Commonless Apparel is a New Jersey based clothing brand operated by best friends, Mackenzie King and Brittany McCormick. The brand represents the uncommon lifestyle and strongly supports a number of world causes, including the equal rights movement and the ongoing fight against poverty. We caught up with one of the heads of the brand, Mackenzie King, to get an in-depth look at Commonless Apparel.
TM: How long has Commonless Apparel been active and what initially sparked the idea?
Commonless Apparel has been up and running for about a year now. The idea came about just as quickly as it started. I have experience with design and production and felt that this company would be the perfect blend between creativity and business. If you can believe it, I just really wanted to start a business with my best friend Brittany McCormick. We share many common interests in work and play.
With our meshing personalities and views, we knew it would be entirely within reach to produce gear that would appeal to the masses, regardless of background, age, race or ideals. Commonless is all about being a platform for sending positive messages to this generation. We are both completely uncommon people.
Our views are similar, but we collectively as people are quite different. This is what made the name of the business such a clear cut choice. Brittany is a law student with a cleaner classic style, while I am an Art Director with a more “care- free” look. You see, Commonless found the common ground between us both while embracing our different identities. it is important to understand the value of personal identity.
We strongly stand behind this quote “When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you command the attention of the world.”
We agree that the MOST common thing in this generation is to follow along with trends. We want to encourage the youth to be different… BE SOMEBODY! Make a difference, get involved… Don’t be common.
Can you elaborate on the concept and the importance of strictly producing unisex clothing in 3 shades?
The unisex idea is really important to us. We find it of extreme importance to stick to the “one style suits all” motto. However, we have produced a few items that can be categorized as either strictly female or male items, but we try to blur the lines as much as we can while sending a message we firmly believe in: “No discrimination”.
Our brand caters to the masses. In formulating products that appeal to everyone, many factors were taken into account. We really wanted to capture the essence of understanding that everyone in this world is different. Everyone has their own story. We all have different styles that describe who we are. The world is a shocking place filled with original and unique people. That is why we are so pro being one style suits all.
We love the idea of being able to produce gear that allows people to be whoever they want. When we have our models wear the clothes we never tell them how to wear it. The shots we take exhibit regular every day people wearing OUR clothes any way they feel comfortable. This brand is for guys, girls and everything in and between. Gay, burly, androgynous, girly, dainty, petite or voluptuous, this brand is for you. We supply comfort, community, conversation and style no matter who you are or where you come from. Discrimination is not something we do here!
Extending further into our views on apparel production, we wanted to also stress the implementation of production in only three shades. We realized that this would be the perfect supplementation to sending our message. Seeing the world in only black and white eliminates the room for hate and categorization. Only further showing how dedicated we are to our “warrior” campaign. Bringing out the inner warrior in all of our customers by taking away the categorization and strain this world presses upon us.
Starting this battle is what we hope will kick this generation of youth into shape. We care about the issues inside and outside of this country. We want to instill knowledge in them through the power of self expression. We want to broadcast that it is okay to be comfortable in your own skin. Mainstream media is teaching kids that it is okay to follow the masses because that is what will make you popular or relevant. Well, we say F*** the media and be COMMONLESS! We want to see kids playing tag not video games, Volunteering not bullying, Accepting not discriminating.
Three shades means acceptance. We will release a color item when we feel there is a cause that only color could exhibit properly.
Perhaps when everyone stands up against hate or our customers express united support for a cause… or hey if there is ever peace within our world, then you can for certain expect some colors from Commonless.
What’s been the best part about running the brand?
The ability to send a message and physically see the support is the most rewarding thing about running this brand. Our brand is a funnel of income for charities as well as children in need. Being able to help people is a huge reward and spreading awareness to everyone about people and places in need is another added bonus. We as a brand are taking commonplace issues in the world and approaching a solution for the problems in an uncommon way, and the support and attention we are receiving is truly unreal.
You’re currently campaigning to donate to the Charity Water organization and The B+ Foundation. What do these organizations mean to you and the Commonless brand?
These two organizations are just the start. Our goal is to open the eye of many to the troubles within this county and elsewhere. People today are so blinded by ignorance or perhaps they have next to no concern for the tragedies occurring in our world. Obviously, our world needs an overhaul. Our goal is to focus on two charities a year and do as much as we can to raise awareness before shedding light on a new one.
This year, a portion of our shop proceeds will immediately go to The B+ Foundation. In addition, if you donate to our charity: water campaign, you will be immediately entered into our give away contest.
The winner we choose will not be determined by how much you singularly donate. The winner will be chosen by their active response to raising awareness for our cause.
In addition to tees, your lineup looks to be made up of a variety of garments and items. Can you give us a briefing on some of the different products you’ll be releasing this year?
This May we are set to release our one year anniversary Joggers, Equality tee shirts, Logo Duffel bags, Snap Backs, Umbrellas and more. We were also set to release a Commonless Warriors Jersey, which much to our shock has actually sold out in both pre order and restock (we are very thankful and touched). A few more items will also be released this spring. However, prior to release, a few select items will be discussed in detail on our blog.
The reason we are taking our time with the release of these items is because we feel as though they deserve a proper introduction, a reasoning behind production as well as the message behind them. For example, we will be releasing a Camo brimmed logo hat along with a women’s crop top as a bundle package. This set is the first thing that will touch upon the human rights act, as well as discuss what is going on in Russia with the “Pussy Riot” band.
Which items are your favorites out of the bunch?
Well, we can’t just pick one, but our favorite items are without a doubt the equality tee and the Jersey. The equality tee has stripes around one sleeve. The stripes resemble the equal sign in support of human rights. With our artistic licenses, we used our own interpretation and came up with the idea to wrap them around the arm infinitely.
The Jersey purchase means you are an official Commonless Warrior, that you have joined our team and are willing to participate in our cause. A portion of your jersey order will be donated the B+ Foundation. So, With this purchase we will customize your name on the back as our thanks to you for your donation and support.
What’s your thought process in coming up with design ideas? Any major influences?
We wanted our clothing to be less graphic and as uncommon as humanly possible. What better way to be uncommon than custom cut and sew garments? We have been working day and night finding the right materials, sketching ideas and literally bandaging our fingertips as we mock up every idea we can. A lot of our pieces revolve around the fight for equality at the moment. It is a very important cause for us.
In what ways do you promote customer involvement and interaction with the brand?
We have a newsletter which we use as a home base to keep customers informed and give them first dibs on our new pieces.
We also frequently hold give-away contests in the hopes of reaching more people to get in touch with our brand as well as the charities we work with.
Lastly, we customize. We customize without the crazy added costs of many brands. Customizing allows our shoppers to make our pieces their own, which is really important in style. (Example: Jerseys with last names)
Despite being a young brand there’s gotta be big plans for the future already. What’s in the forecast for the expansion of your brand over the next 5-10 years?
I honestly don’t know what to expect for the brand in the near future. However, I do know we will continue to promote causes in need. We will continue to do our best to educate this generation when it comes to world issues, political issues, etc. We continue to encourage otherwise quiet individuals to speak up and remain an active piece of their surrounding world!
Our dream is to be able to impact the masses with our originality, sense of community, personable natures and drive for world improvement.
So our big plans… a revolution? Haha jussst kidding.. or are we?
Shifting back to 2014, what other moves can we expect to see this year from Comonless Apparel?
In this moment, all we can say is that you can expect some big things from us this year. We are in the midst of working on some dope exclusive pieces and we are really excited to just get out there and show the world what Commonless has to offer. Expect more cut and sew button ups and the release of our drop hood t-shirt.
We are also publishing our first official Commonless FTGU Magazine. (From the Ground Up) We are selling features to local brands like ours looking for a place to tell their story. All proceeds will go to The B+ Foundation. Magazines will be held in a variety of shops all over NJ & NY.
Super excited to get started!