We’ve been keen on this next brand to feature here at FatKidOnFire HQ for ages. Their story is one worth taking note of – starting out as a blog and now developing into a full fledged line of awesomely good hand-drawn tees. We’ve finally got the drop on this brand for your delectation so peep the full interview after the jump…
[l-r: “All Seeing Carton”, “Milk Maid” and “Bear Heads”]
Find out more after the jump
London’s Black Milk started out as a art, graphic design, music, photography, illustration and popular culture blog in early 2009. Since then, Ollie and Mudi have gone in hard on the mixtape business (their Optik mix is well worth a listen to) and have now started producing tees. Their 4 designs are definitely a good look (we’ve got a surprise for you guys lined up at the end of the feature so stay locked) so we sat down with Ollie to find out more…
<p >Who or what is Black Milk? Black Milk is pretty simple; he’s [Mudi] black and I’m white hahaha! That’s where that came from. Mudi and I started Black Milk as a blog when we met at uni where we were both doing graphic design. We found we pretty much liked the same kind of things so we began to slap up anything we saw that we liked; stuff we were listening to, events we were attending, as well as our own work whether it be illustration, photography or design. <p >We were getting close to the end of uni and we figured after talking about it quite a few times “let’s to do some tees and see where things go” and that’s really how they came about… <p >Your tee designs are strong and striking – will your later designs continue the strong themes or will your brand image be flexible? Yeah, Mudi and I are pretty much always open to new ideas – we just roll with whatever we’re feeling at the time. We’ve always drawn. Mudi’s like some kind of electric etch-a-sketch; constantly drawing and doodling. <p >I think we will always be really flexible with the the actual designs themselves as we dabble with so many different things. We really want to do some more graphic pieces and photographic pieces – to be honest we’ve got lots of ideas running ‘round all pretty different from one to the next. But we hope, as you put it, they will always be “strong and striking”. <p >As you guys are super fresh, what will make your brand stand out and distinguish itself from the rest of the UK streetwear pack? That’s a hard one to answer. I guess we’ll just do our own thing having both done design. I think we’ll just try and do what we think is relevant whilst trying to keep things slightly different. That’s kind of why we went with hand-drawn illustrations for the first tees as we haven’t seen much of it about. <p > Who or what influences you in your work? We take influences from everything, having both grown up in and around London and having met all the people we have. I think elements of it come from that we know what our mates like really! <p >I think we both have a pretty comical view on things as well, which is always good. I reckon that comes across in a slightly tongue-in-cheek way in our designs. <p > <p >[“All Seeing Carton”] <p >What’s your take on the UK streetwear scene at the moment? Again a hard one to answer. I’ve always liked Second Son, A.IN.T, TooMuchPosse, Bake Designs and a couple of others but I just think it’s really hard to break through and do something different. More and more American brands seem to be having money pumped into them and are doing well. There seems to be a lot of nice stuff coming through from the Continent as well. <p >I think the thing I like about the UK is the sense of community – everyone seems to know each other and more often than not are willing to help each other out. On top of that because a lot of the UK Brands are quite small, you can safely say you’re wearing something pretty unique and you’re not going to see everyone wearing it out and about if you know what I mean. <p >Where do you see you and BLK MLK being in 5 years time? We’ll be where we’ll be, hopefully still doing small runs of tees, sweats, tote bags and anything else we fancy doing. Black Milk is a creative output for us so we would love to do a few exhibitions and that kind of thing. We’ve been talking of doing some ‘zines and prints as well. As long as it’s still going and we’re still happy doing what we’re doing Black Milk will be around. <p >Where can people expect to catch your work, any UK stockists to watch? At The moment we are selling from our webstore as well as Donuts in Bristol. <p >Top 5 favourite albums? Man that’s just stupidly hard but off the top of our heads (not necessarily top 5 favourite but) top 3 we’re listening to at the moment:
- Jehst – Return of the Drifter
- Dj YODA – The Amazing Adventures of Dj Yoda
- Roots Manuva – Run Come Save Me
Shoutouts Firstly Christian at Uno One Print in Bristol and also the guys at Donuts. Everyone who’ve shown us support – WeAreHQ, The Daily Street and Sofi Donuts. Zak and Amie who wore the tees for the photos. There’s a ton of people so thanks to all of you. Oh and of course you as well FatKidOnFire [appreciate it!], BIG UP.
Black Milk having been making moves in the blogging game for over a year now and are now looking to take their successes onto their venture into the tee business. In our opinion this is pretty much guaranteed as the boys have got it sorted!
We’ve also managed to get you guys a cheeky discount – head over to the Black Milk webstore, cop a tee (or two) and enter BLACKMILK2010 at the checkout for 20% off your purchase. Don’t sleep as the code only lasts a week. Catch the Black Milk blog and Ollie on Twitter to find out more about the brand.
If you have any thoughts on what Ollie has had to say, or thoughts on anything else you’ve read let us know either via the comments section below or through one of the other forms of contact (email, Twitter and Facebook).