I can’t remember how or when I came across the brand TRiCKETT, no doubt it was Instagram or Twitter, but there was just something about it that I was instantly drawn to. Being a self confessed football casual and fan of that sort of fashion, it had the terrace feel about it, but with a twist… there were socks, random references to Naples and some really beautifully looking understated clothing. It didn’t scream Danny Dyer wanna be. I’ve since purchased several pieces from the Accrington based brand, to the point that on a recent weekend away with mates I got a lot of stick for being some sort of brand ambassador.
So it was with great delight that when I reached out on Instagram to the lad that runs TRiCKETT to see if he would do a little interview with me for the blog, he responded immediately “it would be my pleasure pal.” Which just shows what a lovely fella he is. So here is how our chat went, which I for one, found fascinating, I hope you do.
Tell me a bit about yourself, Accrington born and bred?
Haha, for my sins, yes I am from Accrington. I live here, I work here and I support here. I have been very lucky to travel and see lots of exciting things, but I always end up coming back to Accrington. Supporting where you are from is very important to me.
When did you first realise you had an interest in clothing / fashion?
Like many impressionable people, the first time I really started paying attention to aesthetics was through sports. I went to America to visit my great aunt a lot growing up and so got exposed to American culture from a very young age. Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, all these people played a sport that I had never seen before with flash and flair. What they were wearing was a bi-product. I wanted to know why they cared about matching their shoes to their jerseys, when back home, all the footballers did was wear black boots.
To keep my quiet my dad used to buy a lot of American and European sports magazines and that is really where it all become an obsession. I used to analyse football shirts, rugby jerseys, basketball vests, baseball tops, hockey sweaters, everything. I just wanted to know how they were made and what made one better than another. That is even before we get into my uncle wearing what we would probably call ‘casual’ clothing and my later obsession with trainers.
Tell me the back story of Trickett, how did it all start? Where does the name come from?
TRiCKETT is my surname, I looked at all these brands that I had loved growing up (and still do) like The Hundreds, Supreme, Iron Heart, Nike, Freshjive, ONETrueSaxon, A Bathing Ape and these companies had names that didn’t really mean anything. I liked the idea of the name TRiCKETT as it was my last name and as result I would have to be accountable for everything I made. It sort of keeps you on your toes in a way as my name is above the door and my reputation is on the line… which I like.
I see myself as a product finder as opposed to a designer. I have learnt the skills required to design and make products, but before that I would just find pictures of things that I liked and try and work out who made them. I have always had very niche tastes when it comes to clothing as the search for authenticity is a never-ending quest haha. Whether that was Japanese denim that was so tough to wear at first that you couldn’t walk in it, Canadian-made boots that were bomb-proof or a rare Los Angeles Clippers jersey, but in turn that pretty much makes it impossible to buy stuff for me as gifts. I though to myself that there must be people at there who like similar things to me, so with a bit of ignorance and a lot of hard work, I put my first selection of things together and hoped.
How do you decide on the products you produce? I love how although clothing based you drop in random products… moka pots, mugs, hot sauce. But somehow it all feels like it makes sense and works together. Is it a conscious thing?
Unlike most brands, who have a ‘brand’ to uphold, I just have me and my interests. I think our tastes develop as we get older and see things… or at least we should do. I think the products I stock make sense as they are things that I am interested in and I can articulate why I like them. Then hopefully that passion comes through to customers.
Like I said earlier, my name is above the door so everything I make has got to be something that I like. Luckily I have a very short and intense attention span, so I learn all I can about something and move on to a new project quickly. This has both it’s positives and negatives, but I suspect many people who like what I do, admire the fact that I am putting out new ideas at a sometimes daily rate.
Simarly, your branding…. there is the love of Napoli but I have received your products that included a baseball card, a Maradona card… Accrington fishing postcard. Is this just all stuff you love?
I always liked brands that had a breath of interests. The Hundreds for example reference hip-hop, skate culture, surf culture, cartoons from the ‘80s and more. I think brands that are very one dimensional get very boring, very quickly, especially with the modern day ‘short’ attention span that we seem to be developing.
With every order, I want to give the receiver an idea of what we are about. I always assume that the person getting the package has never heard of TRiCKETT and I want to give them something to investigate like I used to do when I looked at the classified ads in the back of the Source and Sports Illustrated.
The casual scene, like any subculture in the 21st century it has lost it’s soul. This isn’t a conscious thing, I just think everything is so easily accessed and discovered now, that you don’t get drawn in by it anymore. There aren’t those gatekeepers and cultural influencers that there were.
I also love Napoli… but have never been to Naples. Have you? And what is it like? Why do you love it?
As the ancient saying goes “See Naples and die” as the implication is that there is nowhere else like it on planet earth. Not the violent side that people seem to associate with it haha. I am lucky enough to have been to Napoli quite a few times and have friends there.
Napoli is great because it is so intense, Neapolitans are people unto themselves, they are passionate, friendly and deeply religious. Whether that is Christianity, football or their love for the city. Without sounding a bit dismissive, you would have to visit.
And as regards why I love it… the best pizza in the world, the best football club in the world, the finest sea, a volcano, tailoring, shirtmakers, the Amalfi coast and of course coffee… but don’t get me started as I will never stop. FORZA NAPOLI SEMPRE.
I would describe myself as a football casual… and it is probably how I came across your brand. But do you associate Trickett with football fashion? What do you think of the “casual scene”? For me there is a lot that appeals…. but also an idiot element. The brain donors all dressed in the same adidas trainers and Stone Island coats bouncing about like they are in Football Factory. Would love to know your thoughts on the whole scene…
I think I had a fondness for the scene as it was as I associate my uncle and all the amazing away days I had with him watching Burnley. So I guess I see it through rose tinted lenses, but like any subculture in the 21st century it has lost it’s soul. This isn’t a conscious thing, I just think everything is so easily accessed and discovered now, that you don’t get drawn in by it anymore. There aren’t those gatekeepers and cultural influencers that there were. Back in the day you would never ask someone where they got their jacket or trainers from, it was about oneupmanship. If you have a Helly Hansen, I want an obscure Danish jacket. You have a pair of adidas Stockholms, I want the rare leisure shoes.
I think that is the aspect that I miss, but that isn’t the people on the terraces fault, the hunt doesn’t exist anymore. Going into your local city and buying trainers from a little-known sports shop doesn’t happen anymore as we all have the same shops, selling the same stuff. I am very lucky to have been embraced by the culture, because I still think there are enough people who want something different and to be fair, I would much rather people have some form of clothing identity and set of rules to work toward as I think having a uniform is a nice thing. Being part of something always feels good.
And do you support a team?
Haha, this is a much bigger topic. I have sympathy for Burnley, embrace Accrington Stanley and I am passionate about Napoli. However, football in 2019 doesn’t really interest me like it used to.
It seems you source a lot of your products from Portugal – why is that?
From my earliest days buying my own clothing, the stuff that was made in Portugal was always excellent. I always wondered why Portugal made some of the best stuff in the world, but I soon discovered they have a lethal combination of fabric manufacturers, garments makers and a government backed textile industry. I have always wanted to make the best things that I could for an affordable price. I am very lucky to have been introduced to a lady called Anabela in Portugal who pretty much knows everyone that there is to know in the Porto area that can make clothing.
I wanted to make my dream sweatshirt in 500gsm, brushed back loopback, with my logo embroidered in chenille, after I had an absolutely amazing Princeton University one that was taken by a mate’s girlfriend (Ashleigh, if you’re reading this, I hope you enjoyed it). I drew some pictures, gave some details and Anabela just got it made. In this country, to do something like that is nigh on impossible, simply because we don’t have the skills to do it. So making in Portugal for me is now both a necessity and pleasure, gives the impression that I know what I am doing haha.
Any advice for someone wanting to start their own clothing brand?
Find something you are passionate about. Be nice to your suppliers. Work really, really hard. Keep going.
Finally, how do you see the brand developing?
In all honesty, with so many people closing shops, I would love top open a shop in Accrington. I am not saying for a minute that it would be an economically sound idea, but I love the idea of having a place for good coffee, food and clothing. In the words of the film Field of Dreams “If you build it, they will come.”
Thanks so much to Iain from TRiCKETT for taking the time out for a chat, I can’t recommend that you follow them on Instagram and keep an eye on his latest releases.