<p >We like Sundays here at FatKidOnFire HQ and today seems no different. It’s less than a week to FatKidOnFire Party #1 and the lead up is as hectic as ever. Luckily I’ve had some free time to write up this next feature with an interesting British brand who are both “fashion-forward and innovative”… <p > <p >Find out more after the jump
<p >I’ve found it fairly difficult to try and define what sort of brand South London’s Visual Artistic Garments (VA-G) is. I’d heard good things about them through the grapevine and, after checking them out, was impressed with their unique and quirky S/S 2010 collection. I sat down with Idris and the rest of the VA-G family to find out more… <p >Who/ what is VA-Garments? Two designers, Vidal Bull Jr and Alan Adewale, own Visual Artistic Garments. We create visually stimulating garments, unique for their cut and construction coupled with characteristic and quirky VA-G designs. Having been prolific in developing the brand and heightening awareness of what we create has meant we have gone from strength to strength showing all over the country, being part of major urban events such as Streetfest and also now being stocked in MASH, Oxford St. <p >Your designs are strong and striking. Do you consider your designs to convey a specific brand image or is it flexible? Do you think of VA-G being a streetwear or a “fashion” brand? Our designs are characteristic to our styles and how we design, however we aim to produce fashion for not just one stereotype or target image. Our clothes are flexible enough that they can be worn by all manners of people from any walk of life, which I think is evident in our marketing campaigns and even on the runway as we use a variety of different types of model. We want our brand to be appealing to a mass audience not just a sub-culture of people. VA-G has definitely stepped aside from being labeled streetwear due to our broad selection of garments from casual wear to women’s wear to even knitwear. VA-G is an amalgamation of different styles and influences, so is definitely fashion-forward and innovative. <p >What does/ will make your brand stand out and distinguish itself from the rest of the UK streetwear/ fashion pack? The main factor that sets us aside from our competitors is not only our constant drive to keep raising the bar and setting and achieving our goals, but our unique stamp on clothing and the appeal that keeps our customers coming back. As previously stated, we cater for the mass audience and try to draw on our experiences and influences and dictate this through our design work and I think people understand that and like it. Most streetwear/fashion brands are stereotypical or even orthodox mimics, doing ordinary things like prints on a tee. Although we do much of the same we have attempted to branch out and even use the cut and sew techniques, which is how we produce our runway pieces. We blend high fashion with urban culture. We are continually aiming to be innovative by producing new styles each season for our consumers and always coming out with something new and fresh. <p >Who or what influences you in your work? We are stimulated by everything around us. We are inspired by cultures. For example, our S/S 10 collection was based around East London and the wealth of style that can be found there. Other inspirations include high-end fashion designers such as Givenchy, Louise Goldin, Yamamoto, music and controversial artists such as Banksy who is definitely not scared to be different. <p >
<p >What’s your take on the whole UK streetwear/ fashion scene at the moment? In terms of the UK streetwear/ fashion scene, there are only select designers who are pioneering the UK fashion scene and creating avenues for themselves and other designers to expand. We are heavily involved with working with youths and giving them a platform to develop and hone their design skills so in the future they can work towards being successful within fashion. We were lucky we had great support and big following when we started up our brand, which has meant we could progress quickly and we would like to give others that opportunity too. We have seen many brands come and go, but the best streetwear brands have definitely prevailed and are slowly becoming hugely successful. <p >Where do you see you and VA-G being in 5 years time? In 5 years time we see us owning our own store, and selling in Concessions and Boutiques internationally! <p >Where can people expect to catch your work, any stockiest to watch? At the moment we are stocked in MASH, Oxford Street as well as the VA-G online store. <p >Top 5 favorite albums?
- Dr. Dre – The Chronic – Dr Dre
- Gym Class Heroes – The Papercut Chronicles
- Rick Ross – Teflon Don
- Kanye West – Graduation
- Michael Jackson – Dangerous
<p >Shoutouts All the people that have helped us along the way and the VA-G supporters! <p >
There aren’t many brands like VA-G here in the UK. Combining urban influences and high fashion is always going to be a little risky but in our opinion VA-G are doing it very well. This is definitely a brand doing things a little different so keep your eyes on them and support them if you can! If you want to check them out hit up their website, Facebook and Twitter accounts.
If you have any thoughts on what VA-G 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).