Jonah Levine ’14 launches streetwear line Lucid FC

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Daniela Karpenos, Staff Writer

Staples student Jonah Levine ’14 brings a taste of urban culture to the suburbs of Westport. What began as an idea in 2010 has developed over the years into an official “streetwear” clothing company—Lucid FC—as of 2013.

Two of Levine’s closest friends from Atlanta first came up with the idea, and from there Levine contributed numerous visions and suggestions that earned him his position as co-founder.

The “FC” in Lucid FC originally stood for “Footwear Company” because Levine and his friends had initially hoped to incorporate their interest in collecting sneakers. However, they realized demand was relatively low and decided to instead sell clothing.

“Streetwear is sort of an obscure genre in the clothing industry,” Levine said. “It’s inspired by the streets—skateboarding, hip-hop, urban culture as a whole—and known to be harder to come by than regular clothing since it’s produced in small quantities.”

Once a design has been created, the process of production is supposedly very simple. Levine uses a screen-printing system that prints the design of his choice on virtually any article of clothing—whether it be a wholesale shirt, flannel, or jacket from an army and navy store.

Nick Drbal ‘14, one of Levine’s close friends, was one of the first to know of the business idea before it launched.

“I like the design,” Drbal said. “It’s something different, and they incorporate it nicely into varying styles.”

In addition to the company’s online store, Levine and his two co-founders have had two “pop-up” shops so far.

“Pop-up shops are a common phenomenon in the clothing industry,” Levine said. “It’s when a company rents a space for a limited time. We had a one-day pop-up in Atlanta in September 2013, and another in New York in November of the same year.”

As it turns out, pop-up retail is a relatively new concept, only first introduced in 1999 by the company Vacant, whose temporary shops were highly successful with limited-edition products sold out in just a matter of hours. The same idea applied for Lucid FC pop-ups, where flannels, while only available for two days, were in particularly high demand.

Since fashion in pop-up retail is (literally) fleeting, it’s crucial for a store to effectively get the word out. To do so, Lucid FC uses a variety of advertising strategies. For the pop-up store in Atlanta, Levine created a Facebook event to which he invited masses of people. The pop-up store in New York, however, gained the most publicity thanks to the help of “Complex Magazine,” “Mass Appeal,” and a few lesser-known blogs  that all posted the flyers for the event and promoted Lucid FC’s collections through blog posts. Overall, Lucid FC gets an immense amount of help from not only its supporters, but also from the professionals who print the clothes, their models, and the photographers.

“Jonah has done an awesome job marketing his clothing line,” Drbal said. “He advertises very well on Facebook and Instagram, and has even directed some promo videos. Social media is especially huge for a business like this.”

Considering the company’s only recent start, business is booming. According to Levine, sales have been great, especially with the success of the winter line, which was almost entirely sold-out.

“I want to major in business, and more specifically marketing,” Levine said. “Everyone in my family pretty much owned their own business, and I’ve always kind of known I would follow this path.”

While clothing happens to be Levine’s current interest, who knows what industry he will end up in five or six years.

“In the future I’d like to own my own business. I don’t know what yet, but I know I want to work for myself, on my own terms,” Levine said.

For now, though, Lucid FC is going strong with street-wear, the unconventional and unique style fit for urban culture.