We sat down for a chat with Brian from clothing line, My Sheffield, to find out how it got started and what’s coming up for the brand.
How did you start your business?
I was inspired by my fond affection for Sheffield – the city I grew up in and love. I’ve always felt an affinity with Sheffield and wanted to celebrate that. It was during seven years spent living in India that the concept began to grow – maybe it was the great community and family spirit of this far away land that struck a chord with me about my own roots. During my time away I was given the opportunity to explore clothing manufacture and research the best quality fabrics and I was also able to connect with some really talented graphic designers.
Which aspects of Sheffield does your clothing line draw inspiration from, and why?
My inspiration has come from a whole range of channels all deeply rooted within our city, including:
Sheffield’s heritage and unsung heroes like Lizzie Ward from WW1.
The ‘Sheffield Soul’ t-shirt was inspired by the deep roots of the Sheffield soul movement.
The ‘Skull’ print represents death and rebirth within the city.
The ‘Past, Present and Constant’ print is represented by Tinsley Viaduct, the Centre for Popular Music and The Yorkshire Rose.
The ‘Sheffield Dragon’ written in Mandarin celebrates cultural diversity.
Park Hill Flats were excellent inspiration for an aerial view all-over print for a t-shirt.
I think that all Sheffield people can identify with one or more of these symbols and that as a whole my prints capture the essence of the city.
Tell me about some of the positive experiences you’ve had and why they’re important to your business.
My most positive experience came from spending twelve years living overseas, which really opened my eyes to the strong thread running through all communities in different cultures. This awakened thoughts of my own town and motivated me to design my range.
What do you think your local council could do to help independent businesses?
It would be great to bring people back into the City Centre for shopping. Since the opening of Meadowhall people are more inclined to take advantage of the free parking there. If free parking was introduced in the City Centre I’m sure people would be encouraged to shop there more often and in return help the local economy to thrive.
Make sure you head down to the HUBS at Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union on 18 October for the My Sheffield Vintage and Makers Market.
Interview by Felicity Jackson
Images courtesy of My Sheffield