Introducing: Blood Brother
It’s not easy launching a successful menswear fashion brand. It’s an invigorated and dynamic market right now – so how has east London-based Blood Brother found its niche?
Beginning back in 2011 as a collaborative project between two college friends to design graphic tees, it came from simple beginnings. Graphic T-shirt brands are ten a penny, but there’s a subtlety and lightness to the way Blood Brother craft their visual identity.
One half of the founders, Nicholas Biela, studied menswear design at the birthplace of many a fashion brand, Central St Martins. Crucially, however, this was menswear design – not fashion design – so Biela’s approach was rooted in strong, simple ideas without too much over the top conceptual malarkey.
The key with graphics is keep it simple, and do it well. As James Waller, the other half of the brand, rightly sums up: “we started off with graphic T-shirts, as that’s what we were living in at the time – it’s one of the most important pieces of any man’s wardrobe, and it’s still something that I believe is one of the most difficult products to master as competition is always so fierce.”
As the brand developed, the two were careful not to rely too heavily on one look, “our vision is to share ideas and collaborate with similar minds”. So far that mantra has garnered them a cult following, allowing the duo to keep the brand’s identity liquid, while based around the kind of clothes that they, and their collaborators, wear every day.
“The collections are not designed with one person in mind,” James tells me, “but groups of boys and girls up and down the country who want to wear something that has been carefully put together with passion and pride.”
James’ background working with Diesel and his connections in the industry certainly contributed to their notable rise. Blood Brother has so far been stocked by ASOS, Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Luisa Via Roma.
“Blood Brother is special because it sits in a pocket just below global designer labels and has entry points that are really accessible,” James says, “while being exceptionally made using exclusive sourced fabrics and designed in east London with a British team.”
So far, niche filled. Talking to the Blood Brother guys reminds me that I probably forgot one essential part of making a brand work: ambition. And it’s sure to take them far…
See more and shop the latest collection at blood-brother.co.uk.
Blood Brother SS15 Lookbook