After an e-mail to Iain Trickett, the founder of TRiCKETT -England- to enquire about the size of some socks, we got talking. Seems we have some common interests. I wanted to know what made Iain tick; and wanted a bit more of an insight into the label, so I asked him if it would be possible for an interview. He said he loves a good Q&A and agreed, so here it is.
An Interview With Iain Trickett
Firstly Iain could you tell me where it all started?
I can pretty much pinpoint the period where I wanted to be involved in clothing or sportswear of some sort in 1996. It was the season that Les Ferdinand had started playing for Newcastle, wearing what is, in my opinion, one of the most iconic strips in football history. Don't get me started on the composition of the Newcastle 95 -97 home shirt or I may well never finish. In the same year Nike released the Jordan XI, which again is an example of classic, simple design (which influences TRiCKETT to this day).
From that point, I would always design shoes, trainers, and jackets, whatever I saw. I can't stress enough that I never went to art school or fashion college to learn design, I just winged it (I actually did a Music degree).
After a bit of dipping around in Street wear after being influenced by big brands like The Hundreds, Diamond Supply Co., Mighty Healthy etc and forming my own company that failed miserably, I decided to go back to my roots and form a brand around things that I loved rather than trying to find a fashion to sell into. So that is the point I am at now.
You said you used to run a blog. What was the blog about and how did you go from blogging to having your own label?
I would always find things that I liked and would show them to my girlfriend and say 'How amazing is this' or 'Do you remember these?' Being the good sport that she is, she would look at them and they made her smile. So she said that rather than just showing them to her, I should tell more people about my discoveries so that is pretty much how I got into blogging. I got a few styling jobs, sold a few t-shirts and made some good friends along the way.
What I didn't know is that the blog would now form a huge part of my research and I use it almost as an archive now. I am far better at unearthing things from the archives than I am at redesigning something that already exists.
Why is there only small numbers of each product?
I grew up in the 90s where it was all about having trainers, jackets, jeans or whatever that no-one else had. Before the internet, going on shopping missions with my dad driving, looking for a Boca Juniors Away shirt in some dodgy sports shop in Cirencester, was probably about as exciting as it got for me.
I thought that it would make people remember that special moment when they got / bought something really special for the first time in their life, I also quite like the idea that all the products are collector's pieces as we are all anoraks at heart!
Who/what inspires you?
I guess the biggest thing that inspires me daily is sport of Europe and North America. I know that is a big thing that inspires me, but I am always intrigued by how every region has it’s own sporting culture and way of dressing. Obviously the best example of this is football - Teds, Mods, Skinheads, Casuals, Terrace Monkeys - throughout the ages they have all had a keen interest in football and looking good, which I guess is what my brand is all about.
Aside from the obvious, old photos of sports teams always inspire me, not only in terms of what they wear, but you always wonder 'who's that?', 'what position did they play?' or, 'were they actually a good team?'
Hip-Hop had and still does have a huge influence on me as it always gets me in the mood for a bit of research and I like how the artists mix sportswear, high end designers and work wear together effortlessly.
The other influence is just two words Michael Jordan. Enough said.
When did you first become interested in sports culture and sportswear design from the past?
Sportswear is one of those things that has always interested me, ever since I can remember I always had a pair of Nikes on my feet and my Mum bought me my first pair of Jordan’s and matching tracksuit when I was 6 so I was always destined to be into training shoes / sporting goods.
I always liked how things looked in terms of what teams played in and this was all the more prevalent in the 90s when football shirt design could be at best described as 'experimental.' On a Saturday night I always got to stay up late and watch Match of the Day and more often than not my dad and I would discuss the shirts and boots more than the results.
Sportswear design from the past has pretty much always interested me. From the 1950’s onwards, dedicated sportswear companies started cropping up that made functional, simple garments which are pretty much all I am about. They were at the forefront of what sportswear design was going to be and still to this day not much has changed. I also like how they used hardwearing fabrics as opposed to cheap polyester and market it as performance. I won’t lie those tight lycra Kombat shirts that Kappa made were revolutionary for all kinds of reasons and eventually translated in to all sports, however I like my sportswear to look better the more it is used.
Sports culture came quite a bit later on when my uncle always used to take me to watch Burnley (being a Stanley fan, it was the only 'decent' football I could watch so I was told). We always got to the game for the 2nd half as he and his mates would all be drinking, discussing clobber and when they were next going to Italy to buy some special Stone Island pieces. He bought me a Burnley jumper and told me it was a Stone Island limited edition (it wasn't, but how amazing would that be?) and I wore that jumper until the seams split.
It was at that point I realised that sport wasn't just the result; it was the journey, the fans, the stories and memories. I don't think that anything else can even come close in terms of an influence on my life, as it seemed OK to like sport and clothes for the first time in my life.
What’s your favourite sport and do you play any sport in your free time?
I can't help it, I do love football, but I can't really get into the Greedy League (Credit the Casual Connoisseur for that) as it is all just a bit too fame, glitz and glamour for me. The only person that has kept me going this season is Grant Holt as he really is a traditional centre forward, apart from that I am a bit bored with it all.
Recently I got back into basketball. Although I do have an interest in most sports, be they North American or otherwise, basketball always draws me back in. The athleticism of the players and genuine talent is always something I am drawn to. Having been a Los Angeles Clippers fan all of my life, it is a good time to watch them after years of utter, utter crap.
I play football on the regular, however the most active I get is dog walking, so when that is internationally recognized as an Olympic sport then I will declare myself as physically active.
I will agree with you there Iain, football has become more of a business than a sport these days. What team do you support/follow?
I am a rare breed of Accrington Stanley supporter. I can see the ground from my house and I am there fairly regularly, work permitting, with the other two fans. It's still a traditional club in my eyes, crap stadium, waterlogged pitch, terraces and a port-a-cabin club shop. What more could you want?
I know your good mates with the lads from Casual Co/One up. Do you plan on collaborating with them or anyone else in the near future?
Well the lads and I are meeting up very soon for a pint of mild, clutching sketchpads and fabric swatches. All I will say is that there is something on the cards, but I genuinely don't know what it is yet. When I know I will let the CC chaps tell you, they can draw better than I can.
Sound’s good. Finally Iain what does the future hold for TRiCKETT?
TRiCKETT is steadily growing which is really good as it is always nice to see that people share your vision and ideas. I am making some baseball bats really soon with Louisville Slugger, which are due out this year. I will be releasing the baseball caps, which people have been pestering me for months over and hopefully a few secret collaborations with some reputable sportswear manufacturers too.
I will also continue to scour the planet for nice items for the shop, if I can get it all sorted I am releasing an insulated mug for your Bovril on the terraces so that will be amazing, no-one likes a cold brew.
Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me Iain. Good luck with the expansion of your label and the collaborations. I look forward to seeing how it all turns out and what new products you have in store.ACM