by Abigail Glasgow
Walking into Brooks Brothers, I was instantly submerged in a vast sea of pastels. Surrounded by a staff accented with pale pink ties serving cucumbers and hummus, I was in awe of the luxury created just five minutes from campus. Girls were daintily scavenging the ice cream bar while sipping on their strawberry basil sodas and sparkling ginger lemonades. The photo booth let guests, allowed entry by an exclusive RSVP list, to sport their Jack Rogers and white blazers with pride. The anchors and nautical tones created a sailor aesthetic that is hard to forget.
This past Tuesday, BB’s normal ambiance turned into a grand affair with a preppy signature to welcome Kiel James Patrick, a designer whose mission and creation mold with that of Brooks Brothers. According to Sarah Vickers, fiancé of KJP and active member with the brand, BB’s “traditional, well established classic brand stays true to their roots, yet continues to expand and modernize their original core products,” just as KJP aims to do. But who, or what exactly, is KJP?
I got the opportunity to speak to Brendan Murphy, part of KJP’s marketing team, who took me through KJP’s business journey. It all started with a small team, spearheaded by KJP and Vickers, hand making all of their products in the couple’s kitchen. Being able to watch the company grow into such a fan-based movement, while keeping their user-oriented brand intact, was something very special to the entire KJP team. Both Murphy and Sean Burke, the assistant creative director, got involved through KJP’s “internship of a lifetime,” a program that exposed them to a lifestyle infused with fashion that is unique to KJP. The two were also extra excited to share KJP’s social media initiative. Their Instagram, @KJP, adds a personal touch to their entire initiative. It follows their trips to the Vineyard, their Nantucket photo shoots, and many other classily well-groomed events to create a New England paradise for their Instagram fans. With over 262, 000 followers, @KJP has created a forum for instantly gratifying fans through their work and their passion.
After waiting in a line of people that viewed KJP as the Ed Sheeran of fashion, I was able to speak with him about his goals moving forward with the brand. He emphasized the goal of creating as many relationships with other brands that “stick to the classic aesthetic” combined with an established American production. In overcoming the obstacle of the actual craft of the brand, KJP’s main goal is “to have such a handle on American production that I can invite these other brands–Ralph Lauren, Vineyard Vines– to bring their manufacturing back to the U.S.” After speaking with various members of the KJP team, I was genuinely inspired. Their enthusiasm for their craft combined with an eagerness for their future, technologically and aesthetically, was absolutely beautiful to me. Anyone would be lucky to share such a passion, and after speaking with KJP, might even be inspired to change their style entirely!