When traveling abroad one of the most exciting things to me is discovering untapped fashion. While in the UK, my boyfriend and I stumbled upon a brand that caught my eye from afar. A men’s clothing line that truly inspired me with its innovative designs & illustrations. I had the pleasure of while browsing through the collection, to meet and speak to two of the four founders – you can tell right away that there was a ton of passion behind their work. When you can look at an item of clothing & see that the fabric is soft without touching it, you know it’s quality! Lift The Veil is everything a man would want whether going to a pub with friends or a nice dinner with the Mrs.
WBM: How did your background lead you to where you are today?
LTV: Growing up in the UK you are encouraged to follow but a few specific career paths;
Concentrating on an academic route, your focus is generally around going to a good university, and then on achieving good grades, working for a multi-national company in your chosen discipline. Similarly, finishing secondary school (high school), you can progress into a specialist apprenticeship, with largely similar outcomes.
We are four guys from South East England who adhere to these norms. At no point was it ever implied that starting your own business, especially in something your passionate about, could be remotely achievable. In fact, and especially in a time of such economic crisis, there is an inherent lack of belief in what one can achieve down this route; a fear of failure. This is despite the government speaking out on how small medium enterprises can kick start local and national economy.
We wanted to break free from this mould, and using our full time employment as start-up capital, start a business that epitomises the creativity and ingenuity that still exists in the youth that’s brought up through this system. By combining subject matter that we are passionate about with creative and commercial appeal within the fashion industry, we are hoping to stand out as a new and exciting brand.
Upon travelling to Australia, and more recently within the UK, there have been some inspiring brands that have proven that it is possible to be successful in the fashion industry. Starting with screen printed, graphic T-shirt designs seems to be a good foundation to build on, with brands such as No Tomorrow and Death By Zero in Australia, and Allsaints and Sinstar in the UK, particularly inspirational to us.
WBM: Tell me a bit about where you were raised?
LTV: All four of us are born and raised in South East England. We live in Sussex, which is one of the Home Counties, in close proximity to London and Brighton. Living here has meant that, throughout our lives, we a have been exposed to a blend of youth culture; art, music, fashion, and night-life.
We enjoy spending time in both of these multi-cultural cities, as well as enjoying live music and festivals across the UK, and generally soaking up the scene. Half of the LIFT THE VEIL team went to university in Southampton and this has extended our friendship network further around the UK. We therefore make the most of this and enjoy going out in places like Essex and Bristol.
We also enjoy travelling around the world, and experiencing other cultures, such as Australia and Thailand, and also party holidays to Ibiza. We all work locally because we enjoy living in this part of the world.
WBM: What led you to creating the Lift The Veil brand?
LTV: LIFT THE VEIL Clothing was born from an ambition to combine thought provoking, artistic design concepts with urban fashion.
We are all inquisitive people, and are fascinated by life’s greatest mysteries. Although largely ignored and overpowered by todays celebrity culture, there are a lot of unanswered questions in life and a lot of great information, and inspirational people that have a provided a variety of viewpoints and potential answers.
We live in an information age powered by the introduction of the internet, and so for the first time, we have a wealth of knowledge at our finger tips that allows the general public to ask questions and make their own minds up about these topics.
WBM: The main topics that have inspired the LIFT THE VEIL brand so far are:
The fractal geometric patterns that allow us to visualise the structure of our universe, alternative views on the ancient history of man, forgotten/repressed knowledge, and visionary adventures.
These topics are gaining momentum and interest across the world, through social media, podcasting and music. Artists such as Ab-Soul show how these topics can inspire creative lyrics, and comedian/podcaster Joe Rogan highlights these topics in what is becoming a global movement.
With the growing popularity of artistic and graphic design based clothing brands, and with consumers demanding a more “fitted” style of clothing, we wanted to develop a brand that combined contemporary style with unique substance.
We are not saying what is wrong and what is right with regards to our content, LIFT THE VEIL is about making interesting things known that weren’t common knowledge; an insight into some truly captivating subject matter that we feel is worth a read, and gives a great basis to inspire our art.
WBM: What is a key lesson you’ve learned along the way?
LTV: The key lesson we have learnt so far is to never settle for something you’re not happy with. Whether it’s with a brand name, a specific piece of art, a product description, or even the layout of a business card, don’t be afraid to discard something you’ve worked hard on if it doesn’t feel right.
WBM: Think of these four characteristics of entrepreneurs: heart, smart, guts, luck. Which one were you?
LTV: We think it is important to have the right blend of all of these as an entrepreneur. If we had to pick one it would be ‘smart’, but we also feel it is especially important to always have your heart in it, even for the low points. Also a bit of luck never goes amiss in the fashion industry.
WBM: What has been your highest moment in the fashion industry and your lowest?
LTV: Our highest moment was when our first range was delivered. We were all so happy with how the product turned out, and was great to see our hard work portrayed in the quality of the prints. Also our first sale, and how well we have been received, both by customers and within the industry.
Our lowest point was when we got stuck in classic London traffic and ended up missing watching Ashley Isham’s cat walk event at London Fashion Week; our first opportunity to network at a prestigious fashion event.
WBM: Who currently is your style icon?
LTV: Our style icon is Tinie Tempah. By blending urban and high end fashion, Tinie is consistently referred to as the UK’s best dressed male (GQ magazine).
WBM: Fashion item you can’t live without?
LTV: Breaking it down for the team:
James: His Ted Baker coat.
Ant: His lucky LA snap back
Chris: His Trevor Bolongaro leather jacket.
Dan: His Ray-ban shades.
WBM: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
LTV: For LIFT THE VEIL Clothing to be a globally recognised fashion label. For our success to allow us all to be working full time for ourselves, doing something we love, for a brand we believe in.
In particular we see ourselves becoming a major and predominantly online business, with other ties in major retailers, across multiple countries.