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DOM SEBASTIAN INTERVIEW
Dominic Metcalfe is a school-kid success story. Imagining and actualizing idealistic hand dyed clothing & developing strong crafted branding to match, 2012 has seen his brand taken from strength to strength. Not to mention the fact he’s still living out his teenage years. Dominic shares his story so far & let’s us in on what 2013 holds for Dom Sebastian.
The DS brand is really starting to take shape – tell us, what kicked it all off?
"I’ve always been really into gradients and vibrant tones, so I started experimenting with dyes. Naturally I combined this visual interest with clothing and started to create gradient sweatshirts & T-shirts. I posted some pictures on Tumblr and before I knew it, thousands of people were re-blogging and asking to buy the sweatshirts! That’s how it all began".
You seem to have developed a healthy following & eager customer base already - are things starting to get too big for Dominic alone?
"I’m really happy with the positive response the business has received so far, and I love that DS has reached so many countries already, especially places outside Europe like Japan and the US. The demand has been overwhelming but considering I’m still at school, I’d say I’ve been managing well! Maybe I should start employing soon…"
Your signature products are mostly dye process based – do you still do all of this by hand? Will this change as the company progresses?
"Yes - I hand dye everything. I have been looking into new techniques and processes for a while now and although I’ll definitely be launching a printed gradient range in the near future. There is something special about the hand dyed nature of the current products so I’ll always keep them available! Hopefully as the company moves forward I’ll keep adding new products to the catalogue but still maintain the classic hand dyed products as well as printed ones".
You recently announced a new artist collaboration, tell us more.
"I’m working with US-based artist & photographer Michael Chase, whose artwork I’ve been a fan of for some time. I’d been really interested in offering an all over print range and spent a long time considering design ideas, when I remembered Michael’s blog and had the idea of a collaboration. We managed to narrow it down to a final selection that fully represents the visual variety of the artwork. The collection (Dom Sebastian x Michael Chase) currently has an estimated release date of February 2013 and I’m excited to tell you that the first design is in production as we speak and we can’t wait to see it".
Standing strong as a small brand has never been tougher in such a saturated marketplace – what tips would you give to those considering starting up?
"I would say be creative. There are so many brands out there all offering the same products and in such a saturated marketplace you need to stand out. Have a plan before you start as this will avoid complications further down the line. Knowing your target audience is important as well in creating and promoting products".
Finally, - where do you plan to take Dom Sebastian in 2013?
"I have so much planned for 2013! I’ve got a new range of printed T-shirts coming out with as well as various other products. Early spring will see the collaboration come to fruition and in the summer I’ll be launching the scented sweatshirt collection as part of my SS13 Fruits collection, which will have some exciting special edition features. I’ll have to see how much I can fit into one year!"