British based independent brand, ‘GVNMNT’ are slowly beginning to make a name for themselves in the streetwear industry; seen through their most recent and successful B.M.S.D (Black Market) collection, they are in tandem with the rest of the industry frontrunners by blurring the line between streetwear and sportswear. The collection features a wide variety of items – including my personal revived favourite – a full tracksuit. They also have included a range of high quality ‘Made In England’ tees, and furthermore, classic cult favourites such as, waist bags and 6-panel hats. Keeping it subtle with a mainly monochrome palette, GVNMNT have highlighted their individuality with washed-out orange and khaki hues. I reached out to GVNMNT and asked them to help me in providing a clearer representation of who they are and what they set out to achieve.
Where and when was GVNMNT first established? And whom by?
Back at the start of 2013 me [Sam] and an old friend Jordan decided to take the jump and start up the brand. We don’t live far from the centre of Birmingham so the brand started right here. A couple years back my partner moved on to focus on another career.
After that, just by chance and being around on the Birmingham streetwear scene I met up with my current partner and head GVNMNT designer Ash (@mregfx). We linked up a few times and our ideas and general scope for the brand was similar, so since about 2015 we’ve been on it together.
What led you to the creation of GVNMNT?
As far back as I can remember I’ve always been into footwear. As I was growing up I think it just naturally led into being interested in streetwear and clothes design as a whole.
For a while before we started GVNMNT I toyed with ideas and designs for brands, but never followed through, as they weren’t quite right. So when I got together with Jordan at the start, our ideas on a brand and clothing aesthetic clicked on GVNMNT, and we ran with it. It came at the perfect time as I felt as if there was a becoming of lack of substance in streetwear. With GVNMNT we could put across an actual message and a deeper school of thought rather than just the clothing.
When we started the brand we wanted to focus on a misrepresented British youth culture and a deep-rooted systemic failure in not just England, but the whole world. The general issue and feeling was that everyone was being totally let down by those in positions of power, and those in power didn’t represent the masses, so we wanted to pick up on that through GVNMNT. The people wanted their voice back, and we’ve tried to reflect that in our designs and brand as a whole.
Where do you take most inspiration from? (Being figures in the streetwear industry or likewise brands).
Ah man! I truly believe inspiration can come from anywhere and anything. Of course we gain inspiration from other brands, streetwear or not, it’s the industry we’re in so naturally we will be inspired by pieces we’ve seen out there. The beauty of running a streetwear brand nowadays is that it’s so versatile. Pieces like tracksuits for instance, aren’t seen in the light they used to be. Streetwear and sportswear have merged so much recently with sports kits, football shirts etc. and with the natural evolution of the industry the line has been blurred as to where inspiration can be drawn from and that’s something I really love about it. Inspiration can land on you at any time I think you just have to form it in your own mind.
Who would your dream collaboration be with?
That’s a tricky one man! There’s so many creative outlets I would love to try my hand at collaborating on. I think if it were a gunpoint situation it would be VANS. I’ve skateboarded for years and still do to this day, so I’ve been around VANS since my youth. For me personally, I love everything they embody as a brand, and the shoes are pretty good too haha! There’s a bunch of other products and ideas I’d love to collaborate on so choosing one is real tough. For me personally a collab shoe with VANS would be number one.
What do you pride yourself most in?
I think quality and affordability. We never wanted to rip people off, so we don’t. It’s as simple as that. We’re for the people and the community, so we keep costs down wherever we can. We’re never going to be a brand printing on Gildan and charging £65 for the (dis)pleasure. It’s just not how we’ll ever do it.
How do you feel you connect with the streetwear industry as a whole?
The streetwear game is so diverse now I think you can kind of connect to it wherever you see fit. For me it’s being able to connect smart, durable, everyday pieces with current affairs and political issues. I guess it comes down to “get in where you fit in”. Its such a big pool nowadays that we just did it exactly the way we wanted to, so we’re happy with the way things are running right now as our initial values haven’t changed.
Where would you like to see GVNMNT in 10 years time?
Selling Globally would be pretty cool, maybe having some stores in different countries. This started as an idea in a living room with a sketchpad… so to be spreading a message that people want to share by wearing our products and supporting the brand is enough for us. If we can keep delivering the message for another ten years and people are still behind us, then I guess we’re just half way to 20 years haha.
I mean I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want the brand to blow but one thing I do know though is that no matter how big it gets I would always be heavily involved. This is more than just a hobby or a business…I’m in it for life.
I suppose all I can say is lets see what the future holds, hey.