Listen Supply x FatKidOnFire - Interview #94

Listen Supply x FatKidOnFire

Interview #94

The next few weeks are set to be pretty good as far as new bits and pieces here on FatKidOnFire are concerned. The brand feature series is just six interviews away from the big 100 – as is the MakeItGood x FKOF run. Oh, and it’s FKOF’s two year birthday a month tomorrow…

I’ll be getting the thinking cap on for ways to celebrate reaching all these milestones – but safe to say there’ll be some cool sh!t going down when we hit those markers. Tonight sees another brand feature in the series; which, incidentally, seems to have picked up again this year. Long may it continue!

With the rise in popularity of the social web (if you want more on that, go read some of the stuff on the work blog); blogging platforms, social networks and smartphone apps have enabled pretty much anyone to start making and publishing stuff – and getting people around the world to take notice. It’s the reason I’ve got a job, it’s the reason FKOF is still going (which is mainly thanks to you guys) and it’s how I discover quite a lot of the brands and artists that feature here.

Listen Supply is one such brand. I first noticed them (via the above shot of their superb 5 panel) on Instagram. I started following them, liked their pictures and had a look at their Tumblr. I was pretty much blown away by their debut collection when it dropped on their website – clean and simple designs; a varied product range and some killer pieces.
The Listen Supply ‘Introducing…‘ feature on The Daily Street (TDS) lead to some interesting/ pretty harsh criticisms of the brand and their efforts – so I purchased a 5 panel (which is amazing) to see if the criticism was justified and hit the guys up to see if they wanted to do a feature here. They obliged and the interview follows…

[Listen Supply’s launch at Bristol’s FiftyFifty]

Who and what is Listen Supply? Three mates residing in Bristol. We’ve been friends for a long time and had spoken about doing this before. That’s pretty much it. Listen is a word you use every day, everybody is familiar with it. We liked the open-ended meaning of it. It can be used in an authoritative way, or simply mean listening; taking in your surroundings. It means whatever you want it to mean.

There seem to be loads of really impressive streetwear brands popping up at the moment. How have you found starting an independent brand in the current ‘hard times’? So much more challenging! We never thought it was going to be easy but it has been a lot harder than we thought. We have enjoyed it all; but at times it has been super stressful. I don’t think the ‘hard times’ made much of a difference. If you want to do something bad enough you will do what you have to to achieve it.  Nothing worth doing comes easy.

You went all out with the debut drop; tees, a crew, two awesome 5 panels and a coaches jacket. Given the extensive first drop, what are you plans for the future? At the minute we’re working on Summer ’12, which is starting to come together nicely. We have so much in the pipeline that we want to achieve to try and establish ourselves as a brand. Cut and Sew is something were very interested in pursuing, more premium headwear and an international collaboration is something that isn’t too far away.

Your ‘Introducing…’ post on TDS seemed to inspire a bit of debate in the comments. What did you think of the criticism? Crazy! We were really pleased to make it onto TDS. It definitely attracted a lot of good comments – as well as negative comments, but criticism is good for us. It really pushes us to think hard and make a great product, at the end of the day… You can’t please everyone!

What does or will distinguish Listen Supply from the rest of the UK streetwear/ independent brands being dropped these days? There is only so much you can do with starting a brand, we all work full-time jobs and work on the side to make this happen. We wanted to launch with a full range of garments including headwear so we had to juggle some financial restraints.

Because of this we made our main focus quality over quantity.

Who or what influences you in your work? People, places, music, fashion. Everyday life sh!t.

What’s your take on the independent clothing scene in the UK at the moment? Bristol seems to be the place to be for streetwear in the UK. Who are you rating at the moment? There’s definitely a plethora of streetwear brands around at the moment, which is cool; there’s something for everyone in that respect. Bristol is flourishing right about now. Everyone’s doing their own thing, so respect to all of them for doing something productive.

Where do you see you and Listen Supply being in 5 years time? It would be good to quit our day jobs eventually, move into some space and travel to work with people/ artists all over the world to build the brand.

Where can people expect to catch your product, is Listen Supply stocked in any brick and mortar stores? FiftyFifty Bristol, Focus Scotland and D.O.M.E in Paris, Open Lifestyle in Leeds will also be stocking both instore and online from mid February.

If you could say something to your fans, what would it be? Likewise to your haters? Thanks for all the support so far. You sick FKOFs.

Shoutouts FiftyFifty, all of the people showing some love through the social networks, Tim Ward and TDS.

Listen Supply is a young brand – but if their first ‘quality over quantity’ collection is anything to go by, we’ll be seeing a lot more of them over the coming months. Bristol once again seems to be the stomping grounds for some of the most exciting talent in the UK streetwear game – and if you don’t believe me grab one of their 5 panels. Seriously amazing quality! I’ve got a feeling Listen Supply are here to stay, and I couldn’t be more excited to see what they’ve got in store.

Head over to the Listen Supply website to grab some of their stuff, I thoroughly recommend it. Or if you’re near any of their stockists (all hyperlinked a few paragraphs up), pop in and support the independents! You can also follow the guys on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram (they’re @listensupply) if you’re on an iPhone.

If you have any thoughts on what the guys from Listen Supply have had to say, or want to recommend a new brand you’ve discovered or just want a chat about something you’ve seen on FatKidOnFire, drop a comment below or get in touch via emailTwitterFacebook or the FKOF TakesQuestions page.