The independent fashion market in the UK is going strong – as strong (if not more) as it was when I first started supporting brands here on FatKidOnFire a few years back. Tonight’s brand have been going for just over a year and given they’ve just celebrated birthday #1, it’s about time they got featured here on FKOF…
Sheffield’s XCVB have been going strong over the passed 12 months, starting with the usual tees and then moving onto sweats, headwear, sweats and vests for both guys and girls. During the year running the brand, the duo behind XCVB have grown a significant social following (5k+ fans on Facebook and 7k+ followers on Twitter). We recently got talking and ended up doing the following brand feature…
Who and what is XCVB? XCVB, like many smaller brands, is just a couple of guys with an interest and passion for streetwear. We are still young in the game; having only just celebrated our 1st birthday earlier this month.
How have you found running/ managing the brand so far? Is it something you’d recommend doing? It has been a lot harder than expected, there is constantly a massive list of things that needs sorting but I’m a bit of a workaholic when it comes to doing something I love. Thankfully there’s not been many days where it feels like proper work – so it is absolutely something I would recommend others doing (as long as they are doing it for the right reasons); i.e. a passion for fashion, design, marketing etc and not just so they can say they have a “clothing company”.
How important has the internet and social media been in enabling you to grow the brand? If you could have done things differently, what would you have changed in the early days? Absolutely essential! I honestly don’t know how brands managed to get started 10-15 years ago without the internet’s tools and social media, it must have been a complete nightmare! It is also a great motivator to be able to get feedback and interact with customers via Facebook, Twitter etc.
In the early days we definitely made a lot of mistakes and nothing seemed to go right but it was all pretty unavoidable. Sh!t goes wrong and mistakes happen, even recently we’ve made errors but it’s all part of it – it’s all the things that help you grow and find an identity as a brand. The one thing I would say to any new companies is to expect and plan for everything to take twice as long as you think it will at the beginning.
Your range of product is fairly diverse (tees, crews, vests, hats etc for men and women). What would you say defines the XCVB ‘brand’ and what plans have you got to extend the product line in the future? I think we have a fairly recognizable style overall but at the same time we are conscious of not just releasing the same type of design over and over. I don’t want to become stale or predictable and hopefully our interests are wide ranging enough to keep that from happening.
So in the future you can expect all kinds of different things from us that we haven’t done before. In the immediate future we have some sexy wooden arm sunglasses and a coach’s jackets being released. Then beyond that we want to do some full colour photo tees and then just try and get whatever other garments made that we can (from varsity jackets to backpacks).
What does or will distinguish XCVB from the rest of the British streetwear being dropped these days? Maybe just that we are trying to push things a little bit and try new things that we haven’t seen before. We just released a 5 panel with a twist on a classic Script liner design which is something I’ve never seen on a 5 panel before, it even has a classic green underside to the brim which is again not something I’ve seen on a 5-panel before. We could have gone for a very plain safe 5-panel with a little patch on the front, (which is no doubt something we will do) but I think it’s important to try and do something which makes you stand out a bit especially when starting out.
We aren’t delusional or think we are revolutionary but it’s the little things which make you stand out from other brands. We aren’t trying to be anyone else, we are just doing what we are doing and hopefully people can see and appreciate that. We just make the kind of things we want to wear and would buy.
What’s your take on the independent clothing scene in the UK at the moment? What does XCVB bring? There are new brands all over the place at the moment which I love. Not all of them are great but it’s building a scene that will hopefully just keep growing. It’s about time we started to catch up with the US really!
What do you think the future holds for XCVB? Where do you think you’ll be in a years’ time? We just want the same as everyone else. World domination!
There’s no grand scheme really, I think most importantly we want to just have fun doing what we are doing and just grow naturally.
Where can people expect to catch your product; is XCVB stocked in any stores – or are you keeping the label strictly independent? So far we are in a few stores around the country, but this is something we will be working on. We have a couple of new stockists in Leeds and Manchester coming shortly and hopefully we can just keep building from there.
If you could say something to your fans, what would it be? Likewise to your haters? Some people may love one of our designs and hate another, this is one of the consequences of exploring new areas of design and having varied influences. I think a lot of brands won’t admit that they aren’t sure where they are going in terms of design but we are still young and still trying to refine our own voice and our own style. So to the fans I’d say thanks for all the support so far and to the haters I’d simply say don’t buy our stuff.
Top 5 favourite albums? That’s just a nightmare of a question! There’s 2 of us and we pretty much disagree on everything and both have pretty eclectic tastes so rather than fight over the answers here are just 5 bands that have been on heavy rotation for XCVB recently:
- The Internet,
- Little Dragon,
- Das Racist,
- Die Antwoord and
- Notorious BIG.
XCVB (still not sure what that stands for!) are the third streetwear brand (after SAABC and Infinity Inc.) to feature here on FatKidOnFire from Sheffield (/ North Yorkshire – fourth if you count Harrogate’s Synapse Collective) who are killing it at the moment. Their recent 5 panel drop, along with the forthcoming coach’s jacket (with some other wicked product) is sure to cement their reputation as one of the UK’s independent brands to watch.
If you’re interested in finding out more about XCVB, hit up their website and the all important webstore – or follow them on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget to give their blog and Tumblr a look over as well (both are pretty awesome)!
If you have any thoughts on what’s been said in the FKOF feature with XCVB, or want to recommend a new brand or artist you’ve discovered – or even just want a chat about something you’ve seen on FatKidOnFire, drop a comment below or get in touch via email, Twitter, Facebook or the FKOF TakesQuestions page.