Welcome to a brand new edition of the T Shirt Brand Undressed Interview
I can’t remember when I first came across Labyrinth Clothing, it is a clothing brand that seems to me to always be “there”. If that makes sense.
A brand with an avid following, a great presence on line and awesome designs. When looking at any t shirt brand I always looking at three things, first the designs of course, secondly their social media profiles and thirdly, the people behind the brand. It the combination of the three things I mentioned that I believe really make a great brand online.
Labyrinth Clothing ticks all three boxes for me, Nader Boraie, the owner who does most of the work himself, is very enthusiastic and passionate about his own brand. It was this enthusiasm that I found very infectious, and hope you feel the same way once you check out his interview and cool apparel.
Nader has created an exclusive coupon code for readers of Geek Shirts HQ, you can get a massive 15% off your order.
Coupon Code: geekshirtshq
Enough of me waffling on! Over to the interview with Nader Boraie..
Who are the people behind Labyrinth Clothing? Can you start by giving some background about yourself? Where you are from? Who creates the designs? How did you get into shirt design?
Labyrinth clothing is mainly run by me, Nader Boraie. I do get help from my girlfriend, Joyce, and my family as well. However, 90% of everything involved with Labyrinth is done by me. I'm a 23 year old graphic designer from Central, New Jersey. I create the designs all myself. I want to keep Labyrinth unique and original, so I take it upon myself to create all the design so that other brands will not have the same look or style as any one of Labyrinth's tees.
I got into apparel design back when I was in high school. I knew I was interested in art and I didn't really know what I wanted to be. I was really into the local music scene and a few other bands that had bigger notoriety, so I thought what better than make art for the bands I support? So I thought that since I could draw, I could probably be a graphic designer (knowing barely anything about the trade ha-ha).
So I asked a friend who was also very into the same things, and we started trying to create a graphic design company for the local music scene and friends we had in bands. From there, we wanted to promote our company, so we thought what better than make some t-shirts? So we drew out three (pretty awful) designs basically made ready for print in Microsoft paint ha-ha. From there, the tees were kind of a hit, and we thought for the first time that we could become a t-shirt brand.
We started printing our own shirts and about a year after that, my friend decided he would leave the company up to me, so we amicably split and since then, I've continued to improve the brand and design more and more t-shirts.
What process do you follow when designing a shirt?
When designing a shirt for Labyrinth, I follow a pretty regular process. I basically brainstorm and create concepts. Right now, Labyrinth has 4 series, Cycles, Senses, Ancient, and Classics. So with each release, I try to fit about one addition of each of the series (at least) into a new collection.
Labyrinth is inspired by the idea that life itself is a labyrinth. Basically referring to the complexities that occur in this world, finding you, and being aware of what's out there.
So I come up with concepts, then I start doing research to try to ensure I hit the nail on the head with the concept, then I go onto rough sketches, finding inspirational art that has interesting qualities, and from there, I bring the design to life in adobe illustrator and Photoshop.
From here, it generally takes about 3 or 4 variations of the same design for me to finally be satisfied and complete a new design.
Where did you get the name Labyrinth clothing?
The name Labyrinth actually came from my friend who was involved with the company at the time. The name of the design company was Labyrinth Designs. It kind of refers to the designs being complex and great.
We thought it was really different and hadn't heard of any companies with a similar name like that, so we used it. I don't think either of us even saw the David Bowie movie either which everyone still asks if the tees or brand are related to it ha-ha.
Can you tell me more about the brand Labyrinth Clothing?
As you can probably guess, when starting the company in 2006, I was in High school. And I had no idea how to run a brand, no inspiration and no consistency, so everything was pretty random and in-cohesive. All I knew was that I wanted the brand to offer great quality, for a great price so that I wouldn't put my customers in too deep of a hole if they just wanted some new clothing to wear.
So in 2008/2009, I took about a year off from doing any designs or releases and thought a lot about what I really wanted to do with the brand. So from there, I restructured and came up with the idea that the brand would be inspired by the idea that Life is a Labyrinth. From there, I began creating concepts, and came up with the initial three series: Cycles, Senses, and Ancient. Since then, I've been growing the brand under this newer and more cohesive direction.
Labyrinth has gotten into some custom items as well trying to expand the product line to not just being tees or hoodies. So last Fall/Winter, I released custom backpacks and beanies for the first time.
Although Labyrinth has a serious idea behind it, it's meant to not only be thought provoking but fun and enjoyable, yet timeless designs.
What makes Labyrinth Clothing different from other Apparel Vendors? What is your USP?
The concept behind Labyrinth and the designs only being created by my-self, really set Labyrinth apart from other Apparel Vendors.
The idea that life is a Labyrinth allows people to connect with more than just the tees themselves, the message can be seen, understood, and appreciated.
While sometimes Labyrinth focuses on serious things, it also calls attention to the good times in life, figuring out who you are, what you want to do, and learning to appreciate and enjoy life more. By me being the only designer, Labyrinth has a unique look that no other brand carries.
What’s coming next for Labyrinth Clothing?
Labyrinth will be releasing a new Fall/Winter collection around early November with 4 brand new designs.
I am still working on creating new and unique custom items as well, so periodically; those will be released as well.
Generally I work on releasing two collections a year: Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer. So those will continually cycle.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years both for yourselves and your business?
Hmm, that's a tough question. Hopefully still running and expanding the business. What I would really love is to have a retail store here in the NJ/NY area.
Hopefully we'll have a large product line and a good number of custom items as well so we can offer the best of everything. I will still always want to provide the best quality items for the best price for my customers as well.
How much importance do you place on Facebook Twitter and similar sites when marketing your brand?
I don't place a ton of importance on these sites, but I do use them daily. I personally don't like to bombard people with posts on Facebook or twitter, which sometimes causes me to under promote something, but they are useful means of marketing so I do use them as best as I can.
When getting your apparel printed what is the process that you prefer?
I prefer discharge or water-based silkscreen printing. I feel like there's nothing better than having a tee that feels so soft and comfy, where the feel of the print is basically non-existent.
What brands of apparel do you prefer to print on?
I love American Apparel (aside from their inconsistencies), but I also do love Next Level Apparel and Bella/Cotton.
What would a customer expect when ordering a product from you?
Great customer service, fast shipping, great quality clothing, and an awesome goodie bag with a hand written note inside!
Anyone you want to give a shout out to?
Thank you to everyone who has supported Labyrinth in any way, from following/liking to purchasing a tee, even just telling a friend about it, and just reading this interview. I appreciate it so incredibly much!
Who are your favourite designers and/or brands?
Frank Chimero, Sam Kaufman, Brandon RIke, Jon Contino, Kyle Crawford, and Rob Dobi. As for brands, FullBleed, Lead and Light, Make Believe, Tribe, and CXXVI
Who are your influences?
The designers I mentioned previously, as well as artists like Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and the list can go on and on ha-ha.
Is there anything else you want to add?
Thank you Asim and Geek Shirts HQ!
Where is the best place to find your designs and buy some of your shirts?
And of course get in contact with you:
Probably on twitter or Facebook, but I also look out for emails here, email@example.com
Wow! Thank you for an awesome interview Nader! Don’t forget to check out Labyrinth Clothing over at their website and our exclusive 15% discount.
Coupon Code: geekshirtshq