Oneiroi Apparel x FatKidOnFire - Interview #63

Oneiroi Apparel x FatKidOnFire

Interview #63

Without noticing it, we’re two updates away from being 200 posts old. We’re not quite sure what we’ll do to celebrate reaching another milestone (it seems we’re always celebrating here at FKOF HQ, not that that’s a bad thing of course) but until we figure it out we’ve got a new brand feature tonight and another post from our FKOFJPN series lined up for tomorrow.

This next interviewee is a new clothing company from London city, who caught our eye by mixing ‘creative artwork, concepts and originality with quality and value’. It’s a pretty good mix and we were dead impressed. So here’s the feature (incidentally, it’s the first one this company’s ever done)…

[Janine]

Oneiroi Apparel were one of the brands to recently drop an email in the FKOF inbox. Having launched at the start of this year they weren’t a company we’d heard of but after having a snoop around their website and their social networks, we were more than impressed with what they’ve achieved since their inception. With their first collection consisting of four designs aimed at the boys and two for the girls, Oneiroi are already catering for everyone.

The artwork on a Oneiroi piece is top notch as well. We were pretty impressed to discover that each of the designs also have stories behind them (something we think more brands should do) so we sat down with Oneiroi head honcho Murah to find out more…

Who or what is Oneiroi Apparel? Oneiroi Apparel [pronounced on-e-roy] is a London-based lifestyle-clothing company that launched this January [2011]. We’re purveyors of fresh clothing that infuses our values, originality and creativity, ambition and perseverance, and imaginative concepts, with a streetwear edge.

We’re about more than concepts and cotton; we’re somewhat a trendy life-coach for people that believe in the beauty of their dreams. The word ‘Oneiroi’ originates in ancient Greek mythology where it was the name for the spirits of dreams, three genii who conveyed messages from the God in the guise of dreams.

Oneiroi Apparel is a clothing line that represents a lifestyle, a lifestyle that entails believing in a dream [aspiration, ambition, or ideal] and working hard to achieve it.

What’s the concept behind the brand’s mantra “No Tax on Dreams”? Your designs are simple, strong and striking – do they have an underlying theme? Our mantra, No Tax on Dreams, is at the core of our ethos ‘always dream big dreams’; ‘aim for the moon, even if you miss you’ll still be among the stars’. Our reasoning is nothing worth having comes easy, not without hard work. The inspiration to work hard(er), however, doesn’t cost a thing; dreams are free.

Every design in our collection was drawn by hand picked artists to match our design-focused aesthetic and embodies our ethos and values. For example ‘Tower Block State Of Mind’ interpolates the nature versus nurture debate. In tower blocks on council estates far and wide people dream ‘I don’t want to be a product of my environment, I want my environment to be a product of me’.

What does or will make your brand stand out and distinguish itself from the rest of the UK streetwear pack? In addition to a design-centric aesthetic, every item in our collection has a back-story, which we think differentiates Oneiroi Apparel from the bunch. Case in point ‘Simba’ is inspired by the Lion King quote ‘I just can’t wait to be king’ and redefines ‘king’ using a visual thesaurus. In the real modern world a king isn’t necessarily a monarch but instead the word can relate to a mogul, tycoon, baron, or simply correlate to power.

Furthermore, streetwear brands tend to take an orthodox approach to their aesthetic and rarely break the mould with respects to their designs and product range. Our long-term plan is to appeal to wider audiences by breaking the stereotype of what defines a ‘streetwear’ brand by avoiding these trends and sticking to our values of original and creative products.

[Words Are Weapons (top), Tower Block State Of Mind]

Who or what influences you in your work? In a snapshot, our influences are music, art, and street, retro and pop culture (including their requisite sub-cultures). Aspirations, ambitions, and ideals resonate in all facets of society – in several different forms, which is what we aim to convey.

A broader definition of our inspiration is simply everyday life. For example, our ‘Biggsy’ design is inspired by the life and times of the great train robberRonald Biggs; ‘I know it was wrong to steal but haven’t we all fantasized about living the life of Riley on a beach in Brazil. Or is that just something we working classes dream about?’

What’s your take on the UK streetwear scene at the moment? At first glance the independent streetwear scene in the UK is quite small, which comes down to many stockists not actively supporting domestic talent. However, the independent scene is really bubbling online and through urban events, which is a testament to the dedication and vision of the independent brands on the scene. Overall the independent UK scene is on the up and up with clear front-runners.

Where do you see you and Oneiroi being in 5 years time? The short-term plan is to build a strong back-catalogue without compromising our aesthetic and values. The longer-term strategy is to produce designer fashions opposed to a fast fashions; we’re aiming to create original and creative collections irrespective of market trends and fads.

Our first collection is comprised of 6 t-shirts and in my mind the key to longevity is diversification. In 5 years the plan is for Oneiroi Apparel to produce a broader product range, be available in more boutiques and move into concessions.

Top 5 favourite albums? ‘Favourite’ doesn’t distinguish ‘the best album’ from one that is ‘played most often’. In no particular order, the 5 albums with the most time clocked on the iPod dock over the last month are:

  1. Tupac – Me Against The World
  2. Lyfe Jennings – Lyfe 268-192
  3. The Foreign Exchange – Authenticity
  4. The Fugees – The Score
  5. Roots Manuva – Run Come Save Me

[Biggsy]

Shoutouts Firstly, a massive shout out to everyone that believes in the beauty of their dreams and is working hard to achieve something. Shout out to everyone that has supported us so far, and encourage everyone who hasn’t to subscribe to our mailing list for a 15% discount.

Lastly, but by no means least, a big shout out to FatKidOnFire. Thank you for giving us a forum to introduce the world to Oneiroi Apparel [thanks for the kind words, much appreciated]!

It’s fantastic to see, that even after (almost) a year of FatKidOnFire featuring independent streetwear start ups, new brands are continuing to from appear all over the UK streetwear market. Oneiroi are a prime example – taking well thought out designs and releasing a strong first collection. The designs might not be to everyone’s tastes (but that goes for every clothing company) but it’s the obvious thought and care that goes into the Oneiroi that we think is commendable. If you want to find out more about Oneiroi Apparel, hit up their website (and don’t forget to sign up to the newsletter to get 15% off your first order!) or find them on Twitter, Facebook or Myspace.

If you have any thoughts on what Murah has had to say, or thoughts on anything else you’ve read let us know either via the comments section below or through one of the other forms of contact (emailTwitter and Facebook).