James “JC” Curleigh

Gibson Collaborates with Boutique Builders

Gibson announced that it has entered into multiyear collaboration agreements with Jimmy Wallace Guitars, Banker Custom Guitars and Echopark Guitars. Under these collaboration agreements, Gibson will give these key boutique builders and luthiers a license to use Gibson trademarks, including the Les Paul, Explorer, ES-335, Firebird and Flying V body shape designs, and the Flying V, Firebird and Explorer headstocks.

Gibson has also committed to help showcase, promote and amplify Jimmy Wallace, Banker Custom and Echopark Guitars’ pursuit of craftsmanship through Gibson channels and events. “We are excited about these collaborations; Orville Gibson started as a boutique builder in 1894 in his workshop in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and these new collaborations are a way to pay tribute to Orville’s legacy in support of boutique builders and luthiers,” said Cesar Gueikian, chief merchant officer of Gibson.

Jimmy Wallace Guitars was conceived by Jimmy Wallace in 1978, bringing over 40 years of experience in his “life pursuit of tone,” paying tribute to American craftsmanship and design. In addition to his personal musical career, Jimmy Wallace has been an ambassador for musicians for decades. He started the Dallas International Guitar Show in 1978 and has since become a respected voice within the dealer and collector community.

Banker Custom Guitars, started by Matthew Hughes, was born out of his love for vintage guitars and old-school American craftsmanship. Everything Hughes creates is done using the methods employed during the advent of the electric guitar, by hand.

Echopark Guitars was conceived in 2008 when Gabriel Currie started to make his mark in the guitar building community by handcrafting instruments. “Everything that is perfect about the instrument had already been developed by Gibson long before any of us got here,” Currie said.¬†“My goal is to help preserve this legacy and take part in building¬†inspiring instruments.”

Gibson has also entered into multiyear collaboration agreements with Thalia Brands and Aviator Nation. Chris Bradley and his daughter Thalia conceived Thalia Brands in 2010. Aviator Nation is a 1970s-inspired California lifestyle brand.