Impact Style speaks to Dave, an up and coming entrepreneur of the fashion world. His label Nocturnal Creature is born out of the music scene, an influence which is ever present in his staple tees. He speaks to us about his biggest inspirations as well as the trials and tribulations of what it takes to make it in the fashion industry.
What inspired you to create Nocturnal Creature?
I had always been interested in fashion, when I was younger I always wanted to have brands and styles that people around me hadn’t heard of. I grew up in a pretty small community and took inspiration from major UK cities to wear stuff no other kids had. When I moved to London I fell back in love with the house and techno music scene once again; having DJ’d from young age at parties and with friends at house gatherings I starting spending more time in the clubs. The move also rejuvenated my passion for fashion and living in the capital it’s unavoidable I think to not become more conscious of what styles people are wearing.
For people that are new to the brand, how would you describe its aesthetic? What makes it unique?
The brand is an on trend street wear apparel and is both sleek, minimal and often monochrome designs as well as graphic print t-shirts using the house and techno music scene as its inspiration. That’s what makes us unique. The brand was born out of my personal love for this music scene and it represents it in everything we do, we wanted to create something that fitted in with the style already a part of the scene.
What are some of the challenges that you have faced in creating Nocturnal Creature?
Exposure Is was one of the biggest challenges for any start up and growing independent clothing brand. It takes a while for people to get on board and get behind the ethos of the brand and what we represent. This is now happening but the challenge now changes from growing our audience to then turning this into sales.
And what are some of the highlights about working on the brand?
The highlights massively outweigh the frustrations of the challenges. We run a blog and this has various content from reviewing some of the major festivals and club nights throughout the year. The highlights of this is getting backstage press passes and being able to talk on the same level to many DJs that I have grown up idolising in many ways. The most rewarding however hands down is seeing people in clubs when I go out and even as far as Ibiza, wearing a t-shirt I designed.
How would you describe a typical working day for you? What does it consist of?
As soon as I wake up I am checking my various social media platforms seeing what has happened over night especially as we now have an audience and sell in the US and Australia. I then, if it hasn’t been done already, schedule the days posts for Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. The rest of the morning will be calls / meetings with various brands in the industry. We’re really focusing on collaborations with major festivals and brands in 2016. It also depends on what campaigns are happening at the time but I will also then be designing the social media and email marketing for special offers like our recent Black Friday campaign. Content is so important these days so updating the blog with good quality content relating to our industry is important on a regular basis. We have already got to work on our summer collection as well as working on a strong PR campaign with various magazines like yourselves.
What steps did you take for the brand to become where it is in its present day?
The brand started with an injection of my own personal funds, we found a great partner in Rapanui who provide all of our clothing and also provided us with platform to sell products. I literally had never used Illustrator and Photoshop and therefore had to teach myself in order to design the t-shirts I wanted to sell. The next step was to network firstly on the London house and techno music scene I still believe that although we have a really cool product it’s the early groundwork I personally put in on the London circuit that has got the brand to where it is now. Nocturnal has had a lot of support from other industry brands (I can now call friends) and they have all shared our brand to give us some great exposure. Getting the t-shirts on DJs helped the brand spread from the DJ booth to the dance floors of clubs and festivals.
Name one item of clothing you cannot live without and why?
The Largo Jumper in either the light or dark grey. It’s simple and printed on super soft organic cotton. I literally wear it everywhere.
Where do you see Nocturnal Creature going in the future? Are there any areas you are hoping to expand to? (e.g accessories, footwear, outerwear etc.)
The first year has been nothing short of incredible and if we can continue to grow at this rate then the future holds a lot of good times ahead, we are working as I mentioned on summer already and 5 panels caps as well as other accessories are in the pipeline as well as limited edition pieces in clothing we haven’t yet done, we are trying to really grow our female following. Once we move on to winter we will do the same and looking forward to sourcing some cool jackets, hats, scarves and other winter wear.
We’ve seen the likes of Eats Everything and No Artificial Colours wearing your tees. What does this mean to you? Would you say these guys represent your target audience?
100 per cent, Eats Everything is very much an in demand DJ on the current house music scene and has a huge amount of fans who are the exact perfect match for Nocturnal Creature London the same can be said for No Artificial Colours. I think being recognised by those guys in the scene just rubber stamped the fact that we are here, this is what we represent and if you don’t know get to know!
What advice would you give to another young entrepreneur who is looking to enter the world of fashion?
Don’t copy, enjoy what YOU do not what someone else does, otherwise you won’t have the passion you need to make it work. Don’t panic about social media following in the beginning, it will grow and as it does your skills and marketing will grow organically with it. Be prepared for knock backs, empty promises and take certain bits with a pinch of salt. Be realistic, we all want to be the next hype or whatever but you have to believe in what you’re doing and allow it to grow – Rome wasn’t built in a day. Deliver on your promises however small, someone who shows interest in your brand may seem small now but one day they could be your best stockist or marketing tool.
Image Credits: Luke O’brien photography, Vision and BBC