1. Hi Boyce! Can you tell us how you got started with Suffoca and give us a brief history of the brand?
Before the brand existed I had a group of characters that I would regularly draw, filling up all my sketch books. I knew that I wanted to invent things that I wish existed and the main platform would be apparel. Suffoca became a collection of stories, illustrations and free content that I could look back over in years to come, like a family photo album to enjoy.
Years on, Suffoca has grown in an untraditional way with working with our own personal cut and sew products constructing from scratch all aspects of the design and building on an experience that people can enjoy to follow.
2. Can you explain the significance of the illustrated characters that make up the Suffoca crew that feature on most of your designs?
The Characters are key to the brand, much more than just being aesthetically pleasing. The characters are built up loosely of either my personal traits or some of those close to me, envisioned from personal stories, experiences or some of the fictional tales that come from my head. Being the backbone to the brand, as the new website develops you shall see the characters take a more dominate role with feature animations, spoken stories, prints and more.
3. You recently opened a retail space in Boxpark with fellow independent brand Swallows & Daggers. How was this experience for you? Does it make you hungry for a permanent Suffoca retail space in the future?
Sure does, I had a good idea what my customers are like but getting to hangout, chat and hear what they do was a massive inspiration to keep momentum on the new direction for Suffoca.
Getting to explain the brand, show the characters and the cuts to new customers and seeing an instant reaction or feedback has giving me an itch to work on a full Suffoca experience in a retail space, we will see!
4. ‘Inspired By The Greatest, Backed By The Creative’ is your brand’s strapline. Who or what have been your influences when creating Suffoca?
Anyone who know's me knows I am a big Disney fan, basically I'm a sucker for a good story. People like Ralph Bakshi, Ed Templeton and Dr Seuss have all fed my love for creativity. Suffoca has soaked up all this and mixed it with a strong interest in apparel, creating characteristics in are cuts.
5. Finally, do you have any advice for young brands starting out?
Whatever kind of content you are creating, take your time and don't be afraid to be different! Be prepared to work really hard, for it to take over your life and don't forget enjoy yourselves along the way!
interview by SeanM