Rarely do you see a group of young men working together to create something to share with the world. Young men ironically so un-inspired by what is being produced and the lack of what is not, frequently visiting stores leaving empty handed and disgusted. Well, today that group of young men has arrived in full force and they are ready to take on the fashion world head on. DOPAMIN is a clothing line all its own with individuality as its claim to fame or simply claim to self.
In charge of designing, creating, styling, promoting, directing and managing are six young men, residing in six different cities, ages ranging from teens to twenties who make up what has been introduced to the world as, DOPAMIN Clothing. Germany, serving as the base country for four of the six young men with Tim living in Berlin, Thomas in Osnabrück, Laurids in Neuss and Carsten in Cologne while their counterparts Lari dwells in Helsinki, England and James in Norwich, England. Divinely enough, all six share the same point of view, which they like to refer to as “wavelength” regarding their vision and the creations approved that make up DOPAMIN. “DOPAMIN. Its your style. Not theirs.” is the tag line that can be found on their website, www.dopamin.eu and explains much of what it is these fellas stand for and why they create.
While many designers strive very hard to get their work discovered and become a household name, the men of DOPAMIN explain their line is more of a self-fulfilling venture and form of self expressive art that seems to be getting them a lot of exposure and opportunities that seem to present themselves everyday. Of course with the level of passion and commitment given to their line, such exposure and opportunities seem to be inevitable and almost expected for something so uniquely cool. I recently contacted the men behind DOPAMIN Clothing and got to know and understand what DOPAMIN really is and all that it stands for through the words of those who created and continue to expand it.
After visiting your website I noticed one of the reasons DOPAMIN was created was because the clothes that are being produced today are not satisfying to you and your team. Are there any designers who stand as exceptions to this rule?
Having a look at famous designer brands you will realize that in many cases one head designer is responsible for the entire collection, supported by designer teams. Many of those brands are already owned by multinational companies or have been taken over by financial investors. Huge retailers and vertically integrated chains who produce clothes in huge quantities for young target groups and for the mainstream usually do market research or have their trend scouts all over the world.
Uniqueness is one of DOPAMIN’s core values, so well-expressed by our designers. They are unique personalities and we are proud to show the world their faces. Furthermore, every single piece of our collection is strictly limited and labeled with a unique identification number. For individualism is what it’s all about.
Whose idea was it to put a number on each garment to make it a one of a kind piece similar to artwork?
It was Carsten who came out with this idea and we decided unanimously to embroider those numbers because it underlines our core value, Uniqueness.
Where or who do you draw your inspirations from?
We draw our inspiration from our young designers who are all creative in their own way and have their own personality glowing through the clothes, so that customers can relate to the young designers with their very different unique personalities they all have. And of course we get inspiration from impressions and feelings we experience in our lives, also when listening to music, walking in the streets and talking with our friends and customers. As we are an international team from all over Europe we can also combine inspiration and creativity from different countries.
How does a group of young men fund an entire clothing line, website, events, advertising, etc?
As we want to be independent we just invest our own time and our own money, focused on the important tasks. No money goes into advertising though. DOPAMIN is spread by word-of-mouth, social networks and by media who like our attitude towards fashion and publish our story.
How or who decides which designs will make it to the next level past design, usually onto the manufacturing stage in production?
We are always in touch with each other and discuss new ideas and designs. Only those designs who meet the full approval of all team members make it to the next level. We never had huge discussions because we have same wavelength.
Are you looking to branch out internationally and become an international line?
We think that we are already quite international, as our team members live in England, Finland and Germany. But yes, we are aiming to become even more international, for example by our "DOPAMIN-fashionstas" network. The fashionistas are our brand ambassadors in other countries, e.g. Belgium, France, Italy, Sweden and so on.
Do you make clothing for women?
If not, do you plan on incorporating those items in your line?
This is an interesting idea. According to our philosophy that DOPAMIN is fashion designed by those who actually wear it, we would need some female team members then :) We agreed to focus on male fashion first but we do like this as a future idea very much.
Where do you see DOPAMIN within 5 years?
There is no time schedule and no pressure at all. We can take all the time we need to turn our ideas into reality. Right now we are designing some amazing new items and also some accessories. Our actual designers are also the models who showcase the DOPAMIN fashion. We are receiving inquires from companies and model agencies who want to book our models and we are establishing our own model agency “DOPAMIN-models” now. Thomas is already designing and coding the website.
The friend you speak of whose name is in DOPAMIN, what was his vision exactly? Do you think you have fulfilled his vision or do you still have a ways to go to fulfill it completely?
First, the idea of fashion [of DOPAMIN] is made by those who wear it. Genuine “real wear”. No middle-aged corporate types. No market research. No trend scouts. The people for who the clothes are made are designed by themselves, because nobody knows better than they do themselves.
There is still a ways to go, but we are enjoying it very much and it makes for really huge fun. ■
If you would like to contact DOPAMIN Clothing, please visit their website www.dopamin.eu
DOPAMIN can also be reached via their myspace page, www.myspace.com/
~Written for Chaos Magazine, (oldie but goodie)