26Red Finds New Life with Founder John Bernard
26Red, the 90’s streetwear brand for men and women is making a comeback under the direction of original founder, John Bernard, with his children helping to breathe new life into the revamped heritage collection. The new designs play on the heritage of the company, with music and art collabs on the horizon. The first collection is now available at 26Red.com, with specialty retailers to follow. The company also plans to open its own branded flagship store in Manhattan this fall.
Relaunching with many of the company’s quintessentially iconic graphics in unisex styles, the new 26Red collection offers a playful look back at 90s streetwear and the skate lifestyle, while putting modern touches that infuse art and music inspiration. With the first relaunch collection, 26Red is offering colorful tees, hoodies and bucket hats available in S-XXL.
“The response to the brand relaunch has been overwhelming,” Bernard said. “We are bringing back the classics to our core market, while adding a few new art-centric designs that will help push 26Red into the future. But we are really leaning into our heritage, even bringing back some key team members who worked with us during the heyday of 26Red so we can make the relaunch really amazing.”
Bernard decided the time was right to bring the brand back after his four children started seeing vintage 26Red pieces selling on Etsy and Depop. His kids saw the vision that Bernard had with the brand, and were committed to supporting the label’s rebirth, thus launching the new family-run project. His oldest son Austin, 25, is an industrial designer and recent graduate of the University of Kansas, and is working on T-shirt graphics and networking for the brand. Luke, 19, is assisting with website development and graphic design. Lola, 18, who’s studying at FIDM in Los Angeles, will be taking the reins on the girl’s division when it launches, as well as helping with social media, trend forecasting, and marketing. Oliver, 13, is a jack-of-all-trades, and has been helping with graphic design and sourcing, and doing whatever he can to contribute.
Created in Laguna Beach, Calif. out of the American rave scene in 1990, the brand created its legacy starting as a graphics-driven collection with the 26Red logo and its iconic dancing cat graphic mascoting for the line. By 1997, the brand evolved into a full sportswear collection for men and women, later adding footwear and eyewear. Selling to key accounts and boutiques both nationally and internationally, including Zumiez and Urban Outfitters, 26Red grew eventually into a $30 million dollar company and household name.
The Bernard family is excited to get the brand back up-and-running with the new collection, with big plans for expansion into 2021 and beyond.
ABOUT JOHN BERNARD and 26RED INC.:
John Bernard has had an extensive history in successful apparel and design. He started his first apparel brand, a well-known beach volleyball line called Spot Sport, as a USC graduate in 1986. The brand sponsored many professional beach volleyball players, including Brent Frohoff. Spot Sport’s claim-to-fame was its unique flip-up visor, where the brand’s logo cleverly resided on the bottom. Other brands created by Bernard over the years include: Suburban Brand Streetwear, the T-shirt brand Five Crown, and the E15 apparel brand. For the last 20 years, John’s also grown ModShop, (formerly Room Service), a boutique furniture brand that he owns and operates with his wife, Taryn. What started out as a passion project born out of his love for architecture and design, has grown into a major operation, including two manufacturing facilities and stores in several major metropolitan cities in the USA. ModShop is currently doing business with many of the country’s top designers, and has an extensive list of celebrity clientele.