Parks spends quarantine designing custom jeans

Senior+John+Parks%27+favorite+jeans+hang+behind+him+as+he+wears+a+pair+of+his+custom+jeans.

Annabella Ferraiuolo

Senior John Parks’ favorite jeans hang behind him as he wears a pair of his custom jeans.

Marin Klein, Assistant Opinion Editor

In quarantine, everyone has been finding different ways to entertain themselves, whether it’s spending endless hours learning TikTok dances, making cloud bread, or binging TV shows. Meanwhile, senior John Parks took a more unique route: customizing jeans.

Two years ago, Parks first tried customizing a pair of jeans for fun. Then, after the death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant in January, Parks was inspired. He created a custom pair of jeans to pay tribute to Bryant, and from there, he decided to create an Instagram and Depop account to showcase and sell his jeans.

“[Customizing jeans] is a creative outlet for me,” Parks said. “I can’t paint or draw, so it felt like a good use of my time.”

He markets his custom jeans on his Instagram account (@johns.denim). The account began to take off as more people saw the account and shared it with their friends. Along with selling his own designs, Parks also took custom orders, including jeans with themes like the Celtics, or different musicians. 

While seeing lots of improvement in his jeans since his first pair two years ago, Parks continues to keep working on his skills and making them even better. He has learned a lot from his mistakes and figured out what works with each pair he creates.

“Sometimes a pair doesn’t turn out right, but I’ve gotten better at compiling designs and images that people will like,” Parks said. 

Parks’s account has sparked interest around the Algonquin community. He has inspired some other students to use Instagram to promote their creativity: after seeing his account, senior Sonja Mott created her own account (@sonjascustomprettythings) to sell custom artwork. 

“Part of me always wanted to sell art, and I actually was inspired to start the account after seeing John’s [account]” Mott said.

Parks continues to grow his account and aims higher as our world slowly returns to normal. He hopes to be able to sell his designs at farmer’s markets or fairs one day.

“I think my initial reaction was just happy that the work I was doing started to pay off,” Parks said. “I do think I have a lot more work to do until I get to that “woah” moment.”