Everyone knows REBEL8 is a sick San Francisco-based clothing brand powered by the Art Direction of Mike Giant. Today I interviewed the other half of the REBEL8 equation: Joshy D. He founded the brand, thereby ensuring that Mike’s work would make its way out into the clothing world. I first met Joshy at REBEL8’s first Pool trade show booth in Las Vegas in 2005, which I think was their second or third season – having launched the brand in 2003. REBEL8’s collections are much bigger now, as you may have noticed, and they’ve done some impressive projects with other companies recently too, so it seemed like a good time to catch up.
Where are you today? San Francisco.
What are you doing/working on? Catching up with all things REBEL8, setting goals and making needed changes for us to run even smoother in ’09, and lastly working REBEL8 Cut & Sew development.
’08 seemed like a big year for REBEL8, can you run us through some of the highlights? 2008 was a very impressive year for us. We started the year off moving into a warehouse that was three times the size of our previous one, and now with the year closing, we are looking to expand and double that. We went from a staff of me, to a full competent team that is really pushing REBEL8 further and further. We dropped our first ever New Era as a collabo with TRUE (sold out in 7-minutes flat) and established our very own New Era account. We had a huge worldwide release with Vans including full window displays in every Vans retail store, a 5-shoe deal and apparel line. I am so stoked. I am sure there are more things, but these are the ones that really stand out for me.
What was your favorite REBEL8 piece in ’08? The REBEL8 Vans Sk8-Hi. Hands down. As just a straight R8 piece, I’d have to say PUNK IS DEAD Tee.
As the economy continues to slow down, it can be quite a challenge keeping a clothing brand moving forward. Do you have any thoughts or advice to share on that? I stress about the economy all the time. It is really bad, yet we manage to grow at an extremely aggressive and progressive pace. So for us, 2008 was our best year ever by far, both creatively and monetarily. My best advice to any one or any company is to do what you do and just do it. Literally, just do it. If you do one little thing a day, it will happen. REBEL8 is still a very small company, and none of our success has come from any one move or any one moment in time. It is a day to day grind built with a lot of a love and heart, dreams and goals.
Where have you been finding inspiration lately? I am business-minded. I used to spend a lot more time focusing on the art side and thinking of graphic concepts. These days, I find inspiration in other companies based on their business models and practices. I look outside of clothing as well for ideas on how I can run my company better. It is a constant work in progress for me.
Anything big planned for ’09? Aside from adding more people to the REBEL8 family, REBEL8 Cut & Sew for Holiday and a few more collabos, our standard seasonal collections are dramatically increasing by a few hundred percent. For example, we are doubling the amount of graphic tees for mens and offering three colorways per style. A stark contrast to our typical 8 tee offerings, only available in one color.
And if there’s anything else you’d like to mention, go for it! I am very thankful to have such a fun job and work with an amazing team. I am more than appreciative for all the support from the people that are proud to wear our clothing and take pride in keeping REBEL8 growing. Thank-you. We do it for you and no one else.