Just when you thought there weren’t any original concepts left in the tshirt business – along come some innovative Swedes with their sophisticated streetwear company ONE of a TEE. The brand was founded by brothers David and Jacob von Corswant, who have developed a database that makes it impossible to sell two identical tees to a customer’s chosen geographical region. Great news for the many of us out there who can’t even stand the thought of running in to another being in the known universe with the same tee design as us. However, it doesn’t stop there..
..with ONE of a TEE, it’s up to you just how unique you want to be. In fact you can literally be the only person in the entire world to snap up a particular tshirt design. Sure, it’ll cost you $400, but what a talking point? $200 grabs you your own continent and $100 an entire country for you and your beloved new tshirt. For those with less cash to play around with there’s the $50 city option or the $25 1 in a 10000 option where these clever brothers guarantee to never sell more than 1 tshirt per 1000000 inhabitants of the world.
Tee Hunter spoke to David von Corswant about the brother’s background, what inspired the brand and what their plans are for future collections.
TH: What’s yours and your brother’s backgrounds and how did it lead to founding One of a Tee?
DC: Jacob and I have talked about working together for many years now. Finally we came up with this idea and decided to go for it. We get along great, we think alike, but have different qualities.
Jacob is an art director in advertising since about ten years back. He has done campaigns for Absolut and Greenpeace to mention a few. One of his most famous campaigns was for the Ice Hotel in the north of Sweden, where he had sculpturerers make a drum set out of ice. Then the drummer from Swedish rock band Hellacopters played on it until it shattered. Check it out:
I have worked in fashion for ten years as Scandinavian brand manager for about twenty international brands. My job was basically to find and introduce labels to our market, by selecting the best retail stores for them, and making sure that they received press coverage. The three brands I enjoyed working with the most was Modern Amusement (USA), Insight (Australia), and Vexed Generation (UK).
TH: What inspired the concept of the brand?
DC: It was actually series of various ideas that came together to form ONE of a TEE. One of those ideas was born after yet another of my sales road trips with a great new brand that most shops wanted to carry. But the shop buyers in every city I visited basically told me the same thing: “We want to carry it, but only if you promise not to sell it to any other shop in this city”. It made us realize that the only one getting exclusiveness this way is the shop owner. The end customer will not be the only one in that city with that product. I mean, the shop can sell ten, or a hundred, or even more of every product. We simply want to take the uniqueness a step further, to the people who are actually going to wear the clothes.
TH: You’re based out of Stockholm, Sweden, how is this location for a budding tshirt company?
DC: Stockholm, and Sweden in general, is a great place for fashion. The creativity is all around us, and there is no shortage of success stories. Many of our favourite clothing brands were born here, like ACNE, Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair, Whyred, Cheap Monday and WeSC.
TH: How often will you be releasing new collections?
DC: We will release a new collection every six weeks. Each collection consists of five tees with prints. They all share a common theme, but are separated by the geographical levels: World, Continent, Country, City, and 1/1000000.
TH: What will inspire future collections?
DC: We have labeled ONE of a TEE as sophisticated street wear. By that we mean that we likely will attract a slightly older audience than typically would wear tees with prints. In the future you will see tributes to fashion, pop culture, music, art, photography, historic events, to give you a vague hint. We are also looking at bringing in some interesting guest designers.
TH: Tell us more about One of a Style store?
DC: ONE of a STYLE is a new online shop we are working on right now. The idea is to allow other clothing brands to sell in a similar way as we do on the ONE of a TEE shop. Some criteria these brands will need to meet is that they have to design special collections that only can be purchased thru this online shop. This is to ensure that the end customers will get to be exclusive in their chosen geographical region.
TH: Have you signed anyone interesting up yet?
DC: We are still at an early stage of launching this shop. Although the shop solution is similar to ONE of a TEE, there are still many changes that need to be made. We have thoughts on some brands that we would like to carry, and initial discussions have begun. I can’t go into more details on that yet, but I can tell you that it will not only be t-shirts sold and it will mainly be from larger international brands.
The ONE of a TEE debut collection is available now from oneofatee.com