Tinned Bananas :: Q&A

Since launching their print label Tinned Bananas in February this year, brother and sister team, Rosie and James Spencer have been causing quite a stir. The enterprising siblings create tongue-in-cheek patterns on stretch fabric which they describe as ‘dancewear meets streetwear thing’. Tinned Bananas’ wild and wonderful collection of prints have already gained brand momentum and attention from bloggers, Mixmag and Look magazine. Q) What’s Tinned Bananas all about then? Tinned Bananas is a new independent fashion label. It’s a weird fashion label; a funky brand that is not for jive-ass turkeys! We sell quality made clothing that are designed and manufactured within the UK. We make exclusive energetic and colourful prints from stretched fabric. They are exclusive and pack some serious power and punch. Tinned Bananas encourages originality and wants to stretch people’s imaginations (excuse the pun). It’s all just one big joke in a really serious way haha. Q) What were your backgrounds before launching Tinned Bananas? Rosie: James has worked in fashion retail since the age of 16. He studied business at university and has always been a bit weird. He likes croissants and too much coffee. Stay away from him if you see him. James: Rosie is a loving character. She studied fashion at university and worked as a textile designer for some time after. She’s alright actually, more normal-ish. Rosie is not so weird. You can approach if you see her. Q) Can you remember when you first fell in love with ‘print’? (Rosie is the textile designer) I’ve always loved and excelled in art at school. I took a year out and completed an art foundation before attending uni, it was there I got more into fashion. I studied Textile Design and Design Management at the University of Manchester. I never quite got my head into knit or weave, you have to have some serious patience for that kind of work but I fell in love with print instantly. However it was when I finished uni that I became obsessed!! I got a job as the digital designer at a company selling stretch fabric, predominately for dance and swimwear industries where pretty much anything goes. I was given a lot of freedom to play and experiment and I think it’s here where I truly grew as a designer. Q) Do you have any rituals or process when designing a collection? You know what, I don’t. I work from photographs and take inspiration from anything that catches my eye. I play and change with images that much in most cases they are unrecognisable from the original image. I love colour and I think this is key to my work. Q) Fashion can be a serious business, what’s your approach to the industry? And what do you want people to feel about your brand? Carry a weapon at all times. It’s ruthless. No only joking, from what we’ve seen from this industry is that there is a constant flow of good energy. It’s creative and cool and always moving so you have to be on your toes. There are plenty of great people willing to offer you a helping hand as well, which is unbelievable. Everybody wishes success for each other. We are happy and fun-filled people and we want that to shine through our brand. So when we deal with people within the industry we try and be as upbeat as possible. Tinned Bananas is a fun brand, nobody should take life too seriously. Q) As a brother and sister partnership what are the benefits / disadvantages of a family business? Hatred. When it’s your family you say it how it is. You don’t go away and tactically think about how to handle the situation; and if something annoys you, then emotions can get the better of you. We’ve introduced wrestle Wednesdays to resolve this matter. Love. We both have the same ambitions and a huge passion for Tinned Bananas. It is better to share any kind of success with someone who is so close and has the same mentality. Whether it’s a single sale or a publication in a magazine, there is a sense of joint happiness! Q) What’s has been the interesting or challenging thing you’ve learnt /experienced since launching your own business? Not being told what to do is very weird. Waking up and making a list of tasks that will help the day-to-day running of a business and potentially take it to the next level. We have different qualities and skills, its finding what each other excels at and allocating the roles that suit each other and will benefit the business. James can go off on a tangent, with a ‘BIG IDEA’ and can get carried away, where Rosie is simple and straightforward. Q) What’s on the TB playlist at the moment? If you’re talking about music (I hope you are) then there is all kinds being played in our office. We’re listening to some Bay Area 70’s funk music alongside some serious hip-hop. Personally I’ve (James) have been wrapping my lugs around some Gilles Peterson podcasts. I am in love with underground funk music and after seeing Alice Russell live at Glastonbury I can’t stop listening to her. I love the sounds coming from Los Angeles at the minute. Artists such as Dam Funk and Madlib are killing it and record labels such as Ubiquity and Stones Throw keep going from strength to strength. Funk is king. If you’re not talking about music I apologise and please ignore the above… Q) What’s next? World print domination. We love print and we want to explore innovative ways to bring clothes to life. There is a lot still to be achieved in this print revolution! We want to carry on appreciating past trends, exceeding current trends and creating future trends. Our prints will continue to evolve. Autumn Winter is just round the corner and our range is so exciting. Its explosive personality will blow your mentality for sure! This collection will be available online from September 1st exclusively at Tinned Bananas. :: Tinned Bananas will be opening a one-week pop up at Boxpark from 27th October – 3rd November]]>

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