PHOTOS BY: SHAHANAH SHIVJI & KIRSTEN ROY
Dimemond Mentality collaborated with Front Rvnners co-founder and designer, Joshua Jackai. A Cali-born, young driven, individual who is currently attending Simon Fraser University in Vancouver BC, majoring in Communications. Jackai has been able to continue to still make his brand from home, to also flourish and grow here in Canada. One of his main goals within World Class Front Runners, is to globalize the streetwear brand that is thus far, and also set up a World Class Front Runners shop in the Bay Area of California.
World Class Front Runners is a growing street brand, founded by young individuals in California in 2012. The brand started out as a way to explore clothing design, exploring potential to create something new in the streetwear industry, and an exploration to create something of a new generation; something of their own. All these principles of creating the brand, World Class Front Runners, is exactly what Dimemond Mentality stands for.
A strong, consistent element apart of the WCFRVS brand is Loyalty and Royalty.
WCFRVS represents “loyalty initially, royalty infinetly”. When interviewing Joshua Jackai about the story behind the brand, he mentioned how the brand started within a group of friends, who lived in the same neighbourhoods, and went to the same high school. The strong relationship(s) that were formed within their group friends, also inspired potential “what if” moments, particularly in clothing. Questions him and his friends always pondered, especially in an environment, where young teenagers always competed for attention in popularity, sports and academia, is “how do you go about being different? What if I could make clothes?”
Joshua Jackai showing samples of some of the first ever WCFRVS designs. Process is vital, a reference to how far an individual has come from starting.
When in high school, teenagers tend to care “more about their appearance”. Ever since then, WCFRVS became a brand about being a goal oriented, hardworking and loyal individual. However, a lot of the brand also represents a ‘remember where you come from’ root.
Jackai admitted with creating a brand from California, there is a lot of competition; a lot of streetwear brands today come from different areas of California. But what makes World Class Front Runners a significant, and different brand, is the strategy of how they reach to an audience; how do you move and reach out to people?
WCFRVS is a brand, fully aware of the competitive streetwear industry. Their main ideas come from “how to be different?”.
Since deciding to go to Simon Fraser University, where Jackai not only studies, but was also recruited on a football scholarship, he has been more inspired to not only let WCFRVS grow within California, and branch out through the United States, but has introduced the brand to Vancouver BC. He believes “having the right team” with the consistent mindset, a lot of goals can be accomplished. He admits that one of the struggles and challenges within creating something of your own, a clothing brand in particular, is that it is hard to find dedicated team members.
The biggest obstacles to hurdle over when starting any business is creating a team, and being financially willing to invest. Jackai believes in order to grow in any goals within business, you have to be willing to incorporate more people, in order to expand. That is why when bringing WCFRVS with him to Vancouver, was a very intelligent move. Not only is the team behind WCFRVS who are still in California pushing, marketing and selling the brand there, but Jackai has been able to network, and expand the brand in Vancouver BC, creating two thresholds of business. He has managed to integrate two different cultures, to unify into being interested and supporting one brand.
“I WANT TO PUT EVERYONE ON A RESPECTABLE SCALE”
— Joshua Jackai
WCFRVS was also a part of this years SFU’s Fashion Week roster. Jackai mentioned he felt it was another great opportunity to not only showcase a brand he’s been creating and pushing for the last 3 to 4 years in his academic environment, but it gave him an opportunity to learn how to bring and present WCFRVS to organized events.
“BEING APART OF THE SFU FASHION WEEK GAVE ME AN OPPORTUNITY TO EXPLORE A NEW PERSPECTIVE, AND NEW EXPERIENCES WITH THE CLOTHING BRAND”
— Joshua Jackai
Exploration is a great way to experiment when it comes to clothing. It gives the team and the designers to explore opportunity, break trends, and also get the market to react and provide feedback.
Recently, WCFRVS and Joshua Jackai, have started to explore the “cut and sew” technique of putting textiles together, to create a whole, new design. In particular, short and long sleeve shirts.
A sample of WCFRVS experimenting textiles. Jackai has begun learning how to look at various textiles and materials, and crafting samples.
Dimemond Mentality heavily appreciates individuals or groups of individuals who have the ambition and pride to say they’ve experienced failures, but only to push them to succeed. The rawness and reality of trying to create something of your own, is truly a test to what makes quality product, and/or a quality mentality.
The team behind WCFRVS since being launched, and Joshua Jackai, have easily demonstrated that when starting something of your own, is not easy. However, if you are patient about the process, willing to take on learning curves, and be humble about where you come from, and the roots you have encompassed, goals can be achieved. One aspect about WCFRVS and Joshua Jackai’s story that really appeals to DM, is the idea of where WCFRVS is really from.
Growing up California was not always easy for Jackai. He not only started a brand with a group of his friends from high school, but he also found passion and interest for the sport of Football. It was an opportunity that gave him an out, on the roughness of his neighbourhood, and also an opportunity to explore his potential at being a business owner.
“I DONT WANT TO BE A STEREOTYPE OR A STATISTIC”
— Joshua Jackai
When sitting down with DM, Joshua spoke about how there are only so many things you can become as an individual, as a man, when growing up in his neighbourhood.
“You either try to go into music, become an athlete, or turn to the drug trafficing business. Football gave me an opportunity, the more serious I took it. But I cannot be any of those. I always see myself being a business owner”, says Jackai.
Dimemond Mentality appreciates the WCFRVS story. The story of brands are what makes the brand speak to the audience, the viewers, the consumers and other like-minded individuals. Without stories, brands would not be where they are today. A lot of start ups today miss that element, and slowly wonder why people tend to lose interest so quickly. The representation, the personality, the respect, and the understanding of the process is what makes a brand. And this is what World Class Front Runners possesses, and has not lost sight of it. They simply care about the bigger picture.
WCFRVS is a brand that takes chances, cares what their buyers think, and applies feedback at the highest potential, only coming out with higher quality product. As they continue to experiment, and create their staple identity in the streetwear industry, not only in California where they are well known, but now in Vancouver BC, this is what will make them stand out against other brands. The clothing industry is always going to be competitive. There are always going to be other streetwear brands. But a story is something no one can take away from the team, the individuals behind the brand. And that’s where World Class Front Runners will win.
Keep staying unique. Always share your story. And don’t forget where you come from.
How does WCFRVS stay hungry?
POTENTIAL: Always exceed the word “potential”. Never get too comfortable with being “almost” at your goals. Challenge yourself, motivate others, and exceed goals.
LISTENING AND BEING RECEPTIVE TO CRITICISM: Knowing you are in a business that is competitive, you have to be open to feedback, criticism and comments. In order for you try new things, you will have to understand your market, and understanding your market means understanding critical feedback, and knowing how to react. Personality is everything
PASSION: Your passion should not feel like work. Always stay aware, always visualize and understand what your calling is.