Speak into the Mic: Parker Jepsen

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18 year old, Parker Jeppsen is aiming to become your next favorite designer. Making high end cut and sew designs, as well as high quality printed pieces, Parker creates a style unique to his vision. As the operator of Absent USA, a visual and clothing brand, Jeppsen is able to create projects that combine his loves for film and fashion to create something new and beautiful. All of this is done while working as a creative director for various people via the internet, expanding his brand to a wider audience.

The following interview has been edited for clarity.

When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in design?

I think I decided around October of last year, I had always been into fashion and all that, but in October I made my first piece. Like I've always wanted to make shit, so I just decided to do it you feel me.

What are you hoping to accomplish with your work?

I'm hoping to combine my love for fashion and filmmaking and make some crazy shit. I really want to have my brand take off within the next year. 

How’re you planning to combine the two mediums?

Well, I've been working on a visual look book a lot lately. I want to turn a look book into a short film. I have a full film crew and we're constantly working on videos and just throwing ideas out there. I recently put out a short film titled, Eighteen, in which I showcased my "Cig Tee". Something small, but it's leading up to something big for the future.

Are there any designers in particular that you look to for inspiration?

I look up to designers who I relate to, Gianni Mora is my favorite designer and biggest inspiration. His work is incredible and I want to work with him before I die.

What about Gianni Mora do you relate too?

Well, with Gianni it ties to a group of kids I've been working with a lot lately. My good friend, who I actually haven't even met in person, Brayden and I have been constantly working on ideas, almost like a co-creative direction team. Gianni and Playboi Carti came up together when they were 18 and lived with each other and were broke as shit for a long time, but were always working on ideas, and now they're huge. I just like Gianni because he has a lot of great work at such a young age. I hope to accomplish what he's done for himself, but in my own creative way. 

What are your favorite upcoming spring and summer trends?

I really am into like vintage pieces, I've been working with a lot of pieces lately and trying to reconstruct/rebuild them into something I like. Trend wise, I like where brands like Chinatown Market and Menace have been going lately. 

Tell me about your process when working on a new piece?

When I get an idea I usually will put it in my notes, but the process is deciding whether or not I'm gonna build something from scratch or use a blank item and add something to it. And then from there, I'll either cut and sew a piece or I'll hand screen print onto an item. I really like doing things myself because I can have them the way I want them. 

 If you could collaborate with anyone on a new collection, who would it be?

I don't really want to collab with anyone big until I'm more established, but I have 3 planned collabs with designers who I fuck with really heavily, Alex Burke of Receipt World, JJ Brown of Brainchild and another cut/sew designer, Unxxxthletic. Those are a few plans for the year. 

What project has been your biggest achievement so far?

I wouldn't really even say I've had a huge accomplishment, I actually haven't even had my first drop yet. I've only officially release one hoodie, and I sold 100 of them, so that was pretty nice for the brand. After my first drop I'm hoping to get some more attention towards Absent.

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Tell me a more about Absent USA?

I started Absent in like November, it was just an idea to begin with. I made hoodies and sold them to local kids before people on the internet started to pick up on it. I don't think Absent is something I want to do forever, but it's definitely a good entry brand so I can eventually start a global cut and sew brand with a warehouse and shit. Absent is basically my platform to display/sell my clothing at this point in my career. 

Do you have any new work coming soon?

Next week I drop my "Cigarette T-Shirt" via Absent USA, after that I'm doing a capsule collection of custom high end 1 of 1 pieces. Throughout the year I just want to keep working and getting my name out there. I really just want to keep releasing clothing, that's about it I think.

To keep up with everything I'm doing just follow me on twitter @parkersdeath