Aaron Grech is the creator of freaky and funky fashion label Curls Apparel.
After their great success at
Youth in Revolt's Enter : Outer event
back in August, I decided to have a chat with Grech and stalk his photos a little. I found out what makes him tick, what plans he has for the future of his label and his alcopop-related angst.
So what (or who) is Curls Apparel?
Curls Apparel is hungover right now...so this will most likely make my answers really long and mental.
Curls really isn't anything specific and I like it that way. Generally everything I create is never rock solid because I like having room to move. Curls Apparel is me and also you if you would like. Although recently I've had help from heaps of amazing people it's really still technically only me playing admin, creator etc etc. Eventually I'd love to have a misfit team of people who contribute to the Curls brand. Does that answer the question?
It sure does! So how did Curls Apparel come to be?
Actually coming up with the Curls name was the most fucking ridiculous ordeal ever. I literally wanted to start making clothes so badly but had no name to go under. I eventually picked Curls really shyly and started testing the waters but putting it in designs I was making, and then eventually just went bat shit crazy with the word Curls. I also have this obsession with 5 letter words. It's this huge thing in my life / head for some reason. I also figured out my Initials 'A.G' also could mean "Asian Girls". They're both 5 letter words also. That really doesn't mean anything to you but I'm OBSESSED with Asian culture. Video games like Jet Set Radio Future are a huge influence on Curls and will be for a long time. The huge chunky headphones. Classic. I'm also going to Japan early next year so I assume that will have a MASSIVE impact on my work.
Have you always had a desire to get into the fashion game?
Basically i've wanted to make t-shirts, or at least put designs or pictures on t-shirts ever since i was a kid. I used to buy shitty t-shirt transfer paper from office works and then print my drawings on them. I remember one design i had was a mail box that said: ‘No Junk Male.’ I guess at the time I was a pretty edgy dude who was into feminism and human rights and junk. Anyway, a friend of mine bought it, and due to the fact I didn't tell him to hand wash the shirt, he put it in the washing machine and the transfer basically looked like a newspaper which a dog had taken as its bitch. He paid for it in dollar coins too.
Those were the days...
I also did a t-shirt workshop with this amazing amazing human called Eddie Zammit. He's probably my biggest inspiration for a few reasons; one of them is that I'm pretty sure he said he's from Frankston. He also runs T-World, which is this fantastic project / magazine. He's basically got his finger in every respected t-shirt pie. Eddie is such an advocate for creative professionalism, and also for being different and individual amongst a cluster fuck of bad design. Anyway, around 2009, I think, he came to the Frankston Art Centre and held this really small workshop as part of some kind of like a kids book week. It was hilarious though because I was like 16, and it was really kind of aimed at 10-13 year olds. I'm pretty sure there were a couple of 10 year olds. Funnily enough, the workshop he ran pretty much was the real major starting point for me. I guess he might currently be ashamed to inspire my clothing because it hails a lot from 'sea punk' and all those internet trends.
Can you tell us what's in store for the brand in the future?
Well we have just released a Look Book! I'm ridiculously proud of it purely because I actually had so many people behind the scenes who helped me produce it. Even though it's just me behind the Facebook and web store, there were so many lovely people who helped me with the photography, PR, adding fancy bits to my web site, all that stuff. The Look book features all the stuff that i've made in the first half of this year. I feel it's pretty swanky.
Other than the look book, so much cool shit is coming in the future (hopefully). The coming summer is going to be a huge deal if I can pull it off. Pretty much all my current clothing is XL shirts and digital printing. I'm really pushing to go further than that though. Even though I don't hate what I've made the Curls brand isn't going to remain aesthetically stationary. Meaning that I never want to have two collections that look the same. I'm going to constantly push myself until I have a spread in T-World or see Eddie Zammit wearing Curls. That's my goal.
I'm in the middle of gathering some people who will be machine sewing colourful patterned shirts, I'll be making hats and who knows what else. I absolutely love summer, even the stupid people in fluro tank tops and alcopops (I never used to, but I guess they've grown on me).
But yeah - summer. Lots of flamingos, lots of drawings, lots of BMX bikes and basketballs.
Where can we get a hold of some wicked Curls Apparel threads?
You can go on my big cartel site here. You could also Facebook where you can stalk me personally and grab some hot chips with me and my girlfriend, and then in that meeting a transaction could occur. I'd rather you just bought stuff online because then I can jazz up the order with disney stickers and wizz fizz. For real though. If you buy from Curls, expect stickers and hello kitty bags and candy. If for whatever reason you don't get jazz, it's probably because I delivered it / put it together when I was late for work or uni.
Just email 'email@example.com' and we can sort out a special jazz filled delivery.