We’ve welcomed 2011 with open arms, had a few new makeitgood x FatKidOnFire interviews (and mixes) and a re-interview and it’s now time to drop the first FKOF brand feature for the new year. It’s good to be back!
This next brand is steeped in extreme sports and create apparel around their three main inspirations; music, art and sport. We reckon they’re definitely a brand that deserves more attention but we’ll leave you to decide if you agree…
Vapour are a extreme sports-inspired streetwear brand based in the South West of England. Their range is printed in house and made to order so the brand is a fully in-house set up which is damn cool! Vapour have only been going for two years but their range already consists of tees, hoodies, accessories and recently varsity jackets. They even offer custom clothing and iPod/ iPhone sleeves which is pretty dope. I sat down with head honcho Andy to find out more…
Who or what is Vapour? Vapour is a range of products derived from our love of streetwear and extreme sports.
I myself have always been into extreme sports; namely freeride skiing,
mountain biking – but to be honest I like any extreme sport that goes. We didn’tparticularly want to be a brand that is purely skate or purely BMX etc.
Wewanted to be something that stands for all extreme sports but yet is still something wearable outside of those parameters. A lot of extreme sports brands are completely dedicated to that industry. Don’t get me wrong, I love
that side of things but sometimes their clothing just doesn’t work in environments outside of the sport they represent. We couldn’t see a problem with developing something that should work on all levels.
Your apparel designs are stylish, strong and striking – but do they convey a specific brand image or is it flexible? How did you become so involved with
extreme sports? Our designs basically are just stuff that we want to wear, it’s not aparticular design aimed at a particular target market or anything as contrived as that, we just have a real love for design.
We try to keep anice mix of bright, vibrant designs contrasted with others that are lowtones. Two of our contrasting artists that represent this would be RobbiesBrown Shoes, his designs are super vibrant and bright and standout-ish. Wethen have another artist, V. Wolff, who’s designs are super simple sketches, one colour straight out of the scrapbook style. It’s not that we favour bright vibrance over simplistic monotoned styles, sometimes we fancy being bright and loud and at others we prefer to be a little more discreet.
I personally have loved extreme sports since I was a wee nipper. We live in predominantly sporting town in the South West so we’re always surrounded byeither skaters, surfers, BMXers etc. It’s kinda hard to stay out of the extreme sport scene.
What does or will make your brand stand out and distinguish itself from the rest of the UK streetwear pack? I think one of the main things that lets us stand out above other start upbrands is our ability to hold larger collections and refresh our designs on aregular basis.
As we deal with all our own print production we don’t have anyminimum orders to worry about at screen print shops, so we’re not left withsome stock lying around on the shelves for months waiting to clear before wecan introduce fresher designs. I’m not saying this is the only way to go, itseems to be working for us and we’re truly grateful our fans buy our stuff.
After all, without customers a brand really isn’t much; you can’t move on, progress or introduce new products. Every penny we take as income goes
straight back into our brand. No one gets paid a penny, it’s not going in anyones pocket for beer money, it’s purely recycled into developing us as a brand. In our first year 2009 we solely produced tees and we have now moved on toa small range of jackets, custom headwear and sweats.
Our custom headwearhas gone down amazingly this winter and we’re so proud to be able to offerthis service.
Who or what influences you in your work? We get influenced a lot on our work. I’m not the kind of person that has asingle set way and thinks that’s the only way to do it. We love some stuff tobe a bit more mature whilst blending this with some designs that are morevibrant and energetic.
I think one thing we will always love is femaleimagery on tees, it’s always worked for me and I haven’t seen any sign of thattiring yet.
What’s your take on the whole UK streetwear scene at the moment? I think the streetwear scene at the moment has some real good stuff going on. There’s some real dope brands out there, a lot of them hardly anyone knowsabout and it’s down to people like FKOF that they get recognised. I love someof the American brands, don’t get me wrong, but I think we have so much UKtalent going on here at the moment that if they had real recognition theywould be able to develop their collections [FKOF completely agrees!].
The scene at the moment islooking strong, I’ve always liked the snapbacks and we’re hoping to do a rangetowards S/S 11. For years they were kind of classed as low quality,poorly shaped hats. Now thanks to some of the big hat manufacturers aroundthe globe snapbacks are looking sharp. High quality, nice shape and nice materials used, it’s brought the whole thing back round.
Where do you see you and Vapour being in 5 years time? I know where I would like to see the brand. I’d like it to be a continualsuccess so we can keep doing the stuff we love and growing the brand. We want to get involved with loads more events and even be putting on our ownby that stage.
One thing we know is we’re not the kind of fly by nightpeople. In our short time of existence we’ve seen several people start upwhat they class as a clothing brand; they don’t continually think about itand put their blood, sweat and tears into it. You see them make a couple oftees and then it all goes quiet after a month or two when they realise puttinga logo on a blank basic won’t make you a quick buck. That’s somethiing wehave over them, a real passion for it and we’re not really in it forfortunes.
Where can people expect to catch your work, any stockists to watch? Currently we sell online through our webstore and have a few other stockists:
Beatsworkin, Switch Clothing, Epic Store and Unity
We’d love to get more stockists over the comingyears after all that would give us more recognition. We’re not looking tosell out and go to as many stores as possible. We’re only really interestedin ones that suit us as a brand.
Top 5 favourite albums? Hmmm I don’t know about top 5 but we do like the old school hip-hop style,particularly like De La Soul back in their day with “De La Soul is dead”.
Shoutouts Big shout outs go to FKOF for featuring us, big respect [thanks for the mention, appreciate it!]. Shout outs to all the othersthat have supported us over the last two years of our short life.
Andy and the rest of the Vapour family bring extreme sports style to streetwear but do it in a way that doesn’t limit them to a sports apparel bracket. Collaborating with outside talent in the form of the Vapour Featured Artists is also a big look for all involved! I’m particularly keen on the new Vapour jackets, the hooded one is an especially nice touch. If you want to discover more about Andy and Vapour then peep their Facebook and Twitter accounts, not forgetting the website so you can get your cop on. Support our independent British brands!
If you have any thoughts on what Andy 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).