Designer of the Week: Weekend Society by Andres Andrieu & Jason Joyce
What profession would you take on if you weren’t a designer?
Andres- I come from a very artistic family, my grandfather is a painter and my grandma was a professional pianist and harpist. The desire to create and improve my work each day was instilled in me at a young age. I couldn’t imagine a life without creativity and artistic expression. However, if I weren’t a designer I think I would continue to explore entrepreneurship. From as far back as I can remember I always started small businesses, to the point that my parents even gave me a toy cash register that I could use to make fictional transactions. Owning a business is so much work but it’s also a chance to make a mark in this world and have your voice be heard as well as give others their own voices. It’s been amazing seeing how the work we do at Weekend Society has influenced and shaped the lives of so many others.
Jason- As long as I am being creative for a living, I am happy. Weekend Society is a creative outlet for us, an adventure. While we put in many, many hours, most of them don’t seem like “work”. And that’s all I could really ask for. I see that in the other things I do- writing, making music, planning and putting on concerts and other big events, playing in contact football leagues out here. I can’t ever see myself just doing one of those things. But as long as I am fully devoted to whichever of those pursuits I am following in the moment, I will keep on keeping on. It truly is all about the adventure of it all, making sure I never shut the door on possibilities.
What made you decide you wanted to be a designer?
Jason- I have always had a propensity for fashion, though couldn’t say that I had long term plans to be a designer. The most I would do before Weekend Society was think of modifications or adaptations to the clothes I had that would make them that much better to wear, or would dream up something I envisioned myself wearing but just hadn’t seen done right yet. The first time I really felt like a clothing designer in the traditional sense was when we created our Del Mar Summer shorts. That was the very first item we crafted entirely from scratch- measuring and drafting patterns, exacting cuts and thread placement and ending up with a product that was inherently “us”, inherently new. Even now though, being a designer is just one facet of Weekend Society. We founded ourselves on the premise of being a mindset, of having many extensions of our brand.
Andres – When I was about 13 years old I was set on being a car designer. I love everything about cars, their lines, their inherently futuristic nature, and the feeling behind the wheel. When I entered Loyola Marymount University I found myself studying graphic design, because transportation design isn’t a widely taught discipline in universities. I would take my general classes at school and then take nighttime transportation design classes at the Art Center. It wasn’t until I found myself focused more on my own graphic design projects and less on the transportation design homework that I knew my passion for transportation design was fading. I reflected on my class taught at Honda and how the glamour of the career seemed to fade. Car design was no longer a way to express myself as an artist, but rather as a way to enter into a machine as just another cog. I didn’t want to spend my life being a replaceable worker only to make products that would one day end up in a landfill. I wanted my work as an artist to be widely available, easy to produce, and I wanted creative freedom. It was then that I had the idea of creating a lifestyle brand entered my mind. I could produce my own designs whenever and however I wanted to. I never imagined myself entering into the fashion world, and even today I feel as if I am separated from it. Weekend Society is so much bigger than just an apparel brand, it has become a way of life for so many. This is what drives me to be a designer, the feeling that I am impacting the lives of others through my work.
What do you love most about fashion?
Andres – I have never been much of a fashionable person, I tend to wear the first t-shirt I find. However, as I get older and produce more work with Jason, I find myself drawn to the image aspect of fashion. The ability to change your story and the perception you give to people. This ties into the type of designs we produce, we strive to make as many unisex pieces as possible so that what we make can be adapted and given new life depending on who is wearing it. Unlike a leather jacket or ripped leggings, our pieces are often times the base layer for so many different styles. From the inception of the brand we have been engaged on social media and have had the ability to interact with our customers and see how they style their Weekend Society gear. The adaptability of fashion is what I love.
Jason – I love the stories and the energy that surround a great outfit. When you’re shopping, you’re not often shopping for pure utility. You are shopping with a story in mind. An idea of what will happen when you are wearing that item or outfit. Even if it’s brief and fleeting, you’ve created a detailed scene around these items. Sure I could go out and buy the first jacket I see and it would keep me warm. But when I take it a step further and envision myself in say, a black moto jacket (as I think that’s what I’m wearing in the picture you posted of us), accenting the rest of my outfit, I picture a night on the town, standing upstairs in the low lights at a concert. I picture my friends around me, the anecdotes that will get us laughing, the way the lights strung across the street outside will cast a haze over us as we walk home later. I have already begun attaching future adventures to the coat I do not yet own. And when an outfit hits the mark, you are confident and energized, radiating with this preconceived vibe that others pick up on. Which, for us at Weekend Society, translates to the idea that it’s not solely about the clothes themselves, but what you are doing in them that counts.
Who is your style icon?
Andres – Shepard Fairey is one of my biggest heroes because of his ability to take his art and turn it directly into a brand with a solid mission statement. Surprisingly though, a lot of my inspiration comes from sources outside of fashion. I have always had a deep affinity for retro 50s and 60s design work. I can spend days looking at old art books or magazines. The simple and iconic graphics of those periods have influenced my work greatly.
Jason – I grew up keeping a close eye on the musicians I looked up to, and I still do in some regards. Pete Wentz was often one of those people. At this point though, I pull style from so many more places, Pinterest and Tumblr especially. Which, that in a way, answers the question- I don’t have just one style icon, but pull from so many different outlets to feed my own fashion appetite/ style personality.
Whats the most inspiring place for you?
Andres – I find the most inspiration when I’m happy, this can happen anywhere really. Sometimes I find bursts of creativity flowing through me when I’m at an event with Jason, other times it can be when I’m relaxing at home and have the perfect song playing. Inspiration comes to me through the right mood, rather than the right place.
Jason – We live in a pretty dang inspiring place. Los Angeles is a melting pot of culture, design, ideas and varying locales. So many of the places out here become immersive when you allow them to be, and being present is all it takes to come away with handfuls, or should I say a brain full, of inspiration.
Do you have a specific research process when you start designing new pieces?
Within each of our creative processes we pull inspiration from anything and everything. The foundation for the company was laid at the creative intersection of street art and graphic design enveloped with music and creative writing, as that’s what the two of us bring to the table respectively, but as we continue to grow, we are pushing ourselves stylistically. We’ve trained ourselves to always be scanning our surroundings for inspiration and new company ideas- whether it be inspiring imagery, or seeing chalkboard art while waiting in line for a burrito. This way we not only have that much more content to bring back to the office when we sit to map out new pieces, but we can start puzzle-piecing together new designs and projects on the fly, in real-time while the iron is still hot. Quality and comfort are important aspects of our brand, so finding and printing/sewing on the right fabrics for each of our pieces is essential. We pride ourselves on being a Made in the USA, sweatshop-free, environmentally conscious company, so those factors also come into play when producing our clothing. Needless to say, this is the hands-on part of the research we do.
What’s on the radio when you’re working?
One of the most fundamental parts of our creative process, and overall inspiration, is music. In a nod to those tastemakers that shared new music with us, we too also like to collect our latest, favorite tunes.
We feature some of the amazing (band) members of our Society, along with other indie acts and songs we just can’t get out of our head in a blog segment we call “Playlist for the WKND”. We post about one playlist per month, and you can find them all here. There’s a good bet that we’ve been listening to some of these songs while working on our latest releases. You can also follow us on Spotify (username: wkndsociety) to stay up to the minute with our office jams.
What has been the highlight moment of your career so far?
Andres – Each day brings forth a new highlight to add to my collection of memories. About a year ago I had the chance to meet Shepard Fairey and chat with him a bit. I was wearing my Black WS Weekend Society shirt and he looked at it and said, “Oh cool, is this you?”. Fast forward about a year and that moment later evolved to Jason and I getting onto the Shop Spring app on the Apple App Store where we now have Weekend Society products alongside Obey ones. That growth and transformation from idol to rival has been epic.
Jason- In the midst of the WKND whirlwind it is easy to neglect personal reflection. I have been doing a much better job the past few months though, and am truly thankful for every opportunity that comes our way. Each new adventure holds a highlight of some kind; if nothing else, it was sparked by all the other work and collaboration leading up to that moment in time. However, there are definitely mile markers on the road behind us that stand out.
Our supporters and Society members understand and embrace our mission on a daily basis. We get to follow along with their adventures as they tag us on social media. One such picture tag that came our way was of a girl across the country who had tattooed our tagline- “Never Grow Boring”- on her ribs, as a little, daily reminder. To have our creative outputs resonate that deeply with someone…that was something neither of us pictured might happen when starting this project.
Months before that happened, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s on his new TV show, HitRecord onTV. We talked about creative first times and how I saw that relating to my own process in terms of clothing design, writing and music. Having had the chance to share our mission and creative outputs with other like-minded people, sent this energy flowing through my veins, as often happens when I get to present our creative outputs. This energy leads me back to work, to better our craft, to grow our reach, to get the ball rolling on new opportunities. Or when I find Andres and I looking at each other during an event or a release and just shaking our heads and smiling in disbelief. That’s when I know something “highlight-worthy” is happening.
Much like our iconography depicts, Weekend Society is about adventure. It is an adventure. And that goes for us too. We have goals and plans for the brand, though that does not equate to expectations. We only require of ourselves that we keep moving onward and forward.
Weekend Society is available on http://modalyst.co/