Now back when I introduced you to Ropper’s bimonthly mixes here at FatKidOnFire HQ, I opened the post with a quick spiel about Dropfellas Dubstep. This next brand sponsors the Dark Side Of London nights, which is how I found them. Here’s a sneaky picture of the two Dropfellas boys behind their wheels of steel (or Serato considering they’re both on the laptops) – the sharper eyed reader will find out who the next brand to be interviewed is…
Find out more after the jump
Dephect is a streetwear/ lifestyle label that has been a strong player on the London streets since 1999. Whilst Dephect is not the most “out there” brand known to the Topman/ H&M drones, they’ve gone international in the right circles staying true to their love of all things graffiti and hip-hop based. I sat down with Matt, one half of Dephect, to find out more…
Who/ what is Dephect? Dephect is a streetwear label based in London, founded in 1999 by Matt Drane and Paul Kemp.
Your designs are strong and striking, with a strong basis in graffiti and music – do they have an underlying theme or do you consider these designs to be your main brand image? Or is it flexible? There’s not really an underlying theme to our graphics, they’re pretty much what you see is what you get. Our influences are reflected strongly in our artwork and we try to stay true to our roots. But we do have to try and find a balance of what is commercially viable and the kind of artwork that we love, producing graphics that sell well and have broad appeal, but also more niche content that has less appeal but keeps our fans happy. We’ve also started working more with other artists that we admire, which puts us in a really fortunate position as there are so many dope artists out there.
What does/ will make your brand stand out and distinguish itself from the rest of the UK streetwear pack? You offer more than just tees or crews for both guys and girls; accessories and artwork – will that continue or are you going to exclusive to one of those? It’s really hard to set yourself apart from other streetwear brands, especially as there are so many doing the same thing. I think the thing that we pride ourselves on is the fact that we have lived the lifestyle that we promote, we’re not making something because it’s fashionable or it’s on trend; we make what we’re into and what we want to wear and we try and represent our influences in that as much as possible. In terms of other products, Dephect was always intended to be a clothing brand, not just a tee label. We started to expand into production of jackets etc, but had to play it super safe when the recession kicked in to ensure our survival. But rest assured that we’re back on it with the other garments and next spring will see an expanded product line.
Who/ what influences you in your work? This is always a tricky question because there is so much that has influenced/inspired us over the years and it would take forever to list them all! I don’t think our influences really come from specific individuals, but much more from the genre of hip-hop as a whole. The hip-hop movement is fascinating and combines amazing artwork, music and a lifestyle that is now evident in so much of modern day youth culture. While we aren’t necessarily representative of the majority of hip-hop music/followers it still remains to be the key root influence of Dephect.
What’s your take on the UK streetwear scene at the moment? For the most part it’s not great! There’s a lot of the brands that all make the same thing, you could put them all on a rail together and barely be able to tell the difference. However there are one or two gems, independent labels that are making stuff they are passionate about and not obsessed with pumping the same logo plastered shite out.
Where do you see you and Dephect being in 5 years time? Hopefully we’ll still be doing our thing but on a bigger scale, and still loving it as much as we do now.
Where can people expect to catch your work, any UK stockists to watch? We supply a whole bunch of stores in the UK and Europe, but the best place to check out our stuff is probably Mash on Oxford Street in London. It’s one of our key outlets and has the largest selection of Dephect products other than our webstore.
Top 5 favourite albums?
- DJ Shadow – Endtroducing
- The Pharcyde – Labcabincalifornia
- DJ Premier – Golden Years Returns
- Gravediggaz – 6 Feet Deep
- Cinematic Orchestra – Every Day
Shoutouts Kemp, Scotty, Audit, Mr.Brown, the rest of the Dephect Crew and all our supporters.
Dephect have managed to stay in the game for over ten years through producing designs that they themselves wear, staying true to their influences and having a strong basis in working with both known and underground artists. Keep an eye out for the Dephect Crew – the extended family is comprised of artists, musicians, skaters, a b-boy crew, snowboarders, surfers and free runners so you’re bound to see a Crew member repping Dephect! If you fancy supporting this underground British brand, head over to the webstore and cop yourself some garms!
I’ll be joining the ranks soon enough, my tee is in the post. Check it out below, cassette designs never get old but this is the freshest I’ve seen in a long time!