Last week was a quiet one here at FatKidOnFire – a busy few days with work (and a few new projects off the ground), as well as keeping the ear in check. On a side note, I’ve just got back from the latest appointment with the specialist at the hospital and seems like good news; all is healing well. Which means I’m back on the music and allowed out again!
This week is set to be another mad one, with some of that madness occurring on these here pages. Tonight, time-depending, will see the next two FatKidOnFire features dropping; one in the MakeItGood x FKOF series and the following brand interview…
The fashion side of FatKidOnFire seems to have slowly started picking up again after a long while of taking the back seat to the MIG x FKOF series and mixes. Having started making a bit more effort to feature independent brands again, it seems people are still keen to get their name out there – and my inbox has started to get a bit of love as a result.
One such brand to contact me asking for exposure was Anything Goes Apparrel. Another one man brand, Martyn Brown’s Anything Goes launched its debut collection today. I figured today was as good as any to sit down with Martyn and see why he’s started his own brand and what he has in store…
Who and what is Anything Goes Apparel? Anything Goes Apparel is an alternative clothing company that is run solely by myself, Martyn Brown.
There seem to be loads of really impressive streetwear brands popping up at the moment. What led to you starting your own up? How have you found running it? There is definitely a lot of up and coming streetwear brands popping up; which is a good sign for how big the market is at the moment. I decided to start my own brand because, over the past year or so, I have received very positive responses to my designs on various art-based websites – along with having an interest in skate/streetwear and band merchandise from a young age.
The brand is in early days at the moment so it’s hard to say too much about running it but it’s been hard work so far as well! It’s also been very exciting and motivating as interest has been building on the Facebook and Tumblr pages.
How would you describe your design style? Can you explain the process behind producing each design? My style is very linear with a hand-drawn, illustrative touch. I usually start with a rough idea (that I sketch or doodle), which I then work on in stages. The end result has generally been worked 3-5 times to get everything exactly how I imagined it. Sometimes a design comes together fairly quickly with no real aim to begin with – but I would say most of my designs take up to a week to complete.
The Anything Goes product line currently includes t-shirts, vests and a bobble hat. What plans have you got to grow the line? I get all of my products printed at Wildcard in Lincoln and the owner, Mike, has given me various ideas for future products. We’ve talked about crewnecks, polos and zip-up hoodies amongst others – but it’s all up in the air at the moment (and will depend upon the response to this first range). I’d also like to work on some designs that people wouldn’t expect (from looking at the current designs), just to appeal to bit of a wider audience.
There seem to be a wide range of brands offering similar designs/ themes to you guys, what does or will distinguish Anything Goes? I like to have a human element to my designs that gives it a raw edge through the hand-drawn style. Even though there are other brands offering similar themed products, I think that this element runs through my designs and stands out as an individuals work.
As I said in the previous question I am also looking at working on some designs that people wouldn’t expect.
Who or what influences you in your work? I gain influence from everyday life, tattoos, music and films. I think that Mike Giant, Luke Dixon, Jordan Buckley and Gil Elvgren are my biggest influences. I also have an undying love for anything zombie related which also plays a part in my work.
What’s your take on the independent clothing scene in the UK at the moment? There is a considerable number of great designers releasing products into the UK scene at the moment. I think, given the size of the market that needs feeding at the moment, that this is a really good thing! I love the relationship between the UK music scene and independent clothing scene, I think it’s a great way to showcase talent in two thriving forms of art.
Where do you see Anything Goes being in 5 years time? With an industry filled with so many great companies, it’s hard to say but I would like to see myself continuing with Anything Goes for years to come. I’d love to get involved with some UK festivals like Slam Dunk and Hevy.
Where can people expect to catch your product, is Anything Goes stocked in any brick and mortar stores? Everything will be available online on our webstore as of today. The range will also be available from Wildcard in Lincoln. They are a great bunch of people, who stock a ton of band merch and independent clothing companies! It’s exciting to be stocked and displayed in the shop.
If you could say something to your fans, what would it be? Likewise to your haters? I’d like to thank everyone who’s supported the brand so far. It really does mean a lot to hear positive comments and receive opinions about the designs – as it provides me with an insight into what to focus upon or move away from in the future. It also gives me a strong motivational boost for sticking with my styles and designs.
To the haters, I don’t have much to say, mainly because I knew from the start I’d get some people telling me my designs are rubbish and you’re ripping off so and so. It’s a shame that people feel the need to waste their time being negative because I don’t take it to heart or really listen. Saying that, if it’s constructive criticism it’s appreciated and taken into account to improve what I’m doing.
Top 5 favourite albums? This is a really hard question! There are so many good albums out there, but at this moment in time I would say:
- Glassjaw – Worship And Tribute
- Bastions – Hospital Corners
- Every Time I Die – Gutter Phenomenon
- Blink 182 – Take Off Your Pants And Jacket
- New Found Glory – Sticks And Stones
Any shoutouts? I’d like to thank all the guys at Wildcard, especially Mike, for being super supportive and helpful from the start. Also thanks to my girlfriend, family, friends and all the people that have been supporting Anything Goes.
Thanks to anyone I may have missed. There’s a lot of people I’d like to name individually but it would be a very long list.
Martyn’s only just launched his work with Anything Goes, but he seems to be doing all the right things. It’ll be interesting to see how the debut drop does, and if/ what the brand releases in future.
The DIY ethic is becoming more prevalent in independent streetwear these days; partly because anyone can mock up a design, get it printed and sell it online. That can be a good or a bad thing – but with Anything Goes I think it might be the former. Head over to their Facebook page or follow them on Tumblr to get a bit more background about Martyn’s work, and if you want to support them, (you definitely can’t argue with their prices) purchase Anything Goes Apparel online or from Wildcard in Lincoln.
If you have any thoughts on what Martyn from Anything Goes Apparel has 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 email, Twitter, Facebook or the FKOF TakesQuestions page.