Broken Promises, an in-store clothing brand exclusive to Zumiez, hosted an event in their Los Angeles location last month to promote their apparel. Guests who walked through the doors were instantly placed at the start of the “mood maze,” a maze that contains a series of questions and paths to follow dependent on the responses. Participants began with the question: “Which side of a broken promise do you relate to?” There were two options: taking the path on the left if their response was the “Giving side” or the path to the right if their response was the “Receiving side.”
Each question the guests encountered had different answers for different paths and ultimately the final question led them into a room that represents which of the 12 emotions that best represents them based on their responses. Each room had all sides of the walls painted with different colors for the corresponding emotion. (Lust, Broken, Apathy, Regret, Guilt, Lies, Sorrow, Desire, Pain, Emptiness, Love, and Anxiety). All rooms had different activities for guests to participate in. For example, in the room painted dark red for “Desire,” guests were given a coin to make a wish in a water fountain. In the “Broken” room, there were purple walls and a piñata hung low for guests to break.
After exiting the maze, on the other side of the room stood a wall covered in fake grass with the bright red sign that read “Feels” sitting at the top. Guests planted roses that were the corresponding colors to the emotion they were assigned from the maze onto the wall.
The empty grass wall was then covered with colorful roses with more people lining up to plant their rose and strike a pose in front of it. The wall stood to prove that no one is alone when they feel down because everyone is going through something and the clothing represents that.
The brand’s goal with the experience and art installment was to promote mental health awareness as well as their clothing line. They draw the connection by illustrating that people metaphorically wear their hearts on their sleeves.
“Broken Promises is an emotional brand. Everyone is going through something and it can be hard to talk about your feelings so I wanted to create a brand to express your feelings instead of having to talk about it,” creator Mandee Bence said.
Broken Promises is a two-year old brand that Bence created from scratch. She went through a rough patch when she lost her job as an accessories designer but instead of dwelling on the past, poured all her energy into creating the brand, and it took off.
“I worked in the industry for many years. I’ve had some experience and that helped me. I knew buyers from Zumiez and they helped support the brand from the day I started,” Bence said.
Bence was inspired by the “seven deadly sins” when creating the emotions in her brand. She wanted to give back to her community in this way and support mental health awareness.
“The most important thing I want to tell people is that they’re not alone. Everyone is going through something and if you don’t know the brand, the main goal is so that you feel like someone understands you. Even if you can’t talk about it, you can wear it and express it,” Bence said.