DISC is the small but significant Internet-based label that has quietly crept its way onto the world wide web. Looking beyond the constraints of fashion, the brand strives to communicate a lifestyle envisioned by the first digital generation. With brands popping up every day, DISC carves out its own place using identity to connect with youth culture.
For the emerging collective and clothing brand, Founder and Creative Director Harry Salmons draws inspiration from art, music, and street culture. Paying homage to the Digital Age that we currently live in, both past and present, the brand blends the worlds of contemporary fashion and Retrofurism together in a way that’s memorable. Keeping current and past collections fairly spartan, DISC has a range of surefire pieces including workwear, sweatshirts, hoodies, and beanies to accompany you throughout the seasons.
We had the pleasure of speaking with DISC Founder Harry about building community through the Internet, new drops, and advice to young entrepreneurs amongst other topics. Check it out below!
You’re amongst one of the first fashion labels to really call the Internet home—how did the concept of building a community of digital dwellers and sharing objects through the web come about?
To so many people our age, the Internet is our identity. Yet, there aren’t many brands that are taking it seriously from a creative point of view. It provides so much inspiration visually, but few are treating it as a transformative moment in history that it has proved to be. We wanted to own that space.
Virgil, Rest In Peace, was the first person to show me that streetwear and art can be seen as an academic field. So it made me analyze where we are in contemporary culture in a completely different way. The internet is so ingrained into our DNA as young people that we often forget there was life without it, so I think it’s really important that we step back and realize where we are right now. I just wanted to create a brand that really captures that moment and situates it in that timeline that we’re talking about.
How important are storytelling and building that sense of community within your brand’s ecosystem?
I started the brand with the intent of storytelling, mostly about stuff that I was interested in and seeing if it’ll resonate with people. For context, I’m still a student in college and I’m majoring in Art History, so I always wonder how can I bring in things that matter to me. That sort of informs how the brand looks, but also the type of stories I want to tell. Sometimes I selfishly want to tell everyone about my favorite artists and if it resonates, great, I found my stride.
It’s about putting out these references and it’s meant for finding like-minded people like me. This whole brand is about finding people like me and seeing what kids resonate with.
I think a big part of that is about creating pieces that people are going to want to rep and want to represent them for who they are.
For sure. At the beginning of the brand, I took that quite literally. Now, it’s become a bit more subtle but it was always about seeing if there was anyone out there who would be interested in the same stuff as I am. It’s great when it catches on.
How do you go about creating new pieces? What’s your creative process like from concept to realization?
I’m constantly inspired by stuff I see on my feed and what other people are doing. Graphics, it’s ironic because I have less time than I did now, so the time I do get to do graphic design is almost more valuable and I get to center in on designs. My inspiration really comes from everywhere, from vintage adverts to very mundane stuff like workwear down to the little icons of wifi. To me, that’s of some visual importance. It’s commuting a difficult age in a better way than I could so it’s about taking these visual cues and repositioning them in a way that universally makes sense.
I think workwear has always been quite good at that because it’s simple. It’s practical at its core, so any graphics it uses often message an idea with this ‘less is more’ approach.
Not too long ago, you guys celebrated the 30-year anniversary of the first website created, but DISC recently turned three as well—what are some of your favorite memories since bringing the brand to life?
We’ve had so many ups and downs and I still consider us small with a lot to learn. There have been some crazy memories. One that sticks out is the first proper collection that we did in January 2020 which is where I imagined the brand to really begin. We produced all of that ourselves, screen printed by me and it was the hottest summer here in the UK. I remember spending days dying in the heat while printing tee-shirts. It’s such a weird thing to look back on now that we’re able to outsource that, but I used to spend days doing that.
What sticks out is the hard work and spending hours and hours of dedicating yourself to something that you don’t know where it’ll end up. It’s all part of the journey; you have to love the journey or what’s the point?
Now that you’ve gained experience with dropping collections, what advice would you give to other people starting their brand?
The main thing I would say is to be your own biggest critic. I think that especially applies to what makes your brand different and how does it stick out. This phrase gets thrown around a lot but we truly don’t need another tee-shirt. Some friends of mine recently told me, “we don’t need another tee-shirt but the world always needs ideas.” I think that’s really true; we need creative people in this world and creative experiences that make life worth living.
What do you want to do next? What do you do with your momentum from the previous years?
We’ve got some exciting plans in the short-term in the works. We’ve got this knitwear dropping next month but where we really want to go is being stocked in some stores. We want to be a part of the conversation and on the same racks as some of our favorite brands. Ultimately, we want to be a space for community and really show people that they can do it too. This brand is a way of showing my younger self that these crazy ideas were really worth pursuing.
Elsewhere in streetwear, slow fashion label Her Fruit is curating unique vintage pieces through sustainability.