Recently we were interviewed by the streetwear blog, ZenKora who wanted to know a bit about our story and what drove us to begin an independent clothing brand.
First, tell me a bit about your brand. How’d you come up with the name Platypus UK, and what does it mean?
We thought that Platypus, the weird and wonderful animal just captured the nature of what we stand for really – doing things your own way and embracing what makes you different. Platypuses are such a funky combination of everything. We’ve really grown to love them.
We also came to the conclusion that we wanted a ‘character’ to be a big part of the brand as my partner is especially talented at drawing animals (birds in particular!) and character design for children. There’s a lot of competition in this market. We see a lot of simply ‘bunging logos on t-shirts.’ As graphic designers, we understand the importance of logos in brand recognition, but with this reoccurring extra element there are so many creative possibilities that we could have some fun with. It will be interesting to see how he (the platypus) develops as the brand grows.
Interesting. Yeah, I’ve seen the platypus logo and it’s very memorable actually. Tell me more about why you guys decided to create a streetwear brand. Is it just you and your partner?
Yes, just me and Sarah. We met at university (Nottingham Trent) studying graphic design but what’s good is we have very different strengths. Personally, I’m really into branding and typography and she leans over to Illustration.
We decided to start a streetwear brand most probably because in our third year at uni we were part of a fund-raising committee which was responsible for funding our end of year degree show. It was a hell of a lot of pressure and we managed to raise over £12,000. We got experience at organizing events and selling merchandise and a bit of confidence that we might just be able to run a business ourselves.
But to be honest, that year was a very tough year for the both of us, and that’s really what drove us to create this brand. Life is unpredictable and we have been rebuilding ourselves, through this process.
Have you done any online sales? And if so, where did the traffic come from?
Yes more than half the sales have been online. We have a growing following on Instagram and we are hoping set up a launch event in Nottingham in the next few months. We wanna go hard growing a reputation here in Nottingham which should provide a good base to expand further online. We haven’t even begun to pull out all the stops yet. We’re keen to collaborate with other local street wear brands and artists. There’s a good vibe here when it comes to creativity and independent businesses so we just want to be part of it and be involved with the community. In the future we’d even like to help support local causes and make a positive impact.
"We want Platypus to be a creative culture, a reaction against the soulless, mass produced, throwaway culture we have going on today."
What’s been the most rewarding part of starting your own brand?
When people you don’t know appreciate your work, it feels great. Especially when you know you did it all off your own back and worked hard to get to this point.
We know the brand is still in it’s infancy and inevitably it will change, but at the moment it feels good because it’s like the whole world is at your feet. It could go anywhere and that’s the beauty. It makes things exciting - you fear you might fail but you just gotta do it anyway, otherwise you’ll have regrets, which is worse.
You can read the full interview on Will's blog at: http://zenkora.com/platypus-uk/
Tags: Platypus UK, Zenkora, Independent clothing brand, Maxine Abbott, Streetwear clothing, mens streetwear, womens streetwear, Beanie, Snapback, Unisex, streetwear blog, Fashion Blog, Nottingham