As a part of John Wayne Enterprises growing initiative for Made In America products we have partnered with Midnight Rider for John Wayne inspired fashion tee shirts.
Following on the heels of incredible collections for the likes of Townes Van Zandt, Tom Petty, The Band, Waylon Jennings and more, Midnight Rider introduces their newest collaborative line: The John Wayne Collection! Inspired by what modern day western-wear has become, a mix of high fashion, street style, and rugged, genderless workwear,
Khayyam worked with graphic designer Christian Watson to create a line that will delight Wayne fans old and new. Working with fashion photographer Ramon Felix and model Terra, Khayyam drew inspiration from Alfred Stieglitz’s iconic photos of Georgia O’Keeffe for the collection’s incredibly alluring lookbook and video shoot.
As we launch the campaign and t-shirts this week, we sat down with Mitra Khayyam for her thoughts on John Wayne the icon, her inspiration for the collection and her personal and business commitment to manufacturing in America.
JWE: How were you first introduced to John Wayne? Was it a particular movie?
Mitra: I don’t how or when I first discovered John Wayne, as a child of immigrants, I wasn’t raised watching Westerns. I somehow stumbled onto the man, but I remember the Searchers was the first film of his I ever watched.
JWE: As a woman, what appeals to you about John Wayne?
Mitra: I think John Wayne often played the perfect archetype of an American hero, our own version of “Prince Charming”
JWE: What do you think John Wayne represents today?
Mitra: I think John Wayne represents that we can be whoever we want to be, our stories are our own to tell. You can be a boy named Marion playing football in Glendale one day, and a cowboy who goes by Duke the next.
JWE: What was your inspiration for the collection?
Mitra: I was inspired by playing with the idea of what modern day western-wear has become; a mix of high fashion, street style, and sexy androgyny.
JWE: We enjoy partnering with you because of your Americana designs combined with your Made in America commitment. Will you describe this process (design and/or production) and what it means to you?
Mitra: That’s right, all our goods are made in Los Angeles. I work with a factory in Vernon, CA that’s reasonable for cutting and sewing all our tee shirts, the tees are then dyed custom colors for us less than a mile away, printed in factories locally, hand distressed, and washed again for softness all within a 5 mile radius. It was really important for us to support our local economy, and it felt like Made in the USA would be the only way to create tees that honor so many influential icons.