There’s not many 23 year olds that can boast their own online store and physical location, as well as developing and running their own succesful clothing line. Dan Bradshaw is one of those 23 year olds. The Perth native set up Streetx back in 2011 having finished Uni with a business plan in mind and a positive can do attitude, and has since grown Streetx into one of Australia’s top street wear destinations and one of the most exciting brands to come out of the country in recent times.
It seems as though a lot of the brands success is down to doing things the right way, from the buying in store to the way they approach their designs. Allowing the brand to grow organically has lead to increased interest from across the globe and has seen their non-fussy street ready staples stocked in several locations.
This season we are pleased to announce that the latest from Streetx arriving with us in store. In anticipation of its arrival, we had a chat to the brands owner Dan on how he got things started, the Australian street wear scene, developing the brand and collaborations. You can read the full interview below…
Hey Dan, hows it going? Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your role at Streetx.
I’m currently 23, I have been running StreetX now since I was 20. Basically, Im a normal dude who’s pretty creative and likes to do shit. I’ve always been someone who does what they say, so when I finished University, I went for it. Things are going pretty well now, being stocked, collaborating and placed alongside brands I grew up wearing still gives me goose bumps.
On a personal level, I ride a sick little 50cc scooter (got girls on the back obviously), I own a big german shepherd called Zulu, I like little point and shoot film cameras, I surf on a little 5’9 foam top board, wear speedos heaps, I like fighting ( Nick Diaz is the man ), and most importantly, I live off smoothies and appreciate a good blender.
You founded StreetX as a web store back in 2011 having recently graduated. How did you get started?
Basically, I put together what I thought was a relatively good business plan and went for it. Looking back now, that business plan was extremely flawed haha.
However, things couldn’t have worked out better and i’m super happy I took things slow and let it all progress naturally.
Starting off, I took things super slow with a basic website and real low key pop up stores which cost next to nothing. For me, being young was my biggest advantage, I wasn’t in any rush to make crazy money and was just psyched that people actually bought things I sold. The first bunch of tees I did, I literally gave away.
What were your main inspirations for the site? What was the thought behind the stock exchange concept?
When I was at Uni I used to go to bunch of motivational type lectures and such which always focused heavily on marketing. Being a normal kid, I was constantly thinking of ways in which I could enter the market and create something different. The whole market style concept gave birth to the name ‘ StreetX’, which is derived from a new Stock Exchange, Chi- X.
How did the physical store in Perth come about?
Originally, everything was going to be web based. The whole store thing all happened pretty naturally. One of my mates had a gallery out here so we just started running small pop up stores. They ended up going pretty well , I then bumped into a girl who managed some space in a better area so I just took a blind risk and thought I’d give it a shot. It was then that I realized that the whole brick and mortar aspect was essential for the stores success.
We ran a 6 month pop up store in Northbridge that went pretty well. As that came to an end, I was searching for new space and after a few things fell through I literally stumbled across the space we are in now, over facebook. I hit up the agent straight away, checked the space and basically had it all locked down within a few days. We have been happily trading in our hidden little spot in Northbridge since May 20, 2013.
We’ve seen quite a few new brands coming out of Australia in recent years. How would you describe the streetwear scene in Aus?
The market here is great, the American brands especially have huge success with our customers. We’ve gotten as far as we have, because of the great customer base we have who support what we do, as well as the brands we deal with.
In terms of stores and brands, theres a few solid stores that are starting to pop up now. The word ‘streetwear’ is hard. Theres some shocking brands doing things here and then there’s also some great things being done. As a whole, there is certainly way more going on now and more and more people are jumping onto the whole ‘streetwear’ thing.
You stock a lot of independent brands in store, what do you look for in a brand when buying?
I love brands that are pretty raw, we’ve always tended to stock more smaller brands who are lesser known and tried to grow with them, rather than getting in big brands and building off them. Everything counts, from the product to the design to the brands social media, I look at every aspect of the brand. For me, its always about whats behind the brand.
Do you think these attributes influence your own designs?
100%. Everything we release has something behind it. All the designs we do are always inspired by something. Nothing nowadays is entirely original. For example, a couple of seasons ago we did a couple of tees entirely referenced and inspired by The Wire, specifically season 2 of the show and around the character, Marlo.
Whats the story behind the name Streetx?
As I mentioned earlier, its derived from the stock exchange, Chi – X. As well as being monetary / stock related, it also represents the street level exchange of money, ie the hand to hand exchange involved with a purchase in any monetary exchange.
Was your own line always part of the plan when you started the web store?
Completely, the whole store was built around my desire to eventually create a brand. Thus, everything we’ve done at the store was done to bring out a sense of personality.
You guys have been busy with some notable collabs lately with the likes of aNYthing. Your latest venture with Sly Guild offers up something slightly different. How did this come about and what was the thought behind it?
We’ve worked super close with the boys ( Chad / James / Blair ) at Sly Guild for ages now, we’re always on facebook chat discussing ideas. My design partner over here ( Scott ) and I are both United fans and have always been football fans.
I own way too many kits and always wear them out, so naturally, I wanted to make one. Blair actually came to me with a football idea and we just went back and forth until we had something that we were all super happy with.
The German colourway was pretty undeniable following the World Cup. Paul Pogba is a G, and the French inspired colours go really well with the design we were working with, so that colourway just came about.
The Sly Guild guys are great to work with and their manufacturing is second to none, so when the opportunity came up there was no hesitation. For me, everything came out super well and the imagery and video we put together with them team is perfect.
Do you see collaborations as major part of developing the brand?
For us, collaborations are cool and have been great for our brand overall. To work with aNYthing was huge for us, Ive been buying that brand since I was a kid.
Ultimately, you need to build your own brand and develop you own sense of direction and personality with what you produce. Down the track, collaborations can certainly be great.
Nowadays, there are so many stupid collaborations where everyone just swaps out some text or logo. For us, with the two main collabs we’ve done thus far ( aNYthing / Sly Guild ), everything was super thought out and everyone involved had a say. The aNYthing collab for example, represents the area we are from in Perth and heavily links to the old aNYthing store locale. Both branded concepts took a while but come together amazingly.
What inspires the designs in your latest collection?
The current collection has a few references we’ve worked on for a while. The Dragon tee/long sleeve we did was built around a bunch of old school martial patches and shitty Chinese takeaway joint references. Think shitty Chinese takeaway in the old Rush Hour movies.
Some pieces have more obvious references than others, like the Pina Colada boyz tee we did which was entirely themed around a trip we took to Phuket in 2013.
Our new collection for the middle of this year is filled with some solid references such as heavy links to the movie Point Break, Old school Russian tattoo styles which extends to some prison references, vintage Umbro graphics , travel and obviously, blenders.
What does the future hold for StreetX?
We are going to keep doing what we are doing and taking things as they come. For us, letting things happen and grow naturally is pivotal. We are putting far more emphasis and time into our own product. When Im not in the shop, Scott and I spend 2 or so full days a week in the studio together going over all of our production and working on new concepts. Eventually, we want to get to the point where are product is the main aspect of the store and available worldwide.
On a brand front, we have some cool shit happening this year. We are bringing over Manface from LA to do a little collaboration capsule in store in February. In April we have the boys from The Good Company ( NYC ) coming over to the store to do a pop up, we are going to NYC at the start of May to do a pop up over in NYC with them. Basically, it’s a little two part pop up we are running where we will release a few collaborative pieces and some exclusives.
Later on in the year we have some special releases with Raised by Wolves and TooMuch which are both huge.
Streetx will be arriving with us online and in-store shortly. Be sure to follow our social media pages for constant updates on releases.