WrongWroks 4th Year Anniversary

WrongWroks 4th Year Anniversary
Words by Alan Ng & Jenkin Au
Photography by Nico Mak

After four years since the official start of WrongWroks, Tony thinks back and looks forward about what’s in store for his brand. Tony also recounts the early startings of the brand and many cool things along the way.

This is your official fourth year anniversary. Tell us more about this historic day for WrongWroks.

Well four years today I think I had a portfolio online at WrongWroks.com; I was in the process of creating a label. El Kartel was one of the firsts to carry my products. We started very slowly. The first batch was Doraemon, but that wasn’t my first tee. My first was “What if it just looks cool?” First, when I designed my shirt, I didn’t know what to do because in school there always has to be concept and reason for those projects. I didn’t follow that rule and just made something that was cool. Selling tees at El Kartel was one of the first steps for WrongWroks and here I am today.

In terms of design, what does this year bring that the previous years haven’t?

This year there’s a lot more collaboration. For myself, I always created something different. There’s the Dorabob mat. Coming on the way, there’s also a baseball jacket, collaboration with Shadow Graph, they are really good at technical wear. When I do collabs, I usually ask for things that I can’t do where other people are good at doing. For people to collabs, I like to find people’s strength. When people do technical things well, I like to collab. We will design then they do production. For example The Shadow Graph shorts. Doing collaboration with Taiwan’s SWAT on hats… With Outer Space, there will be more Dorabob collaborations.  Also a new line called WrongWroks exclusive!

That sounds similar to Fucking Exclusive that you had.

Yea something like that. At first, I took a lot of risk. Now since there’s more of an audience it’s hard to go that extreme. Now I got to play safer. The collaboration project for Well Tea is also part of the 4th year anniversary. It’s planned for along time. I like pop culture, especially fast food, fast food and street wear is connected, it’s really street. I like trying. First is the packaging of the food and also collaboration shirt. More to come! Eventually we would want to open a WrongWroks café… having all our characters represented on it. Later we also hope to make toys! Dorabob Figures!

Was this past year a struggle for you, compared to the previous years due to the Economy down fall?

In Japan it’s really bad. Before there were around 60 stores that carried my products and now there are only about 10. Even in stores like Supreme and Neighbourhood there, they have full stock of all their products – it’s bad. We survived because we have stores in Singapore, Australia, and we also have our own store.

They say that every year, people’s tastes change. How do you think people’s taste will change this year?

I think sex won’t sell anymore – it’s too much. Firstly, people that wear it will be tired. I also think expensive tees will not sell anymore. Sex won’t sell so maybe back to the classic – plainer. Even photo tees are going down, there’s too much.

Will your products reflect this trend?

After opening Superbored… it looks like characters have dominated the brand, but we find out that they can’t be too cute. Pop cartoon, you can’t be too cute. After running the store for one year, we have definitely found out the interest of our local consumers, the characters can’t be too cute. Aim for the middle and people will buy it.

4th year compared  1st, 2nd, and 3rd?

We are bringing back the classics for our Brag Garden opening. From my first collection there were four: Doaremon, Miffy, Winnie the Poo and Hello Kitty. Everyone has been watching those designs and I decided to bring it back. For example when Bape did the collab with Hello Kitty, they did all poses except for putting Kitty’s back, and also Hello Kitty never wore any Bapesta’s. That collection will be back out. Just the shadow of those characters and the shoe will also be changed. Next year Swarovski designs will also be back.

It seems like you are going back to the start. Will artwork like the FedEx boxes return?

You guys like that one right? In Japan, my art is a big market and my FedEx boxes are sold out in Japan. I know, before I did a lot of concept. When you want to make something not for sell, it’s easier because you don’t have to think about what people think about it. I will definitely slip in a few projects that I want to do but it’s hard because for the average consumer, they will only follow the trend. You can’t blame it, people go with the flow. What about you guys?

Alan: Sometimes, but we focus more on the actual artwork and design. If we see that the artist went outside the box and has gone very creative then we will support it.

Jenkin: We don’t really care what the brand is like or what that brand is about. As long as the shirt is nice, then we will support it because you are appreciating about the shirt as an art not about what or who the creator is.