Fashion – The Civilian Press
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 clothing brand based out of Fullerton, California by the name of The Civilian Press. Now relax as we get to know The Civilian Press a little more and how they started out in the industry.
Clothing line name: The Civilian Press
City/State: Fullerton, CA
Established date: 08/2008
Price range for clothing: $26.00 to $38.00
Where to buy your clothing: http://www.shopthepress.com/
How did you come up with the name?
- It’s always been in my mind to work with, or get my hands on a pressure printing press. When I decided to develop the brand it was important to come up with a flexible name with a sense of validity and “Press” held true for me similar to reliable newsprint that can harmonize with change. A few ideas narrowed down to “Civilian” which works well for catering to all walks of life, cultures, and societies. The Civilian Press was conceived.
What were you doing before the brand?
- The years leading up to the Civilian Press I was a partner and designer in a branding and web development company “Logic In Design” developing branding and commerce for start up businesses, which segued me into a position as Creative Director for OC based “Rock Steady Clothing”. During the development process of the Civilian Press I was Web Creative Director of MMA giant “TapouT” all the while making time to play percussion with OC based band Allensworth.
When did you think about launching you own clothing brand?
- It seemed to be one of the ideas I could never shake. I toyed around with screen-printing in high school taking graffiti sketches to the shirt. Had some fun with an early concept “Odis Threading” with a band mate pressing pixilated classic soul crooners and random 70’s style action sport designs. I even developed a soft eco-chic line “Deity Divine” for a lady of mine. But it was time spent at “Steady Clothing” and “TapouT’ that finally made me get serious and decide to move forward with my own project.
What best describes your line & whom is it targeted to?
- Lowbrow Street / Alternative. I never set a target market, but my work seems to appeal to the 18-35 Street / Alternative customer with women at 60%+ of sales.
What influenced you to start this line?
- For a good 8-10 years music was my priority. So I had made a decision to work any angle with my design capabilities so sustain and pay bills. Although I was happy with the work I was getting it was not truly from the soul. It was work. So as the music projects slowed I really needed to find the passion for visual art again. Rather then creating and handing over my ideas to other companies and clients, it was time to make art my priority once again. Not knowing exactly in what direction I was going, I just started working on my favorite subject… the female. The project seemed to take on a life of its own and the designs needed a home, came up with “the Civilian Press” and the hustle was on.
How is your brand different from others out there?
- Being in the heart of Orange County, having Los Angeles to my right and surf city to my left, it seems there are just as many clothing companies as there are bands. It’s tough to stand out in the sea of artists and brands around here. Being in the middle of the tattoo community can be pretty humbling with the amazing work that comes out of these veterans. I think not caring the be the loudest, the biggest or the baddest and just creating my art as best I can without envisioning a specific person or lifestyle sets me apart. My customers don’t continually come back to my event booths or keep buying from my website be cause I am a “lifestyle” brand, it’s because they connect with my art in their own way and love what I’m doing and that’s a blessing. The garment is just the medium to hang my art over your shoulders. What you wear should be a part of who you are, not what you’re trying to be a part of.
Are there any challenges you run into while running a business?
- Oh yeah. The main challenge is the balance. As an artist, maintaining an income, paying bills and vendors while staying true to your art and holding onto your integrity is a constant tug of war. I have the opportunity to sell off my work to retailers that would make my belly and my printers extremely happy, but I need to be very careful in these early years to lay a path of longevity. I have a lot of pride in what I’m doing and people respect that. Another challenge is making time for life. Starting the brand on my own from the ground up has been extremely demanding so I have family and friends as well as other personal goals that get neglected, but I’m confident in the fact that we are building and amazing team which will help return the balance so I can focus more on the creative to move the brand forward and have time for living.
What ways did you find promoting your brand worked?
- This has been a true experiment, but I’ve learned through my years of hustling my music projects how important personal connection is with your fan base. Before Facebook, Myspace, and high speed internet we had run off as many fliers we can afford and handed them out all over OC & LA and at live shows we were collecting home address for old school mail blasts. It worked! People would keep coming back to shows and seeing us on the street hustling the fliers and it was rewarding to know that individual connection with fans of your work made an impact. I’m using the same system with the Civilian Press, just a bit more high-tech. I enjoy being on the road at events…for me they are a kind of weekend performance. I’m there singing art prints, hand cutting shirts, hanging out with a great network of artists and supporters all the while collecting email addresses and letting my customers know they are a part of my growth and success. Staying connected with Facebook, web blasts and blogging. Its not an overnight success path, buts its authentic and its working. I just wish I was better at remembering names.
Are there any future plans for your line?
- My main component is the art, so I’ll keep pushing myself to create and evolve and stay fresh. I think I can change the direction of my work because with out really knowing it I’ve developed a style which seems to be recognizable. The reality is the brand “the Civilian Press” is superseding me as its source so in order to be viable I need to also expand into the fashion realm and create new custom bodies for woman as well as some slick options for men as well. Keeping the concept clean and detailed with elements of the art incorporated. Bikinis and accessories that can showcase the art such as belts, buckles, timepieces and wallets are also in my sights.
How did you hear about FKN Famous & what do you think of us?
- A close compadre from the bay area had turned me onto what you guys are doing. FKN Famous has a clean and concise delivery of relevant content for me. I’m always on the hunt for new music, brands and gadgets so it’s easy for me to get lost on your site checking out videos and looking through what brands are doing clean work. I really like that you have such a range of features and styles. You showcase talent, not clout… I like that and FKN thumbs up on the FKN Hotties.
Any last shout outs?
- Of course, our boys from Allensworth, Abstract Workshop, Tres-Noir Sunglasses, Claussen “Hot~N~Spicy”, and the many other talented tattoo artist and models who continue to rock my shit on their own accord. They really help spread the word of the Civilian Press and last but not least, high-five to the FKN Famous family. Thanks Guys, appreciate the time and look forward to a long lasting relationship. “tonymash”
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