W-A-S-H Makes a Statement While Flexing Its Creative Muscles
The lifestyle brand We Are Simply Human mixes cut-and-sew T-shirts and a punk, agitprop-style of graphics. It made a debut into the wholesale business at the LA Men’s Market, which ran Oct. 15–16 at the California Market Center. The brand started in March and is primarily sold on its direct-to-consumer channel, wash-clothing.com.
The Los Angeles–headquartered W A S H is helmed by fashion veterans Ido Gondelman and the husband-and-wife team of Jason and Denise Verhoeven. They manufactured the brand to make a statement and to flex some creative muscle, Gondelman said. The brand’s graphics, such as in its Strength in Numbers T-shirt, evoke a shared humanity among people.
“People are stronger together than alone,” Gondelman said. “Together we have power to make change.”
Jason Verhoeven designed the now-defunct Brown Label denim brand in the mid-2000s and continues to work in product development for other brands. He and his manufacturing partners developed W-A-S-H’s cut-and-sew crew-neck tees.
“It’s not trendy or super baggy,” he said. “It’s a little wider than the average T-shirt silhouette.” They define the whole collection, which includes hoodies, sweatpants, jackets and knit caps, as gender neutral.
Jason Verhoeven and Gondelman both grew up in Canada, but they met each other in Los Angeles. Gondelman was trained as an artist and an animator. He started designing fashion as a hobby. When Verhoeven was selling Brown Label, Gondelman developed his own brand, Kings of Glory, which also has ceased production. They partnered on trips across the United States looking to sell their brands to independent retailers.
While Gondelman continues to make digital and broadcast commercials for his company CitizenIdo, he has also continued to make fashion. In a studio in Burbank, Calif., Gondelman and the Verhoevens make custom dyes for their collection. The team also collaborates on graphics for the tees, which are intended to have a worn, vintage look.
Different categories of the brand’s tees include the head of the Statue of Liberty depicted under a backdrop of an overcast sky. The graphic is mixed with the W-A-S-H logo, and the brand’s motto, Strength in Numbers, is placed on the shirt in a graffiti-style font.
Other styles include a pocket tee with a stencil of a woman’s lipstick-accentuated face bounded by the angry words “No One Really Cares.” Another look features a raised fist bearing the brand’s name, “We Are Simply Human.”
Wholesale price points for the T-shirts are $21.75. Proceeds from the label’s sales go to nonprofits such as DonorChoose, who provides funds to public schools.