Our recent run of MakeItGood x FatKidOnFire mixes/ interviews has been so strong we’ve almost forgotten our roots; featuring up and coming independent streetwear brands. Luckily for us, there still seems to be a whole host of extremely talented brands out there who need championing.
Tonight, we take a step back from the bass and 140bpm we love and return to our roots. It’s time for a FatKidOnFire brand feature…
When we featured VIHMIRU here at the beginning of September, we were seriously impressed with what Ben had achieved on his own in the few short months of the brand being around. We’ve featured a few one-man-brands on FKOF over the past few years that we’ve been doing this, and tonight we’re adding another to the tally. The next interviewee also happens to be our first ever from Ireland, which is nice!
Lara Hanlon’s Outcry Apparel recently started following FKOF on Twitter (if you’re not already, feel free to do so as well). And, as we do with all our new followers, we starting exchanging tweets. We stumbled across her website and had a look at her work with the brand (which was one month old as of yesterday) and were blown away with what we saw.
Outcry aren’t as established as VIHMIRU but we can definitely see them heading that way. Lara may only be 20, but she’s already established her skills as a “practising illustrator/ designer” and is producing some extremely impressive work. We sat down with her earlier this week to find out more…
Who and what is Outcry Apparel? Outcry Apparel is an independent clothing line inspired by sub- and counter-cultures. It was set up by myself, Lara Hanlon, during the summer of 2011 and officially launched on September 5th 2011.
Outcry’s influences are rooted in music, tattoos, punk, contemporary design, urban and world cultures. I am always fascinated by the variety of past and present sub- and counter-cultures which exist in society, so I decided to fuse this together with my love for design and illustration to create pieces of ‘living’ art.
We’ve noticed that there are more than a few really impressive brands being run by one person (or really small teams). How have you found running Outcry on your own? What lead you to starting out on your own? You are absolutely right, there are some amazing one-man independent brands out there at the moment. There is a lot of work involved in running a clothing line whether it’s by yourself or with others. I am still very new to this but so far it has been great. Of course there have been a few ups and downs but I am learning from them already and I know what I can improve on and build on for the future.
At first, the thought of doing it by myself was really over whelming but I had a huge help from my boyfriend – who is forever encouraging me to get my work out there, and to be honest without his support Outcry would never have happened. I spent my whole summer working on the designs and building the website for Outcry. It took a lot longer to get everything ready than I had thought but you have to allow for a lot of time for designing/ getting the work printed/ photographing the finished products etc.
It is also important to realise that you have to be willing to spend a lot of money to get things going. I think some people expect to make a profit before they even pay for the cost of printing and packaging but you must treat it as an investment.
I’m not really sure what lead me to starting out on my own. I guess I’m guilty of being a bit of a control freak sometimes. If I am involved in something I like to give it 100% percent and I figured if I did this on my own I could do things the way I wanted. Plus I like a good creative challenge so hopefully Outcry will help me progress as an artist.
You’ve not been on the scene for too long but seem to be progressing really well. Can you tell us a bit about how you go about designing each t-shirt – we understand all your designs are hand rendered? You also say “Outcry is not just a brand”; how is that – have you got plans to branch out from just producing clothing? Yup, all my designs are hand rendered with pen and ink. I know a lot of other brands do the same and there are some ridiculously talented illustrators and tattoo artists out there but there are also so many brands that produce computer-generated work. I wanted my designs to be unique and organic, something that could not be produced with Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop (or by any other artist for that matter). Don’t get me wrong, I love using this kind of software so much and I use it for designing certain Outcry products, but I really wanted to steer away from the generic and offer something fresh and original to the indie clothing world.
And yes I plan on branching out with Outcry in the future. I really want to stress that Outcry is not only a brand interested in clothing but also in art and design as a whole. I want to bring other creative elements into Outcry and I hope to do that as time goes on.
What does or will distinguish Outcry from the rest of the UK streetwear being dropped these days? Standing out from the crowd is tough for any independent brand starting up. Personally, I don’t have the money to spend on any fancy advertising or publicity stunts so I am really just relying on my own art to carry me through. I would like to think that my style of illustration, concepts and designs are and will be strong enough to distinguish Outcry from other brands out there at the moment and of course in the future.
Because I am new to the scene, it’s all about breaking ground and getting my work out to as many people as possible while still building a strong identity for the Outcry brand. I don’t expect to go to the top straight away so I am prepared to work hard in order to build a solid reputation for Outcry.
Who or what influences you in your work? I am influenced by almost everything. I love to travel and learn about other countries and their inhabitants, this is always so interesting. I am always captivated by people and how we interact with society and life in general. Music plays a huge part in my life and always has – I am really involved in the underground music scene here in Ireland and I just love going to shows. Artists, designers and illustrators that have influenced me a lot include Salvador Dali, Dan Mumford, Jordan Buckley, FAILE, Jacob Bannon, Wolfgang Weingart, David Carson, BLU… I could go on forever!
What’s your take on the independent clothing scene in the UK at the moment? How do we compare to the rest of the world – can British brands compete on an international stage? Here in Ireland there are a very, very small number of independent clothing brands whereas in the UK there is a new release almost every day! Because of this huge number, a lot of the work produced seems to be really similar so it can be hard to differentiate one brand from the next.
Saying that, there are also some amazing things coming from the UK too so I definitely think they can compete on an international stage. However, sometimes these gems can get lost amidst the junk so it means we all have to work extra hard to make a good impression on the scene – which is a good thing of course!
Where do you see you and Outcry being in 5 years time? 5 years is a long time away! I am still in College now, studying Design in Visual Communications, so I hope to have my degree next year. After college I would like to travel and perhaps start some design work abroad somewhere. I would love to see Outcry develop and evolve as time progresses – and if everything keeps going well there will be more and more to be released.
Where can people expect to catch your product, is Outcry in any physical stores? I have an official website where people can find Outcry’s webstore, blog, photos and all the rest. I would love to have Outcry Apparel stocked in some stores, although right now the products are only available online. If anyone is interested in stocking Outcry Apparel please feel free to contact me, I would be more that happy to talk business!
If you could say something to your fans, what would it be? Likewise to your haters? If I have fans, awesome. I would like to say thank you so much for the support so far. To anyone who has picked up some t-shirts or helped spread the word, it is more than appreciated.
To any haters, well, that’s just not very nice is it? Everyone has to love my work and what I do (haha)! There is no room for opinion in this world so just go buy Outcry threads now and let that be the end of that.
Top 5 favourite albums? This is too hard. Maybe:
- Norma Jean – Redeemer
- Lower Than Atlantis – Far Q
- The Chariot – Wars And Rumours Of Wars
- Deftones – White Pony
- Thrice – Vheissu
Shoutouts? To Aidan, the Murdock boys, the Red Enemy boys, Santa Pants, Vis Com IADT, Tom at Killertees.ie and to anyone who has supported me or purchased from Outcry, you all rule.
So there you have it. Lara’s Outcry Apparel has been live a month and we can already see the potential. To top it off, the t-shirts are selling for an extremely reasonable €15.00 (which works out at £16.11 including P&P), so if you’re feeling the designs and want to purchase you can grab one for an extremely fair price. Which is awesome!
Head over to the Outcry website to get all the information on the brand you need, but if you’d rather click a link here; peep the Outcry blog, their gallery, their all important webstore and the brand’s contact details. Keep watch for Outcry Apparel, we’re pretty sure you’ll be hearing a lot more from them!
If you have any thoughts on what Lara from Outcry Apparel has had to say, or want to recommend us a new brand you’ve discovered or just want a chat about something you’ve seen on FatKidOnFire, fire us a comment below or get in touch via email, Twitter, Facebook or the FKOF TakesQuestions page.