In December of 2013, I founded Clashist, a cult apparel brand that allowed individuals to express their bold & humorous perspective on culture. With it’s progressive prints, nostalgic motifs, and tongue-in-cheek nature, the brand immediately found success and reigned in the world of cult-fashion Instas. Unfortunately, Clashist came to an end in October of 2015 for reasons that were beyond my control. Looking back, I couldn’t have asked for a more loyal and engaged audience that I was able to foster in just under two years. You can’t build a great audience unless you have a great product. You can’t build a great product without solid values, unwavering vision expressed in a uniquely creative manner.
My Brand, My Values
The brand values matched my personal values – honoring diversity, being open-minded and standing up for equal rights. I didn’t care how bold we had to be to express the latter. In fact, I didn’t care if that ostracized us from being in big retailers like Nordstrom or Forever 21 or Topshop as long as we felt we were creating something unique in the marketplace.
A Boundless Vision
The vision for Clashist was to create products that young people could deeply identify with insofar as they needed to buy, wear & share. I think the hardest part - the part in which people can’t necessarily copy is how to do the latter in new, creative & refreshing ways. Nonetheless, I knew I could to do it, grow the audience, and then traditional outlets would see the growth, come around and request to sell – which they did.
Content That Keeps Giving
While apparel is generally not considered content, looking back (and I didn’t realize this when I was making it) I believe Clashist was more content than fashion. Each print had a story to tell, whether it was fun, ironic, empowering or ridiculous, there was a deeper comment than its face value and an even deeper comment when customers wore it. The content bubbled up on social media, and not just as in people taking selfies – instead we saw creative photos giving birth to thousands of pieces of our storyline.
A Model For You
Most fashion brands follow a traditional path of believing skinny, sexy, pretty, and socially acceptable is beautiful and desirable.