YHP Interviews the founders of Spader clothing
A Spader is someone who sets trends, not follows them.
Someone who has the admiration of their peers without seeking it.
They're passionate driven individuals who exude confidence and positive influence, determined to help those around them better themselves. A Spader is inspiring. A Spader opens doors.
Hello, how are you doing?
Doing well, we’ve had a busy week with the launch of our new website and hoodies for the Australian winter.
Can you give us brief background information about yourself, what’s your name? How old are you? Where are you from?
Sure, there are three of us working on this so I’ll put us all in.
My name is Ant Withers. I’m 24 years old and live in Canberra Australia.
John Ruman, our designer, is 31 years old. Born and bred in Canberra Australia.
James Rush, our marketing man, is 25 years old and also lives in Canberra Australia.
When was Spader clothing born?
Spader was developed in early 2007 and is now well and truly up and running.
At what age did you get into fashion?
I’d say I really got into fashion when I was 10 years old. Jordan basketball shoes were really hot at that time, and I think that’s when I started paying attention to other nice gear.
What makes your designs unique?
Our designs are bold and simple. The combination of having meaning behind the brand and out approach to high quality and simple design, makes us stand out from the crowd.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I think our inspirations come from all around the world by what directly and indirectly influences us in fashion. Ultimately the inspiration was to create a label that represents who a Spader is.
What makes your clothing line relevant to today’s society?
Relevance comes from what a Spader stands for. In today’s society to have meaning behind what you do and who you are – we feel – is important.
Would you have done anything differently, if you could go back in time?
Yeh, definitely. Knowing what I do now, I’d come at the sourcing and manufacturing side of things differently. You have to be realistic and come to terms with the fact that you don’t get a quality product for nothing. Good quality clothing costs money, and people on the hunt for cheap manufacturers should expect a cheap product.
How did you raise money for your business?
The three of us involved invested equal amounts of our own money each. Fortunately, this covered the cost of our first run and shipping to Australia. Sales from this run funded subsequent orders and away we went.
Who are your competitors? (Customer profile)
We’re really just trying to make a mark on the fashion scene and probably haven’t been around long enough to have direct competitors as such. Labels like elwood, adidas (blue label), and hopefully in the future guys like BAPE etc.
Who are your target markets?
We’re looking to get the gear to men and women aged between 18-35. Really, the clothing is designed for Spaders, and of course Spaders transcend different age-groups. Primarily, we’re looking to target forward thinking, trendsetters, who aspire to the Spader lifestyle and who have an appreciation for quality, bold, bright and simple clothing.
What are your advertising strategies? (Do you use any social networking sites to promote your brand).
At this point all of our promotion for Spader is done online. It’s very important to keep moving with the times and to have the Spader brand present on all the social networking sites such as: facebook, myspace, youtube and twitter etc.
However the best form of promotion comes the old fashion way - word of mouth. Having satisfied customers bragg about owning Spader gear and flaunting it around town has really helped our brand grow and given us a strong fan base.
You just launched your website recently 22nd of may 2009 to be precise, how does that feel? I must say it’s really looking nice
Thank you very much (Laughter). It feels great. Honestly a sense of relief. The site had been in the works for a long time and we didn’t want to launch anything that was a half ass reflection of the label. It needed to be world class, but original. Like the clothes it’s simple and bold, and we hope people enjoy both.
What fabrics do you mostly deal with?
At the moment we deal mainly in cotton. For tees, we prefer using anything between 180-200gsm and usually a combed jersey cotton. The fit of the ladies tees requires 2% poly, so there’s a bit of that too. For our hoodies, we’ve gone an 80/20 Cotton/Polyester blend.
Describe your collection in ten words?
Bold, simple, clean, trendy, comfortable, cocky, bright, unmistakable, polished, SPADER!
Do you make your collection to season?
To an extent definitely. As we’re based in Australia, most of our design is oriented towards the seasons here. That said, we design Spader clothing to be hot now and in the future, so international customers who typically buy a season later, are still attracted to the gear we designed for an Australian summer, say 9 months earlier.
What was the most important lesson you have learnt so far?
I touched on it before, but I’ve learnt that you can’t cut corners in business. If you want to market a quality product, for example, you have to pay for it. You have to work hard and finish things to 110% satisfaction, surround yourself with the right people and have a clear vision for the label. This sounds obvious, but it really is true.
Who is your role model/influence?
Russell Simmons. He’s the man. He had a vision and saw it through. He’s definitely a Spader.
Yes, Russell Simmons is a legend (Laughter).
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
I would have to say Jay-Z wearing our clothing on his European tour.
Wow, that’s pretty cool.
What is your favourite book? You know every entrepreneur has that book or audio that changes their mindset? What is yours? Do you want to recommend any?
Russell Simmons ‘Do You’. This is an awesome book that I HIGHLY recommend. It’s a pretty inspirational read and really does focus you. Read it!
I love books like that, i’m definitely getting a copy.
What are your advices for Aspiring young entrepreneurs looking to break in the Fashion industry or other industries?
Lead and be original. You have to bring something new to the table. If you’re going to copy someone or something already out there, why should people buy from you instead of them? There are plenty of cheap copycats out there and they never have longevity. You also have to have a very clear vision in your head for what you want to achieve and where you want to take the label. Finally, surround yourself with like-minded, talented people, and don’t cut corners.
I definitely agree with you.
So what’s next for Spader clothing?
We’re releasing our winter hoodies to the Australia market this month, which should be awesome. We’re also trying to organise national distribution around Australia, and look at expanding internationally. There are also a few poker ventures we want to look into.
One of our guys is also about to leave for the US to meet up with some industry people and push the label over there.
That sounds cool, hopefully that works out.
So finally, before I leave you, I need to ask for your secret, come on, why have you been so successful, what’s your secret weapon?
(Laughter), we have a good team and keep it Spader no matter what we do. We live the brand 100% and love what we do.
I’m definitely loving your vibe guys, so much energy, loving it, and guys i wish you the best in the future, we will definitely be keeping in touch with you and following your progress.
Contact Spader clothing@