COMUNE have released preview images for their Fall collection 2011. COMUNE is definitely a brand that puts a lot of emphasis in its creative process and pulls a lot from creative energy. As part of the brand they have their Drop City creative program that connects a host of creative contributors that are part of the family. Tee Hunter spoke to Mike Quinones, Creative Director of COMUNE – about their forthcoming collection, differentiating the brand and their intriguing Drop City creative program.
TH: What do you hope people will take away from the Fall 2011 line?
MQ: COMUNE isn’t a seasonally themed brand. I think we have a unified identity through all graphics and typography, including tees, which can speak with one voice. I do draw a lot of inspiration from sixties era Swiss typography, and just the use of typography in general. Type has the hardest job of any artistic medium I think. There is so much out there that it must compete with. I have a lot of respect for type, typesetters and typography.
TH: How do you approach differentiating Comune within such a crowded market?
MQ: Regardless of the collection or season, COMUNE always tries to approach graphics in a more refined and sophisticated way. I realized very early on that we never would be the ‘logo’ tee brand. 400 variations of the same logo, mixing the same recycled textures and treatments, which just seemed so boring and redundant. The industry didn’t need another brand like that. Additionally, I knew that the COMUNE consumer wasn’t going to be that guy. I try to let our tees accent the clothing, not jump out like a bright all-over print.
TH: In what way are your contributors important to the brand?
MQ: The contributors are key! Photographers like Jason Lee Parry and Jimmy Fontaine, artist like Gareth Stehr and musicians like Devendra Banhart bring so much to the brand. Their graphics are constantly elevating our program and we are lucky to have them!
HT: Tell us about Drop City
MQ: Drop city is a creative network setup to attract like-minded people who love to create, in any medium. All of our artists are free to contribute whenever they like to the brand, in any way. They can choose to stop working with the brand whenever. Because we don’t have that “huge backer or financial arm” we rely on our personal relationships with each contributor. We dont go out and chase people to work with. They usually come to us, or it just sort of happens organically. That is important to us, that nothing is forced.
TH: What are the major highlights of your Drop City project so far?
MQ: Our Karlson Tea Party project is an on-going event that always is a good time. We spend months planning and coordinating with different builders on transporting their hand crafted works of art that are shown in the form of both old and new motorcycles. On April 9 we are having another huge event with Drop City photographer Jimmy Fontaine called ‘Everything Went Black’. If anyone is in Costa Mesa, stop buy and check it out, but RSVP at email@example.com first to make sure you can get in as space is limited.
You can find out more about COMUNE at their website.