Lessons learnt from trying - Part 5 / by Frankie Baeza

Observing other clothing companies brought me to the assumption that a photo shoot was necessary. I asked three of my course mates to get involved in exchanged for a free hat each. The old-school chopper we used in the shoot was lent to us by a local bike shop.

It was located right next to our halls and we walked past the beauty that was displayed on the window every day. Myself and Matt had no real reason to use the bike other than wanting to ride it round Bournemouth. So after a week of convincing Bernard the store owner, we put down a £100 deposit and took it with us. Part of the deal was that the models would wear tops sold by the store hence the horrific jumpers they are all wearing haha.

The locations selected where based on a supposed typical walk to a footie game. It really was all done on a whim, we’d take some photo’s. Then once I was happy with the shots, we’d just start walking somewhere else without really knowing where exactly to go. Lucky it was a sunny day.

As we got to the beach the sun was settling down, at the time I really didn’t appreciate the beauty of Bournemouth beach as I do today. Really should have made more use of it. Once the shoot was over, there was a long process of editing done by our flat mate Alex, with our help on cutting the footage, sorting the best photos & clips from the worst. It is hard to imagine the amount of work going into a shoot until you actually sort one out. Makes me wonder how much work goes into the really good ones!

The song on the video is “Something Special” By The Manor. Asked permission to use it for the video over twitter, you couldn’t get a more legendary bunch of musicians. Keep an eye out for their debut album coming out soon.

Looking back on this video, there is loads we did wrong. There was no story, not enough shots of the actual headwear we were selling and just the credits at the end are so poor. But with the short time frame we gave ourselves to make it: One week to be precise, it will suffice.

What I have learnt from looking back on this is that was absolutely no need for the video. We had no budget for it, and it really couldn’t have done anything to bring us any more sales then we were already getting. We made it because we thought it had to be made. In fashion a video needs to be artistic and represent the designs of the clothing. This attempt simply didn’t, but whatever it was a laugh.

As I grew up and taught myselves from observing the UK clothing masters such as Trapstar and Dopechef I quickly realised that there was no reason to waste time on a visual until, if ever, we had a whole collection coming. Another thing I realised is that neither myself or Matt were ever going to have the technical abilities to come across as a fashion brand, we had come up with a concept for football clubs on clothing. No idea in tailoring, material cutting expertise or any knowledge on how write now whilst we were in January it was already time to start designing the WINTER collection. Not the summer one.

At the beginning, finc would proudly say that there are only 50 hats available per design. To sound like there is an exclusivity to the product and to drum up demand. The real reason is we simply couldn’t afford any more stock and it was actually 60 per design which was the lowest MOQ that the Chinese suppliers gave us, the extra ten were classed as give aways. In the pictures I’ve reblogged from Logan Sama to Mikill Pane they of course are some of the recipients of our free hats.

Some of the guys at the Manor were shouting for a Crystal Palace Snapback. The Eagles were in the championship at the time and looking back it was a big risk, also we shouldn’t have made a hat just because a member of a band suggested it. However we still ended up making them, our supplier was disappointed because I had promised a bigger order and had come back with a smaller one. So they mugged us off and took there sweet time to deliver. The hat itself had more detail, a 3D effect and was our first completely original design:

This pissed me off and I thought it was time to do some shopping with the makers of our hats. Our next order was going to be our biggest yet: Devils, Gunners V.2, Blues, Reds, Citizens and Team GB for London 2012. We wanted more attention to detail, better materials and ultimately a better supplier. 

Oh and a competitor had just started following us on twitter…