Fashion – Among Villains
We love bringing you some of the most dope brands & stores around the world. Holding things down in the indie fashion industry we’ve got a brand based out of Asbury Park, New Jersey by the name of Among Villains. Now relax as we get to know Among Villains a little more and how they started out in the industry.
Clothing line name: Among Villains
City/State: Asbury Park, NJ
Established date: September 1st, 2011
Price range for clothing: $15-$24
Where to buy your clothing: http://www.amongvillains.com/products
So tell us about your brand?
- Among Villains is not a “lifestyle” brand, nor is it something that is pretending to change the world for some arbitrary cause. I don’t take any issue with brands that claim that sort of thing, but I don’t feel it has any relevance to my line or what my intentions with it are. It’s a personal message and creative outlet for my opinion on the state of our government and abusive authority in general. This isn’t a line that is trying to cater to any one demographic or any trend, it’s just me putting out what I want to and if others enjoy it enough along the way to take part in my brand and support it, all I can be is grateful and truly thankful for that – I know that there are other like-minded people out there and hopefully I’m providing a product they can get behind.
How did you come up with the name?
- The name is something that I thought summarized my interest in criminal behavior (or what is considered to be such) in a concise way. It carries a bit of dark sarcasm to it, as I feel many of our laws and legal practices are outdated or there solely to benefit the state and profit from normal citizens. I’d like to urge everyone to do what they feel is right by their own moral guidance; you don’t need a police officer’s handbook or religion to tell you what to do. To me, right from wrong is something innate and can be distinguished by you; if not however, that’s when I believe the authorities have the right to step in. They don’t need to be shooting senior citizens with a Taser for approaching them or choking out teenagers for skateboarding – those things have no effect on anyone else’s wellbeing and could be handled with much more tact and professionalism. When innocent people get hurt by an enforcement official’s abuse of power or a law, I’m opposed to those who uphold it. I’d rather side with the “bad guy” in those situations and be “among villains”.
What were you doing before launching your brand?
- I’ve been a freelance apparel and print designer for the past five years working under the moniker of Mainframe Media. For anyone who is interested in seeing my work you can go to – http://www.mainframe-media.com.
When did you begin thinking about launching your own clothing brand?
- After designing for other brands for a few years, I started to get curious about owning my own line and seeing what it was like on the other side of the fence. Towards the end of 2010 I knew I wanted to start moving in that direction of being a brand owner instead of solely being a designer. It was a creative outlet for all my ideas that I couldn’t get out otherwise and that my clients weren’t looking for, so aesthetically I had it in mind that Among Villains had its own room in the market to be competitive while still remaining unique.
What best describes your line & who is it targeted to?
- The brand is geared towards anyone who has been unfairly treated by law enforcement agencies, the government, or authority in general. Good people get cheated and hurt by crooks with badges and gavels every day in this country, and I’m sure almost everyone can empathize with that terrible feeling of being mistreated by those who are supposed to serve and protect us – and it breeds bitterness through their corruption. Among Villains is in my eyes a reflection of that mentality where many citizens are fed up with those in power. Surely there is an obvious hardcore/metal/punk vibe to the designs which can be seen as aimed at a young and angst ridden young male population, but I’d like to think the spectrum of my audience is a little more broad than that and that its relevance reaches beyond its surface.
What influenced you to start this line?
- Mostly everything I stated in the previous question, but music (mainly hardcore and punk) had a strong influence on me as well. Bands like Bad Religion and Anti-Flag had strong political opinions I could get behind and relate to. Others such as Sheer Terror and Blood For Blood had a more hostile and aggressive edge that resonated with me in a different way, and my outlook on society as a whole at times. Through typographic phrases and imagery I felt I could pay homage to my heroes in a way while still putting out something that satisfied my creative side and was a message all my own.
How is your brand different from others out there?
- There are a few lines with a political message out there, but none really felt up to snuff with what I had envisioned for my brand, it all felt really contrived and cheap – almost as if they were trying to cash in on being part of some fake street wear revolution. Quality and conviction is what I feel makes Among Villains stand out from the crowd. Everything that goes into this line conceptually and finishes with a message in mind that is from the heart and from the mind, it’s not just something that I think people want to see or hear.
Are there any challenges you run into while running a business?
- Finding suppliers to facilitate your needs for unique or specialty items is probably one of the more difficult things I’ve encountered for sure.
What ways did you find promoting your brand worked?
- Contests and giveaways are definitely a solid driving force for marketing and promotion. Having something that involves your fans and engages them in a fun activity will in turn incite them to talk about your brand and spread the word for you. Giving back to the people who support your brand is important, more so than most brands realize.
Are there any future plans for your line?
- There are a ton of plans I have in mind, mostly gearing toward accessories and poster prints at the moment. Most indie brands seem to concentrate solely on just t-shirts, but expansion into new territory I feel is a major key for successful growth as a brand. Shirts are always nice to have, and of course they are a core component, but things like my Oppressors poster I released and the custom packaging are some of the main conversation pieces of the line thus far.
How did you hear about FKN Famous & what do you think of us?
- My good friend James Benson from Swallows N’ Daggers led me here. His brand is one that I truly respect a lot in the indie apparel world and I’m usually interested to take a look at whatever he has to show me when the occasion arises. I definitely admire the amount of work that goes into FKN Famous and the constant flow of high quality posts; there seems to be no shortage of content here.
Any last shout outs?
- Absolutely! I’d like to thank the other brands, companies, and individuals that have supported Among Villains since day one. Make sure to check out these other awesome indie companies: Swallows N’ Daggers, Threadbird, Halfcut, Tribe, Remuse Collective, Inkefx, VNM. Also, a big thank you to Jerry Rodrigo for putting this all together and giving me this interview and opportunity to get the word!
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