Ron Upperman from Leroy Jenkins is an inspirational person in progressive street fashion because he comes from a unique crossover background of educational training in animation and fine arts”, as well as sports. As an athlete playing baseball all the way through college, not to mention playing basketball and football, his influences, along with his partner, have resulted in making their fashion brand Leroy Jenkins, a stand-out when it comes to overall results.
Three years ago in Manhattan they started Leroy Jenkins, because as Ron puts it, “We were artists and we were not making our way as fine artists, so we turned to making our art on fashion.” They started by creating new ways to do the all-over print look with cotton sweatshirts that were reversible sourcing the fabrics themselves rather than using fleece, and then created graphics such as splattered polka dots and stars. In their fitted caps, they used floral patterns and linings which continue to be stand-outs to this day.
In addition, they changed up the silhouettes of what was considered street by introducing V-necks and again, went with themes of polka dot patterns, which bled into bandana designs and basically, took off.
What you can see in Label Networks TV interview with Ron at MAGIC is that his art and sports influences play a roll in the final collection for Fall/Holiday with vintage collegiate sports top and jackets “the kinds of thing a pitcher would wear while warming up ” explains Ron. For some people who may not get that crossover, Ron explains, “It used to be that you were either into sports or art, but I was influenced by both with training in both. I might go to the batting cage and then do art, or play basketball and think of aspects to create.”
The Fall collection from Leroy Jenkins reflects this passion for art and sports, also with its colorways and branding such as using 3 colors, red, yellow, black in stripes for certain pieces, and patterns such as small stars and paint-splashed polka-dots on wovens. Tonal branding is subtle -either on the chest, sleeve, or back shoulder so it’s there, but coveted and cool.
Other key themes that make the line fresh is their take on being a “Thorough Brand” and being “Thorough Bred” branding on various pieces, along with buttons that have the LJ tag of “All day everyday,” which continues the sports, fashion, art originality of the brand.
Leroy Jenkins is already global with distribution in places such as Black Rainbow in Paris and select stores in Stockholm, but goals for the brand are to extend into London this coming season, and continue pushing forward with new designs and forward-thinking aesthetics.