Nicely made in China product of the week is a T-shirt. The first Chinese street brand was started a few years ago in Beijing by an early school drop out from Surrey who says he » never let his schooling get in the way of his education » quoting Mark Twain. Since he arrived in Beijing penniless he’s come a long way. Dominic Johnson-Hill self-proclaimed creative dictator of Plastered 8 tells NMiC the story in a fast-paced interview.
Dominic, how did Plastered 8 get its start?
I arrived in China at 20 after 3 years of travels around the world. I started the company on my own 4 years ago with the shop on Nan Luo Gu Xiang. It was the first clothing shop on the street. The concept was to take daily life iconic images from around China to create a street brand that young Chinese could call their own.
Have you achieved that? Do young Chinese people call Plastered their own today?
Absolutely. People see me on TV and stop me on the street. They know I am the guy who does the T-shirts. They like the way we took those icons and added colours and vibrance to it. They love the fashion shows. We were the first to organize a catwalk fashion show right in the middle of the street of the Hu Tongs. The first year in 2006 150 people came to the first fashion show, twice as many for the second one in 2007 and we doubled again to 600 the year after.
How many people are working with you today?
10 people work for Plastered. Everyone in the shops comes from the local community here in Gulou. The ladies working in the shop are retired ladies from the local residence committee.
What kind of cotton do you use for you T-shirts?
We use high quality Chinese cotton 40 stitch – 4 ling he ge in Chinese – that we buy in Guangzhou. The T-shirts are stitched in a big factory near Beijing. We use the same factories as larger brands. The screen printing is done in another factory. All in Beijing.
How often do you come up with new designs?
At Plastered we do not follow seasons. We introduce a couple of new designs every month. We now have about 50 different designs available.
What are the projects for Plastered?
We just did a collaboration with Zippo – the lighters -. They asked us to design 5 lighters. The first comes out mid-June. And of course we keep working with Chinese main rock bands PK14 and The Carsick Cars.
Where can NMiC readers find your T-shirts?
First in the Beijing shop and on the website. On June 10th we’re opening a store in Shanghai in Taikang lu. Our T-shirts can also now be found in Seattle and in Montmartre in Paris – addresses below -.
How much cost a T-shirt?
130 RMB (US $ 19.00 – £ 12.50 – € 14.30)
Plastered 8 T-shirts
Beijing: 61, Nan Luo Gu Xiang, Dongcheng district (near Gulou)
Shanghai:No. 49 Lane 248 Tai Kang Road, Luwan District, Shanghai, 200025
Phone number: +86-18721539477
Seattle: MOMO, 600 South Jackson Street, Seattle 98104
Paris: Tai Tai, 15 rue Andre del Sarte, 75018 Paris. (Métro: Barbès-Rochechouart)