Bad Influence: The Brand Pioneering The Australian Streetwear Boom

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The streetwear scene in Australia continues to grow as new retail stores open and start-up brands emerge. The rapid grow of the industry has made it difficult for younger brands like Bad Influence to be seen. Yet, as it is in any industry; quality products will find their customers and having sold out of every item in their first collection, Bad Influence has proved this theory and plan to prove it again. We sat down to talk to the Australian brand on its successful journey and more…

So, Bad Influence, how did it get started? 

The brand itself started early last year. There were only a few local brands around at the time that were putting out clothes and we really just didn’t like any of them. We decided to start putting out one off capsule releases with designs that honestly were a representation of the type of things we liked and would actually want to wear ourselves. We wanted to share our passion for clothes with others as well which was a big factor in getting started as a brand. For us, it was never about making money through the clothes it’s about sharing our style and trying to make a name for ourselves.                 

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The name, Bad Influence, why did you choose it?

The origin of the name basically derives from our perception of the cultures that strongly influenced our early stylistic direction. When we started working on clothes we were heavily inspired by hip-hop and grunge. We recognized that the coolest people who lead the way weren’t always the greatest influences on the youth. We decided that if our clothes were going to be inspired by these sub-cultures that the brand name should be a representation of our influence.  

Is there a particular goal you wish to achieve your brand?

Like anyone, we do have a number of specific goals that we would like to achieve as the brand continues to grow. With that being said, our greatest goal and something that drives every stylistic decision and something that motivates us to work hard is the notion that we want our clothes to have meaning. We want to be able to express our ideas and perception of our contemporary society and its fluidity through the medium of fashion, and if financially we achieve nothing it wont matter to us as long as we feel like our clothes mean something to people.  

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What influences and inspires your brand? 
As I mentioned before, we are heavily influenced by hip-hop and grunge as sub-cultures. Finding the mid-point between the outspoken nature of hip-hop and its almost extroversion and the softly spoken,  slightly dissonant yet liberating themes that are associated with grunge as a culture has been something that we have found extremely inspiring. We have been stylistically influenced by a number of different designer and artists but we believe our own style is influenced by our perceptions of society rather than a regurgitation of other peoples opinions like you often see in fashion today.

What sort of struggles did both you and your brand face when starting? 

The struggles are real…haha, yeah we have had some troubles through the start up process. I think the biggest struggle that comes from all of this is that a lot of the time, things just don’t come out like you want them too and it has been difficult for us to refine and express our vision of what we want things to look like from an aesthetic stand point with others. It has been a hard start, but a really enjoyable process.     
 
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Has it been difficult to make moves in the streetwear industry being based out of Australia?
Yeah, I think due to Australia’s geographical isolation from the rest of the world, regardless of what the internet and the emergence of social media has done for exposing brands, it has been harder to make big moves. The competition you see in Australia is quite inverted and concentrated and so the exposure is usually only Australian based.  I think one of the reasons Australian brands don’t always see that international exposure is because their is such tight competition to compete for the Australian market. I think we would like to see Australian brands pull together and work closely with each other to get that exposure from an international market. 

Looking forward, how do you plan on expanding your brand?
It’s a very good question, i’m not gonna sit and spell out our expansion plan for the readers but we have put a lot of effort into formulating a detailed plan on how we intend to move forward. What I will say however, is that our next big move is something quite different to the general trend of brands today and we are excited to keep working towards sharing that with everyone.  

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Do you have any collaborations or new releases that you’d like to tease? 

We are working hard at the moment on our next collection, I won’t give a detailed timeline for its release but its coming. In terms of new collaborations, we are going to work with a like-minded and talented designer to bring some unique collaborations to add to the next collection. 

In terms of an end goal, what would like your brand to look like and where would you like it to be? 

Our end goal is obviously pretty similar to most other brands. We want Bad Influence to create a name for itself and be seen as on par with some of the brands we look up to. With that being said, as long as the brand and the clothes we produce have meaning and value to the people who wear them, then that will always be a greatest end goal to achieve. 

If you’re interested in purchasing any of Bad Influence’s products be sure to check out their site.

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