Often when rapper-designer Kanye West is scrutinizing over his Yeezy Brand products he’s known to have asked, “Is this JJJound approved?” JJJound is Montreal based design studio conceived and run by Justin Saunders. The studio had its humble beginnings as an aesthetic moodboard on Tumblr in the late 2000s where it featured minimalist photography with a wide array of subjects such as high fashion, architecture, streetwear, automobiles, sneakerwear, and home décor to name a few.
Justin Saunders’ original blog was called MAYBE SOMEDAY and was his personal creative diary. But the diary transitioned into JJJound as we know it when he dropped all the texts and captions from the photos and made the blog an endless scroll of photographs coordinated with colors and themes.
At a time when find high quality photographs which appealed to particular demographics was a cumbersome task, Saunders’ blog made it look effortless. In today’s whirlwind of aesthetic Instagram pages, JJJound stands tall as a pioneer. It’s perhaps this OG expertise which has landed him numerous collaborations with brands such as vans and even secret projects with Kanye.
Justin Saunders’ design and work ethic inspiration has been the notable comic strip author Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes. Saunders often talks about it was Bill and his comic strip which helped him realise that working hard and loving what you do is a much better recipe for success than chasing stardom. His work also reflects his love and connection with the City of Montreal which he describes as having a certain ‘joie de vivre’. According to Saunders people who do well in Montreal do so because they are in love with whatever they do. Perhaps this is why he’s always rejected the notion of moving his studio to a more mainstream fashion city such as New York.
The blog’s minimal visuals have been translated into a successful line of JJJJound’s very own products which are dropped in limited quantities and highly sought after. These include JJJound branded mugs, socks, apparel. Soon industry took notice of this large clout which JJJound’s brand had gathered and since then the moodboard has scored big name collaborations with Eddie Bauer’s apparel, New Balance’s sneakers and even a bespoke JJJound branded bicycle with Montreal’s bike shop Bassi.
Each product conceived by the brand stands out in use and quality. The brand’s mantra forbids any compromise in either aspect and whatever they choose to drop spends months in R&D pipeline being polished and perfected.
The brand broke out into the sneaker and streetwear community with its sell out collaboration with Vans old skool when JJJound designed three coveted iterations of the classic silhouette. With a cork foot bed and all white outsole meshed with uppers in Olive Green, Grey and Brown the shoe brough forth the design features and colors most relatable to the JJJound name.
The brand brings to its products and collaborations the color, form and feel which one would be able to enjoy when scrolling through its OG moodboard. Usage of tonal greens, beiges and browns is heavy, and all its products feature the highest quality of materials and designs.
Written by Aditya Chopra