Music and fashion? The perfect match…well it seems to be in the industry these days. Pharrell Williams, Jay-Z, Liam Gallagher to name a few all have their own successful clothing lines.
The alternative music scene has exactly that in Cheer Up! Clothing. Started back in 2007 by You Me At Six bassist Matt Barnes and Edward Thomas, Cheer Up! Clothing has become one of the most permanent and coolest clobber fixtures out there. With the likes of The King Blues, Dionne Bromfield, Hello Goodbye, Bedouin Soundclash and photographer Perou all backing the brand it seems like 2011 has been busier than ever for the lads.
So as part of Gigwise’s new monthly feature we look at what else is happening in the UK’s music scene at the moment that should get you excited. Deputy Editor Holly Frith, catches up with the pair about the brand and what’s set as they plan to go ‘BIG’ in 2012.
To be in with a chance to win £100 of Cheer Up! clobber simply 'like' Gigwise to enter.
How did Cheer Up clothing start?
Ed: ''Cheer Up was started in 2007 by myself and my business partner Matt Barnes. I had always wanted to create a business that I found fulfilling and rewarding on a day to day basis. I have an interest in fashion and creativity is extremely important to me so starting up my own brand was an exciting and attractive prospect. We were both involved in the music industry and felt we had the perfect platform to launch a successful casual wear brand.''
How long have you both known each other?
Matt: ''Ed and I have been friends for six years. We met properly at college and have been friends ever since. ''
What makes Cheer Up different to other brands?
Matt: ''We like to interact with our customers via our social networking channels, it keeps it personal and helps to form a community. We refer to our customers as friends and we intend to treat them like that, we often find ourselves having a little bit of banter over twitter.''
Ed: ''We take a huge amount of pride in our products, service and the future of the brand. As Cheer Up has grown from a music back-ground people tend to lump us in with other music related brands, not only do we feel and create very different clothes to these companies, we'd also like to think that eventually we'll be considered amongst the other casual wear brands. We've spent a lot of time making the website a functional place where people can enjoy shopping and to get to know our brand. We have also just introduced the T-Room where we showcase acoustic performances from established and up and coming artists from around the world.
What inspires your designs?
Ed: ''I try to take inspiration from everywhere, whether it be from a movie, a song or other designers. I believe it's important to surround yourself with a broad range of things. I find when i'm stuck inside it reduces my creative flow so I am always making sure i'm out and about, whether it be at a gig or even a bar. A lot of our friends are extremely talented and creative, I find that ideas are often spawned from conversations or debates with them.''
Have you ever dabbled in music Ed?
Ed: ''I have been in and out of bands over the last ten years. Music is a huge part of my life and I hope to get back writing and playing the second I find some free time. Being able to work with bands and attend so many events is a real treat. I consider myself to be very lucky!''
Do you think music/fashion go hand in hand?
'Matt: ''In a lot of cases, yes. With the amount of music Icons headlining fashion campaigns these days I think it's quite hard to dispute I think.''
What are future plans for Cheer Up?
Ed: ''We're going to continue expanding our line and continue the working relationships with our friends in the music industry. Hopefully we'll stumble across promising new acts along the way. Eventually we'd like to be considered amongst other high profile casual wear brands on the high street.''
Matt: ''You'll notice our clothes are incredibly wearable and I think as awareness of the brand grows, this will continue to be recognised. The next few collections are looking great and as per usual … we're very excited! ''
What music are you all into at the office?
Ed: ''We try to listen to everything! .. Recently we've been going at new Kids In Glass Houses, Friendly Fires, Alex Winston and Foster the People.''
Don't forget to Like Cheer Up! Clothing .