designer spotlight: take off your clothes
Take Off Your Clothes is among the newest lines to land at IDLM. The very conceptual brand repurposes and reinterprets basic garments into complex styles with exaggerated silhouettes that are perfect as statement pieces. We caught up with Craig and Ben, who are based out of Brooklyn, to learn more about the story behind their work.
Can you describe where the inspiration for your designs comes from?
We are mostly inspired by surrealism, so we try to translate that into our clothing by re-orienting the ordinary.
Both of you came from liberal arts backgrounds. How has it affected your work and what was it like to transition into a more technical educational experience?
Since Ben studied anthropology in college, he enjoyed the cultural research that came along with that. This continues today, as he continues to research for each collection we produce. Moving beyond the abstract/theoretical world of academia to more tangible work has been a positive transition. At this point in our careers, our work is very manual, and we love that.
What have you learned since striking out on your own?
We are artists at heart. With that comes much responsibility and reigning in of that artistic side. When running a business, we've come to learn there is great importance in prioritizing and knowing your customer.
What plans do you have for the future of your line?
Everything! We would love to expand the brand philosophy to cover more markets and have products at all price points. We would love to have various lines, including menswear and knitwear.
Do you have any personal favorites among your styles, or any interesting stories behind them?
The double t-shirt dress is very important to us because this started the collection and established Take Off Your Clothes as a fashion brand. It embodies both philosophy and product. Also, we love the ghost jacket because it is big and warm and comfortable to wear!
Given the opportunity to dress anyone, who would you choose?
While dressing a celebrity can be fun, this definitely isn't our main goal. We are mainly interested in dressing the most amount of "real" people we can. Our clothes require a certain amount of interaction with the wearer's personal style. How will someone inject TOYC into their own wardrobe? How will a girl choose to wear the double t-shirt dress: Hood up? Down? Around the shoulders? This is what is most interesting to us.
more from the Take Off Your Clothes collection available here