A few weeks after the last (re-)interview, we’re finally getting ready to post new material. Apologies for the lack of posts here at FatKidOnFire HQ over the passed nine days, but getting back into a career frame of mind (and the routine of working 12+ hours a day) takes a bit of getting used to! In the wind down to the Christmas holidays there’s time in the evenings for the blogging and the recaps (which is on its way as promised).
The next brand to feature here at FKOF HQ have a very solid range of tees and have recently branched out into full cut and sew. Big moves and an even bigger result…
I first came across Nottingham’s RISE Worldwide through the awesome Mr. Matt Miller and was amazed by what I saw. RISE currently have a fairly large collection of 12 cut and sew tees, 3 sweats and a hoody. The fact that a lot of these products are sold out is testament to the deserved popularity RISE have with the streetwearing community in the UK. The solid designs and attention to detail in each piece (screen printed inside neck labels, logo-branded hem labels and 160gsm of 100% pre-shrunk peached cotton) are a fine example of how an independent brand can stand out in the often saturated streetwear market here in the UK. I sat down with RISE to find out more…
What is RISE Worldwide? RISE in its simplest form is a clothing brand with a message. We want to pass on a encouragement and a sense of belief in the individual to be an overcomer in life, in whatever they do. We take our name from an obscure verse in the old testament of the bible at Micah 7/8;
“Do not gloat over me my enemy, for though I have fallen I will RISE”
There are far too many brands out there who claim that produce to the ‘highest quality’ and are ‘all about the details’, so I won’t bore you with superlatives regarding RISE’s production. We began with cut and sew tees, produced out of a great factory in Turkey who already produces for numerous brands on the UK highstreet. We are lucky to have them willing to work with us, and the results are very pleasing! We work with the factory on details from custom care labels, neck taping, cut of garment, neck labeling, types of inks used, print methods, and all the facets regarding the cotton and its finishing.
We love the quality we’re reaching, and want to keep increasing it and spreading it out to wider ranges of garments.
Your tee designs are stylish, strong and striking – but do they convey a specific brand image or is it flexible? You offer more than just tees – belts, lanyards, crews and hoodies. Is this something you will continue? If a design feels right for RISE, we’ll produce it. From Ape’s with wayfarer frames on, through to photo-realistic prints of New Zealand Maori Chiefs. It’s all RISE.
We’re currently just printing our hoods on Continental blanks which are a good standard quality, but we are already working on our first cut and sew sweats with our factory which will be another exciting step. Our focus is going to be cotton based garments, with expansion moving as quickly as the business will allow.
What does/ will make your brand stand out and distinguish itself from the rest of the UK streetwear pack? We will probably stand out like the un-cool cousin due to the fact that my dream is one of an independently-run mass market product. I believe in what we do, and I believe that we’ve got a product that deserves a very wide audience.
We’re a brand which is into our second season of cut and sew, logistically run from the bedroom of a Nottingham Medical School student on an absolute shoestring. We’re as independent as they come, but my aim is to not have the fact that we’re ‘independently run’ to limit our reach and limit our opportunities. We’ve had our first highstreet concession space for the past 6 months up in Leeds, and we’d hope to be able to tell you about some other exciting opportunities in the future.
In short, we’re a small brand with hopefully a slightly larger mindset.
Who or what influences you in your work? Music, art, medicine, religion, typography, Tom Pampiglione, science, faith, twitter.
What’s your take on the whole UK streetwear scene at the moment? People have been talking more and more about lots of exciting UK brands cropping up over the last few years, and I do think it is an exciting time. I just hope that many of the brands have the ability to sustain themselves, because a high turnover rate of brands being born and dying doesn’t make for an exciting scene. One brand printing on Gildan being replaced by another brand printing on Gildan is boring. In my opinion it is high time that more independent brands begin to put a stronger emphasis on the area of production.
At RISE we see the spec of garments that we’re producing as paramount to our growth, and also important for the UK scene. It is my opinion that we don’t have the population over here in the UK (compared for example to the US) to have ‘alternative’ and ‘cool’ communities supporting huge numbers of independent brands. We have to be able to engage the mass market in at least a small way to ensure sustainability for the talent we’ve got here. The quality of a Superdry tee puts most ‘streetwear/ independent’ brands to shame. In my opinion this shouldn’t be the case.
Design in my opinion is more than a print, it’s the whole of the tee. Start making tees that fit as well as a Superdry shirt, have detailing and labeling as impressive as a Superdry shirt, and then add in your ‘cool’ graphic design which makes Superdry look like a shambles and you’ll begin to give the majorities a reason to buy brand X rather than the highstreet standard that every other person is wearing. Until that happens, I will continue not to be surprised that there’s not enough people supporting independent brands. Mainly because I wouldn’t.
I don’t believe that to sell lots is to sell out. To sell 5 tees and be exclusive and independent is just foolish if you truly believe in your product or message that you’re wanting to convey with your creativity.
I’m making sweeping statements that in reality require middle ground, but it gets my point across! In conclusion, don’t get me wrong, I’m excited and very expectant with the UK scene at the moment, but I believe that there’s a lot more to come from it. The moment you think you’ve made it… You’ve died.
Where do you see you and RISE Worldwide being in 5 years time? I really don’t know, I don’t kid myself over the turbulent nature of the market at the moment. We could be deceased, or we could have been rolled out across every major retailer out there in the UK that we want to be stocked in. We’ll work hard and do everything we can to make sure it’s the latter.
Where can people expect to catch your work, any stockists to watch? We have a few great independents supporting us; Montana here in Nottingham, Skate in Wolverhampton, and we’ve also got a nice concession in Leeds at Valley Of The Dolls which is situated in The Light shopping centre.
We released our new range of tees to our stalwart supporters in October and most have been snapped up already, but head to the webstore to peep what’s still available. You’ll find our first dark cotton tees which were a custom chosen charcoal color which was a very exciting procedure.
Top 5 favourite albums? In no particular order;
- Common – Be / Finding Forever
- Gnarls Barkley – St Elsewhere
- Kanye West – Graduation
- Cold War Kids – Robbers and Cowards
- RHCP – Blood Sugar Sex Magic
We’ve got big love for RISE here at FKOF HQ. The sharp visuals and their message “encouragement and belief in the individual“ are definitely worth standing by. For more information on RISE and their way of life, peep their social media profiles: their Facebook and Twitter accounts, and not forgetting the website so you can get your cop on. Support our independent British brands!
If you have any thoughts on what the RISE crew have 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).