While interviewing for internships a couple weeks ago, one question they always asked was some variation of “what brands do you admire?” I think I said Starbucks or something. But the reason why I don’t remember is that there aren’t any brands that I’m loyal to – strange for a person whose job is to create loyalty. However, just by chance I ran into an article about CLOT that I had seen about a year ago, and I think I can give a more honest answer to that question now.
From the founder’s (Edison Chen) own mouth, CLOT is:
CLOT is a lifestyle company that specializes in almost everything involved in youth culture. We do fashion, we do music, we do consulting, we do events. We design as well, by the way. CLOT means exactly whut it says. All these new ideas and trendsetters gather in one area and get clotted up, this so called area is named CLOT Inc. We gather the world’s talent from HF, to Stash, to Madsaki and we deliver them thru our platforms to bring our style and flavor to the world. Clot is China’s first ever dedicated STREET TEAM.
First of all, I think it’s cool that the company is centered around an idea, rather than a finished product. It gives them flexibility and allows them to make an argument for ownership over almost anything they want. Secondly, the company is very conscientious of the relationship between commerce, culture and creativity. They are using Chinese culture to inspire Chinese people. If you think about companies like Shanghai Tang, they use Chinese culture to inspire white people, they’re exploitive or selling out through the commercialization of the Chinese atheistic. What CLOT is doing is adding layers and contributing to the culture and taking part in how it is evolving.
In terms of products, they’ve created sneakers for Nike in conjunction with MC Yan:
and jeans for Levi’s:
And again, a message from the founder about the jeans:
The 501’s we did were ill because I did the whole project from top to bottom. I especially like the idea of the jeans we used for the UNION RAIL Chinese workers for the American Railroad. It was fun using a piece of my people’s history and putting it into awareness through a design.