"it's just a damn t-shirt" - interview with Hooked Clothings

the2ndrule talks to Alex @ Hooked Clothings, a Singapore t-shirt label bringing funky design and social discourse to the streets on walking canvases.

t2r: Tell us about the new shop you opened at Far East Level One.

Alex: Far East is our first retail shop since our inception more than a year ago. With this shop we hope to get closer to our client base, to be accessible as well as to have a ready platform where we can get feedback from the people who look and wear our tees.

t2r: What, if any, were the difficulties you faced?

Alex: We do not have background in business - we are designers (graphics, interior). So of course on top of finding designs that work on t-shirts, we have to learn how to manage a business. To get the capital for the biz and shop, we had to pool our financial resources together - leaving us with not much day to day. But we are not complaining, we love doing what we do.

t2r: Tell us about yourself. Why did you choose fashion?

Alex: I am a design graduate from NAFA. after graduating, I worked in a post-production and design house. it was only middle of last year that I decided to start Hooked Clothings. I thought it would be cool to see my designs on t-shirts. Plus when I was in school I learnt silk screen printing from some friends. My first few collections were hand-printed by me at home. That was a good learning experience.

t2r: Could a person own too many t-shirts?

Alex: Never. T-shirts are great. You can wear it anywhere and almost everywhere. It's like a second skin.

t2r: How do you think t-shirt design plays a role in political discourse?

Alex: Without people being aware, the t-shirt is a great tool for social and political discourse. I can basically put anything, any message, any design on a t-shirt. My designs reflect my thoughts about icons, people, issues....... And people who buy these designs may buy it cos they think it looks cool, or even that they agree with the statement that I make. By wearing my t-shirts out, they spread the message and my toughts around. It's a walking billboard.

t2r: What is your message to the young people out there?

Alex: Just believe in yourself. You can do anything you want when you put your mind to it. And as for that t-shirt you love - it's just a damn t-shirt................. Word

Shannon Low