Often I find that certain UK brands don’t get the credit they deserve. Every man and his dog has a ‘brand’ these days and somebody printing t-shirts and selling them via Instagram is ten a penny. Lord knows I seem to get enough of them following me on Instagram every other day.
Usually I’m blind to these brands, and our piece about new brands last year was kinda designed to reflect the above. I’ve had my eye on POP.SIC.ILL since though and I must say that they’ve continued to impress. I have some of the gear too and the quality is really up there, a rarity in a new independent brand.
They’ve just released their new ‘Atlanticism’ collection, and it builds on previous offerings to show a really well thought out and really well rounded collection. We don’t usually do brand features like this, but I’m very pleased to give the brand their first interview, as well as a near-exclusive look at their Atlanticism lookbook.
For those that don’t know can you tell us a little more about what motivated you to start POP.SIC.ILL?
We felt that there was something missing in the UK as there were hundreds of brands out there but hardly any that focused themselves on creating great product. Plus there was a fear of referencing our own culture.
What are your backgrounds and respective roles in the brand?
David: We met back in 2003 when we both worked in a skate store called North57. I went on to manage the store and later moved over to freelancing in graphic design. I mostly take care of the business side of things as well as sourcing and production.
Nick: After working in North57 I worked in design studios in Holland and Sweden. I just graduated with a masters degree in design and right now I run my own studio in Stockholm. I work on the concepts for each collection and sketch up the basic designs for each garment. Then we both develop the designs together.
I’m interested to try find out more about the process you guys go through when conceptualising and designing a collection. Is it arduous?
David: Nick usually comes to me with an abstract idea for a collection and then we discuss how we are going to move forward with it. Since Nick is in Sweden we try to get the basics done when he is over and then there is a lot of Skype and iMessages.
For Atlanticism, it’s obvious what inspired it, but are there any hidden design points or references that you’re particularly proud of.
Nick: I think design wise it is quite obvious but that was something we wanted, it’s interesting to see when something like that becomes banal. It’s a fine line.
Tie Dye is so last year eh? How did the idea for using wode come about? And how hard is it to get something like that made?
David: We saw a surge of brands using tie-dye and were put off by it at first. But we wanted something with a water effect so we started looking into more subtle dying processes. Something that had the same qualities as washed denim. The process itself is insane. All our tees are hand dyed in small batches. The process itself takes about 3 hours and feels similar to the process of cooking high end meth. We were pretty much Heisenberg and Pinkman in my garage.
Do you feel inhibited by being based up in Scotland?
David: Very much so, Scotland is extremely conservative and its a very small scene. Not only that but the fact that we live in different countries now. But it can be a positive as we can focus on just doing our own thing.
Nick: Ignorance is bliss!
I really enjoyed the football photo editorial around the debut collection, is there any particular British subculture you guys associate with?
David: I guess the UK skate scene is where we come from but we dont feel like we associate ourselves with it anymore. The Copenhagen scene is something we have been in love with for the past decade and they are heavily influenced by the UK casual’s scene so I think we share something there.
How has the reaction been to the new collection?
David: Feedback on the product has been amazing so far but getting press has been a bit hard for us. We basically need to get our name out there more but I guess it’s like that for all new brands. It doesn’t help that we suck at social media.
Nick: We’re looking into hiring a 18yo Instagram babe to do all our PR stuff.
What’s next for you guys, and where do you see yourselves growing within the UK market?
Nick: We are already working on the new collection which has some hints of the Japanese market mixed with Scottish heritage again. More custom pieces and a few more products maybe. We also think this year is a good time to get our product into a few select stores.