Jimmy Gorecki on skateboarding, life, getting discovered by Pharrell, and making it as a clothing designer
A conversation with the Philly-native about the past, present, and future.
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I’ve never met Jimmy in person…
But I grew up skateboarding in a small town, and had little access cultural movement, from music to clothes to skating. Skating subculture introduced me to all that. It was the first time I learned about the people (like Jimmy) driving things forward for kids like me.
Jimmy’s evolved a lot over the years. He’s a community man, first and foremost. He takes care of his people, and walks with an edge. And he’s a creator.
These days, he’s building his own brands JSP x Standard Issues, and it’s an honor to have Jimmy on the newsletter to talk about what he’s up to.
Tell us a little about your life journey…
I was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, just outside Philly. My mom and step-pops raised me. My biological father was non-existent; he struggled with substance abuse.
Stuff I remember from growing up was the way my mom taught me to work hard, be vocal, and be a good human. She showed me and my two sisters how to have a strong ethic, as she worked 2-3 jobs on 17-hour days to provide for us. I’ll always be grateful for that.
How has skating influenced your own taste and style over the years?
Skating opened my eyes.
The culture was everything. It was the way skaters dress to the fluidity of how they move on a board. It’s wall art. The board graphics. The brand logos. The music we listened to. The swagger we carry. Being part of a skate community gave me a mental stimulation I didn’t get at home. It laid a foundation for to take what I wanted and develop my own style.
Here’s a throwback reel of Jimmy skating…
And you were part of Pharrell and Nigo’s infamous Ice Cream team… WTF was that like?!
Yeah man, that was crazy. It was an absolute blessing to be part of Ice Cream; it changed my life forever.
At the time, I couldn’t have fathomed the klout it was gonna have and how far it would be broadcast to. I got to travel the world. And being in Pharrell’s world taught me so much too. I was fortunate to spend a bunch of time with him and little bit with Nigo.
Ultimately, Pharrell gave me gems that I didn’t understand at the time but know inform so much of my work and I do. Thank you, P, and thank you Nino Scalia for the opportunity to be part of it.
Post-skating, what have you learned about yourself transitioning into designing clothes?
The transition into design was a really hard one.
I’ve had plenty of ups and downs. After I was done skating, I put my own happiness aside for a while. I worked in TV covering skating, and it was great money but not for me. I’ve also worked for some great clothing designers and worked for terrible people too.
But I’m thankful for each experience; it’s what led me here. Now I’m blessed to work on JSP, and I’ve learned that when you’re simply yourself—authentically you—that’s what resonates with people most.
Customers today (and your community) are smart. They know how to spot fake shit when they see it. My goal is to be genuine in everything I do.
Who’s that one person that it means the most to see rocking your products?
Emory (Vegas) Jones for sure. I’ve listened to Jay-Z rap about Em in his music for years. There’ve been times when I was at my lowest, and Em has always been there to pick me up when I needed it the most.
To this day when he rocks something from Standard Issue or JSP, it makes me smile.
What are some of your favorite collabs to date?
I’ve been lucky to work on stuff with Huf and DC. Both mean a lot to me because of guys like Keith Hufnagel and Josh Kalis. What they’ve done for the larger skating community is immense, and it opened doors for people like me at Love Park (in Philly) back in the day.
I’m still dreaming about that collaboration with Nike Air Woven, that would be top tier for me.
What's your own ambition as a designer?
I’ve always said I’m going to do what’s important to me and for the skateboarding community. I want to keep working on projects that further both of those things. Once I reach a point where I feel I’ve checked those boxes, I’ll step into something else.
I’ll rest easy knowing I gave my all to the community and given back to those who have given to me.