Co-Founder Story: Interviews with Jonathan & Kellen
We noticed there was a lack of artistic perspective in the sports apparel industry. My background is in multi media, product design, and experiential design for high fashion brands. These past endeavors led to me running a media production company that triggered the idea of curating artists to cross collaborate on single projects. I came up with the quick realization that clothing could act as the perfect canvas adaptable to many mediums.
We like to think of ourselves as more of a community than a corporation. We produce our garments in small batches and a percentage of each sale goes directly to the artist whose work is featured. We also believe that clothes shouldn’t just feel good, or perform well; they should be an outlet for each individual to express themselves.
We work with an evolving team of independent artists who hail from a wide variety of mediums--photography, sculpture, textiles, painting, and more--and use our garments as a canvas in which to display their work.
Exercise allows me to connect with my self-conscious--it forces me to realize my true boundaries and barriers, but then make me want to break past them. Sports, on the other hand, are somewhat spiritual for me. Sports celebrate collaboration as much as individual talent. When you have these physical, and literal, goals in front of you when there is no way to get there without your teammates you realize how much society matters, how much community matters. I just love sports because it’s the only time when we become like superheroes. When I’m watching a sporting event, at any point there is the possibility of something extraordinary happening. A player exceeding expectations, a team overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds, the underdog prevailing. Sports stadiums are the only places we have left where we can still witness a miracle. Any given sunday, right?
La Forma is a new form of art. We have this vision where our clothing is sold side by side our artists’ exhibits in art galleries. As La Forma develops and grows, nothing is off limits in where we see this going. Our entire brand is based around innovation and creativity; these core ideologies will always be essential motifs in our current and future endeavors.
We have created a brand that is focused on individualism. This applies to each person in the thread of those who work together to produce our garments. The idea of “thread” is a foundational concept within La Forma. It begins with an artist. We work with an evolving team of independent artists who hail from a wide variety of mediums including but not limited to sculpture, photography, painting, and textiles. Here is where we make a stitch. We collaborate with the artist to transform and reinvent their pieces using our garments as a adapted canvas in which to display their work. Then there’s the production side--stitch--our pieces are made in small batches guaranteeing exclusivity to our customers. On our tags, we include artist descriptions and explanations of their work to connect the customer back to the artist--stitch. Furthermore, for each piece we sell, a percentage of the sale goes back to the artist whose work is featured. Stitch.
My background is in fabrics, patterns, textiles, as well as top of the line production, and I have a passion for sport and fashion that was instilled in me from a young age. While Jon brings in the mixing of mediums and design experience, I offer experience in operations and the understand the backbone of making these visions a reality. We work really well together to cohesively combine function, beauty, and art.
La Forma is more than a clothing brand to us; it is an embodiment of the idea that there is a connection between creativity and performance. And a large part of our process revolves around granting uniquely talented artists a new medium in which to display their work.
Melanie Moon, Sarah Sandman, Raffaella Carbone, but we are on an ever-evolving search for new artists to expand our styles. We want our pieces to be unique and distinct from one another.
I grew up with 3 older brothers, so being the youngest and only girl, sports were a way for me to connect with my family, my siblings. I learned to enjoy the pastimes at a very young age in a wide variety of sports. As I got older, my interests grew from mainly soccer, to other activities such as yoga, swimming, running, and more. I realized that while there is a huge amount one can learn from being on a team, independent exercise grants a different state of consciousness and internal reflection.
To be honest, I go a little crazy if I don’t exercise every 3 days. It brings me peace, peace of mind…. And it brings my husband peace. Exercise is both a time where you can live a healthy lifestyle and also reflect on your challenges and conflicts and work through them. In positive psychology there’s a term called 'flow'. it's often found in exercise as the feeling where you are so calm and free that your mind empties of everything else. I think those who have experienced this feeling understand how exceptional it truly is.
I see La Forma as an outlet for creativity and a way to, similar to the reasons I love exercise, live a happy lifestyle and promote a positive mindset. I believe the future of our brand is dependent on creating textiles and clothing as a means of adapting to your needs. The way I see us doing that is by continuing to build our community and incorporating technology that helps one by unconsciously adapting to their needs and identifying areas of concern.
La Forma is dedicated to helping preserve and build a healthy and creative world for us to live in. We have pledged to donate 1% percent of every sale to HEART, a Save the Children organization that encourages healing and education through the arts, and to Conservation International, an organization that empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, and for the well-being of humanity. We have chosen a manufacturing partnership with a company in El Salvador because of their process of sublimation that produces zero water waste as well as their socially responsible relationship with their employees and workers.
Check out our newest collection: Joe Papagoda
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