Juicy Couture’s signature tracksuit has lived many lives. In the 2000s, it was one of the most coveted fashion items among young Hollywood darlings and suburban teens alike. Throughout its 25-year history, it’s gone through several cycles of revamps and revivals, from Balenciaga’s high-end take to its first-ever faux fur version from Apparis. Now, the nostalgic tracksuit’s next iteration comes with a new weed brand, Potent Goods, founded by Juicy Couture’s own co-founder Gela Nash-Taylor and her son, Travis Nash.
“I've always had a partner. I’m a collaborator. For Juicy, it was Pam [Skaist-Levy] and we had an incredible BFF relationship. Building that brand was really fun because you got to deal with your best friend. It was very personal, authentic, and amazing,” Nash-Taylor tells NYLON. (The two launched the famous California fashion label in 1997, stepped away from it in 2010, and then debuted a new brand Skaist-Taylor in 2012.) “So doing [Potent Goods] with my son, it's another collaborative experience, which I love.”
After living in New York, Nash moved back to his hometown of Los Angeles in 2018, around the same time recreational cannabis dispensaries started popping up in California. He first had the idea of opening a “super high-end dispensary,” inspired by old school cigar bars in London. “But the more I looked into it, the more I realized that the actual regulations and navigating those and having a true smoking lounge was beyond what I could do myself,” says Nash.
Around the same time, Nash-Taylor was just starting to explore smoking cannabis, opting for discreet vapes at a party with friends or backstage at one of her husband John Taylor’s Duran Duran shows. Her and her son’s contrasting consumption habits reflect Potent Goods’ debut products, including packs of seven half-gram pre-rolls and slim vaporizers. “The pre-rolls are relatively potent and they appeal more to an experienced cannabis user, but they are relatively small,” says Nash. “With the vaporizers, they are easy to dose and have a very pleasant flavor. The actual oil that we're using is incredibly pure and what that means for the user is it's a very smooth inhalation.”
These days, successful cannabis brands build their worlds outside of solely cannabis products. They’re tapping into the “lifestyle” of cannabis consumption, whether that’s rooted in authenticity and sustainability initiatives or offering more than just weed. Usually it’s smoking accessories, merch, or, in Nash-Taylor’s case for Potent Goods, a full-on apparel and accessories line. “It’s a combination of both of our worlds colliding in a really great way,” she says, noting that fashion was always a part of the business plan from the very beginning.
It’s clear that Nash-Taylor is an expert in California’s signature casual luxury style. (Juicy Couture, obviously, is proof.) So she wanted to apply her design chops towards the world of smoking. First, she created custom prints inspired by Potent Goods’ three strains: a moody floral print with subtle hints of cannabis leaf ties in with its indica offering and is fittingly called “offline,” while a statement snake print, named “amplify,” reflects sativa and the classic yet vibrant monogram print, or “muse,” is inspired by its hybrid strain.
“All of the prints should enhance the smoking experience. You should feel the moody floral, you should feel the charcoal snake. The monogram with the white stripes should make you feel a little more energetic,” says Nash-Taylor. “And we want everything to always go back to what the strains are.”
These prints can be found on, of course, Potent Goods’ own tracksuit. And how did the designer behind one of Y2K fashion’s most iconic items update it for 2021? For starters, it’s unisex and more on the sporty side, ditching Juicy’s well-known zip-up hoodie for a more traditional, high-neck track jacket style with a hidden pocket that could fit one of its vape pens. The pants don’t flare out or come with a bedazzled bottom, but feature a drawstring waist and zippers at the ankles. For those who do want something more fashion-forward, there’s a roomy, floor-length kimono in the “offline” floral print with long sleeves, a sash tie around the waist, and a pen pocket on the chest. To match is the lounge pant, in the same print and a straight wide-leg silhouette.
“Comfort is everything in smoking and life, and we're going to continue to explore all of the things that go along with that,” says Nash-Taylor. Another kimono is in the works, as well as a shorter version. Collaborations is on her wishlist, too, like a necklace or a stylish roach clip from L.A. jewelry designer Lisa Eisner. As Potent Goods releases more cannabis strains, more prints (and product) will go along with it.
“We have a lot of things that we want to add and develop for a very sophisticated lifestyle that has to do with smoking,” notes Nash-Taylor. “Think about Art Deco and smoking culture, it's so crazy. The Lucite lighters and all the things that went along with it, and the ‘50s for drinking culture with martinis and shakers. For cannabis culture in terms of fashion and lifestyle, this is just the beginning.”
Readers should note that laws governing cannabis, hemp and CBD are evolving, as is information about the efficacy and safety of those substances. As such, the information contained in this post should not be construed as legal or medical advice. Always consult your physician prior to trying any substance or supplement.