If you ask Jimmy Gorecki about his upcoming collaboration with DC Shoes, he’ll tell you it was 20 years in the making.
The ex-professional skater and Philadelphia native grew up skating with DC Shoes skaters Stevie Williams and Josh Kalis and admired the visibility they brought to their home city. DC launched sneakers with both skaters this year and partnered with Gorecki on his first shoe, the JSP DC Kalis 1, which launches on Oct. 26.
The collaboration also includes apparel that will retail between $50 and $115, and is full of references that nod to Gorecki’s humble skate beginnings, his inspirations and his love for the city of Brotherly Love. For one, the cross streets of John F. Kennedy Plaza — known as Love Park — where Gorecki skated are on the graphic long-sleeve T-shirt and sweatpants, as well as the date he was able to complete the backslide lipslide skate trick on the Municipal Building rail.
The sneaker silhouette is reminiscent of the Nike Bo Jackson Trainer SC — “a shoe that always resonated with me,” Gorecki said — and sports a blue and orange colorway like the original pair and Bo’s number 34, which when flipped, is the number branded with DC clothing.
Gorecki had a number of mentors in his early and pro skating days. The first is Nino Scalia, who he met at Ubiq, where he worked in the stockroom. “From an educational standpoint, I was seeing this world of fashion take shape,” he said. He saw Nike sneakers from Europe and Asia sold at Ubiq and people from New York City and Boston flock to the store at Gallery in Center City to buy the newest sneakers.
“Gallery in Center City was a rough mall at the time, so the fact that they were ushering in this new idea in this grimy mall, right when streetwear was becoming a thing, was insane,” he said.
But Ubiq was just the intro of Gorecki’s fashion journey. Though he was sponsored in the late Nineties, he joined the Pharrell Williams-led Ice Cream skate team in the mid-Aughts, which was put together by Scalia. “Skating for Ice Cream was a massive eye opener, because seeing streetwear on a global level and seeing and understanding what a brand like Billionaire Boys Club, Ice Cream and Bape can do, a lightbulb went off in my head,” he said.
Gorecki later worked with Greg Lucci on Gourmet Footwear before launching his own label, JSP, in 2013. The apparel brand named after Gorecki’s nickname, Jimmy Sweatpants, blew up when Gorecki made tie-dye sweatpants. Gorecki halted JSP for a brief period, when he began working with Lucci on Venice-based footwear label No One, but revived the label to “funnel it through Standard Issue Tees,” the Vernon, Calif.-based operation founded by Jared Lee, whom he met while at Gourmet.
Gorecki is a partner at Standard Issue Tees. Both JSP and Standard Issue share infrastructure, but operate as separate businesses. He first joined to work on the brand’s marketing, but soon took on a more focused role. He also revived the tie-dye sweats that became a signature for JSP.
“Only reason why I brought it back was the amount of people asking for it in 2015 to 2017,” he said. He also used the tie-dye, tonal-dye techniques and garment dyes for collaborations with Pleasures in 2018; Reebok for the footwear brand’s Club-C collaboration in June; Lapstone & Hammer that launched in August, and past collaborations with stores Sneaker Politics and Corporate.
With a small team of 15 employees, Standard Issue sells direct-to-consumer and wholesales to Hirshleifers in Manhasset, N.Y.
For now, Gorecki is focused on his fashion ventures, JSP, Standard Issue Tees and No One, new collaborations like one with Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream that is in the design process and projected for an early 2020 launch, and showing love for Philadelphia and the community.
“I just want to keep reminding people that there are talented and passionate kids [in Philadelphia]. I always end up going back to the people, and I love seeing new people and the personalities and seeing the community thrive.”