—Brittany C. Waugh
West Village is a neighborhood filled with interesting scenery, artistic vibes, and unique boutiques. With all that the neighborhood has to offer for artists and creatives, it attracts and inspires those same individuals to establish themselves in New York City and share their art with others. This is just the story of designer, Jay Kos, from Westfield, New Jersey who describes the fashion scene in his hometown as, “non-existent.” From this, stemmed his decision to move to New York and learn the ins-and-outs of the fashion industry, ultimately launching his own clothing line focused on quality menswear, that is versatile and luxurious, just as much as it is creative and inspiring.
Similarly, creative director of Heirloom, Scott Burr, is from Mississippi and shared similar experiences in his own town, with little to no outlet for creatives; cultivating his vision for wanting to create pieces that were completely expressive, meaningful, and of high quality. Consequently, the two like-minded designers described their collaboration as “fate.” Both being active in practicing mixed martial-arts, they originally met at a gym in New York and discovered that they both were designers. As the duo grew closer as friends, the idea of the partnership grew.
In late April, they launched their first pop-up shop and continued the ‘Jay Kos x Heirloom’ pop-up at the 400 Bleecker Street location, maintaining their journey of creating luxury wear for both brands. Starting at the young ages of 15 and 16 respectively, the inspiration they credit for their individual projects differ, but were still able to find common ground in the ultimate ‘big picture’ for the collaboration.
Scott Burr references heritage as his main inspiration, paying homage to his grandfather and his roots within the Native American culture, reflecting that with the construction of shoes that are both luxurious, but also traditional. Jay Kos, on the other hand, finds inspiration in whatever he may cross paths with for his brand. “I am a creative junky and I just love creating. For me, I think I am just inspired by life,” Kos said.
The event last Wednesday evening was packed with supporters of both brands, as well as family members of the designers. The collection was well merchandised, pairing Heirloom with Jay Kos products, evoking a vintage 70s and early 80s vibe.
When asked what the duo had planned for the future, Jay Kos said “We plan on surviving for tomorrow before we plan for the future. I keep creating and planning projects, but wherever it lead, it leads.” Scott Burr hopes to elevate the Heirloom name in New York City, since the brand only launched a year ago. Both designers however, expressed that they hope the pop-up shop will help with recognition of both brands and open doors for more customers and collaborations.