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Project Upcycle: The Jean Jacket

Photo by Nicholas Senn

The Jean Jacket.

I don’t remember when I bought it because it wasn’t that significant of a purchase. I wasn’t exactly feeling the need for one, but I was ‘building a wardrobe’ and saw that a ‘jean jacket’ was on every wardrobe essentials list I could find. So I bought one from Old Navy.

Did I love it? No. Did I hate it? No. But it never really felt like ME. I wore it a few times. I would style it for ClosettCandyy Lookbooks in hopes of inspiring new ways to wear yours but those outfits weren’t my favourite. I’m someone who likes to wear things no one is wearing, and here I was listening to a fucking wardrobe essentials list. Which, by the way, are crap and should be ignored at all costs.

So why did I still have it, six years later? I don’t know. Fear of letting it go, I guess. But I’m glad I had it because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to let Bill Penner upcycle it into this masterpiece of wearable art.

I was connected to Bill through a mutual friend, Julie Fossitt. She had a feeling I would like his work and she was right! Like most creative artists Bill is talented but has a hard time promoting himself and his work, so we made a deal. I would lend my expertise as well as my audience, and he would lend his expertise to a piece of my clothing. And that’s when I remembered the boring denim jacket that I didn’t want anyway. Why not take a chance on creating something unique and beautiful? I was going to let it go eventually, so I had nothing to lose.

That’s just what Bill did. I didn’t give any creative direction, I left it in his hands because I trust his vision and his artwork. And I’m so glad I did. I went from having a jean jacket I didn’t wear because it didn’t excite me, to having a wearable piece of art that tells a killer story and makes me feel like the badass I am. Swipe through for a little behind the scenes of his process! I thought it was pretty damn cool!

Check out the gallery below for a little behind the scenes of his process! I thought it was pretty damn cool.

If you’re interested in your own #upcycled jacket, Bill is taking commissions! All you have to do is send him an email to get started.

Photos by Nicholas Senn.


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