RSC Industry Intelligence: Joe Geis of Formatic Clothing

The apparel industry is one of many moving parts. For every high-profile designer, there are thousands of photographers, marketing professionals and independent designers who quietly do their part to keep our community vibrant and relevant.

These individuals deserve their recognition. In an effort to ensure that, RSC’s Industry Intelligence make sure you hear from these unsung heroes who keep it real each and every day.

Name, rank and why we should care?

My name is Joe Geis and I am the co-founder and creative director at Formatic. Formatic started out as a t-shirt company but quickly turned into a lifestyle brand that allows us the opportunity to live out all of our dreams. On a daily basis we deal with clothing design, film, festival planning, sponsorships and charity events. You should care because we are doing some really cool shit you won’t find anywhere else.

What are you working on right now?

Design wise, I recently began the early stages of designing the 2011 Formatic fall/winter collection which will be released at our five year anniversary party with good friends, good music and good beer. I am also putting together a few collaborations with some talented designers that includes an upcoming limited edition poster series with the amazingly talented and inspiring Julian Alexander.

Along with a best friend from college, I just put on the first annual 52 Fest for Eric LeGrand – the Rutgers Scarlet Knight defensive tackle who was paralyzed while playing last season. The festival featured performances by Funkmaster Flex as well as 17 other artists and raffled off items from the Boston Celtics, New York Mets, New Jersey Devils, Grant Hill and more. All of the proceeds are going toward renovating Eric’s house.

What future plans are in the works? Plug your shit!

Within the next few months, Formatic plans to expand outside the East Coast as much as possible. I recently designed our 2011 lookbooks which we will be using to set up meetings with retailers across the country. We are also in sponsorship talks with some larger musicians and have some great friends who are helping finish the Formatic documentary. We are looking to turn as many heads as possible this year.

Who or what has been the biggest influence on your work?

A lot of people have one person they name as their biggest influence but I believe my work is influenced more by my daily surroundings. I’m lucky enough to have friends who pursue design, sports, fashion, skateboarding, music, film, etc. and I am influenced by each and every one of them on the regular.

What is the hardest lesson you have ever had to learn?

The hardest lesson that I’ve ever had to learn is also one of the most important. When I first started designing, I truly thought that my first design was the best option and anything anyone else said about it was wrong. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to have professors who beat that habit out of me before I got into the industry where I surely would’ve been chewed up and spit out. Learn to take constructive criticism. Chances are you are wrong.

Last book read, movie watched, record listened to?

The last book I read was “Crush It!” by Gary Vaynerchuk who I recently had the pleasure of meeting. Every designer should own that book. I don’t get much time to go to the movies, but I recently saw “Horrible Bosses” and all I can say is “Jennifer Aniston.” I’m currently listening to Living with Lions’ newest album, “Holy Shit,” and let’s just say it’s appropriately titled.

Fill in the blank: “I wouldn’t be where I am today without _____”

The most supportive and understanding family/friends in the world.

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