Urban outfitter loves Madchester
Student designer makes his name
THE ENTREPRENEUR behind urban designer label Inspire Wire isn't yet out of his art course at MMU but is already tipped for a big future.
Since launching the label at indie store, Ran, Steven Grady, 22, has attracted attention of his fashion heroes, Goi Goi founders Chris and Anthony Donnelly.
Their brand is known for its rock scene T-shirts worn by Pete Doherty, and Steven's clothes are similarly inspired and marketed.
Already 20 stockists have taken them, impressed by the strong music-scene-inspired images. As well as Ran in Manchester and Liverpool, Inspire Wire is stocked by Hip in Leeds, Gate in Sunderland and Rebel Cause in Chorley.
"Most of the stuff that I started with was based around the Manchester music scene," says Steven, who is on the well-known Design and Art Direction course at MMU.
"I had a couple of T-shirts based around the MTV logo, a couple of designs were based on Ian Brown lyrics and others on acid house music.
The clothes, which Steven designs using Photoshop, feature iconic imagery and bold slogans like 'North or South'.
Steven's new cult label actually began as a university project on the D&AD course, which produces some of the country's finest advertising talent.
"I worked at Ran part-time while I was in my second year at uni. We had a project with a commercial brief and I created this female clothing range called Inspire. Now I've gone into men's clothing and made it a out and out brand.
Steven has now recruited an agent to help him get the designs into leading fashion chains like Bank, USC and Urban Outfitters.
He admits he'll need to hit his studies hard now until his finals in May but is already planning the brandís new move.
As well as heading to Barcelona's equivalent of London Fashion Week, Steven plans to extend his Inspire Wire into women's wear if this year goes well.
For more information or to order nay of Steve's T-shirts, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: MMU News & Events
25 February 2008