Clothier Jason Maggio is working to get his first-ever retail stores opened by the end of this year, one for the Official Brand on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles and the other for All Good on the R Street corridor in Sacramento.
To date, Maggio has sold his merchandise at Zumiez, Lids, Tillys and more than 200 mom-and-pop retailers around the world. Currently, the only store dedicated to selling only Maggio’s creations has been in South Korea, and it’s run by a foreign distributor rather than Maggio’s team. The Sacramento native told me that it’s time he changed that.
“We want to be able to completely tell the story of the brand. A few pieces of clothing at a store doesn’t give the consumer, the buyer, anybody visiting on our social media a real comprehensive look at what the brand is,” Maggio said. “Flagship spaces are a great opportunity for you to dictate the story of your brand and manage the experience.”
Increasingly, Maggio and other apparel designers are trying to build community around their brands as a way of boosting brand loyalty and, ultimately, sales. So far, he’s done that by inviting consumers to occasional meet-up events. His stores will give him a space for regular customer contact.
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At the All Good store in Sacramento, Maggio said, his staff plans a consistent schedule of meet-ups and clinics around hiking, fishing, spelunking, surfing, birding and survival. He also plans to offer free caffeinated fuel for all those activities, which he’ll get from his neighbor, Insight Coffee Roasters on S Street.
Maggio launched his business, Official Crown of Laurel, back in 2007, and it gained cachet with Brian Anderson and other pro skateboarders as well as entertainers such as Snoop Dogg. In the last few years, he began to offer apparel, but as he did, he discovered that it put pro skateboarders at risk of breaching their contracts with sponsors.
“A lot of the riders on skate teams have existing apparel contracts,” he said. “We were saying we were a headwear brand but then producing apparel. Instead of just dropping the apparel we were doing, we just said, ‘OK, we’ll start a new brand.’ We were having really good success with the jackets and clothing we were doing. So we started a new brand called All Good.”
Maggio created the new brand a little more than a year ago. Now, he is in the process of formally splitting All Good into a separate company.
“When we created the new brand, it gave us an opportunity to start from scratch on design,” Maggio said. “It wasn’t like we had to do something that was already in the Official landscape. It could be whatever it wanted to be. We were having success with the jackets. We wanted to do more outerwear, even have more fun with other stuff.”
The All Good designs take much of their spirit from the Sacramento region, an area that Maggio describes as a crossroads where you can hike in the Desolation Wilderness, surf on the coast and attend a hip-hop concert in the same day. With the All Good clothing line, he said, he’s creating activewear that travels easily and fashionably from one pastime to another.
This year, Maggio said, he and his team are giving a nod to vintage styles from Patagonia, North Face and Gregory Mountain Products with their jackets, pants, shirts, ponchos and more.
“A lot of the color blocking that they were using and the silhouettes are just really inspirational,” Maggio said. “We … put our own unique touches on it.”
Many of All Good’s jackets and shirts have hidden hoods and neon survival-grade para-cord pulls attached to zippers. Those cords, Maggio said, can hold up to 80 pounds, so the wearer can always unravel them and use them to tow gear. Turn the rear pocket of All Good ponchos out and you’ll find tote handles. The poncho then can be stuffed inside and carried. On virtually every piece of clothing, you’ll find welded, waterproof, reflective zippers, blending elements that are both utilitarian and whimsical.
Maggio already is collecting decorative elements for his retail store at 808 R St. He’s got a vintage multicolor Marin road bike and a couple of old trail bikes that he expects will go well with the 65-degree bouldering wall he has planned. He’s creating what he calls a surf library where customers will be able to check out wet suits and surfboards by leaving a copy of their ID and credit card info.
“In Sacramento, a lot of people don’t necessarily own surfboards because we don’t go surfing all the time,” Maggio said, “so it’s kind of nice if there’s a place where you can just go pick up a wet suit and a surfboard and head down to the coast for a day and bring it back for free. It encourages people to do that since they don’t have to make an investment in the gear.”
By December, Maggio said, the store should be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., giving patrons of the nearby Fox & Goose restaurant something to do while waiting for a table on weekends.
His Los Angeles store at 7665 Melrose Ave., dedicated to Official Brand, will double as a retail outlet and industry showroom because many retail reps come through that city on buying expeditions. When the store opens, he said, he’ll take his team of 12 employees down to SoCal to celebrate.
At one time, Maggio had hoped his company would get into producing licensed merchandise for colleges. Now, he said, there are too many established headwear brands, making it difficult to crack into that market. Instead, he has focused on other collaborations – one of which has been gear for Sacramento Republic FC. He’s also working on designs with a major sports apparel company that he expects to debut next year.
His Official Crown of Laurel also has taken on the role of distributing apparel and headwear in the United States for Germany’s Cayler and Sons.
“They were coming to the U.S.,” Maggio said, “and we just kind of made the decision that they will eat up a little bit of our market share, and if they’re going to eat up some of it, we might as well benefit from it.”
He has significantly expanded his storeroom space on R Street to accommodate this new contract and to manage shipping for his own products. But Maggio also made room in the new space for a bit of fun, installing a mini-halfpipe skateboard ramp where he and his staff can play.