Today we’re excited to present an interview with Barnaby Marshall, one of the brains behind Boutique Norths favourite, I Love Ugly. Over the past few months their 5-Panel caps have taken our heads (and online store!) by storm; we’ve all but sold out! So in anticipation for the next batch about to hit our shelves we thought we’d learn more about this New Zealand based label and how they go about the design process… and then some. Tighten your 5-Panel, let’s do it:
So tell us about how I Love Ugly started? And where does the name come from? We’ve been trying to work it out!
I Love Ugly started in Valentin Ozich’s bedroom when he started printing his art works on t-shirts and crews back in ’08. For the first couple of years he made tees, crews and then sold them to some retailers around New Zealand. In 2010 he and his wife started a small store called Broken Puppet Boutique and the I Love Ugly range grew into more menswear garments. After a year in the store Valentin and his wife decided to close so that V could focus full time on the brand. In 2011 I came on board as the business side to the brand and Valentin and I decided to take I Love Ugly to the next level. That was around 18 months ago and since then we haven’t looked back. The name “I Love Ugly” came about when V was asked at his design course at uni to describe his style in 3 words. Those three words that came out were “I Love Ugly”.
You’re a New Zealand based label. What’s the mens fashion scene like over there?
Progressing… There isn’t really a huge “mens fashion scene”. Well not one that we know of any way. My theory is the best way to create a good fashion scene is making good quality products that make the man look good. Typically Kiwi males are pretty blokey – we are trying to provide products that steer away from that to a new age classic man style, through street wear products.
You recently released a range of awesome printed 5-panel caps which we stock; why do you think this style has become so popular lately?
I think they are a bit of an accent item. They definitely make a statement. They have been a real trend lately so we just focused on making the best quality 5-panels we could and they worked out well.
Tell us a bit about your design process. Do you do heaps of illustrations, or discover fabric first?
We start out on blogs. We all post our ideas to one blog. Then we go through and all talk about what we like about it all. Then V and Zac go through and pick what they like the best and then start to sketch out how we are going to make it. Then we all talk about it and reason each part of the garment. Then we send those to our supplier and start the sampling process.
Apart from running the label, how else do you guys spend your time? Any crazy hobbies or hidden talents?
A lot of us in the office make music. Mo and Brandon are both in a band called The Wyld. I made beats in a group called Nothing to Nobody for a while and still dabble with that at the end of the day sometimes. V does his art still.
We heard a little rumour that A$AP Rocky has been papped repping some of your gear. What’s it like for a brand to have a celebrity publically endorse their product?
I suppose its just a part of growing. The more people wear your clothes the more chance someone famous will wear them.
We have another delivery of 5-Panels arriving very soon but what’s in-store for your spring/summer collection? What can we expect?
Short sleeve shirts, really nice printed shorts, some nice boardies, a new shoe style we have made, dope printed tees.
We’ve been to NZ once before but if we were to fly over this weekend, where would you take us to get the best experience and have the most fun?
I think the best fun to be had in NZ is outside of the city. Queenstown is a really cool city. It’s got some incredible scenery and some fun things to do like sky diving.
If you were to have a runway show for your current collection, what song would be playing?
Common – Misunderstood.
Check out I Love Ugly here