Uneasy Lies the Head that Wears a Crown
Run by two mid-30’s gentlemen, Dave and Pete, they decided they needed clothes to suit guys like them (being stuck between two generations of style). After running Jiberish as a hobby selling oversized 4XL sweatshirts to (ski) park rats through an online wholesaler (AbstractMall), they agreed, enough was enough. So they got to work, completely reframing everything about themselves. Less reliance on “Jiberish Cinema” (their freestyle ski film branch) came first, followed by a move from a huge storefront to a smaller, boutique-style storefront. Their ideas began to move toward stylish, comfortable, mens fashion, and away from the hype-beast “Henrik Harlaut just pulled a dub-12 in that Jiberish hoodie” mentality. Enter the well revised Jiberish.com.
They Obviously Get It
It’s the perfect time to be examining the front page of Jiberish.com. Running right now is their annual “Smash & Grab” sale (ca. 2005). John McWade would be very impressed by their use of a focal point and huge letters with nearly half the page as white space. The words “Smash & Grab” in a huge letterman font are plastered there as if to stay. If you scroll through the front page photos, you can see beautiful photos that bleed to the edge, showcasing their recent clothing lines. Their models are their employees, because consumers don’t want to see a representation of what the shirt would look like on a perfect body, they want to see it on someone who looks like them, average. (although arguably, the staff is fairly good looking, so maybe Dave and Pete just lucked out).
Jiberish’s main goal is to sell apparel. They do, quickly, and fairly efficiently (their turnover rate is about 3). This is partly due to the night and day difference from the restructuring of their brand. E-commerce shifted from selling on AbstractMall to selling from their own website. So necessarily, they had to create an ‘image’. They now prominently display their current clothing collections in fullscreen photos with tons of white space. After they made this leap, they sort of exploded in popularity. Jiberish made it not only easy to find them and find what you’re looking for, but also turned their image into something elegant that more than just park rats would be interested in. They effectively are pushing into becoming a lifestyle brand, and expanding their market even further.
Below the photos are Jiberish’s 4 best selling garments. I found it interesting at first that they would keep sold out items in the best selling section when they could highlight another article of clothing that is still in stock. After reflection, I think it’s so that newer visitors to the site can see that cool items will sell out quick, so you should keep up to date with all things Jiberish, and buy as quick as you can! A very keen strategy. Below that are three edge-to-edge-photo accessories categories: outerwear, footwear, headwear. This is their backbone – what they try to push to stay profitable. I appreciate the way the photos seem to blend together even though they all touch. The way the “shop now” text appears over a partly opaque white background is very clean. The website keeps this theme of about 80% opacity white in the tabs, rollover sizing information, and external links. Although there isn’t a lot of color to speak of in the actual website code, but the photos embedded on the home screen are there to properly showcase the vibrancy of their products. It’s a very elegant way of presenting things. The garments photographed alone are striking and represent the actual product very well.
The last thing is when you click on an item you want, you get the purchase screen. A huge high-def picture of the piece you’ve selected rests comfortably in the middle with plenty of breathing room between a description of the item and a “add to cart” button, price, and sizing and quantity options. One thing I noticed is that the “add to cart” side isn’t rectangular at all, and does a great job of matching the curve of the sleeves.