The next of the two interviews being posted tonight is yet another first for FatKidOnFire (we’re not yet running out of firsts – it’s hopefully a point that will take a while to reach); a long-term player (eleven years!) in the UK streetwear game (albeit under a few different names)…
Find out more after the jump
Sturban Clothing is a webstore with a difference; a rarity in today’s sea of cut-throat modern businesses competing for the biggest profit margin whilst neglecting their customers. Sturban have been at this game for over a decade and are still going strong. Obviously they’re doing something right! I sat down with Glyn, the brain behind the store, to find out more…
<p >Who/ what is Sturban Clothing? Sturban Clothing is basically ME! The word Sturban is thought by some to mean Saint Urban which is cool but the real meaning is it’s an amalgamation of two words street and urban which really represents what we are – a webstore selling men’s urban and street inspired clothing. I would add that is not the big high street brands it’s more the cult underground and breaking brands that we specialize in. <p >The name Sturban came about due to advice from our solicitors after a three year court battle over a copyright issue with our previous name TheUrbanShop. It was crazy, and dragged on with appeal after appeal which apparently how big business win they keep appealing until you can’t afford to fight or you go bankrupt due to court costs. <p >You’ve been in this industry in one form or another for eleven years – what’s your secret to eternal life when so many others have folded and disappeared? I think it’s being genuine and honest. The first thing I did when I started work at Headstrong was say that the price on screen must be the price people pay no adding VAT and shipping cost at the basket and that for me has continued. I hate these “up to 50% off” deals when they have one item at that price – I just say here’s 20% off everything or all new stock, it’s the way I like to be treated (genuine). I only buy brands and items that I truly like for some reason. Brands will say to you at times “this is a killer piece, buy it because it will fly” and I’m like “I don’t like it and if everybody’s stocking it, lets go for something different”. I do genuinely try and help everybody I can on the way; so if somebody is looking for an artist etc I often hook them up. <p >What does/ will make your website stand out and distinguish itself from the rest of the UK streetwear (online or not) stockists? I think I answered that above but I’ll do main points:-
- Treat customers like I wanted to be treated.
- Only stock brands I truly believe in and that have a history or story.
- Support and help everybody you can.
- Be honest, humble and genuine.
<p >Who/ what influences you in your work? I think my main influence in life has been my background in Chinese martial arts along with the whole history and philosophy that goes along with that. I spent a very large part of my life pursuing excellence even moving over to Hong Kong to train with many of the worlds leading experts. <p >
<p >What’s your take on the UK streetwear scene at the moment? Is there one? (joke) I think there’s not a lot happening right now in the UK or worldwide. This economic climate has really put a hold on creative ideas and many brands are just playing safe and, in my opinion, re-hashing old ideas and saving the new developments until cash is flowing again. <p >Where do you see you and Sturban being in 5 years time? I like to think we bend with the wind, hopefully we will still be here rocking the same ideology. I don’t see us becoming some corporate cash cow (I would hate that), I like the idea that we are small enough to care, to develop and to change. As long as I can pay the bills I don’t mind.<p >Top 5 favourite albums?
- Sex Pistols – Never Mind the Bollocks (probably the first album I bought)
- LKJ – Dread Beat and Blood
- Bob Marley – Legend
- Hadouken – For The Masses
- Vex’d – Cloud Seed
<p >If you ask me that same question tomorrow it will probably be a different five but I like the above plus Hendrix, Florence, Lee Perry, Kraftwerk… <p >
<p >Shoutouts Chris @ Death Before Dishonour, Dan @ Soap-Box, the two Wills @ Fly53, Tricksta @ Wolftown/ Park St/ UK Runnings, DFRNT @ Echodub, Heist, Luke @ Breakout, Gordon Elcock, all the Sturban customers who without none of this would be possible, my wife Sam for putting up with me and the dogs, Spud and Ty, for being my best friends. <p >The resounding impression I was left with after discussing things with Glyn was that he genuinely cares about his customers, his store and the brands he backs. I think the streetwear scene, or the fashion industry as a whole, needs more stores (online or high street) that are run by people with this much passion for what they do. Sturban is most definitely a webstore to take great pride in; a superb British streetwear establishment – here’s hoping for continuing success for both Glyn and Sturban Clothing for another ten years! If you’re feeling what Glyn has had to say, fire your props at him via the Sturban Clothing Twitter account. While you’re at it, make sure you give the Sturban blog a lookover too – all the latest news, brands and general banter is put up there