Maybe Sunday is an activewear brand inspired by visual culture and the contemporary, hybrid lifestyle, located in the Chicago Arts District co-founded by Jason Guo and McKenzie Thompson. Jason Guo is a Chicago-based artist born in Tianjin, China, raised in Ottawa, Canada and graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2014 with a concentration in branding, advertising and painting. McKenzie Thompson is a Chicago-based designer who received her M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2014), where she specialized in visual communication design and sculpture. Originally from Highlands, NC, Thompson received her B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (‘09).
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. We make activewear that is inspired by the visual culture that interests us. We aim to create a unique shopping experience, build strong foundational relationships with our clientele, and deliver quality designer activewear at an affordable price. Our fabrics are designed with versatility and comfort in mind, allowing us to strike a balance between style and functionality. In addition to developing our line, we hope to grow and expand a community of creatives surrounding Maybe Sunday and contribute more broadly to the Chicago cultural scene.
Top 3 favorite or most visited websites and why? McKenzie : Most frequented?
Email – the platform for all of our work
NPR/BBC – to get a few opinions on what’s happening in the world
YouTube – we try to watch a documentary a night. It can be about anything, from North Korea to Jasper Johns.
Facebook – … I feel like everyone suffers from this
Google – this is my door to the Internet
Chase – I check my statements a lot, haha
How has living in Chicago affected your work? Many artists we respect have spent a portion of their careers in Chicago, from Jeff Koons (who used live a block down from our shop) to The Chicago Imagists. We see their influence in the color palettes and playful style we incorporate into each collection. The cold winters in Chicago have certainly affected our work. At our flagship store, we have created an environment where the grass is always green, there is plenty of light (sometimes even Vitamin D light), and it’s always kept at 75 degrees. Our concept store also acts as our headquarters. Conversation with many of our Chicago customers has led us to introduce a custom aspect to Maybe Sunday’s offerings, where we also design apparel for private accounts.
If you were a drink what drink would you be? McKenzie: Depending on the time of day, black coffee or club soda on ice.
Jason: Red Bull by day, soy milk by night.
What past trends in fashion should never come back? McKenzie: The cellulite. The cameltoe.
Jason: American Apparel leotards make women look like broken ballerinas. I don’t know if this is even a trend …
How long have you lived in Chicago and what brought you there? McKenzie: I moved to Chicago in August 2012 to pursue my MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, to change career paths from journalism to art and design.
Jason: I moved from Ottawa, Ontario, to Chicago in 2010 to pursue my BFA at SAIC and was looking for an American Pie-styled college experience. We chose to stay in Chicago and open Maybe Sunday largely because the relationships we have built here are very valuable to us. We have met some of the most talented and creative people in this city. On top of that, we were able to find a location for our store in the Chicago Arts District, a neighborhood where art and entrepreneurship is encouraged.
What do you want a viewer to walk away with after experiencing your work? We want to brighten their day. We believe in the intrinsic value of aesthetic — we don’t focus in on social or political issues within our work, but rather are interested in creating a visual experience that transcends and unites people from all socio-economic classes. Maybe Sunday aims to add a touch of self expression to your everyday life. We want our viewers and customers to feel confident, creative, and healthy.
What’s your absolute favorite place in the city/the world to be? McKenzie: In my hometown of Highlands, NC with Jason, my family, and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Jason: Anywhere warm with McKenzie and my family.
What were you like in high school? McKenzie: I was class president and a Christian leader girl.
Jason: I was a typical Chinese nerd and graduated with the highest mark in my year.
Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your work? Best: This woman came by our store with her dog. She loved what she found and wound up getting all of her Christmas shopping done here.
Worst: Her dog waited too long and pooped in the store.