A little nostalgia is always welcome in the apparel game, especially when incorporated through retro-styled design without inhibiting modern functionality. Inspired by skate and surf culture of the '80s and outdoor gear of the '90s, Brooklyn's own Victory Press presents a line that's inspired by the past but still very much their own. The duo behind the young label—designer Jessica Humphrey and artist Jonathan Cammisa—launched Victory Press to fill what they saw as a void in the market: Functional, stylish gear to brave the elements in the city.
Humphrey and Cammisa are the dream team for a brand like Victory Press. Humphrey previously designed for the likes of Ralph Lauren and Converse and grew up in the thick of neon beach culture in Virginia Beach. Meanwhile Cammisa was part of Philadelphia's vibrant skate scene of the '90s, putting his artistic talent to work with brands such as Vans and working with cultural icons like the famously eccentric artist and skateboarder Mark Gonzales. "We come from different backgrounds, but we were influenced by a lot of the same things—active lifestyles, skating, biking," says Humphrey.
"We had some preconceived ideas, but as it came down to it, what we really wanted to wear was stuff we can only find in thrift stores and it just sort of evolved," Cammisa says. "A lot of the old outdoor gear in thrift stores is 20 years old and it still looks great." Featuring prints, patterns and cuts that look like they were pulled from the set of "Saved by the Bell," the brand's new line encompasses everything from outerwear and button-ups to pants and five panel caps. With the outdoors in mind, the brand's line is fully functional for active, urban lifestyles.
Regarding Victory Press' outerwear, most designs utilize a Japanese nylon exterior that's both waterproof and breathable with a keen attention to detail. "I worked at Polo in rough wear—inspecting old workwear—so all of our garments have little construction details, like the chain-stitching in our pants. It sounds simple, but it'll make sure they don't bust open after a few bike rides," says Humphrey. Manufacturing locally allows for the designers to interact directly with the factories as well as build meaningful relationships. "We're trying to support the local economy by giving back to community with business," says Humphrey. "Sourcing and producing locally is completely intentional."
Bucking the traditional fall color palette for something a bit more lively, Victory Press gear is just the bolt of brightness one needs to keep things interesting in the colder months. Wearing their inspirations on their sleeves, the brand sells the very vintage pieces that inspired their brand. Visit Victory Press's online store for the latest from their line as well as some deadstock inspiration pieces. And if you're based in Brooklyn as well, every Friday night Victory Press is opening their studio to the public, so be sure to stop by and ask Cammisa about cat-sitting for the Gonz.
Images by Hans Aschim, additional images courtesy of Victory Press