30 Apr From Walls to Tee’s
We caught up with Authority Clothing founder, Christopher Skyner to find out how he has created a brand inspired by wall art, and why Snoop Dogg can be found wearing his tee’s…
What I find beautiful about Melbourne’s creative scene is the fact that artists, photographers and graphic designers all work together to build profiles as a collaborative effort. Street art is supported and valued by the Melbourne council and locals alike. Every corner you turn there are legit murals and art installations. Business owners and residents pursue local artists to brighten up their corners of the city. There is awesome support from the city that makes Melbourne an awesome place to discover your own creative flair and network with others in similar fields.
We don’t just take art ‘off the wall’ and apply it to clothing. As a brand we fund and curate the wall. We source a location, provide materials, bring artist’s, photographers, videographers and bloggers together and as the artist creates we document the creative process. Then, from the project we create limited edition clothing and named on the swing tag of the clothing is the exact location in where the customer can then find the original art piece.
Originally, the concept of our brand was inspired by the many Melbourne laneways, home to some of the best street art in Australia. I used to pass through art filled alleyways on my way to work every day. I was taken in every time by the creativity and messages embedded in some of the artworks. I started looking up different artists and attending art exhibitions throughout the city. I loved this freedom of expression and originality.
Supporting local talent is an awesome way to push artistic talents close to home and an absolute must. There is always an awesome story behind every piece of art and people can relate to it more if it is the work of a local artist.
We are currently organising an event with a British non-profit organisation called ‘The Urban Arts Clinic’. Authority will be bringing an Australian artist to the UK to collaborate with British local talent as part of a community project in the Midlands. The plan is to run an art workshop after the mural installation for local school kids showcasing how you can use art as a tool to build communities.
The beautiful aspect of street art is the fact that it is free for everyone to enjoy and read as they wish, and an excellent platform for artist’s to showcase works and make impressions on society. Although, I do not think it should be considered as public property as the art is the creation of an individual.
When Authority Clothing works with an artist we provide the materials needed to create the mural, we then pay the artist for the time spent working on the mural and document the mural installation in which the artist and Authority can use. Finally we sign a contract with the artist that gives Authority permission to use this art piece. Full copyright of the works belongs to the artist. We solely gain the rights to replicate this image through our apparel range.
We do our best to manufacture local. All of our apparel is screen-printed in Brunswick, Melbourne and product is sourced from a New Zealand supplier. This makes it easier to control quality of our product and its dope to support local.
We snuck a ‘fuck AUTHORITY’ t-shirt into Snoop Dogg’s changing room at a Melbourne gig, which he then decided to wear in a music video, which is pretty weird. Also, the fact that we are talking to people in England about future collaborations is crazy. Daz Dillinger ft. Snoop Dogg, ‘What’s Your Pleasure’ in which Snoop wears an Authority T-shirt
Our whole journey has been crazy weird. Two years ago I was working in Hospitality managing venues; I had never worked in fashion, art, or even worked on a Creative Suite. I taught myself everything from scratch using the internet and getting advice from friends. We are seriously honoured to be where we are today and this is only the beginning of our journey. It has not even been a year since we launched our first t-shirt with artist Steen Jones. We could never have done it without the help of some bloody awesome people along the way, so big thank you to them. We are on a journey to create an original street wear label and its going pretty well. This still blows me away.
Written by Freddie Rochez.