When it comes to clothing, good essentials can be surprisingly hard to find. EnterVictory Press, a New York-based linethat makes sturdy fashion staples with just enough flair. We liked the look of their Spring collection and wanted to see where owners/designers Jessica Humphrey and Jon Cammisa were coming from.
Why did you guys decide to start Victory Press? How did you meet?
Jessica Humphrey: We met walking our dogs on the streets of Vinegar Hill. I always noticed Jon’s awesome T-shirts and his ripped up Vans. One day, we were both invited to Vinegar Hill House to meet an old friend for a drink. Turns out it was a set up. We became best friends instantly. We spent a lot of time geeking out about art, music, and vintage clothing. We both have a love for old surf and skate and ’90s prep & tech. I think it was just a natural decision to start a clothing line. Here we are three years later.
How do your respective backgrounds factor into the style of the pieces you’re making?
JH: We both grew up on the East Coast. Jon is from Philadelphia and I am from Virginia Beach. We both grew up deep into skate culture… [with] Jon leaning more into the hip-hop scene, and me going more towards the punk scene. Victory Press is a culmination of both of our life experiences wrapped up into a neat package. You can see the surf and skate influence through the color and graphics, you can see the street influence through the techy silhouettes and hefty workwear.
In the about section of your site, you mention wanting to “fill a void” in the outdoors market. What do you mean by that?
Jon Cammisa: We felt that all of the street, skate, surf and outdoors subcultures we grew up with have been steadily melding cross-culturally and cross-generationally. We saw no clear representation in the market and an opportunity to dive into this grey area. Victory Press was our way to tighten the focus of these melding subcultures and bridge the gap between multi-seasonal outdoors wear and inner-city fashion.
Can you talk a little bit about the aesthetic you had in mind for the brand?
JC: East coast sun bleached beach wear, the timeless structural integrity of work wear, the innovative practicality and comfort of ’80s surf wear, the radical prints and patterns of ’90s street and skate wear.
JH: Mixed with a little throwback ’90s preppy wear.
Is it — or was it — initially difficult to produce American-made pieces?
JH: It has been our intention from the very beginning to keep production here in the US. It’s not easy. We can’t find factories that will sew the types of technical jackets we design, which means we just don’t make those jackets. It’s also expensive. We are hoping that when more companies and consumers choose American manufacturing, the high costs that come along with sewing in America will go down.
JC: Strength in numbers!
In addition to your own pieces, you also sell vintage clothing and art books. How do you decide what fits the aesthetic?
JH: We scour thrift stores, flea markets, and used book shops to find those hidden gems that inspire us. Instead of hoarding them to ourselves, we’re share it in hopes that it might spark creativity on a larger scope.
JC: We see this as an extension of wearing our hearts on our sleeves.
One of your rewards is a custom jet ski. Are you guys into jet skiing? Or do you just like the aesthetic around jet ski culture?
JH: Ummm…who doesn’t love to jet ski?
JC: …besides aquaphobics.
JH: What, like fear of the ocean? I believe the word you’re looking for is “thalassophobics”
JC: Nice 50 point word! Yeah, those guys, they probably wouldn’t be into jet skiing.
You have to be a little crazy to surf in New England all winter long.
The small team at N.E. Surf definitely loves to shred as the temperature dips, but that doesn’t mean these wave junkies don’t appreciate a little warmth. So they’ve partnered with a couple of local farms and designed a line of beanies made from natural, untreated sheep and alpaca yarn to keep you toasty before and after a wintry dip.
Kurochka Clothing. Hand-drawn, screen printed T-shirts with a hint of the Motherland (aka, Ukraine). Here’s a thing we always appreciate: comprehensive breakdowns of creator history via adorable graphics. (Trust us, it’s a thing.)