KICK START The Beginning Issue No.1 Trainers
An Afternoon with nicce BY PAIGE SEXTON
Nicce London, an East London based brand that concentrates on simple and clean cut designs ranging from crisp white pocket tees to heavy duty worker jackets, the brand is approaching its 1st birthday at the end of this month and has a lot to celebrate. Arriving at Netil House just off of London Fields in Hackney, I was greeted by Mitch Farnol who warmingly welcomed me up into the Nicce HQ, a small studio which housed four young men including the founder. In a laid back, boyish atmosphere with a dart board fashioning the wall and a tripod set up in the corner, the office immediately consumed my thoughts with an easy going attitude towards work. All aged between 25-30, the boys are busy placing orders for their many store stocktake’s whilst Mitch props me up a chair ready to let me pick his brains on his fastly evolving fashion brand. In an era where street wear brands have a life span of two to three years, it is a necessity that creator and founder Mitchel Farnol approached the urban scene in the wisest way possible. Being a yearly regular in Baeleric island Ibiza, the brand’s members developed strong links and relationships with people in the music industry. Approaching their brands aesthetic and style in an innovative way, the first pieces were aimed at DJ’s firstly, followers, secondly. In an unexpected yet hopeful turn of events, musicians such as Ben Pearce, Lee Foss, Ella Eyre and Bombay Bicycle Club began supporting the brand and giving it media attention. Nearly a year later, the brand is now stocked in over 14 Topman stores across the UK, Swedish online site Nelly, a variety of independent boutiques and has recently been approached by renowned luxury department store, Selfridges. Its safe to say the brand is on the continuous up, which allows me to question the longevity of the brand and the creative’s intentions for the next year and the distant future. Not to mention what really makes them different from any other street wear brand? Taking influence from established brands like Norse Projects and work wear brands such as Penfield and Carharrt, the brand aim for a laid back style that is still contemporary and modern. With competitors
in the same genre such as P&CO and Millionhands, Nicce’s success differentiates from these particular brands as it doesn’t appear to follow the ‘hype’ that majority of urban street brands seek after to gather momentum. They have no desire to be a hype brand thats longevity is limited, and as their brand grows the products are becoming more exclusive and luxurious to cater to a range of different target markets. Both mature men and women that seek a simplistic, tailored style and on the other end of the spectrum, young adults that want to wear their brand with an urban street edge. With the hopes to open a pop up this winter in the famous Boxpark Pop up in Shoreditch, this can only benefit the brand and boost its popularity and loyal followers. Although there have been obstacles along the way as the brand’s team have had to make business decisions in order to direct their brand in the correct way, after being approached by online site “Fusey”, a clothing site created by TOWIE’S Joey Essex. Despite the temptation to cover a mass market of young boys and girls from all over the UK that watch the popular TV reality show, the boys made the permanent decision that this introduction wouldn’t be a good idea for their brand and overall image. Making new and difficult business decisions each step of the way
With quite a distinctive name for a brand, how did you come up with “Nicce”? If I’m completely honest we’d actually had a lot to drink messing around with names, we firstly thought to call the brand ‘NICE LONDON’ but found it was too comical. Sounds ridiculous to say adding the extra ‘C’ changed it all, but it did! What is unique about your brand? I’d definitely say our approach to cleanliness, monotone and no fuss designs. We like to keep it pared back and simple, whilst at the same time constantly keeping it fresh with our ever-evolving collections. Where do you get inspiration for new collection? Inspiration varies and each collection evolves slightly and allows us to really come together collectively on our range. The new 003 (s/s 14) again plays from our varsity approach, looking into sports text and numbers. This time we have added some colour, which is another step in the evolution for us. We use London and our surrounding areas as huge source of inspiration… From parks, markets even to a wall! We’re constantly looking around us to see what might make a look book scene, a website shot or a product itself. How did you get resident DJ’s in Ibiza to wear NICCE to their most important nights? With a lot of free t-shirts sent to their hotel rooms and a little persuasion.. But we definitely had developed friendships with some of these musicians and it spiraled from there, I’m incredibly grateful for the favours that were given to us at the beginning.
which made things a lot easier. We have changed suppliers a few times now, and are still tackling this. We’ve overcome this by networking and finding who is the right supplier for us – it’s an ongoing thing. What does the future have in store for your business? The ultimate aim is to become a worldwide brand. We’d like to get into Selfridges and other high-end retailers and bring our style of street wear to as many fashion lovers as possible. We’ll also be introducing some exciting new products, such as women’s swimsuits this summer, so watch out for products that aren’t necessarily our staple tees. What outfit could we typically find you wearing on a casual stroll through East London? Would be my Docs ( Dr. Martens), my Edwin 88 Jeans, my Monokel Barstow shades and a clean, long-sleeved Nicce tee. Do you have any advice for those looking to start a fashion label? Outsource the time consuming jobs such as social media and PR – we owe a lot of our success to Bam Digital. If money and access were no object, who would you get to model Nicce? As we have done a few seasons over in Ibiza, we had a few contacts, but it was mainly finding them through friends or just heading straight to the label.
What does the future have in store for your business? What were the biggest obstacles developing and The ultimate aim is to become a worldwide brand. We’d launching your company? What did motivate you to like to get into Selfridges and other high-end retailers overcome them? and bring our style of street wear to as many fashOur biggest obstacle would have been manufacturion lovers as possible. We’ll also be introducing some ing and printing. I decided to go out and buy all the exciting new products, such as women’s swimsuits this equipment to do all printing in house with no experi- summer, so watch out for products that aren’t ence what so ever, after a few weeks we sussed it, but necessarily our staple tees. it wasn’t viable in the end. We quickly out sourced,
The new age of nike’s BY ELOISE PERRY
For years, they were banished to the wardrobes of the badly-dressed. But believe it or not, nineties-style sports trainers are making a comeback .Starting off with the newly iconic, Nike air max. The shoe, which was first released in the UK 25 years ago, is enjoying a revival all over the country as part of a return of sportswear, according to retailers. Recently sported by an abundants of celebrities, including singers Rita Ora and Lily Allen, Twilight actor Robert Pattison and even President Obama, Asos reported a 320 per cent growth in sales of Nike Air Max since last year while high street store Schuh also reported an increase. But where has this infatuation with trainers come from and why can’t we resist jumping onto this trend? Introduced, in 1987 after designer Tinker Hatfield hit upon the novel idea of showing the inside of the sole with a ‘bubble’ and inspired by the Pompidou Centre in Paris, which has its steel structure, escalators and pipes all exposed on the outside, the unique design was born. The trainer was rapidly popularised by the nineties by musicians and sports personalities. After no time at all, It was unavoidable to watch a hip hop video without spotting a pair and they became the iconic shoe of the American ghettos. They were worn by a large majority of people, from all walks of life, and were also adopted by those on the nineties dance scene, where ravers often stayed up all night partying in fields. Not only did they become a symbol of the party lifestyle, but they also gained a practical element where people who chose to party excessively, had a comfortable shoe choice. Fashion experts say that this year’s revival was prompted by a nostalgia for the decade, which many now see as a ‘golden era’, where Britain for the most part, enjoyed a flourishing economy. Adam Saville, clubs editor for the publication DJ Mag, recently stated that youngsters are increasingly turning to the nineties for inspiration. He said: “When the future’s bleak, there’s a fetishisation of what came before. People are looking back as if it was some sort of golden age. “ Not only this, but people are also blaming the recent revival in dance and house music. As Clubbers have gone made over the original beats of the noughties, they have also embraced the ultimate dance music accessory – Air Max 90s – and the 90s deep house sound
is very much back. It is defined not only by the music people are listening to, but by the way they are dancing and the clothes they are wearing, much like back in the day. Music and style is once again united in identity. David Spencer, product and marketing director at Schuh said: ‘Nineties sport is the footwear of choice and we have seen a massive uplift in sales for this type of footwear, especially on ladies - where we are seeing girls who aren’t traditionally sports customers buying into the trend too.’ British Celine Designer and fashion insider, Phoebe Philo, is also said to be massively responsible and credited for kick starting this trend which has sent both sexes, as well as designers and brands, into a frenzy. At a show early Last year, after taking a bow in her trademark trainers – which happened to be Air Max – the designer was papped and published everywhere, wearing trainers, including photographed in her Nike Vortexes for Vogue’s March issue. Shoes, which once were a symbol of night long partying, are now a footwear must have, bloggers and, well pretty much anyone, wearing them. Chloe Baker, a self-confessed trainer obsessor, and soon to be owner of her 99th pair of trainers, argues “Trainer are one of those things which are timeless. I’ve always been more of a boy than a girl and always had a couple of pairs, but, as soon as I saw philo in those air max, I knew it was only a matter of time till the trend blew up. I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner to be honest! There’s nothing quite like opening a box of fresh new shoes, and I’m glad everyone has finally realised that trainers aren’t just for chavs and athletes!” There is also the obvious reasoning that it’s all down to the ‘the 20 year cycle.’ Where trends and obsessions come back around, are everywhere and anywhere, for a bit and then disappear, to then crop up again years later. In the 00s we saw the relived 80s with Dr Martens and the 10s are reliving the 90s sportswear. Whatever the reason, whatever your style,Nike Air max, as well as the likes of New Balance and Reeboks, are around to stay, so if you are gonna invest in something this summer, It better be a fresh new pair of kicks!
SHOES SHOES SHOES LOL
INTERVIEWING JAMNSON BY PAIGE SEXTON
Trainer obsessive and music enthusiast, Jamie O’Shaugnessy has been collecting trainers for as long as he can remember. Now residing in South London, working in music production for Warner Music and running for ‘Nike Rundemcrew’, we discuss how the obsession began, interests in the music scene and where to get the best Beef Pho soup in London’s back streets. Off the top of your head, how many pairs of trainers have you collected so far? I’ve been collecting trainers since I was old enough to get a job and start earning when I lived in Kent. The minute I got my first paycheck I went and bought a pair of blazers, wouldn’t be seen dead in them now! But ever since I was 16, I’m now 22, so I’d say I have at least over 200 pairs. Your current favourite pair of trainers? I’d have to say my ‘Nike Lunarflyknits’, bright yellow and knitted. Bright colours and knit is something I think of as a massive trend right now. Favourite fashion or lifestyle magazines for men in particular? In terms of graphics, I’d have to say Fantastic Man, love their simple layouts and amazing photography. I’m a big fan of urban street wear so anything like Pause Magazine and Vice are my go too when I’m wanting the low down on the newest urban trends. What attracted you to getting involved in the music industry? Music has been a big part of my life since I was a kid, my mum and dad were really into soul and jazz so there were always records playing in the house. They went to gigs all the time, guess they just influenced me to do the same as I got older. What has been your most enjoyed gig of the past year? I saw Kanye in his one night show in London, it was pretty unusual but definitely memorable. Other then that I’d have to say having a backstage pass to all gigs under Itunes Festival last year, getting to see a differentiation of music every night was fun and enlightening.
You have been a member of ‘Nike Rundemcrew’ for a couple of years now, tell me about it? I started Run Dem Crew when it wasn’t that well known in London. Just to keep fit and stay healthy, I ended up meeting an incredible group of people that I had great chemistry with... Nike chose us to be featured in a campaign so it’s all been overwhelming since then! I get to travel and do marathons all over Europe for them now. Remember walking out of Oxford Street tube and seeing my face plastered on Niketown without any notice, pretty mental. Top restaurants/bars in London? Koya bar in soho, they do the best breaded onglet I’ve ever had and I’ve tried a lot. Definitely my top. Other then that I’d say Shakeshack in Covent Garden for burgers, Hawksmoor for a roast and Royal China for Beef Pho. Finally, your future thought for trainer trends this summer? I’m going to stick with classics, Nike two-toes for guys and Rosche’s and Free run’s for girls. They seem to be making a big impact in London right now for any type of person. Definitely here to stay for a couple more months!