I met Justin a little while back through a friend who suggest we sit down and work together. Sat down we did. I asked him to do an interview with me so here I am, featuring JJJJound, one of the first (if not THE first) moodboard blog out there.
(I shot this photo from his own mood board in his work space)
Me: You dipped your feet into graffiti as a teenager, was that the turning point in your life??
Justin: From graffiti to hip hop, to basketball & skateboarding, it all played an unequivocal role in my upbringing.
Me: What brought you into fashion?
Justin: When I was in high school, I wanted to be a pro skateboarder right after wanting to be a pro basketball player. Then I got into hip hop, got kicked out of school and started doing my own thing… Some way, some how, I ended up meeting a dude who had belief in me and wanted to invest. Printing and selling t-shirts, caps, sweaters became my hustle. Eventually I decided it was time to move on to other endeavors. So I went back to school in fashion marketing; learned about accounting, merchandising, and basically learned another approach to what I had been doing for four years…
Me: And JJJJOUND?
Justin: I started caring much for the internet as soon as we got a computer at home. Around the time websites started updating every week. That blew me away – pertinent information from all these niche segments being moved around. That’s when I started saving stuff on my computer. Sharing is caring. I’ve sent you emails with attachments of cool photos and stuff right?
Me: yeah, I still have em.
Justin: Eventually, my list of emails got really long so I decided to put it all in one place…
Me: How did it snowball into what it is now though??
Justin: I have no clue, no idea why or how…
Me: How do you feel about people who have complained about seeing their photos on your site with no credits?
Justin: I got a couple emails with mention of credits, but I mean most people are pretty content about it being on there. At the end of the day, a good photographer’s photos should be recognizable. You can recognize your favorite photographer’s photo without it needing a credit or watermark: the subject, the context… I like that shirt a lot by the way, is it vintage?
(I was wearing a Ralph Lauren chambray).
Me: No, haha, it was on sale at the outlet…Can you talk abit about how you started with New York Times?
Justin: Basically, I started the blog and all of a sudden, I get emails from New York people; then NYT invites me down – want me to contribute for the The Moment. It made sense for me, since I don’t write on JJJJ, to word some of my opinions – great platform.
Me: Do you find yourself tuning what you post on NYT in comparison to what is on JJJound?
Justin: It goes from conversations I’ve had with them at the beginning. In other words, I’m not gonna post about items that are TOO niche or whatever… More long term investment pieces. But it’s fun, and I love doing it.
Me: Where do you think fashion is headed. The t-shirt game too kover in streetwear 5 years ago…. then people moved to dressing terry flannels…to oxfords…to full-on workwear. What next?
Justin: A lot of poeple have been asking me and frankly, I don’t know. I believe in the “forever” collection. I’ll always have a percentage of workwear, and a percentage of streetwear… high end stuff… I hope they don’t change anything because I’m gonna want the same socks next year…