The Others

Interview by Jenkin Au & Alan Ng
Words by Alan Ng & Kevin Williams
Photography by Marlon Perez

WEBSITE

Anthony Lam and Andrew Lau are born from Hong Kong, and are raised in Vancouver. They are also the the founders of The Others brand which promotes the ideology that it’s important to realize the average. The justalilhype! Crew got a chance to speak with these up and coming individuals that not only have a strong passion in street wear, but the mindset that even in this highly saturated market that the brand that they have curated will be able to make a mark in the scene. Whether that’s going to come true or not, only time can tell but for now, read about the story of how the brand have been brought to life by these two average Joes.

First of all, tell us a little more about The Others.

Anthony: We are pretty much a brand that started in the summer of 2009. The idea just came together while looking at other brands, and seeing what they were doing. Then we wanted to give a shot as well.

Looking at your domains, why did you choose to not only have two domains, but also have the names differ?

Anthony: First off, The Others domain was taken. We kind of went with our slogan and decided to go with the flow and thought that represented us well and then later on we added The Others Brand as well so we have two directories that link to the same site.

One of The Other’s motto is said to represent the ‘Average Joes’. How does The Others help these Joes realize themselves?

Anthony: The whole message that we are trying to say with The Others is pretty much if you have something you want to do then go do it. Like we are doing with this brand ourselves, we didn’t really decide to go with the fashion or anything like that. We just made something for ourselves and wanted to motivate others to do the same.

How exactly does The Others help these Joes to realize themselves?

Andrew: Because our belief is doing it for ourselves. Even though we might not have the best resources or support, we believe with hard-work, dedication and belief we can overcome all that in the end and we want to inspire others to do the same.

Were you two ordinary Joes as well?

Anthony: Pretty much I mean. Not a rich family. Go to UBC. Poor student. Graduating.

Why is there a need for another streetwear brand. What does The Others offer that these other brands on the market do not?

Anthony: Yea for street wear, the culture and the market out there is definitely really competitive. I talked to some guys that are doing it out in like in the states like Benny Gold and they are actually really nice people and they are very supportive. I talked to him for advice and what not and they are telling us how the message of our brand is quite unique. He pretty much appreciated that and said that even though it’s an over saturated market, do what you love and people will respect.

How does The Others keep it fresh in such a mature and developed industry?

Andrew: For most of our designs we try to have an idea that has a message to inspire other people with. For our first theme, it was hungry. We believe that everyone should maintain the hunger in him or her so they can keep climbing higher.

Looking throughout your branding process as well as throughout all your designs, your main logo utilizes the color of teal blue. Why did you choose that color to represent the brand?

Anthony: When we thought of the branding process. I was flipping through pamphlets and the color of the year was actually that color. We picked it before I actually saw the article but then now that was a color that I really liked throughout all my past design projects. It’s also a color that no one really used it yet. I thought it was very unique. That color to me was very unique which no other street wear brand uses yet.

Can you tell us a little more of how you got drawn into street wear?

Anthony: For me it was more about availability. High-end fashion and what not are like 600 dollars each and I couldn’t really afford that.  For street wear it wasn’t about expensive material. It was more about having the thing and representing it and having something that people wanted at the same time.

With street wear enthusiasts, especially with the ones that are really into the scene. Street wear has been known to be doing a lot of tricks with their clothing such as adding tags here and there, or adding a back graphic. What are some of the things that The Others does and can you talk to us a little more about the quality of the clothing.

Anthony: So, things such as tags and signature and that, we have thought about that in the design process as well. We kind of wanted to keep it simple and not too fancy because pop is a factor obviously, but at the same time, keeping simple is good because more people would accept that. We obviously want to move into more of that as well.

You actually touched up on a pretty good point as well, coming up from the grass foots. Creating a brand is really impressive like just being able to put up the first line. How did you guys find the time and money to create something as time consuming as this?

Anthony: With the money thing, time wasn’t really an issue for me. I have school too but I kind of wanted to do what I like more so I put most of my time into the brand. Luckily we got a printer that instead of wanting to do a t-shirt brand, she decided to do silk screening out of her basement. We worked out some deals and got our first line up just like that. We kept going on from there. It kind of just came from her; she made it possible. She is actually really great because she works really late hours for us as well.

Taking a look at some of the people on the website. How do some of these other people aside from yourself contribute to the team other than blogging?

Anthony: There are two other people out there other than Andrew and me. Kim is a local musician that I met through UBC. She’s actually a really amazing and true person. She performed live at a lot of places.

The vast majority of the brands start off the same way you are. Moving onwards, they do more detailed garments such as cut and sew. Has that ever been a target for you guys?

Anthony: Definitely. I think every brand would eventually want to move into cut and sew. It’s a very good way to personalize your own products down to every thread. I would like to do cut and sew shirts eventually.

Both the two founders of The Others have affiliations being born from Hong Kong. Have being to this city or being born there inspire you or gave you another insight on street culture as a whole?

Anthony: I actually didn’t meet Andrew in Hong Kong. I met him here in Vancouver. I was born there and I spent some time there in high school. We noticed that if you go to Mong Kok, every one pretty much owns their own brand. You just walk around and everyone is doing their own thing. You can really learn a lot by watching those guys and seeing how they go about selling their products, marketing and everything. The place that I really want to go is the United States.

With street culture, a lot of other brands associate themselves with other acts. Are there any side projects that The Others has considered?

Anthony: Yea, I like collaborating with friends. We will be working with something with a friend that owns a store in 4th avenue. We are also looking to release a t-shirt for their anniversary.

As your line has been released for the little while, what’s the most popular item that you have now.

It will probably be the logo tee and the chef tees. Those are all sold out

What are some of the future aspirations for you guys? Will you continue to stay in Vancouver or will you be relocating as you guys continue to grow?

Anthony: When I started this brand, I kind of wanted to go between Hong Kong and Vancouver. I thought if you start in Vancouver, it will be easier to jump and go forward to Hong Kong; a foreign brand entering the market. In the future, I would really want to source to Hong Kong and try to move into that market.

What is HYPE?

Anthony: I think HYPE is a promise of something that is essentially really good but you don’t know what it is. It’s like excitement and anticipation

Andrew: I think HYPE is just something leading up to something, keeping people on edge. Making people want to know more about it, anticipation, with them having to know what the thing, brand or whatever HYPE it is building toward. Just getting everyone excited and on their edge.