I feel this clothing project is an important one. It’s called Local Art Collective, and our mission is simple: sell clothing with designs created by local artists, submitted by local artists, using only the finest fair trade clothing (American Apparel) and printing all garments locally in good ol’ Vancouver. Our first objective is to use the medium of clothing to showcase and promote local talent, to develop a unique and locally influenced clothing style. Second, we’d like to give back. Every Local Art Collective shirt that is purchased, 15% of the selling price will go to the corresponding artist. Now, this isn’t a solution to end artist-poverty, but it’s a modest attempt to give back to artists for work they’ve incurred. The clothing is 100% local and, I think, unique. We choose our clothing to fit a specific style. We aren’t necessarily going for the urban-street wear demographic, but the individual who appreciates unique designs of art (we try to be versatile in our line, as you will see).
This whole business model came out of the personal want for my friends’ work to get released into the public; local artists had a hard time showcasing their work. I have a lot of really talented friends who are local artists. I’d spend a lot of time in their studios and I would find stacks of quality art that would literally be in the back corners of studio space. Apparently a lot of this work was difficult to sell. I’m not sure why, but perhaps it wasn’t precisely what galleries were looking for. This work had to be seen. Local Art Collective views the person brandishing the LAC garment as a walking canvas of local art. Eventually we’d like to branch out, and reach as many cities as possible.
It would bring me great pleasure, at the very least, if this business model could somehow transcend the status-quo, and suddenly more money was deservingly going to the graphic artist of other clothing companies. I don’t want to name names, but there is some real artist exploitation in the clothing industry. We’ve done our homework, and this 15%-return-to-corresponding-artist, if you will, is a sustainable business model. It has been successful for us. Further, we give contributing artists full creative control over their work, down to the color of the shirt they wish to print their garment on; also, we do not own the rights to the respective artists’ work; rather, we are given permission to use their design for a designated amount of time and the artist receives their payments quarterly.
We took the process of developing our first line slowly, over the past few months to have a fleet of designs we are proud of, and have launched our company as of slightly less than a month ago. Since then we’ve been featured in most of the major local newspapers and have taken part in numerous large festivals; also, American Apparel HQ in LA provided us with an event to promote us exclusively at one of their retail stores. Since launching our line, we’ve received an overwhelming amount of submissions and positive feedback from artists and clothing fans alike – i.e. our shirts sell. As such, we have a goal of having our second line released and ready to go in 1 months time.
We would be honored to receive any form of support and understand that you are likely doing this out of passion for clothing. Ditto for us. We aren’t looking for riches, but to make a difference. Any support is appreciated and will not go unnoticed. For instance, we’d be happy to present our new line, which will occur in less than one month, to you before it hits the press.
Our first line, as mentioned, is on our website – see below.
Andy: Very nice shirts indeed, I’m looking forward to the next collection.