Subliminal Apparel is one of the more exciting independent labels that is garnering a healthy reputation. Their ethos orbits around design, music and culture, but they seem to possess that extra mote of flair that sets them apart and has earned them a prestigious and much coveted collaboration with the behemoth that is Liberty London. PAUSE picked the brains of Jake and Irfan at Subliminal Apparel.
Tell us a little about how the idea of starting Subliminal Apparel began?
We’ve always had a strong interest in fashion and design and when we both graduated from university, we realised it would be the perfect time to start it up as we had both the time and resources to make a proper go of it.
What would you say are the core values of Subliminal Apparel?
High quality clothing at a reasonable price is ultimately what it all boils down to. When we started it there were so many small independent brands that were producing stuff of a really poor quality and charging high street prices, like £25 per tee. We want to build a brand that is known for its quality, not just in fit, but the feel and unique designs. We want something people can buy and be proud of.
Could you tell me about your collection with Liberty London?
It was mostly down to Liberty’s reputation. We knew that they produce the best quality fabrics so that was a starting point, but it was their bold and unique designs that made us want to work their fabric into our concepts.
Talk me through your design process for a new collection?
We pretty much design apparel that personally, we would want to wear. It’s mostly influenced by art and design, popular culture and music. We both come from a design background and our design styles can be seen in our collection. The process comes from a lot of trial and error but we try to put an alternate twist on current and upcoming trends to keep things fresh. Some concepts work, and some don’t, there is always a load of samples flying around but we never release anything that were not completely happy with.
What are your favourite trends this season and what have you got planned ?
We are big into vivid colours at the moment, and alternative patterns. Liberty are good for those. We’ll be dropping a whole new range around April time, so that should have a few crew neck jumpers, 5 panels, vests and some more tees along with a few other little bits. Over the next few months we’re also looking at getting our stuff stocked in more independent clothing stores around the country.
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Its harder than you think to get going. Make sure you open your store at the right time and make sure there is enough hype around your brand. It’s always good for a running start! Also, everything takes twice as long as you think it will.
Words by: John Muleba