Monday, August 2, 2010

Exclusive Interview with: A FANCY MESS

Who doesn't love Limited Edition? Walking into a party and being the only one to be rocking a simply brilliant graphic tee. Who hates being bombarded with questions of where you purchased your gear, so next week the entire block is mirroring you? The brilliant minds of A Fancy Mess know exactly what you're going through and have come up with a delicious concept to not only make you look good but to make sure your one of few doing it!
My new found friends over at AFM, A Fancy Mess, have given me a fortune cookie type insight on everything from their State of Mind, Quality and Efficiency, and of croase the scoop on just how fancy this mess has come to be! I've been corresponding with Roscoe of AFM, whom handles all orders and communications of the company, for sometime now and he took the time to sit down with the Boss himself to go over this brilliant clothing company.

How did A Fancy Mess get started?

"There are a few ways to look at it. To go ALL the way back, the boss bought a silk screen frame back in the mid-90’s and put graphics onto Fruit of the Loom undershirts. In the late-90’s when in a professional photography class, he flipped a famous record company logo, and 4 or 5 classmates begged for a shirt of their own. By the end of the week, a classic bright-white logo on a dozen different color tees were out of his hands and popping up around the halls of the high-school. Fast forward to 2005. After a creative spark, he decided it would be cool to make himself one-of-a-kind custom tees to match his sneakers. He would catch his friends staring and random peeps on the street doing double takes, often asking about it. Sometimes a sports or culture reference, but more often a spinoff of a rap lyric. About a year later, with a passion for art and clothing, A Fancy Mess was formed. "

When was AFM established?

"As far as the IRS is concerned, the ‘company’ was officially established in 2008. However, ‘AFM’ and ‘A Fancy Mess’ existed as a collective, and has been popping up in the street as well as on bodies since about 2005."

Tell me about your Marketing Strategy, the Limited Edition Concept.

"Well, there lies the beauty of the company. This is not another “streetwear” company looking to flood the market with their clothing. We are one of the few brands that appreciate the individual who wants to have that exclusive, limited edition shirt. Our motto is “The Difference Between You and Them.” It’s like the clothing equivalent of being a fan of an underground artist that doesn’t quit, stays consistent, and never sells out. Our fans love the one-per-zip-code rule. Once in a blue moon when it comes into effect, there is an half-angry consumer, but we always hook them up in the next round. If they’re smart they’d send it to their friends house!"

Where do you get your designs/inspiration from?

"We never use anything that’s mainstream. Even in a pop-culture reference situation, we still give it a new angle. A lot of the hip-hop references are from the mid-to-late 90’s, or into the 00’s. When we hear a line in a song that’s particularly funny or different, we like to spin that into a design. Example: Nas in ‘Made You Look.’ “Don’t say my car’s topless, say the titties is out.” We flipped that line, and brought in Jon Voight’s LeBaron convertible from Seinfeld and added some palm trees. These shirts were a big hit. They moved the fastest out of any tee we produced."

Do you crave any wicked collaboration with A Fancy Mess and other artists?

"We have had a few offers for collaboration, some better than others. Time will tell when something like that might pop off. It has to be right. One of them is pretty likely. Companies like our fanciness, but can't always roll with our messiness. Haha!"

Anything you think readers should know about the quality of your designs/product.

"I’m glad you asked. We sell what we like to wear. Extra-soft ring-spun cotton tees with a nice clean graphic. No neck tag. Every shirt has its own description in the neck and lets you know how many were produced. Every item we sell has our blood, sweat, and tears in the fabric. Don’t worry, despite the name, it’s squeaky clean. Everything is hand finished. Whether you get a hand-painted edition # or hand-stitched for the pre-order peeps."

What are you still striving to make happen for A Fancy Mess?

"While A Fancy Mess is operating smoothly, we continue to expand our reach. The faster a product moves, the more motivation we have to get the next idea moving. We don’t currently keep a schedule of when we add a new product to the site. Sometimes two will hit at once, and sometimes we’ll go two or three months with the same tees available. More often, because our focus moves to the art. When we first started, we produced only 12 of each design, then when business picked up a bit, we switched to 24, and now 48. We plan to stick with 48 for the time being. The ART, on the other hand is constantly being updated. We receive new canvasses and add them to the gallery monthly."

Lastly, from the genius' themselves..

"We recommend pre-orders. Once you make a purchase from AFM, we reach out to see if you’d like to be included in advanced pre-order opportunities. If so, you can reserve the upcoming item, choose what edition you’d like (1 of 48, 23 of 48, etc) at a first come first serve basis. These ‘members-only’ editions get hand-stitched tags vs. hand-painted. Hand-sketches of designs, additional paintings seen in the gallery, collabo projects with artists, paintings, stickers, etc, are also available if you choose to contact us. We also do custom projects upon request. You never know what you can get out of us!"
They love Wu-Tang and Seinfeld. Homemade ice cream and Bob Ross is apart of their lifestyle. And their philosophy, "..finding art in places that are unexpected, you never know what you find if you zoom in a little bit further." This is A Fancy Mess.

Just today, I scored a wicked package from AFM and not only am I the proud owner of 12 of 48 of their IKSRFO a.k.a "I'm Knockin' Somebody Rightta Fuck Out" shirt. I was able to snag stickers a sample tee! Not to mention the penmanship, an added bonus! Thanks Guys!

I encourage you all to get messy now.
Check their gear via.
Follow them on twitter @afancymess
via. myriahturner

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