind, and you’re making these changes for your own sanity?
I’m just following my heart, and doing what I want to do with the company, what will make me content. I never think of inciting change with this move. I don’t care what anyone else does. To each company his own. Yes, I’m making the changes for my own sanity. Plus, this business is like a popularity contest, and I don’t want to partake in that.
I can’t disagree with that! Finally, is there a possibility that you will ever incorporate branding and logos back into your design? Or is the Freshjive name forever defunct?
The Freshjive name is forever defunct. But I still design logos in the t shirt line. But the logos are single designs within the line, usually designed to communicate a certain thought provoking idea. You can’t discount the power of a logo in the market. Now I’m just dropping our own logo, and then occasionally appropriating the power of someone else’s logo to communicate a new message. So to the brand building community: Careful when building an influential logo, as I just might use that influence through some further graphic manipulation, and throw it back out into the market like a brick bashing through a window.