New York City is one of the most fertile grounds for fantastic fashion brands. Today’s featured article highlights the story of one of those brands, Rocky Clark. The culmination of questions we asked this brand are available below!
- Introduce yourself: What is your name? Where are you from? What is your background?
→ Hey there! My name is Joseph, call me Joe. I am the founder and creative director behind Rocky Clark. I grew up in a very small town called Warwick, NY, but I now reside in Brooklyn and I love it. My background sits in apparel design which is what I studied at the University of Rhode Island. Initially I went into college with the intention of studying Exercise Science, but I was always interested in clothing. As I went through my college career, the idea of switching majors to apparel became more appealing - and so I followed my gut and changed paths Sophomore Year.
- What is the origin story of Rocky Clark? Where does the name come from? When and where did the brand start?
→ The origin of the name comes from my middle name - Rocky, and my dog, Clark. I put the two together and it just worked. Clark was a mutt I rescued in 2007 and he soon became my right hand man. The brand started during my semester abroad in Italy, but also it started to become more flushed out during summer 2015 when my best friend, Rob and I were just going hard with ideas for the brand. I have always been passionate about pursuing creative projects and funneling that creative energy into an outlet. We all have creativity inside of us and I have always loved exploring those sides of myself.
- What are three things, above all else, you want people to know about your brand?
→ This is a great question because my brand actually represents three specific pillars we live by. I knew if I wanted to start a brand, it had to be partially for the greater good. The first pillar of Rocky Clark is creating our products locally and in the USA. We fully believe in working together as a community and knowing the people who help make our products. The second thing we stand by is using the most ethical materials and processes. Although this poses some challenges, I have always been conscious of my consumption habits and we are looking to ensure that is communicated in our products to our community. Our third pillar is paying it forward and giving back to communities and charities. We donate 3% of every sale to a variety of charities! Our most recent was in support of BLM - Brooklyn Bail Fund/ NAACP which is something that directly impacts our community.
- What are the details about Rocky Clark’s most recent project/collection? What was the inspiration for this project/collection?
→ I’m 6’2 and have pretty skinny legs - it was a challenge for me to find high quality clothing that fit right. Jeans and pants specifically were always a challenge to find, so I decided I wanted this collection to be special. We made t-shirts and some accessories earlier on in our inception days, but as the concepts evolved, Rocky Clark evolved into more tailored wear which is where my heart is. I put my all into these jeans.The inspiration came from vintage workwear and vintage military garments. I grew up around my dad wearing Carhartt and both my Grandpa’s being in the military and so I have always drawn inspiration from that aesthetic. This is an integral part to my design aspect, so I double layered the jeans because the knee is always the first part of the jeans to blow out and so this ties back to the sustainability aspect, longevity, and durability. We want our clothes to be worn for good.
- Who/what are some influences for Rocky Clark?
→ Aside from the military and durability influence from early Carhartt, when I design, I always think about what the athlete is wearing before a game, or what a musician is wearing on stage. So I pull inspiration from Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, Bob Marley, etc. Anyone who knows me knows I wear the same thing every single day - always have. I believe in honoring our clothing and wearing it how it was made to be used.
- What are some things that make Rocky Clark Special?
→ I put a lot of personal touches on our products. I design for myself, I design what I want to wear and what I DO wear. and hope that inspires others. There’s a lot of thought that goes into these products. Designing the clothing from my personal experiences makes the process that more intimate and I love sharing that.
- What are five adjectives you would use to describe Rocky Clark?
→ New York Grit, Community, Ethical, Thoughtful, Timeless
- What can we expect from Rocky Clark in the future?
→ Our Spring 21’ collection is in the works. We actually just picked up our sample from our factory for our jacket and we are pumped. Our latest addition to the RC Collective is our Monday Newsletter - it's a one stop shop for a weekly dose of good news. We feature local artists, talk about eco-living tips and love having that for our community and email subscribers to get first dibs on product news! Talking about the future of Rocky Clark shows that I’m working towards something I am passionate about. Once we start to visualize and focus on those goals is when things really start to happen.
Rocky Clark Website: https://rockyclarkclothing.com/
Rocky Clark Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rockyclarkclothing/