Today in New York, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the leading voice of the Post-9/11 generation of veterans, was proud to launch a bold new partnership with JCRT , the direct-to-consumer, all things plaid apparel brand founded by Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra. The limited-edition apparel collaboration is an inspiring collaboration with IAVA, the leading veterans’ advocacy and support organization, founded by Iraq veteran and renowned activist Paul Rieckhoff, that supports, connects and empowers veterans of the post-9/11 wars upon their return from service.
Once meant to conceal and disguise, this capsule collection re-imagines the modern uniform into proud plaids that honor those who have served. Inspired by JCRT co-founders Jeffrey and Robert’s personal experiences with family members returning home from combat, the brand chose to partner with the IAVA, the premier veteran’s advocacy and support organization.
JCRT created a camouflage inspired collection of button-down shirts, pants, boxer shorts, ties and scarves to be sold at JC-RT.com, pricing ranges from $35 – $195. The JCRT x IAVA collaboration launched with a new JCRT website and at an exclusive luncheon event at JCRT in New York.
As part of this very special collaboration, JCRT and photographer Joaquin Trujillo completed a powerful portrait series of returning US service members and allies dressed in the collaboration apparel. The portrait series debuted on each Instagram page @jcrtny and@IAVA with the hashtag #plaidvocate and the entire line of inspiring apparel is now for sale at www.jc-rt.com.
“We witnessed our own family members who served our country return from war both with a support system in place and also when there was not,” said Robert Tagliapierta and Jeffrey Costello. “We chose to partner with IAVA because they seek to improve the lives of veteran’s through policy change, public awareness and one on one support, guiding our veterans back as they leave service.”
“IAVA is thrilled to partner with JCRT on this groundbreaking partnership. JCRT is a brilliant creative force that is truly leading the way in apparel. Now, they are also leading America in supporting our veteran community. This fantastic and innovative collection is not only inspired by veterans-but it also really supports them where it counts thanks to the generosity of Robert and Jeffrey. JCRT will bring new levels of awareness and support to our cause, and this collection will change and save lives. Men and women who buy pieces from this collection will look fantastic-and support a critical cause. As we approach Veterans Day next month, IAVA members nationwide are thankful and excited to launch this bold and thoughtful effort” added IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff.
10% of every sale of JCRT x IAVA camouflage collection will go toward supporting IAVA’s critical veteran support programs. In addition, for each plaid shirt purchased, a JCRT plaid will be given to IAVA to support our vets as they begin re-entering back home. JCRT encourage leaving direct donations to the IAVA through its website as well.
The models featured in the campaign are all IAVA members veterans, staff and civilian supporters and include men and women of diverse and dynamic backgrounds, and include:
“In 2007, I was running a mission outside of Fallujah, Iraq. 15-minutes after the mission began, my vehicle hit an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). The blast was forceful enough to rupture the fuel cell of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle I was in and immediately set it on fire. Fortunately our entire crew escaped from the vehicle with minor concussions, burns, cuts, scrapes, and bruises. The vehicle, however, was destroyed beyond repair. After the Bradley Fighting Vehicle was recovered and brought back to base, I pulled the chunk of metal out of the wreckage as a memento.”
“During my time in the Iraq War from 2003-2005, I did lose a few friends in combat-one being my best friend. I have carried the guilt of his loss with me for many years. He was killed in combat a day before his departure home. He was my best friend and I loved him dearly. He always smiled and made me laugh. If it was not for him, I would not have made it through the war. I made it through the war, but he did not. I think about him a lot and miss him so much. He will not be forgotten.”
“I really enjoyed going to college in the city while pursuing work in the arts and entertainment industry after leaving the military. Today, I’m fortunate to work with fellow creatives who also balance life through their work, and who share a passion for producing art and creating opportunities for other artists.”
“For me, the transition back into society was smooth at first. I was happy to be free, happy to be home, and happy to be alive. However, as the reality of life settled in, so did feelings of not fitting into society’s norms and the emptiness of waking up every day without my brothers and sisters in arms. I was distant and cold to childhood friends, as well as family. I felt like I could not relate to anyone but vets. As time went by, I slowly began to conform to my life out of the corps. But it hasn’t been easy-not then or now.”
JCRT and IAVA will partner on activation events and pop-ups in the days to come approaching Veterans Day and the holiday shopping season, to include activations at the massive Veterans Day parade in New York and at IAVA’s 12th Annual Heroes Gala in New York on November 8 at the Manhattan Classic Car Club, honoring Marine Veteran Rob Riggle and philanthropist and Craigslist Founder Craig Newmark, and featuring Stephen Colbert, Jeffrey Wright and more.
JCRT is the kinship of culture and cloth. It’s a secret club where subcultural connoisseurs are connected by a hidden code of color, pattern, and craft. Co-founded by tailors Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra-who were both raised by tailors and have 50-years of combined experience-the brand is an intersection of cutting-edge digital technology and the rich legacy of analog craftsmanship. Each unique plaid begins with a cultish fervor taking inspiration from iconic album art, movie posters, book covers, and video games to create nostalgic configurations of lines and color. Rather than drafting a single pattern, Jeffery employs old-world tailoring techniques perfecting patterns for each size, while Robert crafts every eye-catching digital print by hand. The result is limited-run designs in an inclusive range of sizes that produce minimal waste. With each shirt telling a different story, customers experience the Power of the Plaid-the initiation into a special clan where collective cultural obsessions can be literally worn on their sleeves.
“Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America…remains the most important organization representing the new generation of veterans.” – TIME Magazine
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) is the premier veterans advocacy and support organization on the planet. Every day, we fight for veterans. Hard. We are the tip-of-the spear non-profit engine of impact that connects, unites and empowers over 400,000 veterans and allies nationwide. Founded by an Iraq veteran in 2004, IAVA is the non-partisan leader in advocacy, public awarenessand 1-on-1 case-management support. We organize locally, and drive historic impacts nationally. IAVA is vanguard of the veterans movement and the most powerful network of veterans on the planet. We have connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided thousands of veterans of all generations with life-saving and life-changing personalizedsupport from IAVA’s Master’s-level social workers. Learn more at www.iava.org.
Note to media: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or IAVA leadership.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. As a non-profit founded in 2004, IAVA’s mission is to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans. Celebrating its 12th year anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 7,300 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.