Welcome to The NRTH... - 18/10/16
By Joey NRTH | @JoeyNRTH
Welcome to NRTH
Glad you guys could come and check us out.
NRTH (pronounced north) is a streetwear brand and boutique based in the grim northwest of England.
Since 2012 NRTH has been keeping the citizens of the world clothed, reminding them to to do more of what makes them happy, stay true to yourself and be mindful of what is going on around you.
So where did it all start?
In the beginning....
I first got interested in graphic design in my 3rd year of secondary school. MySpace was at its peak and bands like Bring Me The Horizon and Architects where starting to make a name for themselves on the UK underground metal scene.
I remember getting into these bands and thinking 'Man their album artwork and shirt designs are so sick, I wish I could do something like that.' Eventually after doing abit of research I downloaded a cracked copy of Photoshop off Limewire and went from there learning the ropes along the way.
'This is Limewire. Before Spotify, this is how you used to get your music and viruses, but mostly viruses.'
Honing the craft.
After a lot of practice, terrible designs and trial and error, I had finally found my style. The work flow was good, and I was fortunate enough to be working alongside some awesome bands such as Carcer City and Empires Fade which made me up my game. I started doing more and more merch designs for bands and clothing companies alike.
Inspired by the stories of brands like DROP DEAD and Honour Over Glory I decided to invest what little money I had left over from my freelance work (going out every night was the priority as it is for every 18 year old) in 2010 into my first clothing line.
'Some super early DROP DEAD, although the designs where abit colourful for my taste, this was one of the first independent clothing lines I came across, some early inspiration along with the likes of Honour Over Glory and Kill The Scene.'
'You either win, or you learn...'
When I started my first clothing line (which can't be named for legal reasons) I had no clue about business, I literally got some items printed up and began selling them straight away, no look book, no marketing, nothing. Surprisingly I sold out of my first batch within two weeks, mostly to friends and family. From there I thought the only way was up and placed an order for a higher quantity immediate reprint. Little did I know i'd made the classic error many people that start clothing lines make, i'd sold to all my friends and family but the people that didn't know me or the brand didn't give a shit and rightfully so, instead of reinvesting the money i made into new products it went back into my pocket and was quickly spent on booze, noodles and video games.
I decided to give it another go but after running into roadblock after roadblock with a manufacturer, I hit the nail on the head and decided to call it quits. I went back to freelancing but after having the taste of making my own products, I knew this was something I would do again. Fast forward to 2012 and learning from my previous mistakes NRTH was born.
'Left: An early design from the first line I ran which never went to print.
Right: An initial idea I had for a design for Black Market Laundry.'
After being let go from my job, I was unemployed for a good while in the midst of the recession. I was struggling to decide what I wanted to do with my life and again came back to the idea of running a clothing line.
Inspired by the designs of brands like: OBEY, Johnny Cupcakes, ONLY NY and Alive and Well, I decided to give it another shot. Coming up with a few names including 'Dead Society' 'Black Market Laundry Club' and 'Northern Propaganda' - I chose the latter and began to make some designs under the guise of northern propaganda taking heavy influences from brands like OBEY.
After a few design changes and back and forth quotes from printers, I dropped the Northern Propaganda to just NRTH and got my first batch of 'Prison Planet' shirts printed with £200 I had saved up.
'First ever design that was printed for NRTH the 'Prison Planet' tee.
From there I went printing one design at a time, the 'Prison Planet' tee was followed by the 'Dreamcatcher', 'Native Goods' and 'Chief' tees, all of which where re-designed and made comeback later in the lifespan.
The natural progression from here was collaborations and to put out ranges instead of single items. Seven collections and one store opening later, and here we are.
Thanks for coming on the ride with me and helping me chase my dream!