SUPER6 is the sophomore capsule collection from The Fan.
Read our Q+A with designers Elle & Crissy below for more *fan art*.
What’s the best fan art you’ve ever given and/or received?
Elle: I always create handmade birthday cards for my friends and family cos I’m a huge fan of each one of them. I like to make them BIG, A3 or even A2 size, the bigger the better!
I’m also a HUGE Michael Jackson fan, a good artist friend once gave me a hand drawing of MJ, signed by the King himself! It’s somewhere in storage atm (cos I’m a nomad) and I’ll take it with me to the grave.
How are you aiming to shake up the fashion industry with your collection?
Elle & Crissy: For starters, the fashion industry is dying. A slow death. Apocalyptic with few survivors. (not cynical at all…)
We’re trying to explore a post industrial world, where we don’t work with seasons, trends and giant fashion houses who just see a dollar sign, pound or yen. We genuinely care about design, quality, fit, style and passion, and making products that reflect that in a visually pleasing aesthetic.
For instance, all our materials are responsibly sourced and everything is manufactured in London, UK. That is something we really take pride in. We commit to limited runs only (this time only 100 jackets are made!) and never repeat stock, we truly cater for equally passionate people.
We strive for an aesthetic where people stop you on the street and ask where is that jacket, tee or hoodie from? (which btw really does happen, every time!!) It stands out, it is a statement piece and essentially that’s so refreshing to us. All whilst being completely in line with what we love and are huge fans of.
What advice would you give for those just starting out and looking to break in to the industry?
Elle & Crissy: Understand the importance of having a plan and collaborate. Build a team, you can’t do everything yourself! Make sure you really have a point of view and stick to your guns. Don’t try to create for the masses, trust your instincts and create for yourself – it’s contagious. Every decision has a certain risk level. Be a rebel sometimes, it’s healthy. Life is about making choices. And if you fall, you should get back up and continue going.
How did you get started in the fashion industry?
Elle: I did my degree in Fashion Photography at The London College of Fashion. My tutor was Mark Lebon – he made me see the world in a different way. He taught me the culture of art and photography, and that’s so invaluable.
Shortly after, I moved on to art direction and design, set up my own agency where I art directed and designed campaigns, shoots, events etc for the fashion and lifestyle industries.
As a designer, I am pretty much completely self taught with a real DIY attitude, I never trained under anyone or anything like that. If I don’t know how to do something, I go on Youtube or Google it to death and then keep trying until I get it right.
Elle: I go through periods where I obsess over different accounts, but right now I’d say:
@sitabellan (for her killer outfits)
How is the fashion industry different from the 90s to today?
Elle: People say fashion is about change but I think the luxury fashion industry as a whole is pretty damn old-fashioned if you ask me, with the exception of a very few. Thanks to the shift in our consumer behaviour and Internet culture, the luxury fashion industry simply HAD to highlight and encourage the concept ‘Here Today, Gone Tomorrow’ – offering the consumers instant gratification – similar to giant retailers Zara & H&M.
I think it’s great if you have the means to put on a fashion show where your customers can buy the outfits straight off the model and leave with a branded shopping bag in hand, but the reality is, most small young brands can’t afford that until much later. So I think what really matters is not what you will do, but how you will do it and that’s the challenge.
The Internet and social media launched a sort of punk culture, where anything is possible, that didn’t exist in the 90s. The deep-rooted fashion elitism has remained, but one can’t deny the power of the DIY culture of today and how it’s slowly but surely taking over.
To quote Kanye’s tweet, (which is also my iPhone screen saver): “All we have are our dreams, and you can step on our dreams and ideas all you want, but we won’t stop fighting”.
What is the meaning behind your label’s name?
Elle & Crissy: A supporter. Everybody is a supporter in some ways – everybody is a fan of something…
Describe your biggest fangirl moment?
Elle: Although I have a label celebrating fandom and popular culture, I am actually a pretty introverted public person. I never get starstruck or anything like that. I also really don’t like to meet my heroes, just in case they don’t live up to my vision of them, ha. I like to hold onto the fantasy of things. Just a few days ago I met Michael Stipe and Patti Smith in Stockholm, and both influenced me plenty as a kid, so it was exciting meeting them but I didn’t get flustered or anything like that. Even meeting Kanye was normal and I am a HUGE Kanye fan. Sorry to disappoint!
Photography: Emanuele D’Angelo (Adwoa Aboah); Michel Widenius (all else)