In Conversation: Ethan Clarke, Visionless
Most people I know have tried to sell at least a handful of things on Depop. It’s forced its way into the centre of streetwear culture in the UK. Only some people, however, saw a greater opportunity. As it grew into what we know and love today, the appetite for more certified, legitimate sellers expanded with it. By having a genuine interest in fashion, an emphasis on photography and an opportunistic eye for when to sell what, some lucky fuckers can really capitalise on this app.
Introducing: Ethan Clarke. By using his account to learn the ropes of profiting from fashion and consumer behaviour, he’d actually put himself in a strong position to start something he could call his own: Visionless. After moving into an ex-methadone clinic in Bristol dripping in ‘charm’, he found himself within a stone's throw of Bristol Clothing Pushers. With a new direction and access to printers, he was ready to go. The process for Visionless’ designs is very organic. Although there’s admiration for brands like Corteiz, Half Evil and Barriers NYC; you still need your own process to generate your own original ideas. In this case, a lot of the designs are based on observations through life and they can act as a zeitgeist to particular eras and cultures that personally resonate with him. By moving to Bristol from Ledbury, a small market town in rural Herefordshire, he’s given himself a lot more to be inspired by. For every person in Ledbury with their own identity, there’s roughly 45 as many in Bristol. Just like Leeds, it’s a magnet for like-minded people moving for an opportunity to express themselves. By being surrounded by a more diverse, dense community you’re going to soak it all up. It’s infectious.
The ethos of designers creating pieces that they’d want in their own wardrobes is common. But, it can come off a little self-righteous. For Visionless, it’s clear that there’s a lot more accountability. “There’s been loads of designs that I’ve done and not just released because I wasn’t 100% on them, despite probably being good enough to sell”, by holding yourself accountable and not expecting people to buy your brand for the sake of it, this whole idea seems a lot more sincere. You wouldn’t be willing to shell out on a half-baked idea printed on wholesale Gildan tees - so why would anyone else? Holding yourself accountable for the quality of your products helps tackle ‘imposter syndrome’. If you’ve got complete confidence in your work, you feel like you belong in the market. Ethan mentioned that with every release, he’s becoming more self-assured, adding that time and practice are the best remedies he’s found for it. For most people that push to change a passion into profit, a large part of the attraction comes with taking full control of your vision and enjoying the journey that comes with it. Visionless is no exception, “I’ve always wanted to wake up and be happy and excited to go to work doing something I love, not banging my head against the wall every morning before I leave.” At PAX VICE, we couldn’t have put it better ourselves.