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George Clooney loves the Bengals tee. Olivia Wilde hearts the AC/DC top. Lana Del Rey covets the Velvet Underground fleece. Robert Pattinson can't get enough of his Germs raglan. What's the story behind Junk Food Clothing?
We sat down with Junk Food's vice president of marketing Andrei Najjar to learn more about the LA-based brand and their crazy roster of celebrity fans.
Who was the first star to support the brand?
"We have always had a very strong celebrity following since our launch in 1998 because we were the first company to really stand behind the soft vintage tee. Back then, most people were still doing rough, stiff tees. But I would say Britney Spears wearing 'Little Miss Sunshine' really got us a lot of attention. That photo was everywhere and you couldn't miss it."
Are all of your tees designed and produced in LA?
"Yes, whereas most companies are offshoring the majority of their product, we make most of our product right here in LA. When it comes to denim and tees, LA is still a great place to produce high quality T-shirts. Our entire design staff also sits in Los Angeles, which I think is really important in maintaining the culture of the company."
Who are your top celebrity fans today?
"On the men's side that Zac Efron, George Clooney, Chace Crawford, and the guys from One Direction have recently been seen a lot in our tees. On the women it is so varied, but I would say Nicki Minaj, Ashley Greene, Katie Holmes, and Olivia Wilde are spotted often in our tees. Gwen Stefani's sons Zuma and Kingston are always in our Junk Food Loves Gap Kids collaboration tees and tanks."
What celebrity were you most excited/surprised to see wearing Junk Food?
"I'm a huge fan of Lana Del Rey and think she is a modern-day style icon. She recently wore our Velvet Underground destroyed fleece and I was personally really excited to see her in our stuff!"
What celebrity would you love to see sporting Junk Food?
"That's a tough one because we're on a lot of great people already. It would be cool to get on Joseph Gordon-Levitt because he has great style and is in a lot of great movies right now."
What are your most popular tee styles?
"On the men's side, we always sell out of our basic crew neck vintage tees, but we saw huge success with our men's tank. Our MTV Spring Break tank was basically the men's tank of the summer this year. For women, we're seeing a lot of success with our oversized and rocker silhouettes, which are almost constantly on celebs in magazines."
Where do you find inspiration for new tee graphics?
"I think our inspiration really comes from our culture and people. We are a true California art house and our talented artists regularly exhibit outside of work on all mediums. We also have licensing rights to over 800 of some of the top brands in the world, which gives us access to cutting edge pop culture knowledge before trends even happen. The combination of amazingly talented artists, top-notch partners and living in a creative hub like LA is our secret sauce. Of course, we do look at trend reports and shop the world for inspiration, but really it's our culture that makes us come up with really unique ideas that set us apart from what is out there."
Finally, do you have any exciting projects in the works?
"Yes! We are working on launching our own retail stores with quirky and innovative teasers that leverage technology. We currently have taken over mall directories in select locations nationwide and turned them into QR code stores, where you can shop from your smartphone in partnership with eBay. We also just registered about 250,000 young voters in the recent president elections with our Scan to Vote tee, where we built QR code technology directly into the shirt graphic so that when you scan it with your smartphone, you are registered to vote. Virgin Airlines was so into it that they outfitted their inaugural flight staff from San Francisco to Washington DC in the tees, allowing passengers to register to vote from the sky."
· Junk Food Clothing [Official Site]