Q&A with Abandon Ship Apparel + New Range

Abandon Ship Apparel

Cultured Vultures have the privilege of showcasing the newest from Abandon Ship Apparel and interviewing Rich.

If you haven’t heard of Abandon Ship Apparel yet (seriously? Where have you been? Fallujah?), they are a Glasgow based clothing company that have been specializing in  streetwear since 2011.

The boys Richard and Duncan originally came up with the idea in the beacon of creativity that is, of course, the pub. Tired of lazily-designed tees that lacked finesse, they set to work on delivering aesthetically delicious products directly from their flat.

In the years that followed, ASA have grown into being one of the essential names in streetwear and have recently opened a fledgling store in their hometown. Abandon Ship look set for a massive 2014 and with the stellar line-up below, it’s easy to see why.

Wild Bill ASA
Outfit 1 – ‘Wild Bill’ 100% cotton tee. Fully custom fit with slightly extended body to give an ‘oversized’ look while maintaining a flattering fit. £30. Tee is coupled with our Essential Black Sweatpants, these are also custom fitted, a drop crotch with a tapered bottom, £50. Both available in store and online.

Oxford Shirt ASA

Outfit 2 – Our lightweight cotton, fully custom fit, ‘Oxford Shirt’. A slightly tapered chest and extra length in the body giving a unique fit, great for men and women, £45. ‘Tartan Sweatpants’, these are the same shape as the black with an all over tartan print for our more daring (or patriotic) customers, £50. Creeping through the shirt is our Hydro74 collaboration t-shirt, log on to our site to see the full design. All available in store and online.

Shark Bait ASA

Outfit 3 – Our unisex custom fit ‘Squid Zip Thru’ hoody. This also has a back print, £50. ‘Shark Bait’ tee, again in our custom fit, £25. Outfit finished off again with our Black Essential Sweatpants proving they are a great start point to any kind of outfit, smart or casual. All available in store and online.

Leaf Tee ASA

Outfit 4 – ‘Leaf Tee’ comes in our fully custom fit and this season has seen a new method in our printing, ensuring that these will last longer without fading, £30. ‘Essential Black Jeans’ our unisex skinny stretch denim jeans are great value for money and a real wardrobe staple, £40. Both available in store and online

Winded Jacket ASA

Outfit 5 – ‘Winded Jacket’, we have gone again for our custom ‘oversized’ look with this jacket, a flattering shape with a bit of extra length, this jacket has our moth design as an inlay, £55. ‘Zebra Speckle Tee’. Custom fit again with a nice speckle and zebra print, £25. ‘Moth Sweat Pants’, here we see another variation of our sweatpants with our moth print, these are ideal for a customer looking for a break from the norm, £50. You guessed it, available in store and online.

Essential Pullover ASA

Outfit 6 – Keeping it simple with our ‘Essential Pullover’ in black. Our custom fit hoody is an essential for anyone’s wardrobe, £45. These shorts are a take on sweat pant fit with the drop crotch and will be available for spring. Available and will be available in store and online.

Thanks to Robbie of Abandon Ship for the content.

Q&A with Rich of Abandon Ship

Rich of ASA

You guys put in appearances at a lot of conventions and festivals. Which have been your best and worst so far?
We love conventions and festivals and luckily we are still in a position where we personally can go to most of them, rather than just sending staff. That might change in the future with our workload but at the moment it’s great. Our worst festival was probably one in England (I think it was called Crashfest but can’t remember) about 2 years ago – we were keen to do as many shows as we could to get our name out there and were promised a good crowd and a great festival. Unfortunately, it was a row of tables and more traders then customers, bands got pissed off that there were too many “brands” there as it was taking away from their sales – which in all honesty is pretty fair – the whole thing was a bust and needless to say that made us become much more selective with what shows we traded at.

The best, well that’s difficult as we have luckily done a lot, here’s a run down of my favourites and why (needless to say we should be back at all these shows this year):

Groezrock – A Belgian festival that is full of awesome people and the line up is always great; there is a shot called “Flugel” which has a cult status amongst us for being the best drink for festivals.

New York ComicCon – I don’t think I need to explain this – GEEK. HEAVEN. IN. NEW. YORK.

Be Street Festival – A Parisian show run by Be Street Magazine that is full of great attractions, brands, artists, musicians and people.

Is there one illustrator who you’d kill to contribute with on a design?
To be honest we are very lucky with who we work with and most of the guys I would love to work with we are in talks with… so I can’t give anything away really, it’s more a case of watching this space.

Do you have one design in particular which you’ve been most proud of?
Well, personally speaking, I did draw a design a few seasons ago that people actually got tattooed on them which is wild, but to be honest, I end up HATING my own drawings so I don’t personally like that design much and haven’t since probably before we released!

White and Black BLANK Pack
White and Black BLANK Pack

I guess what I am more proud of is the fit of our t-shirts. It sounds boring, I know, but we spent a LOOOONG time working on the fits and to put it into terms that anyone can understand: we are at heart a graphic t-shirt company, our BLANK twin pack t-shirts were our best selling products for 3 months solid. That is purely down to the fact that people love the fits of our t-shirts so much they want to wear them all the time. I personally do not wear any t-shirts by other brands, though to be honest I barely wear anything but ASA anymore as I love the fit and quality that much.

Has there been a specific point at which you thought, “shit, we’re doing really well at this”?
It’s a weird one – since we started it’s all been a bit of a blur. I had a bit of a reflection recently as a lot of the brands I look up to have been celebrating a decade of trading and we are only turning 3 in March (March 14th sees an exclusive Birthday t-shirt and party in Glasgow to celebrate.)

For such a young brand I guess we have achieved a lot – available all over the world on the high street, our own store, a fair few staff, a few businesses etc all because we got drunk and decided to sell some t-shirts. We are not anywhere near where we want to be (to be honest I don’t know where exactly we want to be yet) so I guess it is onwards and upwards until we reach that or come crashing down to earth.

Any plans to open stores in England and Wales? If so, can we have a job?
We would love to open more stores and that is definitely the plan. In retail these things always seem to take longer than you would expect though so we have no idea when but our eyes definitely are on London for our first store south of the border. And regarding a job? Well that depends on how well you can sell a t-shirt!

How awesome is it to be working with the awesome Honey Pop?
Ha, I will need to answer this very carefully… It is a pleasure every second of the day that I work alongside Amanda (Honey Pop).

Honey Pop & Rich
Honey Pop & Rich

One of the most gratifying parts about us starting Abandon Ship is that we have been able to provide jobs and careers for our friends, family and old work colleagues within the business. It means that not only do we have well trained, great staff but that they are also passionate about the brand and the people they work with. A lot of brands probably say it but we are literally a big family.

And finally, who would win in a bare knuckle boxing match between Postman Pat and Fireman Sam?
I would put all my money on Fireman Sam. Look into his eyes, he has seen some dark shit: his fire fighting colleagues having their faces burnt off in chip pan fires etc. I think he would channel that to rip Pat’s nose off and shove Jess up into his skull through his exposed nostrils.

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