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America Duck

#art #design #physical #product #independent #kickstarter #2015

America Duck is a jacket enhancing patch that commented on luxury brands. The project was designed and funded though Kickstarter. After being contacted by C****a G***e, who was kind enough to fly my brother and I to their headquarters, I agreed to remove the Kickstarter page from public view. All additional funding went to purchase jackets for Boston’s homeless.


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Let’s Start at the Beginning

During my junior year at Boston University, after returning from winter break, I became overwhelmed by the sudden mass of C****a G***e coats being worn on campus. I figured that I could enhance my generic fleece jacket with a similar patch and blend in for a fraction of the cost.

I quickly created my design and turned to Kickstarter for help funding a minimum production order. With the modest goal of $175 and only mockups to show, the project was live in less than one week.

The campaign met its goal in less than 10 days, organically picking up media attention after the video was added. More people slowly began connecting with America Duck’s purpose, leading it to become a stronger commentary on luxury brands. Backer support ultimately fueled the decision to use additional funding for purchasing jackets, which were later donated to local homeless shelters.

Before the campaign ended, I had a portfolio review with designer Stefan Sagmeister and was able to extract a quote from him about America Duck. He said he liked the project.

"The Duck, I like this project" – Stefan Sagmeister

Three days after fulfilling all rewards, I received a cease and desist from C****a G***e’s legal team. While they found the project funny and supported how I used the additional funding, they requested that the America Duck be removed from Kickstarter. At the same time, they generously invited my brother and I to visit their international factory/headquarters and flew us out on April 17, 2015.

We returned home with expensive hats, a coffee table book, a good story, and no maple syrup. I tried and failed to smuggle some home.

The patches are no longer for sale.

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