Clothing and music go hand-in-hand, as the common spirit of creative innovation is well expressed through music and print design. Bands love seeing their logos and designs rumbling through a crowd on the backs of loyal fans, while simultaneously these fans are proud to identify themselves with an artist who has connected with them through beat or lyric. Legionnaire Apparel stands in a prime position to optimize these relationships as its founders Joe Moxley and Mike Herrera (of MxPx and Tumbledown) have a wealth of experience between them and as a company they have already been active in sponsoring bands both nationally and locally. If you live outside of Oregon, you may have seen their feminine line in Zumiez stores or any number of their stellar designs on several of their faithful friends such as nationally known bands as Kutless or local rising stars like Tallboy. Join Rob Van Winkle (aka Vanilla Ice) and the rest of the Legionnairre Army as they continue to spread the Legionnairre goodness one torso at a time. A hearty hurdcore thanks to Joe for taking the time to share about his journey and vision for Legionnairre Apparel.
How does Joe of Medford, OR hook up with Mike of Bremerton, WA? How long have you known each other and what was the process/discussion like when you ventured into making apparel together?
JM Jason Hanlin of Guru Screen Printing introduced Mike and I about 4 years ago. Mike was on tour with MxPx and Jason and I were going on Taste of Chaos Tour with my older clothing line Meddy Clothing. I hooked up Mike with shirts and stayed in contact with him. Over time we talked and put our heads together and Legionnaire was born!
Legionnaire was recently picked up by Zumiez and being distributed in their stores up and down the West Coast (apparently not in Oregon?!), what does this deal mean for you and how did this come about?
JM Ha, yea. Zumiez did a test buy with the gals shirts nationwide. Not in Oregon because they wanted to see how it will sell outside of people we know. So far so good! We are super stoked that larger stores are starting to hear the buzz about Legionnaire so this is a huge step for us.
When did you and Mike make their official start as Legionnairre Apparel?
JM The launch of Legionnaire was in January 2007.
From your initial start, what has the journey into the fashion world been like for Legionnairre? What have been some of the biggest challenges along the way and what have you learned as you continue to build your empire?
JM Right away we had a great response because of all the loyal Herrera fans! I believe the biggest challenges are that Mike and I both have other jobs! Its tough to run a business on a few hours a night. We have learned if you take care of your customers that they will take care of you. Legionnaire fans are Legionnaire! Without them we would not be where we are now.
Who have been some of the key supporters from the beginning for Legionnaire?
JM Friends and family! Legionnaire has such a strong friends and family base that that is really how we spread the word on Legionnaire. So many bands to thank for showing Legionnaire Love and really supporting us by wearing out designs! Tumbledown, MxPx, S.A.T.O.R.I., YouHangUp, TallBoy, Kutless, Amber Pacific and even the great Vanilla Ice just to name a few.
What artists are you working with now as promotors/sponsors?
JM We are working with YouHangUp on a shirt design that will be a Legionnaire/youHangUp shirt that will only be found on our site. They are a newer band that is starting to blow up and sitting on drums is Frankie Muniz. We also are always working with the band S.A.T.O.R.I. This band has been with us before we had a clothing line. Great guys plus I manage the band so ha I guess I better sponsor them right?
Other than Joe and Mike, who is Legionairre? Where do you get your designs, are they all in-house?
JM For the last 3 to 4 years mike, Jason Hanlin (Guru Screen Printing) and I were pretty much the only ones designing. Now we have branched out just a little…ha Jeremy Hanlin has done a few of the new designs (ArrowHead, Love with Tear us Apart) Great Artist! We also just started working with Kay Boak. She is a super talented tattoo artist here in Ashland Oregon! You will see her designs real soon on our site and in many tattoo magazine.
What is the most difficult part of the printing process?
JM Printing is easy, it’s coming up with designs that we believe in and want on our site that takes time.
If I had an extra $50,000, the first piece of equipment that I would purchase for the business is A store front – time to open another store where we can also book bands!
Is there a current fashion trend that you have noticed that you will never join?
JM Skinny Jeans! I just don’t have the legs for it.
Currently reading Facebook for dummies, listening to Tyler DeVoll and watching Modern Family.
How about the best book you’ve ever read, what makes it stick out to you?
Who Moved My Cheese. Ha sounds lame but I really did get a lot out of it! Makes you want to be a go getter.
What are the top 5 songs in your personal ipod right now?
JM 1) Tumbledown – Butcher of San Antone; 2) S.A.T.O.R.I. – Hey; 3) Digital Underground – Humpty Dance; 4) Tumledown – Drink to Forget; 5) When we Were kings – What a Beautiful Fight We’ve Had
What are some of your best and worst experiences hawking apparel?
JM [BEST] Meeting the great people that support Legionnaire. [WORST] Seeing other clothing company steal your designs!
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