$1,892
pledged of 8.000 $pledged of 8.000 $ goal
38
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, February 6 2019 9:16 PM UTC +00:00
David Ziegler-VollBy David Ziegler-Voll
First created
David Ziegler-VollBy David Ziegler-Voll
First created
$1,892
pledged of 8.000 $pledged of 8.000 $ goal
38
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, February 6 2019 9:16 PM UTC +00:00

About

Preface

Since I started casually kicking around the idea of starting a gender fluid clothing line the response from friends, colleagues and industry professionals has been ridiculously positive. 

"What are you waiting for?! Go! Go! Go!"

I've never loved the idea that clothes have gender. Or the social construct that fashion is binary: "these clothes" go in the women's section and "these clothes" clothes go in the men's section. 

Also, men's fashion is dreadfully boring. This is painfully evident by walking into any Macy's men's shoe department: the choice is a black shoe or a brown shoe, tassle or no tassle.

Growing up I loved dressing up in girl's clothes. Some might call it crossdressing, but this idea is heavily rooted in a very dated binary premise that men present "this way" and women present "this way". I just liked the clothes better and I still do. Why limit my options to just a plaid shirt and pair of pleated khakis?

just a boy and his go-go boots
just a boy and his go-go boots

After recently coming out of the closet and affirming both my queerness and gender-fluidity I wanted to find a way to channel this specific energy into something I was passionate about. And then it hit me, "Why not start a gender-fluid clothing line?" 

I needed a name and came across the term Jendaresu--a Japanese word that translates to "without gender". After some research and validation from a Japanese friend, I decided it was the perfect nomenclature for my fashion project. The term would surface again in a piece by the New York Times profiling the Jendaresu movement in Japan--specifically Japanese youth rejecting societal gender norms.

I was on to something!

About me

Professionally, my creative prowess has been employed designing stores for the funky retailer Buffalo Exchange, serving as Creative Director at various agencies and even once upon a time ran my own design studio.

If you've ever shopped at Trader Joe's not only have you seen my work but it's probably sitting in your cupboard right now. For nearly a decade I designed and wordsmithed my fair share of Trader Joe's food packaging.

I've spent time fronting indie rock bands (and all that it entails), exhibiting works of art and writing on my personal blog. Most recently I took up running which soon turned into becoming a triathlete--something that is still perplexing considering I've never considered myself to be athletic. (I went from 5k to Ironman in four years! Something I am very proud of.)

But now, my vision is Jendaresu. I can't help but feel that this will be the project that defines the totality of my being and spirit.

Presently

I sometimes feel like I haven't done very much so far, but in retrospect I've accomplished a lot. One of my early feats was securing jendaresu.com and social media @jendaresu account names. Most recently, I federally trademarked Jendaresu. (A feat in itself!)

But more importantly I've locked down the brand aesthetic and elements--one benefit to being a graphic designer. The Jendaresu color-way is a dusty lilac that is cleverly composed of 25% cyan, 25% magenta and 50% gray.  

This past Summer I met with potential manufacturers which was very educational.

From the beginning I decided that for Jendaresu to have a meaningful impact the clothing would have to be fiercely made in the USA. Other value propositions built into the brand include: sustainably sourced textiles, 100% vegan, manufacturers that fairly compensate their workers and the concept of slow fashion (well made, timeless, long-lasting pieces that endure). 

Initially I believed I would start with a modest amount of nine pieces in the collection. After having a better understanding of the garment making process I was humbled to discover that starting with two pieces was much more realistic. 

Before clothing can be manufactured it must first be prototyped. The prototyping process includes taking my design and executing a final rendition of what the item will look like. It involves designers, pattern makers, project managers, fabric/embellishment sourcing and more. Once a design and prototype is completed the patterns and "instructions" are packaged digitally. These instructions are the DNA for the garment and can be taken to any manufacturer production-ready.

The prototyping cost for two garments is expensive but is a one-time cost of doing business for my first two pieces. I have budgeted enough to not only cover the prototyping but also to help finance the actual production: a top and a bottom.

the garments

The top is inspired by my triathlon jersey--a tight 3/4 sleeve that stops at the elbow. The sleeves attach to a looser silhouette that includes a hoodie and flows past the waist. Pockets in the back mirror the tri jersey as well, but include a zip.

The bottom is a wrap. Think of historical context to a time before pants. As someone pointed out to me, sewing pants was not something easily accomplished thousands of years ago. I wanted to take the best elements of the sari/kilt/skirt and create an effortless wrap. Slits on the sides come to the knee creating movement and the possibility of adding color via tights/socks/boots. And yes, it has pockets.

the jenda wrap
the jenda wrap

Both pieces can be worn by anyone.

The Future

Aside from this Kickstarter campaign, I have created a business plan and heavily researched the marketplace and competition. I believe the Jendaresu brand to be poised for great things based on the Jendaresu aesthetic, the alignment of core brand values with my audience and the creation of a blog/social channel for persons that identify on the gender-fluid spectrum. (Tentatively called "A-jenda".)

Sales will initially be direct-to-consumer (online) and possibly at boutiques such as The Phluid Project, a gender-free clothing store in NYC. 

Future garments will include athletic and sportswear, all designed for anyone.

Thank You

I would love to be able to take you along with me on this exciting journey. I believe somewhere out there is someone who would love to rock Jendaresu. Side note: A pledge of $30 or more entitles you to a swanky, made in the USA, super-comfy tee with the Jendaresu logo. Can only spare $10? That's awesome too... look for some cool and fun buttons in the mail. I can't thank you enough for anything you can do! This project means so much to me and I can't wait to see it become something beautiful.

Risks and challenges

My biggest challenge will be "getting Jendaresu out there". I plan on making a lot of trips to New York to get the brand in front of as many people as possible. I also believe getting the brand introduced to online blogs such as Refinery29 and PopSugar will be critical.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Jendaresu buttons!

    Receive a collection of jendaresu styled and designed buttons to dress up any backpack, jacket, favorite scarf or wherever a stylish button is needed!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Jendaresu Tee

    Dark gray heather tri-blend tee, made and screen printed in the USA. Whether you identify on the gender fluid spectrum or just want to show the world your jendaresu pride this tee will rock any ensemble.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    A-jenda ambassador

    Your choice of either a top or bottom of our first two pieces! Rock the athletically inspired top with contoured sleeves and a comfortable loose bodice, or adorn yourself in the Jendaresu wrap--a versatile floor length skirt with a high side-slit and color contrasting lining. Either way you will be sent the foundation of the Jendaresu clothing brand and can tell the world you wear what you want!

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Jenda Rock Star

    Receive both of our first two production pieces PLUS a tee-shirt! Rock the athletically inspired top with contoured sleeves and a comfortable loose bodice, AND adorn yourself in the Jendaresu wrap--a versatile floor length skirt with a high side-slit and color contrasting lining. Either way you will be sent the foundation of the Jendaresu clothing brand and can tell the world you wear what you want!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Jendaresu Allstar

    There is only one of this reward. If you've seen the brush script Jendaresu on our t-shirts and on our website, this was hand lettered. In addition to receiving both of our first two production pieces (top and bottom) and two t-shirts, you will also receive the original Jendaresu hand lettered script--framed!

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Funding period

- (30 days)