And the Lord spake, saying, “First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Quit your dayjob. That’s what it’s all about. In 2014 that’s what everything is about. People who go to prestigious schools don’t go there to get a job. They go there to make a job. Movies like The Social Network only reinforce this. In the world of fashion people like Sk8thing do as well. In my opinion Sk8thing’s art in the reason Billionaire Boys Club, Ice Cream (They have the same website now? Even further signifying that they are basically the same product), and A Bathing Ape became successful. It wasn’t as much Nigo, or Pharrel. Without his art direction those brands don’t have substance. It is his artwork style that is the essence to those brands to me. Not so much to cool guy mystique of Nigo. Sk8thing is the man behind all of those brands which are basically the same product just filtered through different lifestyle mediums. What did he do? Of course he started his own brand. Then he started wearing masks interviews, but that’s another topic. CLSC Josh is currently working at the hundreds, also Benji used to design for The Hundreds. Look/See founder Kyle Yamaguchi used to work for Nike Basketball. James Jebbia of Supreme used to work for Stussy. Shawn Stussy used to work for Stussy which is the brand he founded, only the leave his own label and sometime later start S/Double. Rudolf Dassler left Adidas and his brother Adi Dassler to begin Puma which in my opinion is the Romulus and Remus story of the fashion world. Instead of being the origin story of Rome it is the origin story of corporate tensions and modern branding in fashion. The list goes on and on. It seems that everyone these days are only working in these industries just to get enough to spawn their own “vision” because everyone thinks that they can do it better. Can they? Can I?
Everyone wants to quit what they are doing to do fashion full time. This is whether your current day job is in fashion or not. Quitting to start your own brand is the holy grail. I feel like the day you do when you leave your home everyone will be cheering and laying roses at your feet. Why? Because you made it. You made it to the holy grail of startup fashion.
I just finished reading 10 things to consider before quitting your day job to start a brand over at Hypebeast. In the article Richard Liu of DSPTCH goes over a list of things that will hopefully make people not start their own brands. The most important thing that I think he talks about is adapting. That is the thing that I didn’t expect as much when I began. In the beginning I sold mostly my Les gens courageux design and my Fin design. Now my sweatshirts sell the best. Why do I think this is the case? Because people already have t shirts from me they are looking for a different kind of product now. I have to change with their consumption habits and hopefully be able to identify the new habits. I was reading some article in GQ about marriage (Terrible idea) and it said that not only are you marrying the person now, you are marrying them in 5 years, 10 years, you are marrying that person as well. The same goes in fashion if you are thinking about it long term. You have to be comfortable with making your brand what it needs to be in the market 10 years from now.
This is why you have to be sure about doing this. In my own life I’ve seen people try and fail at this. However I am still here. The hardest thing is that for the 5 years I have had this brand I have been feeling like the world has been telling me no. They haven’t paid as much attention to my designs and my work as I expect/hoped they would. I need to hold out for a yes, but I’m not sure how much longer I can hold out and if I can endure the waves of change was I wait. I question my dedication. Am I willing to lose my arms, my legs, and maybe even my head over this?