What does it really take to make a great clothing brand these days?
Since we all know that nothing is 'truly' original anymore (every creation is derived from some previous inspiration) - then we can say right off the bat that it is not 'true' originality that makes a brand great. That being said, the question still remains.
In my opinion, a great brand is a combination of various faucets. To me, these faucets include (but are not limited to) branding, design, marketing, business and identity. In a sense, all of these faucets interlock with each other and create a massive intertwined system. In today's crazy world, it's not enough to just be 'good' in one or two faucets, you need to be exceptionally superb at every faucet. Unfortunately, achieved excellence in all of these faucets takes thousands of man hours and a high degree of talent - something not everyone has.
The issue with today's brands is that most people are jumping into the game with very little focus on certain aspects. In fact, a large majority of shitty brands on here seem to completely lack in certain areas. I see too many young arrogant teens throwing blackscale inspired images on shirts without any business, design or branding knowledge. These are the types of people that saturate this already saturated market. But you know what? Let them do it. More time to shine for the rest of us that are passionate about what we do.
Now I turn the question onto anyone who wants to share. What do you think makes a great brand?
Growth consistency. By this I mean through each line, through every design and innovation, the brand remains consistent. I think that even though a brand like Supreme does tons of different, and exuberant designs, each piece still remains uniquely Supreme.
A few brands I really follow are Norse Projects, White Mountaineering and BWGH. I am always drawn to their new collections and how their simplistic style with thoughtfully placed details always remain constant. They aren't worried about always doing something totally different from last collection because that would dilute their brand.
This is definitely now one of the things I think about going forward with my own brand's design principles. When I first started out, I just wanted to make cool designs I liked; and that is still partly true. However now, if the particular design doesn't fit the brand I have committed to, I keep it in the vault for something else. Just 2 cents worth.