May 1, 2011
Getting up early isn’t something you do after a big night out (especially after the Carbon Launch), but it was well worth it as key note speakers Bobby Hundreds and Greg Rivera, who each headed the “Beyond the brand” and “The Art of Building a Tshirt label” forums did an awesome job in getting their points across.
11am sharp and everyone was all ready to absorb what the speakers had to say. Bobby kicked it off with great visuals and an explanation of how him and Ben started The Hundreds with $400 back in 2003. Definitely an impressive achievement having only run the label for 8 years, they now have 4 flagship stores, a Delorean TMC-12, 50 staff, an amazing line of clothing and a magazine.
“We are passionate about street wear and with everything we do, we put out personalities into it…that’s how we managed to build our brand, because people saw that we were authentic…” – Bobby Hundreds
Matt Thomas from HAL followed through with a great run down of his ventures starting with his retail store (Highs and Lows) in 2005 to “The Manor” a bar in Leederville, association with music artists and some of his key collaborations under the HAL label. One thing was certain with Matt’s success thus far, his secret to puttin’ HAL on the map was heavy association with music and being humble.
“Fuck branding and corporate marketing people”. That pretty much sums up Matt Noffs talk about his brand Gideon shoes. The animated Matt continued to elaborate on the reason behind starting Gideon and his passion for quality goods. Other passions include breaking rules, finding as many short cuts to where he wants to get to and believing in organic growth and most importantly running a business with a social conscious.
After a quick Maccas break (Fat Kids style), we continued to be enlightened by Greg Rivera, one half of Mishka. He headed the Art of Building a Tshirt label forum along side Carri Munden (Cassette Playa), Jimmy Bliggs (Grand Scheme) and Tristen Ceddia (Ksubi).
“With the t-shirts we made, we didn’t wanna’ just put naked chicks on a tee… anyone can do it. We wanted to create a message that people could relate to…” – Greg Rivera
Kicking off with a history of Mishka , his move to NYC, and his passion for all things weird and unique, Greg touched on iconography and how people relate heavily with symbols and logos. He also explained all the symbols and logos that represented Mishka, which people related too, the bear mop, Eyeball, Death Adder, Cyco Simon and the pyramid. It was interesting to know that the Eyeball was an accident. After they put it on a new era fitted, it became so popular that they had to put it on everything, which then made it a huge part of what Mishka was.
Carri Munden carried on with expressing how important icons and symbols were to her company. It was because of the symbols she created that made people start engaging and relating to her brand. She also managed to squeeze a few videos of what she has done with her symbols in the past on Tees.
Jimmy Bliggs from Grand Scheme took it up a notch with his speech about his label, business and everything that revolved around it. He touched on how important graphics was to him and continued to show his brands time-line and a few of his pieces and collaborations.
“If you don’t have a strong foundation for business and everything that evolves around it, you should re-consider starting a label because there’s more to just putting graphics to a tee…” – Jimmy Bliggs
All in all a great day filled with heaps of information for those who are looking to start a label. We are certain, and all in attendance would agree too, that they will walk away now knowing what to do when they decide to start a label.
Definitely lookin’ forward to what the other speakers have to say in the “Craftsmanship and Imagination” and “The Art of Hype” forums today (1st of May 2011). Headed by Futura and Frank Liew of Qubic.
Words by Benny Teh
CLICK HERE to read about the CARBON LAUNCH RECAP.
CLICK HERE to read about what went down at CARBON on Day 2.