Fashion + Interview – Aplomb Clothing–Clothing Line
Aplomb [uh-plom, uh-pluhm] was started in 2006 by three owners who come from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Each person brings a unique skill and mindset to the company, and this idea is something that we strive to portray through our brand as we grow. Check out the interview below with the designers of this already successful brand.
Arize: What separates you guys from your competition?
We like to think of being from the DMV (The District, Virginia, and Maryland) that that somewhat already separates us from the competition. There aren't many similar successful brands coming out of this area, and with steady competition always being from NY or Cali, we try to take advantage of that right out the gate. I would say the other main thing that separates us is our quality of designs and product. We make a concerted effort to use only the finest shirts, woven labels, inks, and fabrics to ensure we are making the best products we can. It makes things much harder for a smaller independent company like us, but we feel that it's the only way to go and that it will pay off in the end.
I just think everything is so accessible these days that it's easy for anyone to get a bootleg copy of photoshop and make some shitty designs.
Arize: With all the "garbage" clothing lines out now and all the celebrities "trying" to design successfully, and failing at it, how has that side of the biz made it easier for good lines like Aplomb to actually flourish?
To me it's kind of both good and bad. The market is obviously flooded so in some ways it makes things harder just by the general idea that everyone seems to have their own "clothing company" these days. I think it probably makes it a little harder for people to take us seriously at first, but once they see our brand, our media, and our products, people know that we are for real.
Arize: How important do you think it is for lines to have a celebrity sponsor? And does that really help a brands solidarity?
We really haven't had much connection with celebrity sponsorship or anything like that so far. We try to support a lot of other independent artists, musicians, and brands so that we can all work to come up together. Don't get me wrong, the celebrity thing definitely works and gets the name out there, so we aren't against it, it just hasn't been one of our priorities I guess.
Arize: Since everyone is doing it now adays, do you think there is too much saturation of super basic t shirt lines out there? And why do you think everyone thinks they can design a successful clothing line with just words slapped on a t-shirt?
Yeah, I definitely think that there is too much saturation, but then again who am I to complain cause I guess we are trying to get our slice of the pie too, right? Haha... Nah, I guess I just think everything is so accessible these days that it's easy for anyone to get a bootleg copy of photoshop and make some shitty designs. I think the other problem is that people actually think that the shit is hot! To each his own and all that, but at some point a line needs to be drawn.
We try to support a lot of other independent artists, musicians, and brands so that we can all work to come up together. Don't get me wrong, the celebrity thing definitely works and gets the name out there, so we aren't against it...
Arize: What are your goals with this line? What other avenues are your willing to travel down in order to get the word out even more?
Really, in our minds we have just cracked the surface as far as what we would like to do with this company. Our main goal when we started was to make fresh concept based designs and to really try to appeal to all different types of people, styles, and cultures. So far we feel we have been pretty successful doing that with the products we have made, so we just aim to keep that general idea as we continue to grow. As far as what we are willing to try....anything. Anyone who understands our brand knows that everything we are about is all related and part of the culture and world we are living in. Whether it is music, art, design, fashion, sports, or whatever, we are all about progressing and moving forward.
Arize: The quality of your line is exceptional...what are the some of the details that go into your fabrics?
Thanks! We really try to focus on the products and make the consumer feel like they are getting;
(A) There moneys worth.
(B) Something they love and might tell their friends about.
This is why we go the extra mile to get the best woven labels and clamp tags, inside the neck silkscreens, and the softest waterbased inks. It's all about the details and making each product feel unique and different. The more we grow, the more we will be able to customize and craft each part of our line to the fullest.
Our main goal when we started was to make fresh concept based designs and to really try to appeal to all different types of people, styles, and cultures.
Arize: Can you explain the word Aplomb? how did you guys come up with it? Is it a real word?
Ryan was the one who came up with the name for the company. It's pretty much genius, haha.
Yes, it is a real word, and to those who know it right away (not many) they get it right from the start. It basically means "to do something with poise and confidence". I like the name for a couple reasons. One, I think it's cool that most people don't know what it means or that it is an actual word, so when they find out they seem to remember it and like it more. I also like the fact that people don't really know how to say it right away, so it becomes more of a niche type brand for those who know the deal.
Arize: With your line being ran by a small group of guys (3) how has this helped and challenged your brand? And do you think there is a need to expand?
Haha, if people only knew the deal. Yea, it's pretty tough. I mean we all have full time gigs and other obligations, but we make it work. We're pretty serious about making this our full time thing so needless to say, we work our asses' off. But at the end of the day it is what I want to be doing, so I have no complaints.
As far as expanding, definitely. It's not really a matter of if we need to, it's more just when. Right now is just not the time and we like to keep things as simple as possible, but most likely in the near future I see some employees, or even better...INTERNS!
Arize: What are the plans for Aplomb's future? What else do you guys plan on releasing? ie jeans, accessories etc.
We have plenty of ideas for sure! Our next line coming out this fall will have our first cut and sew pieces (Yeeeeah!), full print tees, more custom fitteds, and more. We definitely do not want to be thought of as just a t-shirt company, we are a brand. We have talked about getting into denim, sneakers, more outerwear, etc...it's really just about growing and expanding on season at a time.
Arize: Any tips for anyone out there that is actually SERIOUSLY considering starting a clothing line?
Yeah, stop asking me where I get my shit made, do your homework!
Arize: Haha...nuff said.