Filthy Fabrics

We interview Jazz Martin, founder of online clothing shop, Filthy Fabrics.

Filthy Fabrics TM: When did you decide that t-shirts was your thing?

JM: Everything just kind of fell into place for me with the work I was producing at school. As an artist, designing t-shirts was always a dream. I think most designers go to art school to design cool shit like CD’s, rock posters, and t-shirts.

TM: What other kinds of art are you good at?

JM: There are a lot of mediums that tickle my fancy. Currently I am a screen-printing fanatic, but I love analog processes like drawing, painting, stenciling, & photography, as well as digital media through vector and pixel programs.

TM: How long have you been in the t-shirt biz? And what have you learned?

JM:I have been in the biz for about 5 months now. It is a slow, slow process. The business side of the biz is still very confusing to me. It is definitely not something you can handle alone.

TM: Which of your shirts is your absolute favorite?

JM: The Party Animals tee is my current favorite, although 6 new designs are about to drop soon. For the development of the Party Animal monkey illustration I got to work with my homie Adam Brink. I had the concept and knew he would be the perfect person for the job. After just one round of revision he really nailed the aesthetic and line quality I had imagined.

TM: Do your run your label alone or do you have a team?

JM: Technically I run Filthy Fabrics solo. Recently I have brought in a web guru to help with the development of the website. The site will go live within the next two weeks, fingers crossed. I get a lot of support from family and friends, which has gotten me this far.

TM: Where do you get your inspiration from when it comes to designing t-shirts?

JM: Personally, I am inspired by my curiosity. Life experiences and traveling are a huge influence in the images and art I make.

TM: How did you come up with the luchador theme for your shirt photos?

Filthy Fabrics JM: Lucha Libre culture has always fascinated me. Luchador tradition, determination, and dedication are values I wanted to associate with the Filthy Fabrics brand. The mysterious nature of the man behind the mask was also an intriguing concept. It didn’t hurt that my friends own a small collection of masks from a previous Halloween.

TM: What would you say your niche is and what has been your best marketing vehicle in targeting that audience?

JM:Well my favorite marketing vehicle is street promotions, although I don’t know if it is the best strategy. I don’t want to exclude anyone by labeling the brand with a “niche”, but I could go out on a limb and say open-minded people. I realize that some people may experience an apprehensive feeling labeling themselves as “filthy”, but I guess that goes back to having open-minded supporters.

TM: What’s in the works for the future of your label?

JM: Color, lots of color! Variety will also be an important goal of mine in the near future. I gave myself a very short time schedule to get the label off the ground. I wanted to establish a strong identity for the brand, and quickly realized that variety is the spice of life. There is a deal in the works that will set up the official Filthy wiffle ball team. Very exciting!

TM: What tips could you give to others trying to get into the t-shirt biz?

JM: To quote Foghat, it’s a “Slow ride! Take it easy!” If you are passionate about starting a brand, don’t be afraid to take a risk. You do not need to invest much money to get it off the ground. With the array of social networking sites on the web, it is easy to spread the word and see if there is an interest in you ideas.