SICK SWAG!: Alive & Well Clothing
May 17th, 2011
Sometimes it’s nice to have a change from the gore, obscure and horror themed designs that a lot of alternative clothing lines go for. Lots of clothing lines go in different directions for designs based on their company name, or just to stand out from the crowd. Alive & Well are one of such brands, and since their set up just last year, the company has slowly but surely been gaining a name for itself.
Going on with our Sick Swag features, we got in touch with founder Connor Fathers to talk about the history of the brand, despite how short that may be at the moment, and to find out what plans he’s got for the line in the foreseeable future. If things keep going the way it has so far, it’s going to be staying alive and well.
Zach: Alive & Well only started as early as last year, how’s it felt to be gaining success so quickly compared to most other clothing companies?
Connor: Honestly, it’s just been great to see people really getting involved, even down to the simple things like sharing a link on Facebook or retweeting us. That might sound silly, but it just feels great to have people on board.
Zach: What made you want to start up a clothing company, and how did you intend to make it work before it’d even began?
Connor: To put it bluntly, I couldn’t really find a job. I was seventeen when this whole thing started, and I’d dropped out of college because that just wasn’t right for me, then went on to struggle with finding employment. I’ve always been fairly interested in online fashion and streetwear, and when my parents offered me a small sum of money to get something started up for myself it just kind of felt right.
Zach: When Alive & Well first started, how much money did you set aside to get it off the ground and how did you get the name out there to begin with?
Connor: For the first six months or so, every single penny I made went straight back into the company and to be honest, it’s still very much that way now. I’m still living at home with my folks, so all I need is enough money for basic living stuff like running my car, etc. For now, and definitely the foreseeable future, I feel that pumping everything I make back into the company will really give me the opportunity to develop into a more premium brand. It’s too easy to create a lower quality product in order to take a bigger profit for yourself. As for getting the name out there, all I can say is social networking sites. As far as promotion goes, sites like Facebook and Twitter really are invaluable.
Zach: Why was the name Alive & Well chosen, and what sort of impression do you think it sets for people who are first introduced to the line?
Connor: To me, the name Alive & Well represents good living, not through wealth but more so optimism, good health and good company throughout life. I came up with the brand name after having a quote stuck in my head for years, I think it was from an episode of Lost or something: “I did not ask for the life I was given but it was given nonetheless, and with it I shall do my best”. It really spoke to me and made me feel determined to share something with whoever I could.
Zach: Where do you draw your inspiration and ideas from for your designs?
Connor: I work with some great designers from all over the world to create the pieces for Alive & Well, and I think most of the inspiration for the design work comes from the message behind the brand, which is how I have always felt it should be.
Zach: In the current line right now, do you have a favourite design and piece of clothing? If so, which one is it and why?
Connor: That’s a tough one! My opinion on each of the pieces changes from time to time, I am my own worst critic unfortunately, but I have always been very fond of the Griffin tank top.
Zach: You sponsor a selection of bands at the moment, including rising names such as While She Sleeps and Decade, how do you go about choosing which bands you want to sponsor through the brand?
Connor: To be deadly honest, it comes down to the music I really dig, the people who I think really are good people and the bands/artists that will benefit the most from having my backing and vice versa. A band has to tick these boxes to land a sponsorship with Alive & Well, so it’s half a business choice and half my own personal taste, which I feel is fair. After all, they will be representing my brand.
Zach: Summer is just around the corner, have you got any Summer line ideas to get people involved with Alive & Well whilst in the sun?
Connor: Summer is going to be rad this year, got some really cool vests/tank tops in the pipeline along with lots of other goodies and a new look for the webstore. It’s going to be a good year, that’s for sure.
Zach: For anyone who’s not too familiar with Alive & Well just yet, why should people check you guys out and give you a chance?
Connor: Alive & Well is very much an indie brand. It’s just me running this, and I put 110% into it 24/7. Any support means a great deal to me, and I’m always looking to expand and branch out.
Zach: Where does Alive & Well plan to be this time next year, and what plans do you have along the way that you can share with us?
Connor: The only plan with Alive & Well is to keep progressing, keep moving forward and keep stepping up the game. I can only hope that news excites you as much as it does me.