Here at #SCBD we are always on the look out for the hottest clothing lines and up and coming trends. I came across Electric Sex Clothing about a year ago on Instagram and had the opportunity to meet the owner, Tom this year. I love how original and unique the clothing line is. Check out my interview with Tom and get the lowdown on #ESC below…
SCBD: How long has Electric Sex Clothing be around?
TL: ESC has been a brand since 2007, unofficially; but it became an LLC in 2009. I started the brand with a friend of mine when I lived in Seattle, Washington. I decided to move to NYC to pursue the brand by myself. I started out printing my own tees in a small 9’x12’ apartment in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. To this day ESC is still 100% independent and run solely by me; with the help of some talented freelance artists that aid in bringing some of my design concepts to life.
SCBD: How did you come up with the idea for the company?
TL: I worked at Urban Outfitters in Downtown Seattle during the Holiday season of 2006 when the idea of starting a clothing company came up.
SCBD: When and where you when you came up with it?
TL: I and my buddy, Brian Raquipiso, were folding tees during a late night close, when we decided we should start a brand and spit balled ideas for a name. We came up with Electric Sex since it was almost Christmas, and one of the all-time favorite Christmas flicks was about to be on repeat for 24 hours. If you have no idea what I am talking about, the name is taken from a line in “A Christmas Story,” during the scene where Ralphie’s dad puts his “Major Award” in the window. “Only one thing in the world could’ve dragged me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window.”
SCBD: What’s one of your favorite designs?
TL: My favorite design out of all the ones we’ve released thus far is Sanitize NYC. It’s the modified DSNY logo with the words “KEEP NEW YORK CITY FILTHY” stacked below on a green tee/crewneck. We received a “Cease and Desist” letter from NYC telling us we couldn’t sell it anymore. A complete bummer, but it was already on its second printing by that point so we didn’t really miss out on sales. It was great to know we reached a level of recognition where the City felt threatened by us enough to get a lawyer involved.
SCBD: What shirt has sold the most so far?
TL: The Sanitize NYC and Emerald City designs were our top sellers in the history of the brand.
SCBD: What do you like about being a young entrepreneur?
TL: I learned a lot in college majoring in Fashion Merchandising and Apparel Design, and graduating with a Bachelor’s degree. I’ve worked retail management for a few years now, learning the ins and outs of the Apparel Business. I learned the right way, and the wrong ways to run a business from working with smaller independent brands. Being a younger entrepreneur has afforded me the ability to make mistakes and learn from them, while I was working a full time job. If I would’ve quit working, and focused on the brand full time, the first failure might’ve been the end of the brand.
SCBD: Where do you see the clothing line in ten years?
TL: I plan on opening my own clothing/sneaker boutique that caters to individuals that want the best that independent fashion has to offer. I want Electric Sex to be a part of that experience.
SCBD: What’s one thing about ESC that SCBD readers should know?
TL: I feel like this day and age anyone can start up a clothing brand. All you need is some really solid ideas and a strong work ethic. Do what you love, and if you believe in it…others will do the same. Don’t spend too much time trying to figure out what sells and copy others…just focus on what you love, and be creative. Make your own path.
SCBD: What’s a motto you live by?
TL: Rise Above. Stand Alone. I feel that basically speaks for itself.
Like what you see? Check out ESC’s website, here.