In recent years street wear has become the leading trend in fashion. New brands have emerged what seems like daily, some fading away as quickly as they rose and others evolving into major market players. With a market flooded with new, independent, street wear brands it has become easier to filter through what's good, what's bad, and what's ugly. Luca Marchetto and Jordan Bowen of London based 8DIX (@8dix) are here to prove that casual wear can be smart, stylish and revolutionary. Already a favorite of Years & Years front man and budding fashionista, Olly Alexander, 8DIX has made its mark on London and now has its sites set on the U.S. I was able to chat with Marchetto about 8DIX, the fashion industry and balancing love and business. Here are our words.
BLKLN: Tell me about how you started 8DIX and how you came up with the name.
Luca Marchetto: "I was still working at Vivienne Westwood when I started making a few t-shirts and sell them to my friends. I always loved t-shirts and used to collect them. Then one day I met my business partner and he suggested to push my idea forward and so I did! After one year Jordan was working basically full time with 8DIX and left his job too and now we are all fully committed full time to the brand.
8DIX has nothing to do with what you think!. The real name of the brand is Otto Dix, a great painter of human history. He was painting what he was was living and breathing and we are trying to do kind of the same. We even copied the colour of his signature for our brand."
BLKLN: What is your brand’s philosophy?
LM: "We want to bring our experience in very high fashion houses to a premium casual wear brand. Our focus is always on quality and attention to detail and we never use fur or leather."
BLKLN: Tell me about your time at Erdem. How did it influence your brand and its philosophies. Or has it?
LM: "I went to work for Erdem as a freelancer when I left Westwood after 5 years and created his first knitwear range. Moving from Westwood to Erdem was a massive shock. It is the opposite way of thinking and opposite kind of woman. I was really fascinated how woman really trust him, he is like an old couturier where woman go to him to be dressed by him and I loved that. In Westwood it’s a bit of the opposite. The women know what they want. Two different women, both amazing.
In Westwood I always had to take care of the consumption of fabric and make sure the patterns fit so there is no waste…. I saw pattern placements at Erdem that would kill Vivienne on the spot!!!! But you know sometimes a dress looks very good with a seam more, so now I’m still conscious about fabric wasting but not as much as before…..oh! and sew up that hem!!! But you know I adore Erdem. He is a real gentlemen and I respect him and his work so much."
BLKLN: Whats it like working with your partner Jordan? How do you find balance within your business and personal relationships?
LM: "Well, if I would tell you that our eyes caught at a ball and I asked for a dance I would obviously be lying. We met in a toilet queue. But you know now that toilet cubicle was over 5 years ago!
We don’t have roles cos we have to do everything! We have different roles at different times of the day! One hour I’m designer, one hour he is a sale agent, for half I will be PR and so on. When you have a small label you need to produce 100 and only 1% is what comes out. But if you wouldn’t do that 100 that 1% wouldn’t exist. We never worked so hard.…. and I thought that Westwood was hard! Obviously Jordan takes care more of hats and I’m more involved in clothes but only in the production aspect cos designing we do everything together and its amazing cos our taste is exactly the same and we trust each other so much.
Lots of people ask if is not hard working together, living together and you know…. that stuff together too!!! For us it has never been a problem. When we are in studio we are constantly so busy that we don’t have time for couple arguments. We fight a lot in the studio and 2 days ago he threw an order pad at me but somehow as soon as we leave the studio door we ask each other “so what you fancy for dinner?” and its amazing cos then we go home and we are just a normal couple."
BLKLN: The Happy Knee jeans have become a signature piece from your line. What inspired the tattoos that your Happy Knee jeans are based on?
LM: "Yes they are but to be honest I was super drunk that night and I did them by myself…. so not profound meaning really but you know we have loads of feed backs from people who are wearing the jeans , nice quotes like bringing a smile in the street and stuff like that. People smile back at you when you wear them… what you want more!"
BLKLN: How has the London fashion scene evolved with the recent influx of young menswear designers and LCM?
LM: "I never know what to answer to this question. There are so many brands out there, so many designers, so many people that have no idea of how to put two pieces together but they just have the money from their parents, so many talented people and the attention just constantly shift from one to another. This is why I think you need to take it very seriously in what you are doing, believe in it and focus on where you want for yourself and work hard for it."
BLKLN: How do you feel about the fashion industry right now? Do you think it's become harder to succeed if you're an up and coming designer?
LM: "Oh fuck it is hard, man!"
BLKLN: What is your vision for bringing 8DIX to the U.S.?
LM: "We just came back from U.S. where we presented SS17 and was a really big success. God bless America!"
BLKLN: Tell me about the SS17 collection.
LM: "Pizza, pizza pizza! Cant say more!"
BLKLN: If you had to pick one piece that defines your collection what would it be?
LM: "The burka tee. It’s super strong once you get it! It was one of the first tees we designed. We produced it many times after that and every time is always sold out. Now for SS17 its back in a new restyle and looks fantastic. America went crazy for that! And of course the happy knee jeans… but I think they are something else. They are a bit of the Chanel nr5 for Chanel. We will keep doing them."
BLKLN: How do you plan on expanding the 8DIX brand?
LM: "There are so many things that a brand can do but we are very realistic, we want to do a bit at a time. Saying that, Jordan is currently working on a huge collection of hats for London fashion week which is really exciting and from October we’ll be stocked in the US so we really want to explore that market. I think an LA show is on the cards so watch this space! We have more followers everyday who buy our clothes but there’s always more to do. Then after lets see… cant wait to design some shoes too!"
BLKLN: Where do see your 8DIX in ten years?
LM: "I hope to be still here talking to you about bags, shoes, and celebrity gossip cos I love my job. I don’t see 8DIX as an overnight sensation, we’ve done the leg work and I really think there’s longevity in what we have created but god, TEN YEARS?? We’re thinking of moving to The States so a shop and a studio in LA would do me fine."
For more information on Marchetto, Bowen and 8DIX visit www.8dix.com.
Images courtesy of 8DIX.