Brief Beginning 2(X)ist Jason Scarlatti
My “Brief Beginnings” were in no way ever planned to becoming a Men’s Underwear Designer. I always knew I wanted to be a designer. I was sketching since I can remember – and at the at the age of seven I remember drawing my favorite cartoon characters or super hero’s and then changing their costumes in my sketch. Wonder Woman would have a purple costume rather than a red one.
Things like that is why I geared my studies at school towards Fashion Design, and took summer classes at The Delaware Art Museum and Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia. (It was a Girls School, but they allowed boys during the summers). When I graduated from High School I went on to get my BFA at Parson’s School of Design in New York City. I’ve always wanted to design glamorous evening gowns or red carpet dresses for celebrities. (My cousin has taken that part over – Dennis Basso).
After Parson’s I worked for Joseph Abboud as an assistant designer in his licensing division. I was (and still am) in awe of Joseph, and he took a liking to me and my sketching ability. He would always have me sketch to frame as gifts for friends – and do illustrations for his biography “Threads.”
In the licensing division at Joseph Abboud I was able to work on many different categories; Women’s Sportswear, Home Furnishings, Shoes, belts, bags, Outerwear and also Men’s loungewear and underwear. It was the perfect job for a designer right out of school. I got to have a hand in designing every product category. After three years I heard about a job at Tommy Hilfiger in Men’s underwear and loungewear. I was intrigued to know one product inside and out. To know every detail – rather than dabble in a variety of different products (grass is always greener syndrome.) I was intrigued.
I moved to Tommy Hilfiger, where I spent the next five years working on Men’s underwear, loungewear and eventually socks. The underwear business really intrigued me. It was actually very challenging. There are only so many things you can do to a pair of underwear to make it “new” each season. I loved the challenge. I absorbed as much as I could about the industry and the product.
We worked closely with JOCKEY underwear, whom at the time was the licensee of Tommy Hilfiger Underwear. In time, Tommy would launch a collection based out of Europe with a European Licensee called Schiesser. I learned from the best, two power-house brands that have been around for over 100 years. I learned about the product and also learned how different countries and communities require different attributes.
I wasn’t ready to leave Tommy Hilfiger after five years – but a friend of mine heard of a position at 2(X)IST. I adored the 2(X)IST brand, and thought it would be the perfect next evolution in my career.
I remember being really impressed with how extensive the underwear offering was when I first started at 2(X)IST, and how impeccable the quality and construction was. I wasn’t sure I had what it takes to design so many collections of….well….just underwear every season. Again, I loved the challenge.
This year will mark my tenth year at 2(X)IST. Each year has been better than the previous. I am still continuing to learn. I still feel like we push the boundaries and bring something new to the table. I love what I do. I love the craft. I love the industry and I respect the competition. It is magical to me.
The 2(X)IST brand has grown and is continuing to grow in many different catagories. My position here feels like it is changing yet again, and morphing into overseeing new product categories. We launched swimwear 2 years ago, we have socks and the no-show ped and this year we will launch Activewear that we teased the public with in our fashion show this past October. The brand continues to grow into exciting new ventures and so my “Brief Beginnings” have proven to be all too fruitful. I am blessed and thankful everyday, and I am most thankful to have communities, enthusiasts and friends such as yourselves at UNB whom are interested in it all.
Thank you for asking about my “Brief Beginnings” and I am excited to share all that’s new to come with the 2(X)IST brand.