BEHIND THE BRAND – SONSJanuary 16, 2015
In the streetwear brand lifespan, East London label SONS are at the exciting age of infancy – bound to a relentless energy that fuels a collective concept paramount to everything they do.
With the new SONS collection fresh to drop at UO, we met up with Co-founder and Designer, Benn McGregor to discover more about the brand’s beginnings, their plans for the future, and the inspiring people involved.
UO: How did SONS first begin?
BENN: Michael (co-founder) has been designing t-shirts for over ten years, and I’ve been in the buying industry for five – before this I worked in design and production. Together with our Graphic Designer Holly Gallacher and Art Director Jamie Burbidge, we first conceived SONS with a mutual enthusiasm for classic brands like Stone Island, C.P, Y-3 – you know, truly timeless menswear labels.
We weren’t really interested in “fashion” in the typical sense, as we all shared a love for lifestyle and how to construct a concept and culture that provides longevity to a brand’s existence. From there we began to create mood boards and develop our first collection. Don’t get me wrong; we’ve got a long way to go before we can even begin to liken ourselves to brands that inspired us.
UO: How does this idea translate into your designs?
B: The core part of this idea is that we wanted to create a brand for lads without the all the macho nonsense – clothes guys could buy and wear comfortably without the connotations involved in wearing trendy high-street labels, and having their mates taking the piss out of them.
A lot of the time someone from the team will turn up to the studio with a vintage bomber jacket they’ve picked up, or a cool polo from a brand they love, and want to replicate the design into something unique. I’m not scared to say that we take inspiration from clothes that have been designed by other labels, that’s how the industry works. With this influence we can create something really special and focus on the details of how a great piece of clothing is constructed.
UO: You have quite the crew involved, how does this define SONS?
B: We’re all very diplomatic in the sense that we believe no one is bigger than the brand, so the hierarchy is completely flat. If someone has an idea, they own it and the rest of the team support them. We want to celebrate excellence, and with that we keep an open mind to fully support individual ideas.
In an ideal world I’d have everyone involved sat around this table talking to you, but obviously that would be mayhem.
UO: What your vision for the future of SONS?
B: First and foremost the product has got to be right, and the people who relate to it and showcase the brand have to be on-point too. I don’t want to build this brand by relentlessly calling up stores to buy stock, I want people to see the brand in its true form and gain interest from there.
Jamie plays a pivotal role in this idea, as it’s a lot of his friends who see him wearing SONS and are instantly intrigued to what it’s all about. This process works with the rest of team too. George, Portia, Alex, Kasra and the whole team are so infused in culture that they create a truly pure form of influence and expand the brand to where we want it to be.