And welcome to another edition of “Have you heard of…?” Only this one is a little different and here’s why…When we first met this pair of t-shirt making brothers a while back, they went by the brand name of All Hail the Queen Apparel. Well they are back, revamped and ready to roll with a new look and a new name (kinda). Born and brought to life in the Windy City, this brand is steeped in a tradition of strong core values that are embodied in each of their shirts through a combination of classic elements, crisp designs, and varying color ways offered. “Your T-shirt is an article of clothing, but treat your shirt as a symbol, treat your shirt as an expression, but for the most part, treat your shirt as a belief.” PREACH! So without further a due…Hear ye, hear ye, as I officially introduce or rather reintroduce you all to All Hail Clothing.
Red rover, red rover, let All Hail come over…
First off, introduce, or rather re-introduce yourself and tell me about your brand.
We are All Hail Clothing, an independent apparel brand not bound by a specific genre or style but rather the All Hail brand grew from a strong core of values.
Initially, what were influential factors in your decision to create a t-shirt brand?
Both my brother and I owned indie apparel brands in the past. I ran the clothing brand "Valan" throughout most of my duration in college (2004-2007). I launched 8 different seasons and totaled over 20 t-shirt designs, 3 hoodies, hats, beanies, accessories, and a limited edition "baby girl" line. My brother and I thoroughly enjoy the industry and the people who support it, so we both knew, eventually we'd come back!
Your brand has gone through some significant changes, describe them for me.
When my brother and I first started the brand last September, we launched under the name All Hail the Queen. The brand still to this day holds the same values and concepts as we imagined it would, we just rebranded the line to match. We changed the name to "All Hail Clothing," we changed our tag line, brand #Hashtag, and logo.
What prompted or inspired the changes in your brand?
We wanted the bold statement that the brand made within the industry to match what was seen in our apparel, website, storefront, and brand marketing. We both enjoyed the name "All Hail the Queen" but we decided that to someone who is just being introduced to the brand; it might have a certain connotation which we didn't want to bottle the brand up in. To tell you the truth, we don't know where this exciting adventure will lead us, and we didn't want our name to limit that future. My brother and I might be the ones behind All Hail Clothing, but we want the brand as a whole and the people who support it lead us on that path.
Making changes to a brand can be risky, what challenges did you come upon in doing so and how did you overcome them?
I think because we didn't change what the brand stood for or represented, we didn't experience as much of challenge as some might predict. Surprisingly, everyone understood that as a brand we weren't changing, we just improved upon the cosmetics of the brand. I think the hardest part was getting everyone to use our new social media usernames and handles. It helped a lot that we dropped a new line of apparel with the name to kind of wrap everything together so people could see the change as a whole.
What are some golden nuggets of advice you have for someone who might be contemplating the idea of making changes to their brand, like you have?
Don't be quiet. Loyalty to an independent apparel brand is quite special, and you don't want to break the loyalty of your current supporters with a drastic and/or spontaneous change. Be open about it, advertise the change, and show everyone you value the same quality and values they originally supported.
How do you think the new, revamped All Hail brand will set itself apart from other brands?
When we say we aren't bound by a genre or style, literally we mean it. Some of our biggest supporters come from such scenes like; DJ, Hardcore, Straight Edge, EDM, and even a strong military presence. We believe our dedication to quality and staying true to our roots will create a belonging almost like a guild or family togetherness that we hope will draw others in by the masses.
What influences your design process when creating a shirt for your brand?
We throw around countless concepts and project designs but whenever we present an idea to each other (the 2 brothers) we always check to make sure that the brand values are evident in the design. We love the classic and clean design work and rework our tees over and over to try and accomplish that, it's just an aspect we value.
What is the ultimate goal you have for your brand?
If I remember correctly, I just released my 2nd season of apparel with "Valan" back in college when my business partner discovered Johnny Cupcakes. This was before JC had any physical storefronts and ever since then, just watching his brand evolve and grow without selling to major distributors or wholesalers motivates us to do the same. The All Hail brand is a family, and we want to make sure we provide that sense of belonging at all times. As we grow, we will remain exclusive and limited and produce the best garments we can.
The Olympics will start later this month, if you could choose to participate in one event, which would it be?
Olympics?!? Give me some Xgames!
What is one thing your adult self would tell your 16 year old self, if you could go back in time?
Invest in Google.
What is one thing you are never seen without?
You are looking through your jeans one day and notice an old lottery ticket, intuition tells you to check the numbers and in doing so you find out it's a million dollar winner...what is the first thing that comes to mind?
I'd pour it all into the brand, literally, every dollar! My brother and I work on All Hail Clothing every day of our lives in hopes that one day we can call All Hail our sole responsibility.
What is one place in Chicago, off the tourist grid, that is a must see?
If you are in Chicago, and you've already had some authentic deep dish pizza, you must check to see who is playing at the Congress Theater!
What are some of your favorite indie brands?
Hands down, my brother and I have mad respect for Matthew of 7th Ink and love everything he does. We both admire the involvement Capitl has within the music industry and respect the past/upbringing of our main man Johnny Cupcakes.
Now for a round of this or that, ya ready?
Winter Cold or Summer Heat
Summer Heat, give me those tank tops!
Crew neck or V-neck
I rock a V-neck almost daily, my brother will say the opposite.
Old school turntable or iPod
I have my turntable spinning every weekend!
Vans or Retro Jordans
Brand New Car or Restored Vintage Car
Love that new car smell, I have to say new.
Hip-Hop or Rock
Reading a book or E-reading a book
I need to smell those pages
Marvel or DC
Marvel, all the way!
Breakfast or Dinner
Khaki chinos or Broken in Levis
Jeans make the outfit.
Roller ball pen or Gel pen
Any Shout outs?
Literally, we sent Bobby our first accessory pack to announce our launch (AHtQ) and we appreciate you both greatly, thank you for everything you do.
To every single person in the All Hail Family and to everyone who supports the brand - Thank You.
And there you have it, another edition of “Have you heard of..?” featuring All Hail Clothing! Make sure to stop by their site and check out their new line available now!
And don’t forget to like them on Facebook and follow them @AllHailClothing or reach them at any of the contacts here!