Primped – A new independent UK fashion label launches in Sheffield
Primped Clothing is a new, independent unisex fashion label from Sheffield that launched in June 2013. The label is run by Jonathan and a mysterious close friend who call themselves ‘fashion obsessives’. The duo prefer to remain anonymous despite claiming that they create designs for ‘those who pay attention to their wardrobe and want to show that fact off.’
Sheffield Unchained contributor Chika Ekebuisi had the privilege of speaking to Primped co-founder Jonathan about the label, their motivations and what it is like to start an independent fashion label in today’s climate.
How did Primped Clothing begin?
We had talked about venturing into the industry for some time. Many an evening went by checking out the latest trends; photo shopping design ideas and numerous brand ideas came and went, but the minute we came up with Primped we knew it was time.
Tell us a little bit about the label?
Our mission is to provide original, authentic and affordable unisex clothing. We provide our customers with quality fashion coming from limited stock, providing individuality to make each customer stand out from the crowd.
Our launch range is focused predominantly on our signature, and the real statement of “being Primped”. It is intentionally clean, vibrant and sexy.
We are passionate about our brand and those that proudly wear it.
Why the name Primped?
To be ‘Primped’ means to dress or groom (oneself) with meticulous attention to detail, this is what we are all about.
Who are the models featured on your website?
Our models are Jake and Alishia. Jake is a Sheffield based model while Alishia is a friend of the Primped family. They represent everything we are about – beautiful, proud of their appearance and not afraid of showing it off.
What is it like to start up a new independent business?
It has been challenging. But an exciting challenge and we have loved every minute of it. First there were the hours and hours of tweaking our brand logo – we are both perfectionists so you can imagine the “constructive discussions” (a nice way of saying arguments over a few beers).
Then there was the sourcing of products. An arm and a leg were spent making sure we were happy with materials, the fit of our vests and tees, and the printing methods.
Finally there was the photo shoot on a shoestring budget. Thankfully the support of The Chimney House, our models and a local photographer meant we were able to get some great shots for our website.
What are your thoughts on starting a new independent company in the current climate?
It was always going to be a risk. But you never get anywhere in life without taking the odd risk do you?
There is a lot of strong competition out there and we know what we are up against, but we truly believe we offer something different. While there are some great labels out there, we see so many fashion brands with no meaning. And that is where we are different.
Why did you decide to go independent and start your own company?
It had always been an ambition for both of us. But setting up alone seemed a little too scary. It was after sharing our thoughts one evening that we realised we shared a common goal. Our fashion style had always been similar so it just made sense. With full time jobs we needed to start out independent, small and just take it from there really.
Do you have any advice for other independent clothing companies just starting out?
My main piece of advice would be to simply go for it. Take that risk. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a happy customer walking the streets in something that started out in your head.
How have you found the independent scene in Sheffield?
We never quite realised the amount of brands that were born in this great city. But it is fantastic, healthy competition. Although we mainly sell through our website, we have had great support from the likes of Birds Yard on Chapel Walk that now stocks a few of our items.
Why did you decide to target the whole of the UK as opposed to just Sheffield?
We want to share the Primped love as far as possible. Whether it is someone walking along Division Street or in the centre of London – we believe Primped never looks out of place and will always guarantee an envious stare.
Where do you get your inspiration?
We find inspiration daily just walking around. Sheffield is fantastic like that, with a real mix of urbanity and greenery. For example the inspiration for our floral design came from a walk in Graves Park. I took a photograph, worked up the design that night, and a week later we were walking around Meadowhall proudly sporting the prototype.
How do you go about achieving the following “We try to offer an experience that the large chains can’t – and hope to create a real community feel.”
We aim to engage directly with all our customers and leave no email or tweet unanswered. We actively encourage people to send in “selfies” in their Primped clothing – something we like to call Primping!
We also look to promote many talented youngsters through our social media channels, and encourage any local bands, singers or dancers to get in touch.
What does the future hold?
We initially plan to focus on growing our online store. That said, we are all ears for any local stores that want to join the Primped hype.
We are currently working up a few designs for our autumn range, including a special limited edition piece. I’d love to say more but I’ve been sworn to secrecy.