Nineties Icon JNCO Is Back With New Flare
JNCO, created by Jacques Yaakov Revah and Haim Milo Revah, was born in 1985 and rose to prominence during the 1990s. The name is short for “Jean-Company,” and was a favorite amongst the rave, skate, and Juggalo communities during the mid to late '90s. Its brand of wide-legged jeans catered to these nonconformist branches of the counterculture.
While the company did provide jeans and pants in styles that most would consider “normal,” JNCO's popularity came about because of its more daring silhouettes; these included jeans and pants with leg openings from 20-50 inches wide, with names like “Mammoth,” “Kangaroo,” and even “Rhinos.”
When JNCO teased its 2015 comeback it seemed as if there was a collective scoff resounding through the hallways of Internet. Everyone jumped at the opportunity to point in jest at the brand that made pants so garish that they couldn’t ever be cool again.
Those of you reading this with another browser open, scrolling through Google images of old JNCO classics can just chill: While the company is making a return to the apparel game, they won’t be banking on nostalgia.
The brand famous for its wide-leg pants and bold graphics is looking to make new waves in the realm of fashion. Its timing is just about right, with runway shows from some of the industry’s biggest designers full of pants cut for boots big enough to fit on Paul Bunyan. Managing director Steven Sternberg noted that the wide-legged pieces were once the lifeblood of the brand, but he felt that something was missing. “The one shortcoming we had was not the love of the product or the people responding wonderfully to the product; it was that we were a one-trick-pony. We were a wide-legged jean company, period. We were the best at what we did, we were number one when it came to wide-legged jeans.”
For the new JNCO, the company will present three new tiers in production, including a core line, a heritage line, and a more fashion-forward line. They will be bringing back some of its more recognizable characters, like "Thumpa" the rabbit, the skunk, bulldog, and a kangaroo. JNCO will also be revamping its logos and branding to fit their new collections.
The new core line, represented by the smaller crown logo, will tap into the vein of everyday wear. You can expect flannels, modest denim silhouettes, graphic tees featuring bold prints, and hats of different varieties. Senior designer Joe Peters (once a JNCO wearer) insists that the brand will present a diverse range. “We’ve got a little bit of something for everybody. We’ll be breaking out five fits for our core: skinny, super-skinny, slim-straight, relaxed-straight, and slouchy. We’ve got our jumpsuit, joggers, and even have a ‘biker’ jean, which is super dope too. For spring, we’re exploring washes that have never been seen on the market before. We’re going to hit super hard in spring 2016. We’ve even begun looking into licensing shoes, skateboards, and other accessories– the sky’s the limit!”
The heritage line, which will feature the larger graffiti-style crown logo, will be where those JNCO fans of yore can go for nostalgia. The line will be distributed bimonthly, and will feature everything from tees to sweatshirts and the wide-legged jeans parents and preppies loved to hate. According to Peters, there's still a core fan base there. “You’d be surprised; we go through our Facebook and we try to answer everyone that we can. It’s all about the twenty-inch, the twenty-three-inch leg openings. But you know, back in LA we’re always looking for the newest thing, the newest washes, the newest treatments, and the newest materials.” He then pulled out a pair of denim that felt like the material in women’s yoga pants. Apparently, this particular style has been pretty popular with both new buyers and fans of the old JNCO.
“Everybody has a preconceived idea, and it’s very understandable that people are looking forward to seeing certain things from us," says Sternberg. "At the same time, we have to find something to help us cross all of these roads ahead. We don’t want to be everything to everybody, but we definitely feel that what we’ve created is the start of something very cool.”
JNCO will be manufactured domestically here in the United States, with production happening in downtown Los Angeles. However, the company will have distribution in Canada, the UK, India, and Dubai. There may also be a pop-up shop hitting the storied Fairfax Avenue, and something in the works with the fashion wunderkinds of V-Files.
A good chunk of their time is devoted to checking out the stories and photos that folks have been sharing over email and social media. “We were the kids’ ‘anti jean,’" says Sternberg. "We were the jeans parents would never wear. But now they’re the parents.”