Down the Rad Rabbit hole: Pulling a new brand out of the hat…
I always like to keep an eye out for new clothing labels, not much of a follower of mainstream fashion I’m on the lookout for quirky ideas and original designs. Over the past few months I’ve watched the growth of a new brand called Rad Rabbit, which has been promoted on social networking sites in the run up to the launch of its online store this month.
Rad Rabbit Clothing is an independent company based in the UK. There are several potential designs bouncing around on their Facebook page, where you can vote for your favourites. Rad Rabbit seem keen to listen to their fans, letting them make the decision on which designs are to be printed. I caught up with the founder to find out more. The first design to hit the store is the slogan “I hope you step on lego.” Following the launch the next print to be released features the Rad Rabbit logo, my personal favourite so far.
The company was created by young designer Elliot Wilkie, a passionate artist and graphics designer. Alongside Rad Rabbit Clothing he produces some amazing sketches and tattoo designs, but RR is his first venture into fashion: “When I was introduced to the tools used to create designs for t-shirts, I knew it was definitely something I could get into, I just knew it would take a lot of work. About seven months ago I came up with the name and concept, and now here we are,” he said.
The brand began with the formation of the ‘dark’ rabbit image which led to the name. The possibilities of designs incorporating the rabbit are endless and exciting, but Elliot is also working on future designs with a vintage and quirky style. The company is exploring a diverse range of artwork and ideas. The best description of their style is that it’s truly unique and original. Elliot explained: “I’ve tried using other designs as inspiration and it doesn’t work. I’ve only been truly happy with the designs when I’ve created the work myself.”
I was intrigued as to where the inspiration for designs comes from, and the process from an idea into a fully fledged design.
“I take a look at anything and everything, my brains permanently switched on thinking of new ideas. I’ll look at posters, other T-shirts and graphics until something sparks. When I get the idea in my head I’ll picture exactly how I want it to look and I’ll do my best to mirror that for its final design and just hope it gets good reception. An average design will take me a few days at least, depending upon its complexity, but I have to love it to show it to the public purely because there’s a lot of tough competition out there.”
Forming the brand has been an incredible experience for Elliot: “Seven months ago I was thinking of names and designing terrible logos for the company on an old laptop and now it’s finally coming together,” he said. The initial success and interest is exciting, but Elliot is aware that there is still a lot of work to go. Previously influenced by iconic work for his personal portfolio, it’s been difficult creating a completely different style. It’s unfamiliar territory as there aren’t many companies which can be compared with Rad Rabbit.
Alongside the original T-shirt designs, Rad Rabbit are keen to expand their grounding by endorsing bands. Music has always been an influence for Elliot, so he was keen for the fans of Rad Rabbit to also experience that feeling, although it hasn’t been as easy journey. Elliot sought out bands who were people who he could get along with on a personal basis and on a business level. He explained: “Creating a more hard-core image for the company through its endorsements is something I’m extremely proud of. We have two endorsements lined up for the future, and our current endorsements are two bands I will never regret working with.”
Rad Rabbit has teamed with Foundations Fall, who have a solid following and produce incredible music. Their other endorsement is the band Seconds Before Sunrise, a talented and lovely group. Elliot says: “I have no doubt that both bands will make it big, I just hope Rad Rabbit will play a large part in their future.” If you think your band could work well with the Rad Rabbit company, and are interested in endorsement or sponsoring the brand get in touch. They are keen for music to be an influential factor of the brand, working alongside musician’s to build on the portfolio.
This has been a long and challenging journey for Elliot, and he greatly appreciates the support he has had along the way.
“I have many people who have helped the company come as far as it has. First I want to say thank you to my ex, if she didn’t help me pay for the kit to design everything, none of this would have been possible. I appreciate all of my friends and family giving me the support I need, their opinions on tees and genuinely giving me faith in the company’s future.
Meeting new people and seeing your friends share designs is one of the best things about owning the company. I’ll always appreciate the bands and each of their members for sharing and promoting the page, they’ve made it the success its becoming. Lastly I want to say thank you to Alex Newman. He’s done a fantastic job of the site and he’s so easy to work with, for a young lad he is incredibly talented and I’m sure he has a bright future ahead of him.”
The company definitely has a bright future in store. There are more designs on their way, and the much anticipated launch of the store and release of the first print. They are currently designing a new range with a Halloween theme, and I was lucky enough to get a sneak-preview of the designs in progress. It’s a brilliant mix of Rad Rabbit’s quirky style and original concepts, perfectly mashed with a Halloween theme.
Elliot says we can also expect collaborations with more bands, other clothing companies and tattoo artists. They’ve been working alongside artist Amy Edwards, who is creating a woman’s range and mascot for Rad Rabbit. Elliot has also announced that he will be working on Festival packs for 2013, which I am already keen to get my hands on. Elliot revealed: “I have plenty of ideas that could possibly make Rad Rabbit much more than just a clothing company, but you’ll just have to wait and see!”