Saturday Night Live’s Kenan Thompson is launching his own apparel brand, and he’s taken to Kickstarter to get the project off the ground. On Twitter today, Thompson shared a link to the Kickstarter page for the company, titled Smile Parade, where he’s asking fans to pledge money that will go toward manufacturing t-shirts, hoodies, snapbacks, and “dad hats” featuring a series of original cartoon characters created by younger artists Thompson wants to highlight. At first glance, the brand seems geared more towards kids, but the marketing – not to mention the prices ($60 shirts and $80 hats) – lean more toward the grownup range.
Here’s the Kickstarter video where Thompson introduces the company:
The Smile Parade website (www.smileparade.cool) goes into a little more detail, but it’s pretty vague in terms of explaining how the brand will support artists or evolve as “a great tool for encouraging diversity and communication.” The brand also calls itself “socially conscious,” but there’s no specific information on the website that explains how:
Being young in America is a unique opportunity to be involved in a community. Reaching out across social and cultural borders gives young people a perspective which will benefit them for the rest of their lives. At Smile Parade we believe that art is a great tool for encouraging diversity and communication. Artists can form and share their passion with a growing community to help others laugh, smile and appreciate the uniqueness which surrounds them. Getting involved with art – whether it’s on paper, the stage or in pixels – gives young minds the satisfaction of working with passion and focus, and encourages the sharing of ideas. Smile Parade founder Kenan Thompson chose Kickstarter for this project because we wanted to get a community involved to spread awareness of this cause. When you wear our apparel, you’ll get the satisfaction of knowing that you helped enrich the lives of our nation’s young people, and you’ll get some cool custom clothing as an added bonus. The more you give, the more you’ll get. Choose from all the items in our a la carte collection. Get bigger rewards for purchasing at higher levels, including our first and second tier collections which both feature a variety of items at a reduced price.
The business side of the Smile Parade website might be vague, but when it comes to the featured cartoon characters, not one detail has been spared. All eight of them have backstories you can read on the Smile Parade website. And, of course, you can create your own Smile Parade meme over at meme.smileparade.cool. Here’s a sampling:
Thompson is hoping to raise $25,000 for Smile Parade on Kickstarter, so if you’re interested in supporting, head over to the Smile Parade Kickstarter page.