Interview with Brand / Wrath Arcane | Edition VI

How are you feeling at the start of this new year, any big plans for 2009
We’ve been getting a great response to our SPRING 09 line. we’re still shipping out 2nd delivery, but so far so good… which is saying a lot with the economy the way it is. Retail in general is really hurting right now. We managed to grow as a brand, and we’ll be in even more doors for FALL 09.

Could you talk a little more about your brand?
WRATH ARCANE is a little over three years old. We’re based in Cleveland OH, and we make everything in the US. We started as an “in house” brand for BRIGADE (www.clothingbrigade.com), but have grown into an international menswear brand with accounts all over the world.

So what is the motivation behind your whole movement?
I think the motivation behind any business is to be successful. But at the same time, we want to do everything we can to help the apparel industry in the US. Cleveland used to be 2nd only to NY in terms of apparel production. This all went away in the 50’s and 60’s. We’re surrounded by what “used to be” and we want to bring it back.

How is the internet changing your craft?
It’s not really changing our “craft”. I would say that blogs have become just as relevant as the major print magazines though. The internet changed the way people get information about new brands.

When you started out did you think it would be a serious business?
That’s why we started. We don’t really have time or money to “play around.” Who does?

Would you guys sell if someone came along and offered to buy you out?
That would depend on a lot of different things… For example, if we would maintain creative control, and production would have to remain in the states. Deals like that are insanely complicated. Larger companies, or anyone with venture capital, can really take a brand to the next level. That’s how you become the next American Apparel, or G Star. But they can also ruin a brand with bad leadership, or box you into a corner. You really have to be careful.

What was the main factor for launching your line when you did?
Brian saw holes in the market. He’s had a store in Cleveland for almost 10 years. He saw an opportunity for a brand to grow, and that’s when we started WRATH ARCANE.

Lastly, could you talk about any long-term goals you have in mind?
Long term, we would love to have WRATH ARCANE stores in every major market. We would love to grow into a brand that had a major positive impact on domestic apparel production. That’s the dream…