Brand Feature – Roughens


Tell us a bit about your brand, the history and the ethos behind the Roughens.

Roughens is a new start­ up clothing brand that’s based in the South of the UK. We’ve got our debut collection LA x London dropping soon.
The ethos was nailed before most other elements; bold yet minimal pieces with a strong respect for garment quality and aesthetics.
Because we’re a new brand it’s been great to follow this ethos and apply it to everything that’s been created.

Why the Roughens and do you live up to the name?

I spent some time going through name choices for the brand and nothing really stuck.
It was not until I overheard somebody call me a ‘Roughen’ at a pub (hoping it was because of my ink) ­ It made me chuckle, so I decided to run with it. I’m thinking at some point, there may be a chance to flip the term on it’s head.

We love the designs from your new range. What’s your selection process for picking the style and artists you use?

For our debut range I decided the best thing to do was to pick a theme first and build upon it ­ the eventual idea was to take LA culture and add London refinement.
I wanted to use bold artwork that still had a minimal feel so I started revisiting portfolio’s of artist that I’d checked out before.
There are hundreds of great artists available for commission ­ sites like dribbble and mintees are good places to start when looking for the right style. Eventually I went with the creative talents of Craig Robson and Aham Sandwich for the flagship pieces ­ completing the others myself.
From about 24 finished designs, only 9 made it to production ­ it was important that the collections theme was consistent.

What’s next for the Roughens?

We’ve already started planning our next (larger) collection that will coming next spring and a capsule drop towards the end of Autumn.
There is also a strong focus on building the awareness and culture of the brand ahead of the spring release.
Oh, and festivals. Lots of festivals.

What advice would you give to someone planning to start their own clothing brand?

Planning and preparation is everything, don’t just chuck some designs on t-shirts to ‘get them out there’ ­ take your time and enjoy the process.
Even if your range is small it costs money to build a brand. If your budget is modest ­ put the lion’s share into getting a good printing company, nothing is worse than seeing your hard work ruined by an inexperienced printer.
Lastly, there’s an unexpected amount of haters out there waiting to stomp all over your ideas ­ don’t let them.

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions and we look forward to seeing your next collection.