It’s easier than ever to buy local in town. Nice bread, cool gifts, rich coffee and sexy screenprints. Clothes, though? You have to hunt a little harder to find some made-in-Merseyside threads. Fortunately, we know where to look. The lads at The Beautiful North have a small, but growing, wardrobe of sleekly designed T’s and sweatshirts that have the north woven into their very fabric. We spoke with Ian Pierce.
Tell us about how you got started?
Literally, three friends in a pub. Talking about our 9 to 5 jobs and potential escape routes. We’re all into clothes and, dare I say it, menswear, so thought we’d have a go. Agreed early on that we’d put an amount of money in each and stick to that, no loans no grants – just let it grow organically.
How you curate your images – what are you looking for?
We’ve got an excellent graphic designer who understands what we’re trying to do. Images tend to start with a cup of coffee and an idea and end up in our inbox a few days later.
Give us the lowdown on your blog?
We’re planning for it to be an insight into what’s good in and around the North West, with regular features like our “alternative days out” on top of generic lifestyle advice – “How to make garlic bread for your girlfriend and why you shouldn’t do it in the first place.”
How do you see 2014 panning out? What’s your ambitions?
We’re hoping to continue to grow organically. We’re emphasising more and more on quality now, so instead of rushing something out that ‘will do’ we’re waiting to produce something of real quality that we’re proud of. Looking ahead to next year we’ve got another jumper coming out and some exciting ideas re: t-shirts.
What’s good about Liverpool right now?
The creative industry is really thriving in Liverpool and it’s great to see. I’m genuinely proud of the city and when I have visitors I find myself boasting about the amount independent places there are to go. I’m yet to meet a new visitor who’s come to the city and not fallen in love with it. The best thing in the city though? Eggs Benedict at the Quarter.
Do you think buying locally is having a moment?
It certainly is. It was always our aim to source everything from the UK and to keep the money we spend in the pockets of other independents, ideally in the local area. When we started that was genuinely difficult but we’re proud to say our latest release is 100% Made in England.
Are you aware of fellow clothes designers? Is there a community?
We are. A personal favourite is Building Haus. They’re Liverpool based and excellent. Check them out. @BuildingHausUk
What’s new for Christmas?
This Christmas we’ve released TBN-5 (main pic). It’s limited to 100 pieces and 100% Made In England. We’re quite proud of it.