Best things happen when they grow naturally (well, just like afros and mullets, for example). Creating their first-ever rap single and sharing it among friends and potential fans @ MySpace was a first step for three girls to create The Sick Kids, an up-and-coming streetwear brand from UK with lots to offer, speaking both in terms of quality and quantity. Inspired by music from punk rock to hip hop, horror movies, old cartoons and anything else creative and different, sisters Kelly and Lele and their girl friend Sarah created their first tees by using paper transfer to be sold at their first gigs. Following the popularity of their do-it-yourself creations they decided to make The Sick Kids a real clothing line. Those nutty characters dominating The Sick Kids designs are getting more and more popular, beside looking great. Enjoy the interview with their creator – Kelly (a.k.a. “Jackson Kid”).
We wanted to make T-shirts for ourselves to wear on stage. It started out
with the slogan T’s, we made our own with some T-shirt transfer paper because there wasn’t any that truly expressed what The Sick Kids are about. My favorite was the “I would wash pre-washed salad for you” one.
What were the first reactions to your heat-transferred slogan shirt you were selling at your gigs?
That people wanted to buy them! That’s what made us start selling them
Who “invented” The Sick Kids as characters you’re now using as
motives with your designs? What can you tell me about The Sick Kindsm”personalities”?
I did! I’m Kelly or “Jackson Kid” to some (my stage name for hyping
SPEAKS), I do all the art work for sick kids clothing. The characters are
inspired and roughly based on my friends, but also stuff that I’m into… 80’s &
90’s movies, music, TV, fashion & toys. I love kids stuff, but I also like
horror films and gothic art, so I mix all those things into The Sick Kids.
We no longer use the paper transfer method as it’s not very long lasting,
these days all our designs are screen printed.
You seem to have many different products (not just shirts, but also
vests, hoodies, accessories…) to offer in your online shop. Is that
something you had from the begginings?
No, we just started out with the shirts, which I was hand making. I did go
on to hand print some hoodies, but it wasn’t until 2009 we decided to make
The Sick Kids a proper streetwear brand, have everything professionally
printed and gradually add more and more items.
You also offer denim jackets and shorts with patches on it. How did that idea come about?
Well, we like that sort of stuff – denim, the 90’s, punk, so we wanted to
make them for ourselves at first and people liked them, so naturally we
decided to make them for everyon. I love how all the “stitched up” items
are unique one off’s. Customizing is part of our own style, so we really
wanted to include that. We also sell handmade badge bracelets which we wear
all the time (that was Lele’s idea)!
So, all in all – what is the main message you try to spread among your potential customers with The Sick Kids?
I guess the main message is – buy our clothing. Only joking, ha! I guess the
message is do fun stuff, don’t let life get you down, take the piss instead! Just tryin to spread some sickness. I like to send out confusion & mixed
messages as well.
Who are your main influences in art / indie fashion world / music, and why?
Hmm… I’ll say our main art influence would be cartoons and animated films!
We were obsessed with Disney, Loony Tunes & Nickelodeon in the 90’s and
thats not really changed. we like the 90’s kids stuff, but I also really
like the older ones where they are smoking cigars and whack each other round
the face with a mallet etc, they’ll never make ’em like that again! Nobody springs to mind from the indie fashion world, but I guess we take
style influence from cool as fuck ladies like Jemina Pearl and Alice Glass,
T-shirts, trainers, casual but bad ass! Our biggest music influence would
have to be Descendents! Perfect pop punk from the 80’s, second to that is
probably Eminem! – bought “The Slim Shady” LP = life changed 😀
We love to see our favorite bands play live, we love to get the projector
out and have movie night on our mum’s massive sofa! We love to go watch the
horse racing with our dad. We also look after a horse called Gus. Gus is a
dude, we’ve been riding since Lele’s legs couldnt reach past the saddle
flaps. We are planning to start showjumping him locally next year.
Where would you like to go with The Sick Kids? In other words – where do
you see The Sick Kids in future?
Well, I’m not very organised so it’s hard to see past next week, but we really
love and believe in what we do and are lucky to have a great family and
people we work with that feel the same, so I guess we see a successful Sick
Kids clothing brand. We would be so successful that we could then branch off
into making even more cool stuff like toys, an animated series, a bio-pic,
sick kids clothing for horses, make a documentary about something, a Sick
Kids tattoo shop, a cake shop, collaborate with McDonalds and make a Sick
Burger, a perfume line ‘The Scent Of Sick’… Lots to do!