In my last interview, you would have seen artist Benji Colson modelling for a brand named ‘Angel Clothing.’ KaransCave sat down with Fernando and Tino, the two young men from Portsmouth who created Angel Clothing. We discussed the inspiration for the brand, the plans Fernando and Tino have for the future of the brand and how people can get their hands on Angel Clothing, plus more.
GETTING STARTED AND INSPIRATIONS
Who came up with the initial idea of the brand?
Fernando: I came up with the initial idea, but I knew I wanted it to be big and couldn’t do that alone. So why not introduce your boy, who has the same vision as you.
Tino: We were looking at other brands at the time and saying ‘we can make better stuff than this.’
When did you start the brand?
Fernando: The initial idea was in 2014, but we changed it a lot since then.
Tino: Yeah we stayed up nights fixing the logo and stuff like that. We’d be sitting up at night changing little details, like the line that goes through the logo, so it took a while.
Simply put, what was the inspiration for starting a brand?
Fernando: There were people around us doing a similar thing and we looked up to that. Plus, we knew they would give guidance if we needed it, so it would be easier for us.
Fernando: If you consider yourself an Angel, you consider yourself special. If you wear the Angel brand, your a special person.
Tino: It’s something that makes you different from another person. You look at someone and they aren’t wearing Angel but you are. You’re different. You’re special.
How did you get the brand off the ground and actually get products made?
Fernando: First, you need dedication. If it doesn’t happen the first week, it could happen the second week, you have to think like that.
Tino: I design. So I made the designs and we showed people, asked their opinions of what ones were good and which ones weren’t.
Fernando: Then you get them on the computer and send them to suppliers who would potentially create them. It’s a process, you need to get samples first, see how the design looks in real life compared to a computer, see the quality of the clothes and see what the sizing is like. But we know contacting suppliers is long and stressful, so we’re here to say that anybody just getting started on their own brand, holler at us. We are here to help and can point you in the right direction.
Tino: They’ll try and charge high prices for dead quality. Make sure you know what you’re getting.
PROMOTING ANGEL CLOTHING
Once you got your first products, how did you start promoting Angel?
Tino: Product placement. Have our friends wearing it on Snapchat and Instagram, get people asking about it.
Fernando: As soon as that first box of T-Shirts came in, straight on Instagram, post the squad picture of everyone wearing one. We got a lot of followers that night.
What was the initial reception from people like?
Fernando: It was positive, that’s what made us push on. Create more colourways. We were getting somewhere to a point where we actually got a little bit of hate. People talk bad about Angel.
Tino: But we said if we want to be more professional, we can’t focus on that. We can’t focus on people that have nothing good to say.
Fernando: I don’t get it. Even if I don’t know you or talk to you, I like to see people doing positive for themselves. What’s the point of hating?
After gaining a reputation in your hometown, I know you went to London to promote Angel. Any success from that?
Fernando: Definitely. We get people sending us DM’s asking how they can buy T-Shirts or asking us for help contacting suppliers. All that just from going to London and handing out some T-Shirts.
What about your competitors? Other upcoming brands from Portsmouth?
Tino: There is a lot of talent in Portsmouth at the moment. We feel its healthy to have competition against Angel.
Fernando: It keeps us on our toes. If we see them doing something good we think to ourselves ‘How do we top this?’ You have to stay humble as well , help each other out. I’m sure big brands out there help each other and we all have no idea.
Do you have any personal style inspirations or people/brands you envision when creating Angel products?
Fernando: Diddy, with his whole Sean John Clothing, keeping it simple but it’s cool and classy as well. We envision Angel being like that.
Tino: Kanye as well. He’s a creative who creates what he wants, next thing you know, Zara and shops like that are copying him.
What do you think of this whole high fashion movement?
Fernando: It’s popular right now. Like Grime music, it’s a trend that people are jumping on. Now it’s fashion’s turn. Young talent and upcoming brands will start getting noticed.
Especially with Grime getting more popular, you get a UK Rapper wearing your stuff and it’s automatically famous.
Tino: I don’t even think that we’ll need that. We’ve got new designs coming that speak for themselves.
Plans for the rest of 2016 for Angel?
Fernando: Bring out more than T-Shirts. We’re looking at shorts this summer and then tracksuits and jackets for the winter. Jackets would be huge for us.
Tino: We’ve got the designs ready. Ready to be made. Just waiting for the right time.
What about beyond 2016? How far can Angel go?
Fernando: Recently I was speaking to a business owner. He was telling me in 2004 he was selling T-Shirts out the trunk of his car for £90. Now in 2016, his business is huge. For those that don’t know, I’m talking about Trapstar London. Look how far it’s come. Trapstar is out there making collabs with Puma.
They even sell Trapstar in Selfridges.
Fernando: Exactly. It might not be next year or the year after but I know one day we’ll be up there. We’re dedicated. People give up if they don’t get there in a month or two. We’re not giving up.
Any plans to collaborate with other brands?
Fernando: We’ve got one coming next year hopefully with a known brand, don’t want to give it away or drop any hints but it should be coming.
Tino: With a popping brand. Everyone knows them.
How can people find you?
Tino: Follow us on Instagram @AngelClothingUK
Fernando: Check our website – http://www.angelapparel.uk/. Get shopping.
Make sure to check out and buy some Angel Clothing before you see it everywhere else except on you!
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