Case Study | Open Source Brand Building


Hello good people of ConceptKicks!!

Sorry for the delay, but it took a while to figure out what I wanted to contribute to this fine publication. But I think I’ve got it now …

To give you some of my backstory basics…

– I didn’t go to school for Industrial Design
– I didn’t go to school for Fashion Design
– I started designing things at 8 and footwear at 11
– I’ve worked in corporate America for almost ten years
– I’ve built and still run a luxury brand
– I prefer not to design “middle of the road” product (hence I’ll take a bad reaction over no reaction)
– Consumerism is a pet peeve of mine but I respect brand equity
–¬†Product AND story are key

Now that that’s out of the way, one thing that’s been advantageous throughout my corporate career is my willingness to share work openly. Many designers tend to keep their work under wraps so that no one steals their ideas. This was always strange for me because … well… we all worked for the same company. Anyway, I always thought it was better to put your work out in the open in an effort to publicize it. You are your biggest billboard so why not let folks see what you can do.


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Moreover, along the lines of that concept I’ve decided to start a project that parallels that experience. I will be using the Concept Kicks platform to create an open source brand/product building exercise. From concept to conception I will go through all of the steps of brand/product development. More specifically, we’re going to look at it from a severely “boot-strapped” point of view because money doesn’t grow on trees and most of us don’t have Trump money (that can purchase elections…too soon??).


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Anyway, the goal of this is to educate and provide an example/advice to those that want to do the same. As I mentioned before, I’ve experienced a lot of different situations within the shoe industry, and with my learnings I’m hoping that this project will be as efficient as possible. Of course, nothing’s perfect and we’re bound to have some unexpected issues arise.


With that said, feel free to engage. I want to hear feedback, questions and any and everything else.
Godspeed and thanks for tuning in.


Jeremy Sallee

Owner at Freeman Plat | Design Director at Ralph Lauren | "Fuck stereotypes. Set precedent." | FTMITM

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