NFW Meets: Reality Dreams
During Norwich Fashion Week 2013 we worked with Reality Dreams, who created the exclusive Norwich Fashion Week t-shirt. We’ve a rich heritage of textiles and design here in the east and we’re huge supporters of locally designed fashion, so with this in mind we probed Steven Stokes the Reality Dreams founder, about life as a designer and creator.
How did the Reality Dreams label start?
I founded Reality Dreams in 2011. It was established out of a burning ambition to create a high quality menswear fashion label that made real the conceptual designs I had stored up in my head. I’m constantly designing, day and night. I also wanted Reality Dreams to genuinely challenge the gap that some men’s designer labels have between their perceived value and the actual quality of their garments, mainly through relentless attention to detail.
How did you decide on the name?
The name is inspired by the desire to make ones dreams a reality, but also that if your are successful in doing so it becomes difficult to determine between the two. If you are experiencing Reality Dreams then you’ve made it, and that’s the feeling we want guys to get when they wear our clothes.
What inspires your designs?
Inspiration comes from the desire to look good, be different from the rest and extol the values of our brand. In addition we have graphic tees that are symbolic of current popular culture, events, music, states of mind. Quality of feeling though is what drives us.
Where can we buy your designs?
All our designs are available at our recently redesigned website www.reality-dreams.co.uk. The label is now being sold into independent retailers across the UK and we will soon be posting a list of places you can buy our clothing from on our website.
What’s been the most popular T-shirt design so far?
Our Blackout Tee has been the most popular design so far to the point where they sell out repeatedly. We have sold them all over the world in fact. Our Angels tees prove popular and customers often buy them in more than one colour and more recently our sweaters have flown out the door.
What’s your personal favourite design so far?
Every new design I create is my new favourite, it changes all the time and that’s how I want it to be. As time moves on your ambitions move on, your dreams change as you achieve each one and the same goes for my designs. I hope that if I feel that way about each design, then our customers will feel the same too and of course want to own the latest design. We have 4 new designs about to be released and each one is a favourite of mine for different reasons.
Which celebrity would you love to see wearing one of your shirts?
Reality Dreams is aiming to go beyond celebrity popularity to ensure longevity for the brand. We are keen to make sure that what we do is timeless and does not run the risk of being a short-term trend. That said, someone like Pharrell Williams, JT or Tinie Tempah would be a great candidate for their sense of style. Also how awesome would it be to say Jay-Z is currently rockin’ Reality Dreams.
What next for Reality Dreams? Any current projects we should look out for?
As mentioned we have a new line of tee designs about to be released and we are working on a range of garments to inject over the summer. We are getting into a number of independent retailers and have recent interest from a major high street chain, but it is early days. We are concentrating on spreading the word about our brand and letting the quality of the garments and their design speak for themselves. Social media is achieving that for us at the moment so find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to find out more.
What advice would you give to people wanting to start their own fashion label?
Be prepared to have it take over your life! My apartment is filled with tee shirts and sweaters, all of which are concepts or developments of designs we have in the pipeline. I lose hours of sleep coming up with new designs, thinking of ways to develop the business and the brand. It can consume you. Make sure you are focussed, have some financial support (getting retail ready is not cheap) and know your customer. Creating a fashion label is hugely time consuming but it is hugely rewarding to have people compliment you on the clothes you are wearing and be able to say, ‘Yes, I created these.’
Visit Reality Dreams for more info