Temple alumnus and professional skateboarder collabs with university on clothing collection

The collection features original designs and pays homage to Cecil B. Moore Plaza, a hub for skateboarders on campus.

Alumnus Jimmy Gorecki teamed up with Temple to collaborate on the Temple Skateboard Owl clothing collection. | FERNANDO GAXIOLA / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Anyone walking through Temple’s campus at any time of the day will likely hear or cross paths with a skateboarder. Even more so if one is walking past the university’s unofficial skate park, Cecil B. Moore Plaza. 

“Skaters would unscrew various picnic benches from around campus and physically drag them over there,” said Jimmy Gorecki, a 2006 public relations alumnus and professional skateboarder. “So while it was a place that kind of was just like an alternative spot to go until the cops or the park rangers would leave [LOVE Park].”

As an avid skater and founder of his own clothing brand, it was only fitting for Gorecki to collaborate with the university on the new Temple Skateboard Owl clothing collection. 

“I have friends that I’ve known for the past 25 years who are kids I met that are from the immediate community that were drawn to Cecil from skating,” Gorecki said. 

The collection, now available in Temple’s bookstore and online, represents Gorecki’s latest venture in the fashion industry. Gorecki and his business partner Jarod Lee launched Standard Issue Tees in 2018, and Gorecki later launched his own brand, Jimmy Sweatpants, originally in 2012-2015, then later relaunched in 2018. 

Temple’s collection with Gorecki debuted on April 4, featuring original designs by 2004 history alumnus Jared Wheeler, and is manufactured by local North Philadelphia brand Boathouse Sports. One of the graphics for the collection depicts an owl on a skateboard, inspired by archives of old Temple logos and designs. 

“We wanted to evoke authenticity throughout the collection as best as we could,” Wheeler said.

 “How that logo came to be was through just both historic reference of past school logos, marks, any way the Owl was represented.”

Although the clothing line was just released, Wheeler and Gorecki started their mock-ups for the original pieces about five years ago. 

Gorecki drew inspiration for the project from his own time as an active student and skater on Temple’s campus, imagining what Temple’s uniform would look like if Cecil’s regulars joined forces to form a college skateboarding team. 

“If there was ever this hypothetical world where universities had skate teams, and they were going head to head like what would I want Temple’s uniforms later on to look like?” Gorecki said. “The bucket hat and the jacket, it’s kind of the warm-up piece, and then the hoodie, the T-shirt and the pants would be like a uniform if they were in a skating contest.”

Gorecki was visiting Philadelphia in March 2023 for project and potential collaboration meetings with the Philadelphia Eagles and Union when Wheeler reached out. 

Wheeler  was already working with Boathouse on his own work, which specializes in helping different athletic teams and brands create modern pieces that also tap into their history. Gorecki felt compelled to visit the brand because of its history and his own work within the apparel industry. 

Boathouse’s heritage dates back to 1976 with the introduction of the Stevenson jacket, featuring an innovative design showcased at the Montreal Olympic Games. Boathouse still directly ships from its Philadelphia factory and accredits itself with being a long-standing, Philadelphia-made business. 

Boathouse wanted to collaborate with Gorecki because the brand largely works with local universities and schools in the immediate area. Temple quickly became Gorecki and Boathouse’s shared interest. 

Following the project’s kick-off, Gorecki and Wheeler connected with Veronica Aymer, Temple’s senior director of operations and licensing. She helped shape the standards for the collection and provided guidelines for what Gorecki and Wheeler could use and manipulate in relation to Temple’s Name, Image and Likeness. 

“Temple’s Strategic Marketing and Communications office was a major source of support and guidance in the creation of the co-branded designs you see,” wrote Aymer, in an email to The Temple News. “The university brand standards set the foundation, and the creative process of combining official university marks with the JSP brand was something we worked through together after agreeing on what we wanted the apparel line to represent and feature.”

The project progressed from October 2023 to March 2024 as Gorecki, Wheeler, Aymer and Boathouse worked to bring together a cohesive collection for Temple students and fans to enjoy. 

 Gorecki also wanted to involve Temple students throughout the project, with a current senior serving as the lookbook photographer and a recent graduate as the videographer. The shoot was also taken at Cecil, honoring the generations of skaters who dedicated hours of skate time to the plaza.

“What was really important to us when we engaged with this project was involving the community, the neighborhood and really making it an authentic story in that sense,” Wheeler said. “So really capturing the authenticity of not just the school, but the area.”

The collection is available in Temple’s bookstore and through the Jimmy Sweatpants and Boathouse Sports websites for the foreseeable future, with future collection installments to come. 

“From neighborhood kids to other alumni members that skated there to Sammy and Ben who shot the pictures, I always felt a real obligation to try to give back to the city and the different people, places and things that have inspired me over the years,” Gorecki said.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.