Interview with Individualism
Artist: Menswear Fashion Movement
Location: London, UK.
Written by Melissa Erasia
Creativity is undoubtedly a unique gift amongst this group of innovative beings whose styling, online content and inimitable events have been the talk of the town for quite some time now…
To quickly sum up their enviously cool brand in five words they proclaim “We Create Great Original Content”, but after a brief snoop around their immaculate website that oozes professionalism, quirkiness and originality, it’s clear that this brand offers more than this short description and a pretty dope website.
Individualism is a men’s image consultancy service, and as official as it sounds, it is! But there is way more to it than this dreary description; they pride themselves in being “a platform for young people, especially in the UK” and encourage their market “to be inspired by what London is doing” at the moment. One of their many aims is to show young people that London has “10 times more creativity” than other artistic dens such as New York.
Individualism was conceived three years ago by founder Rueben Christian, he crafted what he believed to be a potentially great idea, he had an interest in men’s fashion and style but later figured out that it wasn’t his forte, so to speak. Luckily his brother Aaron Christian jumped on board as he was more into style and fashion, and is now the existing editor and chief of Individualism.
Like many university graduates who face the daunting question of “what next?”, Aaron didn’t know what he wanted to do after studying film, he had a passion for writing comedy and managed to integrate his humour into Individualism as well as becoming an “Indian Trinny and Susanna male version” alongside his brother Ruben. But it doesn’t stop there; “Now we are doing parties, it started out as a way to bring an online brand offline and tapped into a totally different market.”.
Speaking on their progress as a team, Aaron says “it shows that if you want to go out and produce content and do stuff like that, that’s what the internet is for and that’s what we have done. We have done stuff and we have learnt and we failed and kind of succeeded in the end, so if you’re willing to put the graft in then I think that our site is an example of how you can use a site to improve your craft”.
There’s definitely an essence of modesty amongst this team which increases their likeability factor. The word ‘manic’ springs to mind with the thought of 14 individually creative boffins working together in one team but their secret recipe for getting along and creatively coexisting is their team ethic. Aaron explains “I think the way I built the team was because of talent but the thing that was most important to me was the team’s work ethic. You could be the most creative person in the world but don’t get along with people…that’s not what we’re about”. They have a strict “No Egos” rule as fellow member Nigel Ruwende added “No egos, nil poi”.
Speaking on the current male fashion culture at the moment, Nigel explains “I don’t think there is anything missing but what we try to do is to show people that there is so much more out there. There’s more than just what’s in front of them – mainstream wise, we put on a lot of small brands that are doing just as well as bigger brands”.
But what gives them this edge, you ask? Aaron explains that they “marry comedy, fashion and style”; their sense of humour is a breath of fresh air to an arguably uptight industry “we want to change that and poke fun at it”. They held a “Sins of Style” themed party where co member Kieran Pharoah came dressed in oatmeal ribbed wansy long johns and a tight bowler hat – clearly they don’t take themselves too seriously, which, in such a pretentious industry, is a rarity!
Although they stay true to their London roots, they have worked with brands abroad; they joined forces with American brand “Dockers” (owned by Levi’s) on their last shoot and Nigel informs us that there is much more to look forward to; “We do a lot of video content, you can expect more video content, more informative stuff so you’ll be finding out so much more about the London scene, a lot more original content and putting London on the map”, there are also rumours of a book coming out and of course more parties.