And where do stories begin? In our head, in our heart, drawn from our lives and our community. It’s big stuff, and so sometimes the only way to see it clearly is to write it down, print it out and throw it all over the floor, with swatches of fabric and hopes for the future…stand back, and see what we can see. Roux.
This, as is often the case, is how we began our collaboration with Roux. Having worked together before on the Chateau Roux project, this new incarnation was made easier by our already mutual commitment to back story, and a need to speak a special message, to a specific group of people.
But before we print an inch of fabric and as always, we talk…often at length.
It became clear as we examined our motives, that a need to dispense with the past, find a new identity, and without fear of on occasion being less than perfect, ‘carve our own path’ — this is at the heart of Roux.
A word from Roux fashion designer and founder, Greg White:
‘We’re all influenced. We can only hope that we’re aware of it and that, and while trying to understand those influences, we can define our own unique direction’
To give just one example of how we then articulated the design ideas, specific text was chosen, to explain this sense of being ‘done’ with our old self. This was then graphically reinforced with harsh diagonal cut lines to enhance the idea of change, and the carving of a new future. To the casual observer just a T-shirt or sweatshirt print perhaps, but on closer inspection, a commitment to a way of life, and an individual path.
Complimentary ink techniques
Understanding this idea of ‘change’ behind a graphic story, can go further and help when recommending print techniques. We may for example then suggest contrasting ink styles, perhaps a meeting of matt and gloss inks to further reinforce the story. It is all subtle detail, but then from initial concept, through graphic style, to garment choice and ink technique, there is a sense of joined up writing, a thread that runs throughout.
With story and product in place, our next focus was intended audience. For personal and historic reasons, and because of the individualism of its diverse characters, Soho was an obvious choice as the spiritual home of Roux.
Soho book launch
A lovely way to combine the Roux story, and the community with which it resonates. Limited to 500 copies, Tony Brigg’s book Your Own Soho has been the product of a collaboration between iconic photographer Tony Briggs, advertising agency Kastner & Partners in London (K&P), and Roux. Captured during the spring and summer of 2015, it’s a selection of images that create a snapshot in time, showcasing the many, varied and unique faces and voices that make Soho one of the most fascinating and colourful corners of the world.
An understanding of brand story, its explanation through product, and a clear view of its intended audience. Dare we say, the three cornerstones of the October Textiles philosophy?