'A unique British clothing label specialising in boutique music merchandise.' Millionhands gaffer Tom Mangan always bears his musical roots when it comes to clothing; posting mixes on the MH website, blogging, and often designing alongside established music artists. He talks to Eddie Jux about his creative past and prospective future, and explains how you might get one of your designs put into production!
Tell us a bit about Millionhands, how did it start and what’s the philosophy behind the brand? I started Millionhands when I was in Berlin. It was cold, really very cold, I was writing some music for a couple of labels over there and I was a little bit restless, I’d had this urge to do something different for a while, and the idea kind of came to me. I’d wanted to make t-shirts, but had lacked the spark and the direction to take things forward. Something about Berlin made me get off my arse and get it done, which is kind of weird as it’s not really a ‘get up and go’ kind of place, but it seemed right so I started! (With some lovely support of my nearest and dearest, wife, mum etc.)
How did you get started in design and where do your creative roots lie? I have always loved to create, be it drawing as a kid and teenager creating characters or pieces on my books and in pads, or making music through my twenties. Design wise for MH I was really just fumbling around in the dark. Finding things which I like the look of and trying to emulate them as much as I could with the limited skills I have, obviously a lot of stuff we do has been in collaboration with labels and artists, so making sure they liked the designs too was also important.
Which of your designs are you most proud of? Wow, it’s like asking me to pick a favourite child! Only joking. (thinks) - I would say the ‘Rocking Down the House’ T that we did with acid house forefather, Adonis. I guess as much for what it signifies as what it looks like. He was one of the first folks that I approached cold, with no intro and I sold him on the concept, designed the T and sold it - the full package!
If you could design for any other brand, which would it be and why? I love what Penfield do, it’s really honest, reasonable priced, yet still very cool. Folk is awesome, some great stuff and lovely people too and have been great to me. I’ve been a big fan of Rockwell, though that’s all about Parra and his wonky take on the world, so there’s no way they’d let me near it ha! Norse Projects are also pretty cool ona more classic menswear tip.
So tell us about the competition and your collaboration with Duff Disco, how did that come about? I met Jeremy through some mutual friends. We had a breakfast meeting at my favourite coffee place, only for me to find out he didn’t drink coffee, to be honest it was almost over before it had begun, but we soldiered on. We had a really good chat and then he came up with this excellent idea to run a design competition.
What are the rules? No running, diving, ruff-housing or heavy petting.
What do we win? The winner will have his/her design printed onto a t-shirt, which will be sold on Millionhands. They will receive a Millionhands goodie bag stuffed with t-shirts and vinyl records worth in excess of £100 & the chance to develop an ongoing relationship with us for design.
How do we enter? Download the design pack from here.
Follow these simple instructions:
• No more than 2 colours
• Design to incorporate Duff Disco Logo
• No bigger than A2
Submit your design to this address: email@example.com
Any words of wisdom to prospective entrants? Be bold and interesting but think about who’s going to wear your T, ask yourself, would I wear this, would my mates wear this? If the answer’s no, chances are you’re barking up the wrong tree.
What can we expect from Millionhands in the coming months and years? We’ve got collabs with Derrick May & Transmat, Aus, Ransom Note, The 2 Bears and a host of other folks forthcoming. We’ve also got some lovely vinyl records coming out, starting in September 2012.
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