It’s always hard to start a successful clothing business, especially today when there are hundreds and hundreds of them around. Suddenly you find yourself on the seventh heaven because it seems like you just found an awesome, even unbeatable idea and then you see at least twenty brands already doing exactly what you was going to start doing. Sometimes it looks like there’s no such thing as “new idea” on this planet, everything’s already discovered, designed and manufactured. The next thing that probably comes into your mind is jealousy to the old brands who’ve started their thing when they had just a few competitors. Oh well… if only it would be so easy. I could name a couple of dozens brands who’ve started 20 years ago, found a certain quick success and then just vanished without a trace, because having a nice start has never been enough. You have to hire the right people, find the right markets, do lots and lots of right things years after years, while knowing that a single mistake can bury all achievements. Remember what Rocky Balboa once said, “It ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward”. That’s why the jealousy to the older brands is pointless: they had less competition when they started, but they wouldn’t be around nowadays if they weren’t extremely good on so many levels. Just take it as a motivation.
Phaze Clothing is one of those companies you should look up to, because they surely know how to survive. Born in Newcastle in 1986 (true, not a typo) this brand quickly gained some serious fame and started to grow. Initially the main focus of the Phaze founders Jackie Reynolds and Martin Keegan was set on the most-wanted music apparel with the emphasis on European punk and gothic scene, but with time many new directions were added, like fantasy and burlesque garments or madly popular in USA steampunk clothes. Right now it’s safe to say Phaze embraces (more or less, of course) the whole world of alternative fashion, though the biggest part of their product line is meant only for ladies.
What makes me especially excited about Phaze is very impressive diversity of the products they deliver. The most of them have obvious dark scene nature: romantic, victorian and fetish dresses and tops, skirts, coats, leggings – you name it, they do have literally everything. It’s impossible to mention all they produce, so I really encourage you to visit the Phaze website and reserve an hour for it, because you’ll need it :)
One of the highlights for me became the steampunk section, because I really like the style and love seeing people dressed like that. It’s widely thought the steampunk fans only tend to order and wear some super expensive custom stuff, but if you’re not ready to spend thousands, Phaze has some really nice garments for you, especially if you’re female.
And the most important question is, as always, the quality. Well, I’m not gonna lie, I have no experience with Phaze clothes yet (still hope to have it in the future), but according to some serious reviews I found online, it’s very good. And they manufacture all the garments themselves in Newcastle! On the early stages they tried outsourcing (i.e. manufacturing the clothes in other countries, like China, Bali and Pakistan), but it was impossible to control the quality of the final product, so these extremely important processes ended up to be moved back to UK. It gave the brand not only a significant advantage in terms of quality, but also an obvious flexibility. For instance, if you need a certain garment of a certain size and you can’t find it in the online shop, they can make it for you without having to order it somewhere else and making you wait for too long.