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By Laetitia Laubscher
April 19, 2015
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By Laetitia Laubscher
April 19, 2015
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in partnership with

Born in 2007, ilabb Streetwear has established itself as one of New Zealand's leading fashion brands, specialising in action sports-inspired streetwear and collaborative products. The name came about after the minds behind the threads, Seadon Baker and Matt Saunders, had a few beersies and became quite inspired by an intergalactic personality named ilabb. What occurred that night has since become ilabb's DNA: collaboration, creativity, innovation and, of course, the intergalactic galaxy.

In addition to collaborations with iconic personalities such as Shapeshifter's P Diggs, motocross rider Levi Sherwood, pro-kayaker Ben Brown, pro drifter Mad Mike and freestyle skier Anna Wilcox, ilabb also hold a unique partnership with international athletic apparel brand Starter to produce a range of snapback caps and beanies.

We talked to its founder Seadon Baker about some of the trials and tribulations of being an action sports street wear crossbred.

Concrete Playground: What is ilabb and what does it mean to your customers?

Seadon Baker: ilabb is an action sports and culture Street wear brand inspiring collaboration.

CP: Where did it all start for you? Why ilabb?

SB: ilabb began back in 2007 with an extremely talented creative named Matt Saunders, he and I were having some beers one night and we were inspired by an intergalactic personality named ilabb. ilabb inspired us not to collaborate and create something that was different, something that was about improving your aesthetic and creating personalisation.

And why ilabb? ilabb was a name inspired by a whole raft of things but a major part being inspiring collaboration, innovation and creativity all from an intergalactic galaxy.

CP: The brand rides well with collaborations. Talk us through how this has come about and why it is important?

SB: Inspiring collaboration is something thats been in ilabb's DNA from day one and we are big believers that all these things can't be done alone, not the creation nor that personalisation. As of late however we have definitely expanded the collaboration with some huge names and brands and its been an awesome journey to work together on so many levels.

A collaboration is important to us as not only does it come from the early birth of ilabb but it also helps create an aspirational representation of collaboration by putting two personalities together as one. And working with like minded athletes, musicians, personalities and brands its an easy fit and a awesome project.

We are also excited for whats to come as there is some big things in the pipeline too.

CP: What has been some of ilabb's career highlights?

SB: I think first and foremost ilabb's biggest career highlight is building the ilabbfamily, the team of people who are not only involved both internally but also externally, we have an amazing group of designers, athletes, managers, sales people, advisors, production partners, retailers, brand partners and so many more who all contribute to the creation of ilabb.

CP: What's the dream? Where is ilabb heading?

SB: The Dream is to create a global leading Action Sports and Culture Brand. From the inception of ilabb, the goal has been to become a global leader, and every decision has been made with this in mind.

ilabb is heading into new markets as we speak. We are starting to setup operations in the USA and Australia with a number of Global events on the horizon which will take our global collaborations to a whole new level with some amazing athletes and ambassadors.

CP: What has been some of the challenges of starting a label? Do you have any advice to anyone who wishing to start one?

SB: Challenges of starting a brand I think are definitely creating enough market recognition to gain momentum to start to grow in the first place. So many people have such awesome brands and products/designs but never quite get enough momentum to kick into growth mode and this takes time, hard work and then all the other challenges like funding, cash flow management, staff, marketing, sales and anymore exciting steps.

It's definitely not easy and you will need all the help you can get.

Advice I can give is don't ever be afraid to ask questions, you will be surprised how many people are willing to help. Funding and cash flow are two very big challenges when you start to grow fast as a bigger time frame begins to open up from expenses to sales so to manage this we work really hard on timelines and forward planning as the more clarity you have on the future ahead the better you can make decisions.

Lastly don't think you can do it alone, you are going to need as many amazing people around you as you can.

CP: Your HQ is in Mt Eden. Where are some of your go to cafes/restaurant/bars?

SB: We're bog regulars at Goodness Gracious. Welcome Cafe is another awesome spot.

CP: When's the next ilabb party and can we come?

SB: We have some exciting changes happening with our head office retail store, this is expanding and we want to share it with everyone so stay tuned for an invitation to this one as it's going to be a big one.

 

Thanks to Fortune Avenue, we have a ilabb x Starter wardrobe to give away. Up for grabs is a Starter x ilabb 5 panel cap, beanie (a new ilabb product for Winter), ilabb capsize jeans and an ilabb capsize tee. Head to Fortune Avenue to enter the draw.

 

Published on April 19, 2015 by Laetitia Laubscher

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