Q+A with No Rivals

Launched out of Muncie, Indiana in 2018 by Jaelin P aka Jae Jiggy, No Rivals was born from a love for garment design. Combining that passion with his view on art, Jaelin began creating his own clothes. When people started taking notice of Jaelin’s unique style and showed interested in buying the pieces, Jaelin decided to create his own brand. Jaelin describes the No Rivals aesthetic as carrying a rockstar-outlaw vibe. He designs all the clothes to carry as much utility as possible, allowing the wearer to go all day without looking out of place, while still being unique pieces that convey character.

Now, two years from its inception, No Rivals has grown into more than just a fashion brand. Jaelin has used his platform to launch his own record label, No Rivals Records, which supports the local music scene. In conjunction with No Rivals Records, Jaelin also hosts concerts in music venues throughout Muncie such as Be Here Now and the Cornerstone Center for the Arts. Jaelin has also hosted runway shows and concerts at the Egyptian Room in Indianapolis.

Euan Makepeace: No Rivals has a very striking name. What was the motivation behind it?
Jaelin P: A lot of people when they hear it for the first time think it means no rivals in a way that we think we are superior to other people. It’s nothing like that. The idea is that you have no rivals besides yourself. It’s all about being positive; celebrating creative excellence, self expression and working hard to make yourself a better person.

EM: Being a young brand, what do you attribute your success up until now to?
JP: I’d say the fact that we’re built on a platform of love and inclusiveness. It’s allowed a lot of people to resonate with the message, especially as times have been rough lately. People that support the brand appreciate what we are doing. They have a place that they can come to and feel like they’re not alone in what they’re going through. As well as just being able to meet all these dope people. All the awesome creatives that we’ve worked with along the way, they’re what keeps it going. They’re the reasons why we’ve seen the success we’ve seen so far.

EM: You mentioned the tough times recently as being a way that has brought the No Rivals community together. How have you used your platform to push your message and support what has been happening?
JP: One of the coolest things we’ve done lately with the civil unrest going on is going to a march in Muncie, Indiana where we are based. We started up on a college campus and marched to the police station downtown. We got the chance to interview a lot of the people who were participating in the march, as well as the police chief and the civil rights director of our city. We got a wide collective of views on everything that is going on and we made that into a video and put that out to our platform. We used the video to show that at the end of the day we are all people regardless of race, gender identity and other things like that. United we stand, divided we fall. That’s the message we hoped and put out when a lot of the mainstream media is doing the opposite.

EM: We’re approaching the launch of the No Rivals Summer 2020 collection. What were some of the inspirations behind the line?
JP: One piece of the drop is inspired by the “United We Stand, Divided We Fall” message we just spoke about. It relates back to unifying people to solve an issue, rather than trying to make it about a battle between people. That is a big part of the collection. We also did our seasonal logo tees. It’s called “Pressure” and is based off of the phrase, “No Pressure, No Diamonds”. It’s about trying to navigate this weird time we’re in and still building on ourselves and spreading love at the same time.

EM: No Rivals acknowledges that the fashion industry has a huge accountability to fighting climate change, and you do that through reworking vintage pieces and printing on demand. How have you worked that into this collection?
JP: We do one-of-ones, which is where we repurpose vintage, trying to keep [re-workable clothes] from going into the landfill. We also use recycled materials for our blanks – t-shirts and pieces of that sort. Roughly two and a half water bottles are used in the construction of the fabrics for our t-shirts. That’s pretty cool and I’m proud of that. We do an Earth Day collection every year and we make sure to use those blanks as well as partner with various charities that are working for a better world. We also make each printed or embroidered piece one at a time so that there is no extra waste. I hear about some brands that burn their pieces at the end of the season; I just couldn’t imagine doing that. We try to move as earth conscious, socially conscious and self-aware as possible at all times. We want to leave a footprint – not on the earth, like a carbon footprint – we want to leave a footprint, like a legacy of love.

EM: Finally, when can we expect the collection to release and where can people go to find it?
JP: The collection will be out July 24th, which is a Friday and it will be available through our website.

EM: Thank you for your time Jaelin, we look forward to the release of this latest collection.
JP: Thank you. And I just want to say to people who are continuing to create in this environment that we shouldn’t feel like you have to stifle our voice because of everything that is happening. People need art more than ever right now, as a place to run to when they’re feeling low. Whether you’re a photographer, make movies, make clothes or paint. Whatever you do, continue to do that and use the platform you are given to spread love and positivity. That’s all I got.

Follow No Rivals on Instagram and Twitter. You can also find No Rivals Records and the collective Th3 Mind on Twitter too. Visit norivals.shop to shop the latest from No Rivals and click to watch “Muncie Thoughts on Local Protests”.