Sometimes in life you are faced with a myriad of choices that force you to take a thoughtful, hard look at which is the right way to go. The same holds true for the street wear marketplace. With new clothing companies springing up left and right, it can be hard to sift through the noise and pick out original designs that are not recycled themes or solely built on brand hype.
We sat down with Adrian Bennington of Pros & Cons, where he offered his take on the state of streetwear designs and why his brand stands ahead of the pack.
Sojones.com: So how did you get started in the clothing industry?
Adrian: Clothing was a natural progression for us really. We have been pretty active in the graffiti sub-culture for well over a decade now, so the artistic aspect was instilled in us early on. Graphic design was a natural progression from that and naturally printing our own stuff was the logical answer considering our background. The pool of artistic talent I had around me was incredible, so a clothing line was the obvious choice. Like all things, through a lot of trial and error, hard work and sleepless nights, we finally have arrived to where we are today; and that is with a brand that we feel is strong enough to fight through this recession and firmly be positioned at the top of the mountain when the clouds part.
Sojones.com: Very cool! So how long have you been around?
Adrian: We (the founders) have been around for quite a long time, the brand The Pros & Cons however wasn’t conceptualized until 2006. To be honest we just saw a lot of what was going on in and or around ’05 and we knew we could do better. Simple as that. Creating solid branding takes a long time though and we were not going to cut any corners in doing so.
Sojones.com: Do you have any brands and /or designers who inspire you?
Adrian: Sure, I mean I find myself inspired by different things all of the time. A lot which isn’t related to clothing or clothing design in any way. I’m very picky however, and am probably pretty hard to please but I definitely appreciate hard work and attention to detail. Most of our inspiration comes from our own life experiences. There is a lot of double meanings and things of that nature sprinkled throughout are branding imagery that is a direct reflection of our own lives.
Sojones.com: What was the inspiration for the name – Pros & Cons?
Adrian: Well the name the Pros & Cons was actually an acronym for Professionals and Convicts. We are made up of just that, the name fits who we are to the core – and I will just leave it at that that. The name has evolved into something more though. Especially with the current over saturation in the street wear scene. We are asking our core demographic to weigh their options, and to choose wisely when buying. There is a lot of crap out there right now, we all know it. It’s time for the consumer to wise up and stop buying this garbage. You aren’t fresh if you are wearing a loud T-shirt compiled of google images and free fronts, sorry.
Sojones.com: (Laughing) I feel that…so tell me what type of clothing do you make?
Adrian:At this point we haven’t ventured off to much beyond screen printing. Sure, I have outsourced a few things here and there and even gone overseas for some things, but we do the vast majority of our printing in-house and there is just something about the hands on experience that I love. We are working on some other items right now that will require us to explore more into the cut & sew realm, especially for our fall /winter items but I plan on continuing the hand done screen printing process for as long as we can.
Sojones.com: So how would you describe the consumer who would buy your clothes?
Adrian: Our ideal consumer is someone who first and foremost appreciates good artwork and hand drawn illustrations. Our consumer is someone is who is not only fashion oriented with a keen eye for originality, but someone who sets trends, not usually one to follow them.
Sojones.com: So what sets your brand apart in the urban clothing marketplace?
Adrian: I think the fact that we concentrate so much on doing original artwork stands out a lot currently. We try as hard as we can to stay away from clip art, or any kind of free font or google image search icons. Brands are completely made up these days off of google image searches, I mean who am I to say its wrong, just know that when you are buying a Pros & Cons design a lot of hard work went in to each and every design we release and you are going to be wearing an original piece every time.
Sojones.com: Is your clothing available in stores? Where can people purchase them?
Adrian: We are currently trying to open up more store accounts so if your favorite local boutique or skate shop doesn’t currently stock The Pros & Cons, ask them why not, and tell them why they should. As far as online retailers are concerned, we are in talks with a couple right now, but I’ve always been one to go directly to the source and in this case the source is our webstore at www.pncla.com