At 197cm and with an outstanding vertical leap, Bulldog Liam Jones has never had trouble getting off the ground. The same cannot be said about his fashion label.
It all began in May last year, when one of Jones’s old school-mates began complaining about the lack of decent clothing in Hobart.
“We thought, wouldn’t it be cool if we had our own gear?” Jones says.
“But I didn’t think much of it at the time.”
“We try to think of things ahead of time… We want to be at a point where we’re starting a trend” – Liam Jones
Gradually those conversations became more serious. As another mate from Jones’s childhood jumped on board, the guys started to think more seriously about putting a clothing label together.
“Basically, it went a month or two where it was just an idea. We thought, maybe we’re going to do it, maybe not. We didn’t have a name and nothing was really coming to mind. But then we came up with a name and shortly after we came up with a logo.”
The name was a doozy: ‘Such A Tees’.
“From there, we just started to suss out manufacturers and stuff and tried to make a few designs,” Jones says.
“It was probably three months where we were just trying to get things off the ground.”
Fast forward nine months, and Such A Tees has a range of t-shirts, singlets and caps available for purchase online and in stores.
“It’s a street-wear range,” Jones explains.
“It’s a casual, urban style.”
At this point, there are just two stores that stock their range; Dcoco Design and Billie-Jo – both of which are in Tasmania. For those in Melbourne who haven’t come across the clothing line, Jones likens it to the type of gear you might find at General Pants, Culture Kings or Globalize.
Jones is a long way away from his two business partners – they still live in Tasmania, Jones’s home-state – which presents a range of interesting challenges. Namely, it makes for an interesting creative process.
“We’ve got a Facebook page, which is primarily where we speak to each other,” Jones explains.
“Basically one of us will draw up an idea and say, ‘what do you think of this?’ Or if I see a t-shirt or something I like I’ll say, alright I want this t-shirt, cut like this, with this colour sleeves and this design on it. Then I’ll post it up and the boys say, “Nah, I wouldn’t mind this instead,” and they’ll post a photo up. That’s basically how we do it – we just keep talking and designing until we find something we like.”
Jones says each member of the trio does an equal amount of design, despite having little background in the fashion industry.
“Once we’ve got a rough idea of what we want, we see if it’s possible and ask manufacturers. Once we order, they send us a mock-up and then we can see what the design’s actually going to look like. From there we can make some adjustments and add any finishing touches to our idea.”
Putting together a new design can be a lengthy process. Thankfully, the Just A Tees team has found a manufacturer who’s on the same wavelength.
“We’re sourcing now through a guy in California who approached us, liked our stuff and had his own brand in America,” Jones says.
“He’s recently opened up his own manufacturing company, where he’s making stuff for other people.”
It was a perfect fit – pardon the pun.
“It’s easy to talk about designs and we’re really happy with it. His brand is actually similar to the style we’re doing. We can just source him out and say ‘we like the stuff you do, we want it like this’ and it’s just a lot easier and better quality.”
With the fiddly stuff largely taken care of, Jones and his mates are able to keep their attention focused on their next item of clothing.
“We’re always on the internet, having a look at things and what could be cool,” he says.
“These days we try to think of things ahead of time, so once another brand comes out with a new line we’re not just jumping on it. We want to be at a point where we’re starting a trend.”