So, we all get inspired by other people, yeah? If you’re a creative person you need to fuel yourself with inspiration. If you only use what’s in your own head, you’ll struggle to do anything special, so fuck it, let’s start by me telling you how inspiration has helped me grow my brand…
When AnyForty first started, I wasn’t really inspired by the obvious brands like Stussy who’ve been around for years, I was massively driven on by what Addict on these shores and WeSc from Sweden were doing. This was mid 2000′s and Jason Lee and his fellow WeActivists were killing it. I was blown away by WeSc’s simple branded tee ranges, one colour logos on one colour tees, but in colour pallets you never really saw in local skatestores before. To top that, every range they collaborated with artists I’d never heard of on artist series tees. On the flip side, in our own backyard Addict were killing it on the regular with She One, Mr Jago, Swifty, C-Law artist collaboration camo prints and those two brands, they are what inspired the launch of AnyForty, a homegrown UK brand, but one that collaborated with artists from all over the world. The touch paper to the idea was lit, and off I went…
As the first year ticked by, I started to become bewitched by what was going on over in California. The way the San Francisco scene in general was there for each other blew my mind and inspired the shit out of me; the Rebel 8′s, Benny Gold’s, Huf, The Hundreds, Upper PlayGround, loved everything about those brands and the way they all seemed to support each other, and they provided the fuel for inspiration over the next few years. Now when I say inspiration, I’m not talking about looking at a logo, or a design and thinking “I like that, let’s copy it or put our own spin on it” I’m talking about, fuck, massively inspired by how these guys are running a business, and growing a scene, while I’m going to work 9-5 and often later and coming home and working on my brand till late, these guys are living the dream. Working 9-5 (and often later!) on their own brands, doing stuff that they love, all day every day! If they can do that, I can do it… and I want to do it badly! Target set.
Now tumbling into Year 4 of existence, I’m realising that dream of 9-5 working on AnyForty is that little bit closer, but still bloody far away. The UK scene isn’t quite as supportive as the US scene, but I will get there one day and will keep on hustling until that day arrives.
So for the year ending in 12, I need new inspiration to drive me, always about finding out about new exciting stuff, and you should always be looking around for people to inspire you. I hope occasionally some stuff I say on here can inspire some people who are just launching brands, or have brands in their infancy. And inspirational fodder doesn’t have to be only in the industry you’re working in, can be something someone says on tv, something you’ve read online. Inspiration is everywhere, you’ve just got to look for it.
So who inspires me now? In general, the Australian streetwear scene inspires me massively, mainly because it’s something I’ve only recently stumbled across during the last few months 0f 2011, and it’s new as fuck to my ageing eyes! Great to see something fresh amongst the hundreds of Only and Rebel 8 rip-off brands I see launching on these shores day to day. Meow!
Reason I’m so hyped on this scene is it shows there is a massive industry out there, and it’s not just going on in the country run by Obama that most of us unfortunately always focus on. There are some brilliant brands Down Under doing their thing, and this Australian scene seems to be thriving – why can’t ours? It’s something that’s definitely inspiring me to try and build a family of supportive UK brands. Whether we can club together and help ourselves grow, that’s another story.
So, Aussie-wise, here’s 3 of AnyForty’s favourite brands you should definitely keep your eye on…
GrandScheme A brand similar to ourselves, working with some of Australia’s finest artists including Anthony Lister, Numskull and many more, drops a full range of clobber including tees, 5 panel hats, trousers and have a new collabo in the pipeline with the legend Ron English. This brand are destined for big tings!
Taken Clothing Company Fucking love what these fellas have done in a relatively short space of time. Dale and Ben Bigeni, two super talented Sydney brothers who run the brand Taken and craft all their artwork themselves. With a love of punk rock, skating and art, these fellas got Next!
Well Dressed Vandals Probably the sickest brand name I’ve heard for a long time, Well Dressed Vandals drop some really clever graphic tees, including legendary designs like the Fixie Farthing, New York Knicks logo spoof and the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Indians sport logo mashups. Again, another brand surely destined for big stuff and seems like their tees don’t hang around for long, already disappointed I didn’t get the chance to cop a few of them.
So that’s it. You want some cool new stuff to feast your eyes on in 2012, look no further than what’s going on below!