100copies is a collection of art prints and t-shirts that not only feature, but is driven by the passion for cycling. As you can probably guess by the name, each piece produced by the brand is limited to only 100 copies. We got a chance to chat with founder Thomas Yang, Singapore native and creative director of DDB Singapore, one of one of the most rewarded marketing companies in the country, on the making of the brand and what lies ahead for 100copies.
TM: With your background as a creative director of DDB Singapore, what made you decide to start your own brand?
Thomas Yang: As an avid cyclist, I was trawling through the web looking for a few cool cycling posters to put up in my apartment. That’s when I noticed that there weren’t too many choices available. So as a Creative Director myself, I decided to create a series of designs that revolved around my love for cycling.
To keep the posters exclusive, I only printed 100 copies of each design, which resulted in the formation of the brand 100Copies. Once 100 copies of a particular design are sold, it will never be reprinted in the same medium again, which reassures customers that they own a Limited Edition of the design. Furthermore, each copy is watermarked and labeled with the title and edition number, ensuring that no two copies are ever completely identical. Following this, I created www.100copies.net so that I could share my unique creations with other cyclists all around the world who are also looking for
TM: What’s your favorite t-shirt out of your current collection?
TY: My favourite will be my latest creation for Design #19 – SPLAT!
TM: Consumers are bombarded with new products every day. What sets your t-shirts and products apart from other brands on the market today?
TY: Asides that there are plenty of very cool T-shirts out there everyday, I think my design products are only exclusive to those cycling related subjects which helps the brand to set apart from the rest. There are some of my design can only be figured out by real cyclists, making it easier for them if they want something more unique and interesting . Knowing that cycling culture is gaining its popularity around the world, I think there’re certain advantage for me venture into this category.
TM: What strategies does your brand use to reach your target audience?
TY: 100copies’ strategy is simple. Design anything that are art related to bicycles and keep it in a limited edition of 100 only. Constantly update with new design once every 1-2 months so that customers can come back to find out what’s new. In social media, you can find 100copies in instagram (@100copies), Facebook (www.facebook.com/100copies), Twitter (@100copies) and Pinterest (100copies) whereby followers not only fed with new design coming, but also interesting cycling news/innovation from around the world.
TM: As your name suggests, your t-shirts are limited to 100 copies each. Is there any chance of bringing a popular design back after it sells out?
TY: Beside keeping to 100 copies which is part of the strategy, it also allows me to constantly push myself to come out with new design. To keep the brand fresh and exclusive every time, those popular sold out products won’t be back again on 100copies.net
TM: Your “Proud 100 Owners” archive is pretty cool. Can you explain that a bit, as well as any other ways you maintain customer interaction with your brand?
TY: This is one of the way to make all my customers feel good once they owned 100copies’ product. Is like hall of fame with your name and edition number listed on the website. A certified original creation by 100copies both online and the product itself (Each piece of work is watermarked, labeled with the title and edition number). Customer can choose to subscribe into our mailing list so they are constantly updated with discount and offers as well.
TM: It’s pretty obvious you love bikes, so can we expect to see any 100copies brand bikes in the near future?
TY: I’m not a trained industrial or product designer. A collaboration with the experts maybe but will still maintain the limited edition of 100 worldwide. For now, I rather concentrate on what I’m good at.
TM: In what ways will you ensure that your brand keeps up with the everchanging world of fashion, art and technology?
TY: Is much like doing my day job as a creative director keep coming up with ideas to solve my client’s problem. Consumers, styles, trends and social media are constantly changing, With the advantage of being a cyclist myself, each design concept on 100copies is based on different insights coming from cyclists like fixie, BMX, road and mountain bikers. If you have noticed, there’s always a short rationale on each design before you decide to buy the product.
TM: Any previews on what’s in store this year for 100copies?
TY: Besides coming up with design for my posters, tees and bags, I’m exploring bicycle temporary tattoos limited to 100 pieces as well.
TM: Without giving out your secrets, what’s the most valuable bit of advice you could share with other upcoming t-shirt brands?
TY: Just like any designers with their upcoming brands, we always have to stay open to trying new things. Never be afraid of making mistakes. Instead, be terrified of being boring. Be scared stiff of staying the same. Opportunities everywhere, but most of the times, we just don’t have enough guts to pursue them. Be original and stay crazy.