Interview with Garrett McCarthy of KielJP

I know I know… I’ve posted several times about Kiel James Patrick before, but a brand whose products are 100% original and handmade in America is something truly remarkable. Throw in a heritage driven aesthetic and their quality of craft, and you have accessories that are not only beautiful and season-spanning — but will last for years on end.

Recently Lands End copied a KielJP belt design and there was a complete uproar from KielJP fans via the social media community, proving how deep the brands roots have taken hold.

Garrett and I follow each other on Twitter, so I thought I’d annoy him for an interview on some behind-the-scenes info. As you can see below, the answers do not disappoint. Thank you so much for your time Garrett!

Why did you start working with KJP?

He and I share a similar passion for the “Golden Age” of manufacturing; back when “USA Made” had an undeniable gravitas about the term.

What’s your opinion on the prep revival…merely a passing trend or here to stay?

I could truly go on quite the diatribe about the new “prep” movement…
Synopsis: I think once you put effort into something that is (by its nature) supposed
to be effortless, you really reduce the integrity of the aesthetic. Wear clothes that
are made well, fit well and have a fun, classic look and you will never be “out of
style.”

At what lengths would you go to acquire a Klondike bar?
Heath or Original?

Why do you think the brand is so successful — is it predominantly the attitude, lifestyle, or the accessories themselves?

I think the brand does so well because it doesn’t try to be something it’s not.
All of the lifestyle images you see in the marketing or online are genuine, true to life
photos of activities that are carried out every day around the KJP HQ. Very seldom
do we really stop what we are already doing to take a picture. Kiel James Patrick
makes quality goods here in the USA. Simple as that. There isn’t really any “style”
self-ascribed by the brand to its products. The customers make the brand. Whether
or not they align themselves or not with the lifestyle of the brand owners/employees
is purely coincidence, but also a wonderful thing.

Can you tell us about your next steps regarding the fashion industry?

Well, there are some plans in the works. The overall goal is to bring industry
back to the US, so we would like to do that on as grand a scale as possible.
Ambiguous enough of a response?

You’re making me feel old, how do you combine college life and occasionally doing homework on top of all your endeavors?

Not easily. It is most certainly a balancing act and at some points you simply
have to choose which things to drop and which to keep juggling.


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3 Responses to Interview with Garrett McCarthy of KielJP

  1. Howie says:

    Great little interview! Garret is a cool dude, and super nice. Wonderful blog you have here too, I just bookmarked it. :)

  2. Sarah says:

    Thanks Howie! :)

  3. Pam Denny says:

    Wonderful brand, just like the answers from this bright young man….”authentic” and home grown! Nice!

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