Autonomik was established in 2007. Five years down the road, co-founders Theo Agathos and Dan Holland have developed a unique process of t-shirt production worthy of the customers and fans they’ve amassed. The Canadian-made, soft-blend, classic-cut t-shirts are hand printed with water-based ink to ensure that the brand stays eco-friendly. They’re also made in limited edition series of 500 units to ensure that there remains a sense of exclusivity. What more could you want from a t-shirt?
The design duo were originally drawn to fashion through streetwear culture, spending full workday hours immersing themselves in the lifestyle. Later, they began designing on their computer screens. After developing a serious interest, the pair flew to Las Vegas for the Magic Tradeshow and s.l.a.t.e. to gain a real-world perspective on the business. The rest is history (in the making).
Your tees are made in Canada and sets out to maximize “end-user value”. What, specifically, is so exceptional about your garments? Is it important to you to keep the construction of Autonomik clothing within Canada?
We create each garment taking every aspect of it’s construction into consideration from start to finish. Immediately, people seem to comment on the quality of fabric and fit before anything else when they try one on and that means a lot to us. We feel that our goal as a brand is to maximize the value it gives to the wearer. It’s very important to us for the construction of each cut and sew collection to stay in Canada so that we can continue to contribute to the country that allowed us to grow up the way we have.
Why did you choose to establish yourself as an eco-friendly clothing company? What challenges have you faced because of that choice since your start up in 2007?
We wouldn’t consider ourselves an eco-friendly clothing brand, rather a brand that makes eco-friendly decisions whenever we can. Our choices have resulted in relatively high costs of operation making funding a large hurdle we have had to overcome. If anyone had told us that 2012 would be the year of our release back in November of 2007, we wouldn’t have believed it, persistence has been key throughout this whole process of learning from the ground up.
How often do you release a new collection? Where do you find the inspiration for your designs? I notice that the tees are all black…with some Greek and American influences in the graphics.
We are aiming to create one cut and sew collection every year along with seasonal releases. Design inspiration comes from the things we’re reading about, the culture we’re immersed in and a ton of other things that we learn daily. We create designs based on stories or pieces of information that we find interesting or relevant, which usually comes in the form of symbols or logos. The tees from this collection are all black and white to keep everything classic and draw focus to the designs.
I’m wondering why you’ve named the company Autonomik, yet branded the website at The Black Empire. Any reasoning?
“Autonomik” references a system in the body which we take creative inspiration from. The names we use are connected to the stories we tell through each collection. ‘The Black Empire’ is simply the name we chose for our website to stay consistent with themes of the first collection and our focus as a brand.
Lastly, what kind of person rocks Autonomik? Describe your ideal muse or customer.
Our garments are created for anyone who appreciates details, substance, and functionality. We envision our ideal person as being someone who embraces doing their own thing and realizes that alone is good enough to get where you need to be. We have so much love for facilitating positive attitudes and passion.
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