Jessica Siskin is quickly becoming known as a jack of all trades. She’s a writer, has a background in fashion, and is the delightful young woman who turned a fun little Rice Krispie treat creation into a full blown, successful business known as Misterkrisp. Now, in a turn that is only unexpected if you don’t know her, she is repurposing misogynistic t-shirts into platforms of discussion on feminism.
Cleverly dubbed Retouched Tees, I can’t help but think of photoshop and how, for probably the first time, this ‘retouching’ is actually a good thing instead of a harmful one.
I was honored when Jess asked me to don a Tee for her first lookbook shoot. Though she was fresh off the plane from Cannes, where she made Krisp after Krisp for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creation, she was more than willing to sit down with me and answer a few questions about the message behind Retouched Tees and how they came to be.
Me: What inspired you to created retouched tees?
Jess: Before and after the election I saw a lot of people making feminist t-shirts. I identify as a feminist and felt that something was missing. I feel like there is an issue in feminism; everyone talks about “who runs the world” but don’t acknowledge that women don’t actually run the world. I actually consider myself a bit of a feminist killjoy (laughs). I thought it would be cooler to have feminist messages on top of something problematic but people love. So I went out and bought iron on letters and my first was tinkerbell and put “feminist killjoy” over it. Everyone I showed wanted one, so I started making more. Hopefully more people will respond.
M: How does this satisfy your creativity differently than Mister Krisp?
J: It’s a lot different but also the same. It’s different because even on the surface it’s more intellectual and has more of a social impact and mission. With Mister Krisp, the mission is irreverent. The mission of Retouched Tees is to get people to think about patriarchy and how they are complicit in it.
But at the same time, the creative process is generally the same. When I get the idea to create, I have to satisfy it immediately. With Krisp I can just go into the kitchen. With the Tees, I had to go out and find them. I’m a believer in premise and that if what you want to do is authentic and if you truly care, then chances are other people will. Social media shows you how, and that we are all having this human experience and you should just trust your instincts.
M: Where do you get the shirts?
J: The internet, like eBay and Etsy. It’s a lot easier than searching through racks of clothes at a store. But I do find a lot of shirts at thrift shops like Beacons Closet.
M: You make Mister Krisp by hand, do you make your shirts by yourself?
J: They are now machine embroidered, but I ironed on the first letters using my curling iron!
M: Where can we expect to buy them, when are they available?
J: They are available at American Two Shot in Nolita this month. Shopbop will have them in September, and hopefully more!
M: Do you have anything else you want to tell me?
J: The Future is Female!
Indeed, it is, because she even has tees for the little one in your life…