What sparked your interest in fashion?
My spark for fashion has always been one filled with curiosity and strangely enough comfortability from as early as I can remember. However probably the most basic interest that I could give as credit for the spark would be the interest I had for the importance I held for outfit coordination. Everything else that followed would have to be based off my early interests in making sure what I was wearing coordinated for that look I was trying to attain.
Poket Roket has been a part of some of the most popular gifting suites in Hollywood and the Sundance Film Festival in the US.
What made you take fashion more seriously and make a career out of it?
I don’t think there had been a time in my life that I hadn’t taken fashion seriously. There are so many components that are involved under the umbrella of fashion that the learning curve for me to learn, understand and grasp all facets have been ones that teach me every day. When growing up, the idea that fashion allowed me a chance to showcase and express my own creativity by the items that I liked & enjoyed to wear was something of excitement. The presence that it creates without words spoken was a motive that provided a lot of attraction and appeal for me.
After the completion of University, I had reached a common crossroad of; what do I do now? Would I like to simply work for something or take a chance to see if I can create something for myself? That really would have to be the moment that made me realize that I would want to create a career for myself where I can be living every day feeding my passion and love for something while at the same time, creating something bigger than myself not only for myself but for others as well.
Simply take that chance, because no one achieved what they really want in life by playing it safe. – Curosh (Poket Roket Apparel)
Are you self-taught or did you study fashion design?
Yes, self-taught. Every aspect of not only fashion but the everyday steps needed for growing an online business I learnt from doing, living and learning within the role. Prior education at University was for my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration so not exactly conventional to others within my industry however having a background degree in business did allow me to really lay a foundation and bridge the gap between my passion for fashion and the everyday running of making it into a business and making it a profitable one.
How has your work evolved since you began your own label?
Evolution has definitely played a crucial key part of our label as it does with many things in today’s modern world. The ability for any business and/or company to keep up with the times is crucial to survival. The industry of streetwear fashion is no exception.
The idea of Poket Roket Apparel really came around because as a consumer as we all are, I had unanswered questions and needs that other labels were not providing me. The unanswered questions were directly related to my keen interest at the time which was pocket t-shirts. Pocket t-shirts that were unique in style, presence, and shape. The specific questions that I wanted answers for were:
“Why couldn’t I buy or find pocket t-shirts that were created on colored t-shirts than the standard tones of black, white & gray?”
“Why hasn’t anyone created a pocket t-shirt where the emphasis is on the shape of the pocket & not just the print?”
Is it because there is no demand for it? Is it because the gamble of risk is too high? Or is it because no one has thought of it just yet? So it was these questions at the time that really helped me apply just how I was going to create something for not only myself but others.
Have your pieces become more appealing to people as a result?
I would like to think that our appeal has improved over the years for many reasons not only based solely on our products. Unique pocket t-shirts might have been our initial entry point to the market, but from a product standpoint, I was always confident that the range and overall appeal of the label had potential and opportunities to be known for so much more than just one garment choice.
In order to make each year better and stronger than the last, I had to make sure that I was able to constructively and concisely look at how I could make the label and its perception improve in that year as a whole. From my perspective, probably the most added appeal beside just the range of products would have to be how we can create ways that would not only expand the creative range but also implement traits and techniques that would help us provide those items. The traits and techniques that I would want and build would be to make sure:
-That every product is created in-house by us.
– Products produced on a made to order basis to prevent premade clothing awaiting delivery.
– Manufacturing garments in limited supply so that we can eliminate the problem of filling an already heavily competitive industry with more mass produced garments.
These qualities might not have been traits that I may have been able to create Poket Roket Apparel with in the beginning but ones that I am proud we were able to grow into. Which in turn over the years I hope have helped people not only see our products but also see our label be more appealing to their interests.
Does your approach differ when designing menswear compared to womenswear?
Initially, it did, creating items that were clearly designed to target our male clientele and then doing the same for the female counterpart would create for a different approach. However, I believe we were able to look past the common considerations that most labels and individuals would use as factors such as design, style, color and fit. The added benefit of being able to recognize the unique traits and techniques that I just mentioned was that it allowed me to design and manufacture a garment with a slight adjustment that could be worn and have the appeal either as a normal t-shirt for our male clientele or as a t-shirt dress for e.g. for our female clientele. I also decided last year that I wanted to create garments that would later turn into a collection that would demonstrate that there didn’t need to be a different approach when designing for either gender.
Our His & Her collection is dedicated to showcasing that instead of only targeting a certain buying demographic based on gender at the time, why not create a way that allows them to come together to purchase at the same time? Not only did it provide a new niche for us to focus and target but it also enabled us to show how we could improve on what we had already built.
How is your work received internationally?
Thankfully our international presence has always been strong. I have been very fortunate to be able to position the label so far that has allowed it to reach corners of the globe that I never knew I could reach so early on. It does make it easier in today’s modern day having an online business that uses social media avenues to improve international presence. Poket Roket has been a part of some of the most popular gifting suites in Hollywood and the Sundance Film Festival in the US.
However from a product standpoint because we have been able to design, create and provide items in the casual streetwear segment that differs so greatly from what is available in Australia while at the same time providing overseas customers more variety, I have been able to successfully gain a wider casting pool for us to target and provide for. Establishing a unique win/win situation wherever our work is being received.
How do influences from outside of Australia find their way into your work?
Influences in general, no matter where they are based can be found in my work. Whether it’s a from product standpoint or with the label as a whole, I have to give credit where it’s due that some of our assigned promoters have really helped in their own way to shape and tailor our business. Their assistance has been always much appreciated, a little unorthodox I know but as rewarding at every day is, I do make a point to include the talent and interest of individuals in not only product designs but promotion and styling. I found from experience that being able to include individuals into the creative process really can make for new and exciting exploration. I also concluded that it can help with the personal satisfaction of the individual that their opinion can be noted, credited and valued. So my ability and position to give back so that I can provide an opportunity to someone that would probably be in the same position as others starting out or even as myself when I started can be at times so worth it.
What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?
I think, for now, my fascination would have to be humbly how far we have come in four years. The journey honestly hasn’t been an easy one, but at the same time so rewarding that I would be lying if I said that I do regret any of it. I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the highs or even able to recognize how great the high can feel if I didn’t have the lows to bounce back from.
The emotions that this experience has created for me feeds into my work on a daily basis, whether it’s a small task of restocking delivery stationery to drawing and exploring just how creative we can be pushing the envelope on our latest piece. Each moment whether big or small has really allowed me to see just how fascinating each moment really can be when putting it all together to view the big picture.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?
I would probably have to say that the biggest lesson that I have learned in all of this, as there have been a lot over the years. One that probably stands out more than the others would be that I never gave up. Despite the odds and the competition, I was confident that what I was embarking on was not only unique but also special. Something special that I believed deserved to be heard and noticed within Australia and aboard. It had that spark that in time could really turn heads and make space in the fashion industry as a whole.
Despite the many other hurdles that needed and have been met over the years, I would have to say that those beginning months of whether I had it within myself to make this concept into something is still the biggest lesson to date. I say beginning months because it’s really from day one that you are confronted with the fact and test of seeing if you have it within yourself to handle, respond and execute the issue at hand to be able to make it to tomorrow.
What advice would you give to young designers?
Just go for it. Weigh up the pros and cons of what’s involved, know what you have to work with & put into motion the steps of how to achieve what you have envisioned. Don’t focus on the things that could go wrong or sweat the minor details. Focus on the potentials that can be gained for yourself and others benefiting from it. Allow your driving force to be that you will be taking steps on a journey that will enable you to live the life that you want. Odds can be changed, challenges can be overcome and the threat of competition will be in anything that you will do regardless if it’s for a career or not. So don’t let the negatives or the doubt even in your own head hold you back from being able to move toward what you really want to do.
No matter how small or basic the vision is, believe that it’s not how or what you start with but how great and far you will be able to take it. This will be a long term plan and goal so you will always have time to grow the idea, refine the parameters, develop the concept and evolve the dream so it can be shaped to live your reality. You owe it to yourself and the support network that you have chosen to have around you, to a take chance in doing what makes you happy. Simply take that chance, because no one achieved what they really want in life by playing it safe.
Original Post: An Interview With Curosh at Poket Roket Apparel