After Dominic‘s first contribution to the FatKidOnFire archive last month (with his brilliant Ashdown Workshop feature), we got the ball rolling on his next interview. The following has admittedly taken a month to be published – but that’s a fault that lies entirely with me. Check back in the next fortnight for Dominic’s next feature!
Today’s ‘x FKOF’ feature is with Never Second, a young company founded by two friends that launched recently with a solid collection of carefully presented and thoroughly British designs. NS caught my attention by eschewing the normal new brand route (of launching with little fanfare and a single webstore) and debuted their first collection in some of the best streetwear stockists the UK has to offer…
Andy, for those that don’t know, can you introduce yourself and the brand? Never Second is a new streetwear brand that launched in the spring of 2013. The brand is a partnership between two like-minded, long-term friends; my business partner Matt (who handles the design side of things) and me (it’s my job to oversee the production, press and sales).
The brand’s presence and image look very established for one so recently launched!
What inspired you to start your own brand? Did you feel that there were new aspects you could contribute to the streetwear scene? M: It’s always been something we have talked about and it just felt like the right time to really go for it. I think that things have become quite repetitive and a little lazy recently in streetwear and we didn’t want to go down this route.
Each season, Never Second will always have fresh designs and will always strive to incorporate a tactile feel to some, if not all the designs, by incorporating hand-drawn lettering or illustration. There are too many people out there who rely on fonts and slogans; we want to take it back to cool graphics that pack a punch.
A: We’re both fans of streetwear and I don’t think our initial plan was to try and change the scene but more to improve on the things that are being done. As Matt said we want to bring back more hand-drawn lettering and illustration and also support the UK.
“The team behind new British brand Never Second, as their name would suggest, don’t like to lose. With strong creative backgrounds in both design and streetwear, starting their own label seemed like a natural progression. Taking pride in their British roots, their aim is to produce well-executed designs on quality engineered garments built in the UK. The team’s rich history within creative design means that they only use the highest quality hand-drawn graphics mixed with a distinct British flavour. They are Never Second.”
The brand’s purpose really intrigues me – bringing back the originality of design, lettering and illustration is awesome!
Other than observing the repetition of design that other brands are bringing out, what makes Never Second different? We now understand your intention of original designs, but where do your inspirations come from? M: We are proud to be a British brand and so this factors in to a lot of our designs. Going forward we want it to factor in a lot more, while maintaining focus on the aspects that are relevant to the brand. For instance, we adopted the motto ‘Utrinque Paratus’ which means ‘Ready For Anything’. It comes from the Parachute Regiment and fits really well with the kind of message we want to put out and the ideology behind the brand. This way of thinking with a bit of British Grit thrown in is what fuels our design ethos.
A: I think Matt and I have always appreciated the same kinds of graphics – whether they be skate decks, tattoos, vintage posters or album artwork and it was important for us to use all these influences in Never Second (whilst also maintaining our originality).
Since starting the brand and adopting the motto ‘Utrinque Paratus’, have there been any unexpected obstacles? Andy: To be honest you can only be as prepared for what you think is necessary. For example, our first lot of hat labels were completely wrong and then we had to find a new factory, completely last minute, that could rush through a fairly minimal order. When the re-prints were eventually dispatched from the new factory, the couriers then somehow ‘misplaced our package’ and we had to start the whole process again. This was hugely frustrating and set us back by quite a few weeks.
Obstacles like this are always going to happen but you just have to deal with things as best as you can and try to be prepared as possible.
Apart from that, everything has run pretty smoothly and we’re just working hard at keep it that way!
That sounds horrendous – especially as it wasn’t within your control! But on the positive side, it’s great that you guys were persistent and overcame the issue.
What are you guys currently working on? What can we expect from Never Second in the coming months? A: Matt’s busy working away on new designs and ideas, I’m currently overseeing and researching production for next season as well as promoting the current range.
We have a couple of good collab projects in the pipeline that we’re trying to finalise details for – but hopefully at least one of these will drop before Christmas.
I won’t ask who the collabs are with, we’ll just look out for what’s coming! It’s has been great getting to know Never Second and talking to you guys – thanks for your time.
My last question might be the most important; can you give us a quick heads up of where we can find Never Second? Never Second is currently available online and in-store at Urban Industry, Natterjacks and the Chimp Store. Our website also has links to all the current stockists with more to be added very soon!