“One of my three sisters, she went to school for fashion design… Growing up I would see her playing with different color palettes. She actually designed some stuff for the New York Fashion Show several years ago.”
Jon Doulos has been interested in design for years, and fashion is a way that he likes to express it. He designs apparel for Native North, and designed KB’s summer fashion line, which released July 1st through Native Supply.
“The first thing I try to do when I design clothing is I ask myself ‘Would I wear this?’ and if that’s a yes than typically it’s a good design.” He says that an important thing to know is that you’re designing for people, and designing something that they will identify with.
“I’ve been working with KB for several years. I first started working with him on his first album Weight & Glory.” He did some graphic design for KB, and when KB started working with Native North, so did Doulos, who lives in Tampa, Florida.
Native North is a full-service creative agency, and Native Supply is its merchandise arm. Jon Doulos is the Creative Director at Native North.
“As we were thinking through the name almost two years ago, we were trying to look at different ways that we can help our audience identify with who they are as far as their identity, but most importantly, who we are before the Lord.”
They believe that though they are native to where they are from, they are also natives to Heaven. “The name really got birthed out of some of those burdens… Recognizing the reality that this world is not our home, and that we are natives of another world.”
Doulos said that to begin working on KB’s summer line, he and KB got together and spoke about a variety of ideas. They had a desire to introduce new colors and color palettes. In their previous line, they used lots of high-fashion garments, but found it difficult to maintain an inventory of their apparel for that reason, so this time they decided to use garments that would be more readily available.
“It has been an overwhelming response from our customers.”
KB has been working on an album, and the shirts that say “Not Today Satan” were inspired by his upcoming music. “Apart from the the typical HGA branding we did on it, I really wanted to make it bold. I wanted to make a bold statement with the shirt. As opposed to just having a very fine, small type that just says ‘not today,’ we had it large and big and obnoxious to a degree…”
Sometimes Doulos draws the type himself for the design, and sometimes he uses pre-existing typefaces for the shirts. “We try to make the fonts we use our own as best as we can, as long as it fits with the overall design and look.”
The shirts that say “Nobody Owns Us” was based on another theme from KB’s upcoming album. It was inspired by “recognizing that we have the liberty and the freedom to exercise our God-given gifts and potential and burdens and passions, so it’s really kind of like a nod to the world, [telling others that] ‘nobody owns us.’”
Jon Doulos works with other designers, one of whom made the tank top which on the back says “Kneel before God, stand before anyone,” in a blackletter typeface. It used a famous photo of a man standing before tanks the day after the Tiananmen Square massacre in June 1989 in Beijing, China. The photograph was taken by Jeff Widener and is included in TIME’s 100 most influential images of all time.
“The whole idea behind it was ‘if we humble ourselves before the Lord, he will give us the boldness to stand before the tanks of the world.’ In us being humble, and recognizing our complete dependence on God, we can stand firm in our convictions.”
[In my work I am] “spending most of my time and energy to make sure that the designs are on-point, and that each design has an appropriate message so that it’s not just garment and ink meeting, and people put on the shirt. It’s more so the mission and the vision we’re after as a company.”
Visit KB’s Summer 2017 storefront.
Photos by Savannah Lauren.