Welcome to a new edition of the Brand Undressed interview series, where we go behind the scenes to give you an insight in what goes on with the most popular apparel brands on the internet.
This week we have a new edition of the Brand Undressed interview series, where we go behind the scenes to give you an insight in what goes on with the most popular apparel brands on the internet.
This week we have Offend My Eyes a great ‘alternative’ brand from the UK.
Their clothing doesn’t just have a small generic logo on a plain tee oh no!! Their designs are full on designs some of which cover both the front and back of their clothing.
Ok, without any more waffling from myself, let’s get on with the interview itself.
Who are the people behind Offend My Eyes?
We are Jack Bean and Nicola Saunders-Jones.
Can you start by giving some background about yourself?
We’re a couple that has been together 10 years, Jack is an illustrator by trade and Nicola has always been involved in retail. Our jobs mean we are pretty flexible and we spend most of our time traveling and working!
Where you are from?
We are based in Doncaster, UK.
How did you get into selling t shirts?
We wanted to tell the world about our message, and T-shirts were a pretty obvious choice for us because we found there wasn’t enough of what we wanted on the high street – most of the clothing we liked was hard to find and most high street stores sell the same thing. While that is great for people who like the mainstream fashion, for the alternative crowd we found we were paying more, and having to look further afield.
Who creates the designs?
Jack draws everything, from scratch using ideas we both put forward.
What process do you follow when designing a shirt?
Everything starts with a sketch, there are many sketches and a lot of them don’t make it! After lots of discussions and late-night working sessions with Adobe Photoshop, the final artwork is tweaked and perfected until we’re both happy. We like to think of ideas that have important messages, without the message taking away from the design itself. We create everything as artwork first of all, and then fit that onto our clothing. We find that way our imagination isn’t limited by colours and cost, and the overall product is all about the artwork and less about ‘dumbing down’ our ideas!
How would you describe your design style?
Jack’s style is bright, bold and colourful! Coming from an illustrator background he’s had a lot of influence from cartoons and comic work, and this really shows in his style. Add the ‘offensive’ and ‘alternative’ elements and you’ve got clothing that makes a statement!
Where did you get the name Offend My Eyes?
Being an ‘alternative’ couple, as well as identifying as transgender and lesbian, we found that people were ‘offended’ by us, for no other reason than for being ourselves! So we tried to think of a name that would tell everyone how we felt – Offend My Eyes is not about purposely offending anyone, it’s about being yourself, and staying true to who you are whether that offends people’s eyes or not!
Can you tell me more the brand Offend My Eyes?
Anyone can wear our clothing, we don’t discriminate. Our brand ethos and the slogans on our T Shirts aren’t limited to any genre – if you want to wear it, wear it! That’s what we’re all about, being yourself. We’re avid supporters of the LGBT community for this reason, and you’ll often find us at local and alternative music scenes. Anything that involves expressing yourself and your individuality – we’re in!
But we don’t let our messages overpower our clothing. We’re not trying to force anything in your face or make you show support for anything, we just want everyone to feel like they can be whoever they want to be. That’s why a lot of our slogans are subtle, multipurpose, and don’t distract from the artwork.
What makes Offend My Eyes different from other Apparel Vendors?
Our artwork is created in house and you won’t find our designs anywhere else! Alternative doesn’t have to mean ‘lots of black, skulls, stars and polka dots’ – we try to get creative!
Before starting Offend My Eyes we noticed a few things that we, as consumers, were missing. Alternative clothing always seems to come with a hefty price tag because it’s a ‘niche’ audience. We wanted our clothing to be affordable to everyone, so we kept our retail prices as low as possible. With Tshirts from £10 we certainly think they’re a bargain.
We spent countless hours finding a manufacturer that would not only custom-sew our Tshirts (so we don’t use pre-bought brands like Gildan or American Apparel) but also print them using sublimation technology to create powerful, bright colours that would last for years. It’s definitely been worth it because we get lots of customer comments about how bright the Tshirts are!
What is your USP?
Crazy, alternative and bold designs… that make you stand out!
What’s coming next for Offend My Eyes?
We are just about to release our new 2015 Spring collection – which features even more £10 Tshirts plus a few suprises! We’re always working on new designs and add products to the website all the time.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years both for yourselves and your business?
It’s already been a rollercoaster of a ride for us, even after a year and a half! We try not to think about making it ‘big’ but rather just enjoying the ride and trying to be the best at what we do. It would be great to see Offend My Eyes become one of the well-known alternative brands, stocked in stores worldwide! In 10 years, we would love to have a bigger business, with more employees.
How much importance do you place on Facebook Twitter and similar sites when marketing your brand?
Social Media is hugely important when you have a brand. It’s an ideal platform for marketing and connecting with your clients. We use Facebook a lot to post up photos of our shows, new products and even fan photos! We also use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to give away freebies and run competitions all the time. Our fans love winning stuff and it feels good to connect with our audience and find out exactly what they want from us.
When getting your apparel printed what is the process that you prefer and why?
We try not to use pre-bought T Shirts like most companies. Most of what we do is custom sewn. We sublimate most of our Tshirts, so the material is sublimated with the artwork, then cut to size and eventually sewn to create bespoke pieces that aren’t just made for the masses like most brands. We find this way we have more control over the quality of material, the fit and how good they look once they are finished.
What brands of apparel do you prefer to print on?
We don’t, most things are custom made, from the very beginning, especially for our brand! We have used Gildan in the past, but we find that the quality and fit are sacrificed when you use other people’s brands.
What would a customer expect when ordering a product from you?
Our customers can expect high quality, unique clothing that will make them stand out in a crowd! But most of all, they can expect excellent customer service. We love to hear from our customers and if you need to contact us – we’re here with open ears! We always try to add that little bit extra to orders, so when you buy anything from our site – expect free gifts such as stickers, badges, wristbands and more!
We also offer FREE gifts to anyone who tags us on social media in a picture of them wearing Offend My Eyes.
Anyone you want to give a shout out to?
We couldn’t have made this happen without our friends, family and of course the fans. We want to give a huge shout out to anyone that has tweeted about us, worn our clothing, told a mate about us, seen us at a show – you all make this worthwhile!
Who are your favourite designers and/or brands?
We like many brands, but our favourites are Drop Dead clothing, Iron Fist, Poizen Industries, Sourpuss Clothing, New Rock – and loads more!
Who are your influences?
We are influenced by the small things in our day to day lives – the people we meet, the shows we attend. There is a lot of cartoon and comic influence in Jack’s artwork, and I think this shows in the clothing. A lot of people comment how much our designs remind them of Adventure Time – we had never watched the show, and once we did we could see the similarities!
Is there anything else you want to add?
We just started a new blog on the website and we’re looking for participants to be featured! Anyone can join in – if you’ve got a talent, hobby or something cool you’d like to share, and you wear Offend My Eyes – then you can get in touch!
Where is the best place to find your designs and buy some of your shirts?
On our website at www.offendmyeyes.co.uk
You can catch us at tattoo conventions, music festivals, prides and other shows across the UK too!
On our social media channels:
Tumblr – OffendMyEyes
Tumblr – OffendMyEyes
Any new products in the pipeline for Offend My Eyes that we need to look out for?
We’re always working on new designs, and we’re about to release our SPRING 2015 range – which features more crazy T shirts and a few surprises too!