By Kaie Quigley & Ruth Kehinde – Features Editor & Digital Editor
It all started with sneakers for Joshua Michna. The sophomore fashion media and marketing major from Barkhamsted, Conn would take apart and recreate shoes in high school to figure out how each piece came together. Since then, Michna dedicated his free time to his clothing brand BUSHLAND, which he launched in early 2018.
“I didn’t have a specific goal in mind,” said Michna in reference to the brand’s launch. “I just needed a direction to go in…an outlet to put things out.”
Over time, Michna’s goals with BUSHLAND have refined drastically. At first, BUSHLAND’s focus was taking vintage-like hiking and outdoor culture and putting it in modern street culture. Now, the focus is to hone in on America’s rural youth and figure out the aesthetic to display what those stories need to tell.
According to BUSHLAND’s website (http://www.bushland.online/), “BUSHLAND is the story of…those who shout their ideas with no one to hear.”
Michna believes being on campus helped him build his brand. “As I’ve gone along, I’ve had more resources to do things such as living around people that model for me and photographers to make it look…professional,” Michna says.
One of those people is Michna’s roommate, sophomore Sam Gilvar. Gilvar assists Michna with curating looks, supplying fabrics and more. “Josh has one of the hardest work ethics I’ve ever seen in all truthfulness,” said Gilvar after referencing how the two would stay up until 3 a.m. working on Michna’s collection at times. “I see
Josh and BUSHLAND going far.”
Senior Emma Ingenohl, lead stylist for POLISHED magazine, also works closely with Michna. “Josh looks far beyond the box as a stylist. His vision is extremely strong and this helps a lot in the creative process of styling
and producing a photoshoot,” said Ingehohl. “I adore Josh and gain a lot of inspiration from him. I can’t wait to see what he does for POLISHED as Creative Director.”
Through his work with POLISHED thus far, and a fashion-based internship over the summer, Michna has learned how to express himself and break down communication barriers. Since POLISHED is more teamwork orientated, Michna focuses on “understanding what the team wants as a whole,” and uses his knowledge and capabilities to help make that happen without pushing his own agenda.
Michna has transferred some of those skills to his work on his most recent collection for BUSHLAND. “We probably did five, six different… shooting sessions,” said Michna. “When you do that, you get so many more ideas…you can tie a sweatshirt around in a different way [and] it’s like a whole new look.” Michna said he
also got inspiration from taking walks, pictures and doing research on street view.
Michna’s designs are featured in BUSHLAND’s new collection which incorporates 10 pieces that display various messages. The collection was dropped November 28.