"ChowderFest" is annual tradition on Long Beach Island, NJ, a gorgeous barrier island that my family has been going to since 1958. And this year, while at the beach in October for ChowderFest, I ended up meeting Cory Higgins, a co-founder of the JETTY surf/skate/lifestyle clothing line. JETTY was started right on LBI in 2003 by five friends, who according to Cory, "had the intention of supporting athletes, motivating the next generation, and spreading positive energy." (Where else do you hear something so inspiring about clothing?!) I have always been aware of the brand, and always felt it deserved even more attention than it's already been getting. So after chatting with Cory that night, I knew immediately I wanted to figure out a way to work together. Therefore, as Stylewhipped readers, you get to see the fun photoshoot I dreamed up.
But first, a little more background on how we made it happen. We were incredibly lucky enough to have Hudson Jeans partner with us and provide all the denim that our gorgeous models are wearing. Created from the softest, most beautifully-fitting denim, these are jeans that absolutely need to be in your closet. I was personally lucky enough to have an amazingly talented team come together...photographer Stephen Ciuccoli, make-up artist William Miranda, hairstylist Hiroyuki Yamazaki, and our stunning, game-to-stand-out-in-the-freezing-cold models from MSA: Kyle, Chris, Leah & Tessa (all of whom were styled by me, of course!). Because this is a surf & skate lifestyle brand, I wanted to show how it translated perfectly into an urban, city setting. So we shot on-location in downown Manhattan, including at a skate park along the Hudson River where Wayne Gallipoli from Surf-Rodz brought us the coolest skateboards to use in the shots.
So take a look at the photos that we are all so proud of (just click on each to enlarge them). I've titled the editorial "Surf City"...because I think we have managed to bridge the beach and the urban jungle...and because Surf City is actually an adorable little town on LBI! Then read on to hear a little more from Cory (and find an exclusive, SW-only 20% discount on JETTY apparel!). I have a feeling that all of you NYC fashionistas (and fashiontistos!) are going to want to add some of these pieces into your wardrobe. Because they are on-trend, made from delicious fabrics that are so super comfy, do some good for the world, and are even all screen-printed right at the Jersey shore at JETTY's headquarters...
As are most people who grew up on our little island, Cory is easy-going, friendly, and makes you want to join him for a day of fishing (wearing JETTY, of course...). But he also realizes that JETTY is special...in his own words, "everyone can relate to our grassroots foundation and hard work mentality. Starting a business from scratch with 5 people throwing $200 bucks in the pot each is a piece of old school Americana that doesn't happen very often anymore." The brand supports numerous athletes (which I'll get to in a minute), but to me, JETTY's immediate response to the devastation that Hurriane Sandy brought to LBI was the most admirable. They printed some of the very first t-shirts whose profits went towards the relief effort, and have now "started a non-profit called The Jetty Rock Foundation so we could continue to help the community recover from Sandy. Whether it be getting a family back in their home, or getting kids affected by the storm back to school supplies that they otherwise couldn't afford, theres still plenty to do and we'll be involved for the long haul."
And those hot surfers wearing JETTY? Well, yeah...they are pretty cool too. Cory explained just a few of their prominent events, saying "The Clam Jam is our local core surf community surf contest. It pairs 100 surfers in teams of 2, randomly together to surf against other teams in a NCAA bracket style event. It's a local favorite bringing an average of 500-600 people together in the fall to enjoy our beaches and community spirit. The Coquina Jam is our all-female surf contest done in the same format as The Clam Jam, just with less contestants. The Coquina is done in the summer months and raises money for a local cancer foundation called 'David's Dream and Believe'. The waves aren't as good in the summer, but more people come out to support so we are able to raise more money for the cause." And with more and more pieces being added to their collection in the coming seasons (think bags, wallets, belts and jackets for the guys and dresses and cover-ups for the girls), Cory is right when he says, "It's really an exciting time for us right now. And a great time to get on board and support what we are doing so you can tell all your friends that you wore our stuff before we were huge!"
I have a feeling that JETTY is going to have a serious amount of new fans now. And just for discovering them here on Stylewhipped, you get to go shop their website and enter the code "stylewhipped" when you checkout for a 20% discount! (Thanks, Cory...pretty sure you personally have a few new fans now too...)
Thank you to everyone who made this shoot possible. I am a lucky editor. Who's about to go order a very cute new hoodie ;)