Today we speak to JJ Gonzales, denim designer for Volcom.
My name is Jeffrey James Gonzales, although most people that know me refer to me as “JJ”. I was born and raised in Southern California, specifically, the coastal towns of Newport and Huntington Beach. I started skateboarding when there were only clay wheels and started surfing when there were only single fins available, to this day; they are both integral parts of my livelihood.
Looking back at my past and finding what provoked the fascination with fashion design, in particular, jeans, I look no further than elementary school. I attended a private school and had to wear a uniform for eight years of my young life. The humdrum of wearing the same thing everyday really made me appreciate and prepare for the “free dress” days and the weekends when I could step it up and wear what I wanted, namely denim! I have always felt comfortable in jeans, they have and always will be a part of my lifestyle.
As a teenager, my first job was for a surf company where I was fortunate to learn every aspect of the clothing business on the job, learning and working in every division. It was my ‘university’. All the while, I was sketching and compiling fabrics and taking photos for my own pleasure but eventually I started submitting them to the creative designer. Not long after, they realized I was one of them and they brought me into the design world.
Timing was everything when I started designing for Volcom in 2004, I wanted to design denim and they needed a denim designer. Volcom is a great company that has given me the opportunity to create jeans for a lifestyle that they and I are true to.
As for my personal style:
Shirts: Vintage Towncraft crew neck pocket tees, best fit, best weight.
Pants: Not much of a pant person, I sleep in denim.
Outerwear: Living in Southern California I get away with vintage mid-weight Military jackets. Volcom makes some damn good outerwear though.
Favorite Cologne: Auric Blends Oils, amber scent.
Your favorite App: Bandsintown
Next tech purchase: Jawbone portable speaker, loud & tough.