Printing your own shirts became something much more than a side-hobby nowadays. It became a REAL business, with all it’s components (branding, marketing, whatnot…) Having that in mind, it is certainly hard for a starting underground tee label to make a name for itself. Designs HAVE to be unique, recognizable, and look appealing to many. Florida based IronSpider Clothing started in 2007 and from what can be seen on their website, they seem to make some really eye-catching designs, often transferred onto tees as big prints, which you’d really like to wear. I especially like the “less is more” concept, so don’t expect to find like dozens of designs when shopping at IronSpider.com. Rather expect many styles, such as longsleeves, hoodies and dresses. Since I really liked what I saw (plus, I’ve recognized their honest approach to me as a tee blogger), I thought why not asking them a couple of questions, in order to present them to you. Hope you’ll enjoy what follows!
Could you introduce yourself and tell what you do at Iron Spider Art?
We are IronSpider Clothing – a small indie label from US. We are basically a team of two people and we do everything ourselves, from creating t-shirt designs and websites, to printing and marketing.
What is the concept behind your company? What was the motivation for starting a tee / clothing company in the first place?
The concept in the beginning was to create designs which are different from the mainstream, from what you usually find in the malls, and of course more artistic. We are still working on that and there is really no final point on this road. We are trying to improve our style with different printing techniques and design ideas. The motivation behind starting a clothing line was to have t-shirts which we would like to wear and hopefully people will like them too.
How long have you been in business, and can you tell me what did you learn so far from it? What are the good sides, and what are the downfalls of having an indie tee label?
We exist since 2007. Pretty short time for so many things:) I don’t think I can mention everything we’ve learned so far, but some of the major things are – printing on t-shirts, using different inks, creating artworks (halftones and vectors),creating websites, communicating with all kinds of people and institutions, making mistakes, working hard and never give up. The knowledge in this field is endless so we never stop learning. The good sides of having small label is that you are the company the company is what you do and it is kind of adventure every day. For the downfalls – we think that these days they are too many clothing/t-shirt companies out there and the market is overflowed.
What can you tell me about your designs? Who design them, what they represent mostly…? Any special stories behind some of them?
Our designs are created entirely by us. Creating design and transferring it on a shirt is s a long process of trial and error. We are perfectionists and quality freaks, which also is something that the big companies are missing sometimes because it is time consuming, but for us it is the part of the process. Our designs represent mostly our inner expressions that’s why we are not profiled in one direction. Sometimes we are funny, some times mystic and dark.
What is the method you’re using when printing your designs onto fabrics? Which fabrics do you use? Which inks?
All of our designs are hand screen printed on the garments, there is no automation in the process. We use manual press. Doing it by hand is our policy and it is part of the uniqueness of the whole process. We use only 100% cotton fabrics from American Apparel – made in US which are really high quality and pleasure to work with. For now we use plastisol, discharge and water based inks.
You ship internationally, right? What is the strangest country you’ve ever had an order from?
Yes, we ship internationally. So far we haven’t had any strange countries in our list, but it will be great to have some. It is always exiting to know that someone on the other end of the world likes our designs.
When purchasing your product, what is it an eventual customer is really buying?
When purchasing from us, a customer is getting our work with a signature of high quality garment and print,original design and a little bit of us.
Is it hard to specialize in the tee business, being a small underground label as you seem to be, with so much companies out there? What methods of marketing do you use?
Yes, it is not that easy being small limited company these days, but this is our passion and we really believe that working hard is the answer. Creating different designs with quality also will help. For now, we are using mostly online sources of marketing – blogs, websites, submission sites etc.
How do you look upon T-shirts themselves, do you think they’re just clothing objects, or they’re somehow became a media for sharing certain kind of messages? What attracts you to that media?
The t-shirt for us is like canvas where we can share our visions and expose them to the public. The main reason why we chose that media is that the t-shirt is very affordable, everyone wears one and actually they are the most wearable and simple part of the fashion world.
What is your opinion on (even indie) labels that are obviously overpricing their tees?
Overpricing any product is not really nice thing to do. I can only guess that some people are just greedy and with appetites only for money. Personally, I think this kind of companies are mostly with short existence and they are doomed.
Is there any specific label or a company you look up to? Any labels you’d like to mention, too? Or artists, maybe?
We are really influenced by artists from the industrial , dark , ambient , punk music movements, movie makers like J. Svankmajer and W. Herzog, painters like H. Bosh and A. Durer and etc…
IronSpider.com is having a sale for some of their designs at the moment, so make sure you check their site out!