This month on Origins, we’re jetting from the UK over to Ukraine to hear about the early days of Syndicate Original. Certainly one of the brands I’ve written about/ known the longest, Syndicate are a playful brand that love a bit of colour, know a thing or two about comfort and make some really, really nice jackets.
It’s streetwear, it’s easy and it’s really honest. I feel like coming from Kyiv, Ukraine, they’re somewhat of an anomaly, as it’s not the first place that springs to mind when it comes to fashion. Going against the grain and taking influence from the world around them but also fashion from further afield makes for a unique perspective season after season.
We caught up with Taras Shevchuk and Anton Abo to ask them the same five questions we ask every brand we cover on Origins, learning a little bit about their formative days, what makes them tick and the challenges they overcame to get to where they are today...
Can you tell me who you are and a little bit about SNDCT?
We are a small Kyiv brand which started back in 2010. We started out making T-shirts, but later everything turned into a fully fledged brand.
Going right back to the start, how did you land on the idea of doing SNDCT?
We began to engage in clothing in 2008, and since that time we’ve had several brands. In 2010, we decided to focus on a single brand, so we froze our projects and started developing Syndicate. We wanted to unite artists and illustrators; we printed images and inscriptions on T-shirts, but quickly decided to make full collections.
What made you move beyond a good idea and turn SNDCT into a fully fledged 'thing'?
It was very interesting to experiment and create something new. Every new product was like a child for us. We worried about each detail. Over the years, there were a lot of fuck ups that hardened us. Now we are working on creation of simple, high quality and functional clothes.
What was the toughest thing in the early days of getting SNDCT off the ground?
The hardest part was finding good fabrics. Light industry in Ukraine is highly developed, and there is a sufficient number of high quality productions, but there are practically no fabrics in our country, therefore we have to buy all fabrics abroad.
Finally, what's the best thing about doing the brand?
Well... we enjoy the whole process of creating collections, from generating ideas to the full implementation of the collection. It's one thing when you see sketches of clothes and quite another when you hold this cloth in your hands. This is all the buzz of the work.
Thanks to Anton, Taras, Oksana and everyone else over at Syndicate. Be sure to take note of their brilliant SS17 collection.
I'm looking forward to bringing you more Origins posts as the months go on, I want to speak to every last brand out there, find out their story and learn more about starting up a fashion brand. If you'd like to see us look at the early days of a brand, shop, artist or whatever, get in touch and we'll make it happen.