It seems to successes I wrote about in the #99 brand feature with Parlez Clothing here on FatKidOnFire weren’t quite finished. In the 10 or so days since #99, the Facebook page has added another 100+ fans, Twitter and SoundCloud followers are up (by quite a bit) and March’s traffic has been the best the site’s ever seen. More madness than I know how to handle!
And to top that, the site had its two MakeItGood x FKOF #100 features (which were more than well received) and today sees the first #100 of the brand series drop. It’s been a good start to the year!
One of the reasons I started FatKidOnFire was to support the tiny independents that appear every now and again – the DIY clothing labels that are generally run as a side project inspired by every day life (a bit like FKOF was in the early Tumblr days).
So it makes sense to me (and hopefully you guys) to celebrate reaching 100 features with one such brand who recently popped up and caught my attention. I’ve known (digitally) SeanM over at Urban Industry since before he worked at UI – and was intrigued when I learned he’d started up Heft Clothing as a side project to the 9-5 with the team in Eastbourne…
Who and what is Heft Clothing? I started Heft in late 2011 as a side project to my day job at Urban Industry. Pretty much all of us here have our own little side thing on the go. Heft is inspired by everything from punk music to the cartoons and movies I grew up with, as well as mixing things with ever-present streetwear trends like camo and bold graphics.
How have you found starting/ managing everything so far? Is it something you’d recommend doing? I’m blessed in that my job isn’t a million miles removed from what I’m trying to do with Heft. While I want the two to exist on their own terms, there have been definite benefits such as having the guys at work to bounce ideas off – as well as being able to post orders through the UI postal system. Time-wise it’s always going to be a struggle to juggle everything with a full-time job, but I’d much rather treat Heft as a side project rather than my main source of income.
Your main selling point at the moment is your awesome pocket tees. Is this going to define the label or have you got plans to extend the product line in the future? I think it’s fair to say we’re seeing an awful amount of pocket tees on the market at the moment, both in the UK and from abroad. It was fun to source cool fabrics and then pair them up with the right coloured tees and badges but I don’t want this to become something that defines what I do. I want to keep things simple and clean with Heft. I’m not a graphic designer so I wanted the initial drop to have that DIY look and feel to it. It’s something I’m keen to keep in future releases.
What does or will distinguish Heft from the rest of the British streetwear being dropped these days? Honesty, simplicity and a sense of humour.
What’s your take on the independent clothing scene in the UK at the moment? I see it from both sides, both as another UK brand but also as a retailer. Make no mistake about it, there is a lot of stuff out there – some really good, some not so good. I think there’s room for everybody and I’d never knock anyone for putting their heart into something. Some trends and looks have become a bit stale, but it’s the self-appointed scene heads that vex me a little bit.
I’ve said that Heft is inspired by the DIY music scene I was involved in, and the parallels exist between this and the UK streetwear scene for me are pretty funny. This constant striving to be seen as the most-knowledge or well-versed on a particular subject, backed up with the usual internet tough-guy persona. We have a joke here round the UI office that streetwear is like a stick you beat your friends down with – ‘I KNOW MORE THAN YOU ABOUT UPCOMING JORDAN RELEASES’…
What do you think the future holds for Heft? Where do you think you’ll be in 5 years time? I just want to keep learning and growing with each release. I want to move on to different things in time and learn more about the manufacturing process involved.
Where can people expect to catch your product, is Heft stocked in any stores – or are you keeping the label strictly independent? Again, in wanting to keep my day job at UI and Heft separate, I’ll just continue to sell stuff through my own site. To be stocked at the Urban Industry store with one release/ 3 tees under my belt would be a bit of a slap in the face to the UK brands knocking on our [UI] door every day. Plus I didn’t want Dan to be seen as doing favours by stocking a completely unknown brand.
If you could say something to your fans, what would it be? Likewise to your haters? Thanks for the support and for taking a chance on me. I hope I keep producing stuff to keep everybody interested.
To the haters… I dunno. Stop bringing sand to the beach, y’know? We’ve got YouTube and Hypebeast for all the keyboard warriors already. Just use what’s at your disposal to do something positive. I’m not saying everyone should go out and start a brand.
Just find a way of using your voice to do something positive for the multitude of independent stores, brands, blogs and photographers that are out there in the UK. I think we’re missing an outlet for that to an extent here in the UK since the Official Street forum shut down.
Top 5 favourite albums?
- Botch – ‘We Are The Romans’
- Elliott Smith – ‘Either/Or’
- Nation Of Ulysses – ’13-Point Program To Destroy America’
- Glassjaw – ‘Worship And Tribute’
- Manics – ‘The Holy Bible’
Any shoutouts? Dan and SeanH at Urban Industry for support and guidance. My girlfriend Thuy for her patience and for wrapping all the orders real neat. Tom from KillerTees for going above and beyond in getting my tees to me. Becky for her mad sewing skills. All the bloggers and word-of-mouthers who helped get the name out here too.
After getting a fairly hefty (excuse the pun) bashing from the keyboard warriors on TDS that seems to be the standard these days, Heft have gone on to sell out in a few sizes across the 3 designs Sean’s currently offering. So it can’t be all that bad!
I like what Heft are doing. It might not be a solid brand as such (yet), but the DIY ethic and the nice touches like the free stickers/ pin badges with every order “makes the shopping experience so much doper“. And given that Sean’s already sold out of a few sizes suggests that some of you guys are enjoying what he’s doing as well! Which is awesome.
For those of you who like the Heft pocket tees, why not become a fan of Heft on Facebook (and make sure you’re a fan of FatKidOnFire as well) and in a week we’ll choose a winner to get a tee of their choice? Pretty good deal if you ask me!
If you have any thoughts on what Sean from Heft Clothing 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.