Lifetime Collective is excited to welcome Jon Kooley. A long time Professional Snowboarder who inspired many with his unique style and still continues to do so off the mountain through outerwear design. To get a better idea of Jon, read the full interview below…
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Eagle River, Alaska
What is the biggest difference from growing up in Alaska to living in Salt Lake City, Utah? I think the biggest difference is the lack of isolation. 10 hours south you have LA, 8 hours west you have Reno and Tahoe. In Alaska your stuck… If you wanna leave you have to get a flight out.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life thus far? My Dad for sure. He’s always been behind me even though I’ve taken a different path in life. I hope that If I have a kid some day, I’ll be able to give him/her the trust and freedom my parents gave me as a kid.
How did you get your start in snowboarding? I skated all through middle school, and when I got to high school I just thought it looked like fun. I think my 9th grade year was the first year I got to do whatever I wanted with my dividend. The state of Alaska would give you roughly $1,500 every year. I used that to get my first board and a season pass.
When did the industry/creative side of snowboarding start to enter into the equation for you? What did that look like? It was a slow process. I really enjoyed coming up with ideas for my signature pieces with L1. With that I just started doing crude designs so I’d have something to kinda show the designer. Eventually I just thought, man I like doing this. It just worked out… I got lucky that the owners of L1 had enough faith in me to give me a shot at doing it for real. I’ve also had a ton of help, and patience from Ming, Allison, and Jen.
What do you prefer: the pressure of filming video parts or design deadlines? I’m not sure one is better then the other. I think that there was less pressure filming, you have 6 months to get what you can, some years you have more footage some years you have less. With design you have to finish the whole line by a certain date. That’s it, there’s no that was a rough year, or I’ll do better next year. It has to get done on time or everything gets pushed back and its your fault.
Along with Designing Men’s outerwear for Nitro, what are you working on right now? Basically I design the Men and Women’s outerwear for L1. Right now I’m working on ad direction, as well as the direction for our upcoming catalog.
And lastly, what is it about Lifetime that made you want to become part of the collective? I’ve always been a fan of the product, but more so it’s the people behind Lifetime that make it so appealing to me.
To view the interview on Lifetime click here.