Meet Farewell By Penelope Mack

Farewell is a Boston-based clothing brand founded and designed by local Jeffrey Zeppieri. The clothing Zeppieri makes uses all kinds of materials and pop culture references to create truly one-of-a-kind pieces. A mix of images and his own drawings and logos, the jackets, tees, and hoodies from Farewell are a blend of influence and individuality. We talked to Jeffrey about his work and life as a Boston artist.   How did Farewell get started? It started with some basic designs and illustrations for tattoos I wanted to give myself.    Where did the name come from? It started simply as a word I just really liked-- and I'm sure it came from a subconscious bias from "A Fond Farewell" by Elliott Smith or maybe one specific line from "Teeth like god's shoeshine" I had stuck in my head.  Regardless I loved the word... it sounded cool and dark. But it [..] regained a whole new meaning [when] I lost my best friend to suicide in late 2014.    A lot of your designs seem influenced by street art and/or graffiti. Is that something you have in mind when designing? Street art makes me want to vomit. I only like graffiti-- you know, letters, people hitting crazy spots etc. I can't take away what graffiti has done to me: the way I sign my name on the tab of a restaurant bill, or having a Dremel bit on my key chain always. So it's something that is applied sometimes when I don't even necessarily mean too.   

Farewell is a Boston-based clothing brand founded and designed by local Jeffrey Zeppieri. The clothing Zeppieri makes uses all kinds of materials and pop culture references to create truly one-of-a-kind pieces. A mix of images and his own drawings and logos, the jackets, tees, and hoodies from Farewell are a blend of influence and individuality. We talked to Jeffrey about his work and life as a Boston artist.

 

How did Farewell get started?

It started with some basic designs and illustrations for tattoos I wanted to give myself. 

 

Where did the name come from?

It started simply as a word I just really liked-- and I'm sure it came from a subconscious bias from "A Fond Farewell" by Elliott Smith or maybe one specific line from "Teeth like god's shoeshine" I had stuck in my head. 

Regardless I loved the word... it sounded cool and dark. But it [..] regained a whole new meaning [when] I lost my best friend to suicide in late 2014. 

 

A lot of your designs seem influenced by street art and/or graffiti. Is that something you have in mind when designing?

Street art makes me want to vomit. I only like graffiti-- you know, letters, people hitting crazy spots etc. I can't take away what graffiti has done to me: the way I sign my name on the tab of a restaurant bill, or having a Dremel bit on my key chain always. So it's something that is applied sometimes when I don't even necessarily mean too. 

 

Many of your pieces are made up of different materials-- the half denim/half camo "Dopamine jacket" for instance. What was the process behind designing that? Purely cut and sew. I find multiple pieces that I personally enjoy, or are specific to a vibe or era I am looking to incorporate. I'll lay everything out and look at it as a whole and then slowly start detaching and attaching piece by piece.    How has Boston shaped your work? I met a lot of my best friends out here, some of which happened to be connected into the fashion scene and I kind of just utilized my plugs. Sam of Straws USA is my best friend and he helped throw me the assist of getting stocked in Bodega as well and meeting a ton of people who have helped support my brand on a higher level.    Do you think Boston has an art scene? How can it be improved (or if there isn't one, created)? Yeah, for sure. There are multiple though-- you really just have to decide which one you like being entertained by. There's, like, the South End high art shit-- all the ritzy galleries and what not. Then you have the younger artists and musicians on the come up, throwing warehouse and house parties, unofficial events, without security and all the unnecessary, stuffy, high art bullshit.  I think Boston just needs more unity amongst those who are shining in their said art form. People can be very very hard to work with-- especially if that ego starts to inflate.   

Many of your pieces are made up of different materials-- the half denim/half camo "Dopamine jacket" for instance. What was the process behind designing that?

Purely cut and sew. I find multiple pieces that I personally enjoy, or are specific to a vibe or era I am looking to incorporate. I'll lay everything out and look at it as a whole and then slowly start detaching and attaching piece by piece. 

 

How has Boston shaped your work?

I met a lot of my best friends out here, some of which happened to be connected into the fashion scene and I kind of just utilized my plugs. Sam of Straws USA is my best friend and he helped throw me the assist of getting stocked in Bodega as well and meeting a ton of people who have helped support my brand on a higher level. 

 

Do you think Boston has an art scene? How can it be improved (or if there isn't one, created)?

Yeah, for sure. There are multiple though-- you really just have to decide which one you like being entertained by. There's, like, the South End high art shit-- all the ritzy galleries and what not. Then you have the younger artists and musicians on the come up, throwing warehouse and house parties, unofficial events, without security and all the unnecessary, stuffy, high art bullshit. 

I think Boston just needs more unity amongst those who are shining in their said art form. People can be very very hard to work with-- especially if that ego starts to inflate.   

What are the pros and cons of working in a smaller city like Boston as opposed to a bigger one like New York? I feel like Boston has a roof; you can only climb so many floors until you smash your head against a beam with a rusty nail. With that being said, since it's small, it's much easier to get noticed if what you are doing isn't complete shit. New York has no roof, no limits-- yet you are a small fish in the sea and there is always going to be someone with more money and opportunity because of that. Therefore for someone like myself I must get all my things in order before I take on NY... someday soon.    What's next for the brand? More leather, more custom denim, more ready-to-wear garments. Less screen printing, more embroidery.    See more of Farewell on their website or Instagram, or at Vivant Vintage's pop up on February 4.

What are the pros and cons of working in a smaller city like Boston as opposed to a bigger one like New York?

I feel like Boston has a roof; you can only climb so many floors until you smash your head against a beam with a rusty nail. With that being said, since it's small, it's much easier to get noticed if what you are doing isn't complete shit. New York has no roof, no limits-- yet you are a small fish in the sea and there is always going to be someone with more money and opportunity because of that. Therefore for someone like myself I must get all my things in order before I take on NY... someday soon. 

 

What's next for the brand?

More leather, more custom denim, more ready-to-wear garments. Less screen printing, more embroidery. 

 

See more of Farewell on their website or Instagram, or at Vivant Vintage's pop up on February 4.