In 1965, Diana Vreeland coined the term youthquake as a way to describe the cultural shift happening in America. Filled with music, fashion, and pop culture the movement was all about taking power away from "The Old Guard" and giving it to the kids on the street. Since inception in 2008, streetwear brand, JAWBREAKING, has stood at the forefront of that movement and used the energy of the generation to push forward. Rising to fame by dressing young Hollywood and “Internet kids” in streetwear that reflected pop culture, Jawbreaking has always been a brand of young people, creating products for young people. Now after a decade in the industry, the brand is expanding their reach by offering creative services and fashion-focused media targetted to its peers (millennials and Gen Z). Leading the motley crew, is Jefferson Ellison, a 24-year-old with Southern charm who began his career at 16 and purchased JAWBREAKING in 2016. He’s worked with brands big and small, using his youth and intersected perspective to bring new products to market, solve problems and create dynamic messaging that resonates.
"The youth always win."
“It’s about space. It’s about ownership and It’s about visibility. On both the media and the creative side, my goal is to create work that is honest, interesting and really fucking good.” Ellison shares.
The first way to make it good?Well according to Mr. Jawbreaking himself it's all about the people doing the work.How they do it, and why they do it, sure. But mainly, who is "they"?
Jefferson styles a model for the JAWBREAKING FW'18 campaign. The JAWBREAKING team handled all aspects of production management including: scouted the location, casting the models, photographer, and hair/make-up artist. As "chief creative" Jefferson acts as stylist and Art,Image Director. Although he prefers to do one at a time, if budget allows.
“My generation doesn't care about big budgets and bright lights. We want diverse and inclusive work.And the youth always wins. Why are we hiring black models but not black hair/make-up artist? Why is an all-male team creating a tampon commercials? Why haven’t you ever hired a female photographer? Like, I have questions.”
Questions yes, but he's also got answers. The first being that the desire to be inclusive and the choice to empower the next generation of creatives by giving them the mic should not be a trend or a separate issue but rather a business practice. And he's using that decision to distinguish what he's trying to do from other people in the industry. “I like to treat content and creative like politics. The messenger is just as important as the message.There are many companies offerings media, services and product, and that's great, but how many of them can honestly say that they are supporting and uplifting marginalized groups and young people rather than just using us as tokens in a marketing ploy."
"this is already our target audience"
While some may question the validity of a brand dipping its toe in the media pool or offering services to other companies, one can't deny the seamlessness of it all."As a brand, this is already our target audience and our peer group. So not only do we know them - because we are them and have been selling to them for 10 years - but we spend all day looking at this data and creating for them. We're already set-up to do this! Especially because of the way in which consumers receive information. Brands have to produce internal media to stay competitive and that production requires creative services. So since we were already going down this rabbit hole, we might as well go full out and make it a legit portion of our business. I'm pumped".