Interview: Tees To Dye For

With the tie dye effect flourishing this season, Rose Carmichael took the time out from her hectic day to talk Platforms Mel Wallis about her clothing brand ‘tees to dye for’

– How did your fashion adventure begin?

Going through school, it’s as if you’re expected to have a plan laid out of your future career however in all honesty, I never knew what I wanted to be. I’ve always had a passion for art and colour, which inspired me to want to do something creative and different, but becoming a designer just sort of fell into place. Our fashion adventure began from an idea, which me and my sister had. As a family we then built upon that idea, and as it started to blossom, ‘Teestodyefor’ came to life.

– How did you manage to launch your own fashion line?

Launching ‘Teestodyefor’ was and still is a lot of hard work! We put in a lot of hours, but it’s certainly worth it. We love what we do.
We launched our fashion line off of our own backs. My family are my team, they’re very supportive! I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them. All our products are design and created in our little workshop based in Good ol’ Lincolnshire. (basically in the middle of nowhere!)

Our website is linked with bigcartel, which is fantastic. It’s like a little family of brands all under one roof.

– Is it difficult for new designers to establish themselves in the fashion industry?

I think every designer has their own unique experience establishing themselves and their brand within the world of fashion. I wouldn’t say it was easy. You need a lot of determination and it takes a lot of commitment too. But I think if you have a passion for fashion, an eye for detail, and a creative mind then you can certainly flourish within the fashion industry. You just need to be prepared for the work that comes with it.

– What are your designs initially inspired by?

I would say my designs are mainly influenced by my love of colour. Which you can probably tell looking through our website. It’s like our own personal rainbow!

– What makes your collection stand out from the crowd?

From a personal point of view I would maybe say our originality.
We aimed our brand at those who dare to be different. One of the things that I love more than anything is being different and owning clothes that you wouldn’t usually see on anyone else when going out. I think that’s something that is certainly popping up a lot at the moment, individuality expressed through fashion. Which is the beauty of tie dye! Every one of our customers will receive a item that differs slightly from someone else’s. It’s fantastic!

– Who are your favourite designers at the moment? Why?

Favourite designers. I would say Henry Holland is one of my favourite designers. His tie dye collection at present is stunning. I love the colour schemes and patterns he has chosen for his range. He has an eye for colour and detail, which is what makes his clothing so appealing.
I also love Joe Brown. His clothing is beautiful and so unique. His choice of colours and patterns are so different from any other clothing line I have ever seen. His clothing oozes with originality and personality.

– What is your favourite piece from your collection so far?

My favourite piece, this is a tricky one! I never have one favourite. Okay, I think out of everything I’ve done, I would go with

our winter rainbow t-shirt it’s been with us from the beginning!

– How would you describe your design aesthetic?

I would say our aesthetic is bright and colourful! We like to create clothing that is different, unique and that has personality.

– Your products have a very unique look, do you think the art world and the fashion world are becoming more intertwined?

From studying art as an A level and now having a career as a designer I would certainly like to think so. I think art and fashion pair well together. I think tie dye is a very good example of this. It’s both art and fashion.

– What would be your advice to new designers?

My advice would be work hard and stick with it. It’s not always easy but if it’s something you really want to do as a career you will make it work.

– What’s next for you professionally? (where do you see yourself in 5 years time)

This is one of those questions that I never know how to answer. Personally I would love to see ‘Teestodyefor’ develop further over the years. I currently have some designs drawn up for sublimation and screen printed garments, so fingers crossed this will be our next project for the brand.


Mel Wallis