From the Skatepark to the Runway


By BJ Betts

The City of Brotherly Love will always occupy a special place in Jimmy Gorecki’s heart. So it shouldn’t be surprising that Philly plays an outsized role in the collaborations he’s created at Standard Issue. BJ Betts caught up with Gorecki in order to get some insight into how he has settled into his post-skating career.

BJ Betts: I guess we should just start from the beginning. Let’s talk about how you grew up.
Jimmy Gorecki: I grew up in Norristown, Pennsylvania, about 20 minutes outside of Philadelphia. I was born in ’82 and lived in Norristown until 2000, when I graduated high school, moved into the city, and started school at Temple University. From about 14 or 15 years old, I would sneak downtown whenever I could. I was enamored with Center City and skateboarding at Love Park. Temple was the only school I even applied to, that’s where I knew I wanted to be at. It was a great time to be in the city of Philadelphia. The skate scene was doing really well. Music was popping. The sports teams were exciting, and I feel like those formative years there built the foundation of everything I like. From fashion to music taste to tattoos to food… I mean, everything. Those years served as the foundation for who I am today. 

How did JSP come about? Were you working on other designs or other clothing before you moved out to LA?
Honestly, JSP just came about from my life after skateboarding. I was just trying to find out what my place in the world was at that point. I skated for some really awesome companies and I met people along the way who would help me with fashion, but I was just trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, man. I wanted to see if I was able to do something that I still really loved, rather than getting a job and just trying to pay the bills. Fortunately, I met my partner and he has spent his whole life in garment manufacturing, so he’s great on the business back end. 

We worked together for a couple of years, then we took a couple of years off. Then he launched Standard Issue on his own and offered me the opportunity to come aboard and help build Standard Issue while simultaneously dropping JSP releases. We’ve been cooking since 2017 and it’s been an awesome six years. I think we have some great things that we’re working on for this year and next year. 

When you pick up a hoodie from a brand like Standard Issue, you can tell the person behind it knows what they like. They picked the best parts out of everything they wore over the years and threw away the worst parts, they just kept what worked and improved the fit of certain things.
It’s always interesting, BJ, so many times we do market research and the quality of our stitching is generally the first thing that comes to mind, it’s always way better than the other stuff we compare it to. Sometimes our fabric may be a little too heavy duty for some people, but to me sweatpants and tees are supposed to be worn and washed, worn and washed. That’s what keeps the composure of the clothing for so long throughout the care process. Jared put months and months into developing the fit and makeup of the T-shirt. We started developing the sweatpants back in 2012 when we first met, so I know how much work has gone into it. Our sewing team that builds everything, they’re the ones who do the hardest [stuff]. What we do is the easy work, the labor of love they put into sewing and building is amazing. Marketing is the fun part, [that’s] the real artform and skill that goes into every product. 

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