6 A M | Skillshare Projects

Brennan Manuel

Founder | Product Developer

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6 A M

Brand Name: 6AM ( /siksˈāəm/ )

Site: http://6ambrennanmanuel.com

IG: brennanmanuel

Product Showcase Video: https://vimeo.com/279383090

Name and Location: Brennan Manuel, Los Angeles, CA

Slogan/Mission Statement: For those who rise early and work late in order to fulfill their purpose.

Visual Brand Inspiration: http://6ambrennanmanuel.tumblr.com/

 

I'm an Eighties baby, but I grew up in the Nineties. That's where a lot of the inspiration for the cut-and-sew comes from. My formative years were spent watching MTV Rock N' Jock basketball games, My So Called Life, listening to Green Day's Dookie album, using a dial-up modem to chat on AOL Instant Messenger, wearing plaid shirts, teen angst, etc. I incorporated plaid shirting but I updated the silhouette of the shirt but adding a funnel neck collar instead of a spread collar. The shirt tied around the waist is also a revisited silhouette as you can see in the video link above. I like length, albeit sparingly, so there is a long, plain tank as well as a focus on utilitarian, yet attractive, outerwear.   

I am a fan of cut-and-sew as a measure of quality. The world has too much clothing as a result of fast fashion to the point where it has become a commodity. I think the only way to help restore a more sustainable balance is to focus on quality garments that do not contribute to the throwaway economy, but have new lives in the re-commerce market. That is one of the purposes of 6AM, to counteract the disposable nature of fast fashion. When one walks in their purpose they are transformed; elevated; they are richer in spirit and character. Therefore, as an aesthete, I use 6AM to elevate streetwear to the level of approachable affluence.    

 

COLLECTION 002:

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The main labeling that I chose is austere and natural in color, in order to represent a calming simplicity; a return to a less inundated time where we aren't bombarded with claustrophobic merchandising in retail stores. The content is a poly/cotton blend that is soft to the touch so as not to bother the wearer. The secondary label is my name in order to bring a personal touch and indicate a thoughtfulness that someone stands behind the brand's quality, but not to distract from the main label.


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The hangtags are an important brand anchor in that they explain the 6AM mission on the reverse. Again the idea here was simplicity, but a sturdy quality as the cardstock is an 1/8" thick. The substantialness of the hangtag is to exemplify the weight of one's character as they walk in their purpose; a purpose that uplifts not only their spirit but others who are affected by that person's outreach. 

 

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The verbiage on the back of the hangtag reads: "Luxury is a state of mind. 6AM is for those who are up early to rise and getting in late in order to fulfill their purpose. When one walks in their purpose they are transformed, elevated, richer in spirit and character. We represent the culture whose lives are high-end because that is what we give." 

The packaging is one of my favorite touches as it represents the raw, yet powerful effect of transparency. The packaging is slightly opaque as a metaphor that one's purpose may not yet be clear, but it is always visible and right in front of them when they are ready to see it. There is also a blank rectangle where one can write their purpose...or their name, or whatever else they want to make the packaging more personal. Not to mention the packaging is reusable and resealable. Think of it as an ally in fighting the throwaway economy at a micro level.

 

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Tertiary labeling comes in the form of small, off-kilter branding. This in fact provides a solution to the scenario involving the person in Korea who has purchased a 6AM piece, wears it, and someone asks who's it by. Expanding on the left-justified embroidery of labels such as Polo Ralph Lauren, 6AM employs subtle branding that let's other know what tribe you belong to. 

 

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6AM "Medal of Honor" stickers

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 As the 6AM brand continues to evolve, the mission remains but the approach adjusts. As we are inundated with more symbols, messages, clothing trends, and polarizing political stances, the need to belong to a tribe with shared values and aesthetics has become more paramount. Socializing has changed. Now clothing brand 'drops' are the new meet-and-greets. These are safe-spaces for people who share similar values and the excitement of owning exclusivity. Style tribe + exclusivity = luxury. Hence, luxury being a state of mind as mentioned in the 6AM mission statement. Style tribes formed from merch culture. Merch culture is a way for members of subversive communities to express themselves and their interests, and to attract like-minded peers. Merch is based on symbols that represent an experience, an entire atmosphere, a universe, and an energy behind those symbols. Social media has allowed these small, scattered communities to merge, elevate, and break into the mainstream.

6AM will create brand-collateral friendly pieces in the form of a hat with a removable headband. This accessory tangentially expresses the brand's ethos...the merging and sharing of subcultures to form a new one, a new family. A family where the members walk in purpose and support each other. The headband will be emblazoned with the phrase FAM ONLY centered on the front and the brand name 6AM centered on the reverse. "Fam Only" is how we rep our tribe and display our take on the world and a whole set of concerns. This hat is a visual icebreaker as we travel and meet others along the way who share our ideals.

 

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The retro-inspired sportswear was incited by sweatbands worn in the '80s. The sweatband is a great billboard for expressing messages in a fashionable, yet ironic way. The beauty of this accessory is that the wearer gets two pieces for the price of one. I always want options when I wear fashion items, and the ability to merchandise this in different ways give it more wearability and longevity. Not only that, the phrase "Fam Only" is just cool and will always be relevant. As much as I think there should be an intention and thoughtful direction behind the design process; I also strongly believe that the design should be simple enough to convey its message. Simple, yet effective...An impactful design that allows the wearer and other observers to decompress.  

Moving forward, 6AM will continue to offer a space for likeminded style celebrants to flaunt their sartorial signage using more visual branding. Tribes identify their members using markings. The way brands use logos to identify members of that style tribe is no different, like Nike, Staple, and Supreme have done successfully for years. In a time where finding your tribe and expressing your interests is so vital and healing, wearable branding has created a materialist outlet for communal energy. The joining of subcultures through collaborative efforts with other brands, under the umbrella of fulfilling one's purpose, is the other objective of 6AM. The HOUSE OF 6AM is the respite for those seeking to enjoy the journey of personal fulfillment in style. "House of 6AM" is written in French to acknowledge the heritage of my hometown of New Orleans, and to pay homage to a cultural tribe that shaped my formative years.     

 

DROP 001:  

[MAISON DE 6AM (HOUSE OF 6AM) "MD6"]

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 COLLAB W/ HUE LOS ANGELES. This was a special commemorative design that I created for the Korean-owned fashion boutique HUE in the arts district of Los Angeles. The owner was the first person in LA, since I moved my operations from NY 18 months ago, to give me a chance and carry my pieces in their store. Out of all the boutiques and owners that I'd spoken with, this was the first store willing to work with me. The owner of HUE has become a friend and business associate as I work to grow my brand and he works to elevate the brand offerings in his store.

The Hangul reads, "House of 6AM." The overlapping pathway underneath the Hangul represents the continuation of a prosperous business relationship. While the fist and the two flags symbolize the strength in cultural convergence and what that can do for brands. Collaboration is a big part of the fashion industry, and has become even more visible in the last decade or so. Like Staple, 6AM encourages this business model and sees it as a necessity to growing and maintaining a successful brand. 

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CONCLUSION:

I want to thank Jeff and the good people at Skillshare who put this together. Jeff, as always you are a wealth of knowledge. You understand how hard it is to build, grow, and maintain a brand. This course has thoroughly explained the successful execution of various forms of brand collateral that help aid in those efforts. Your effort to illustrate how packaging, labels, trim, and other details can add a layer of depth to our creations is much appreciated.

I was fortunate enough to be selected as one of the top 50 brands in your previous course, "The Staples of Branding: Building a Company from Purpose to Product", and see you speak in NYC. I knew this course would be the one chance that I need to jump start this brand in the right direction. With your direct tutelage and access to the resources and connections at Agenda Las Vegas, I would be able to bring my vision and its purpose to others in a major way. I need this opportunity, because I have no other option but for this to work. This is important to me and my brand has what it takes; it just needs the right help. That is the purpose of this course, to successfully guide those who're attempting to make a difference and to show how the smallest detail can have the biggest impact when it comes to creating a lasting connection with the customer. Or in the case of 6AM, connecting with newest member of the tribe. 

Thanks Again

//B//

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