Behind the Chore Jacket: Q&A with Priscilla Barroso
One of the more iconic features of Neighborhood Goods is walking into a store and being greeted by our Storytellers wearing custom, green chore coats. Customers loved these jackets so much that we’ve received countless requests over the past two years to make them available to the general public.
The wait is finally over.
Today we released a capsule collection of 40, hand-numbered, locally made, Neighborhood Goods Chore Jackets. Behind the jackets, is Dallas-based indie designer and small business owner, Priscilla Barroso. She is the powerhouse and dreamer behind Bait Apparel Studio, making waves in the local and national slow-fashion industry, known for smaller supply chains and responsible manufacturing.
Priscilla cares about things that will last: heirlooms to pass down through the family, clothing that will hold up through all of the evolutions of one’s life. Collaborating on this project with her was like talking to someone that has the same taste in music. She understands the power of storytelling and incorporated that into the creation of these chore jackets. Chore coats originated in France, often made of a sturdy material, like cotton drill, with oversized pockets to fit all the necessary tools required for a hard day’s work. Priscilla took these basic elements and put a Neighborhood Goods spin on them. It’s outerwear that’s designed to move with you, soak up adventures, and be an everyday staple.
We chatted with Priscilla about the backstory, construction, and creative process that went into the Neighborhood Goods Chore Jackets.
Photography Credit: Priscilla Barroso // Priscilla working in her studio, Bait Factory, in downtown Dallas.
How did the idea for the Neighborhood Goods Chore Jacket come to fruition?
Priscilla: I make all of the production for Hey Gang, the kid’s line. They have a kid’s chore coat and it’s super cute. Neighborhood Goods was doing a pop up with the brand at the time and I came to the store to drop off some jackets. I ended up meeting y’all and it all just transpired.
That began the conversation, like, “So what do you want to make?”
We started talking about uniforms, and I have my own brand, so I met with your creative team at my studio downtown. I was showcasing everything that I’ve made and they were super impressed and inspired. We started going over fabrics and started to create something really unique for Neighborhood Goods.
It can still be beautiful but it’s durable enough for you to put some time into it and some stories into it. I think that’s what Neighborhood Goods, in general, is all about: the story behind the brand, the story behind the garment. I think that’s what makes these really special.
Detailed embroidery on the back of our Neighborhood Goods Chore Jacket // George Njomo
We took some ideas from vintage and some ideas I had already made and combined them. Then we began to think about the functionality of what you guys need, like a place to put your hands. For that, we had a hidden slide pocket in the front, running along the front patch pocket. We also added an extra iPad pocket on the inside [for the Storytellers to use]. You can’t even tell all of those pockets are there until you try it on and you’re like, “Oh shit, look at all of these pockets!” There are just some really unique details we did specifically for Neighborhood Goods.
Artist, Christina Moreland, repping “The Goods.”
I like to make things functional. I want to make things that are heirlooms or something in your closet that you can actually wear every day. It can still be beautiful but it’s durable enough for you to put some time into it and some stories into it. I think that’s what Neighborhood Goods, in general, is all about: the story behind the brand, the story behind the garment. I think that’s what makes these really special.
Is there anything special about the materials you used in the Chore Jacket?
Priscilla: It’s brushed bull denim so it has a nice hand, which means the feel of it, and is softened but made out of super strong fibers. It was important to find something that had enough structure to do a no-fuss chore coat, one without any lining. It was a fine balance between softness and structure to create something that was wearable for everyone. I think it has a good weight too, for Texas or New York.
The front of this Chore Jacket is waiting to be adorned with fun patches and pins, worn by George Njomo.
You’re a new mom. How has being a mother shaped your creativity?
Priscilla: It’s hard to even put that into words. There was a point where I thought I lost all of my creativity, because you put some much of your energy into mothering and nurturing a human [you don’t have much time left for anything else]. But now I’m realizing that I have more in me than I thought I did before.
It’s like recapturing your twenties all over again where you get these bright ideas that come to you out of nowhere… [laughing] maybe because your mind is so empty from everything that you’ve been doing. All of a sudden you have one moment of clairvoyant creativity and things start to flow again. It came to a point where I realized: “Not only am I just as good as I used to be, but I’m better because I know how to spend my time well.”
All of a sudden you have one moment of clairvoyant creativity and things start to flow again. It came to a point where I realized: “Not only am I just as good as I used to be, but I’m better because I know how to spend my time well.”
What is your favorite thing about creating?
Priscilla: I love knowing I’m on to something. Even before it’s creative, just knowing I’m on to something is enough to keep me going.
Photography Credit: Priscilla Barroso
How have your neighbors in the creative world, helped you to get to where you are now?
Priscilla: One of my favorite mentors and creative spirits is Michael Paradise. He owns The Stronghold in LA and it’s the institution I use as a template for what passion should look like and how people should act. He is such a beautiful gentleman in the unforgiving world of the fashion industry. He has become this persona that I’m drawn to, because the second he took me under his wing, I was motivated and reminded that I can do anything.
There should be more people like that and he makes me want to be that person for someone else.
Priscilla wears many hats and designs her own collection of apparel inspired by classic Americana. Check her out, support local and small makers, and make sure to grab a Neighborhood Goods Chore Jacket before all forty are gone.