Last week Nous Culture got the opportunity to sit down and talk to, Manchester-based clothing company, Only The Blind’s creative director John Melchico. Melchico, more commonly know as BlvckMvnivc echoed the brands mantra, plans for the future, and design process.
From the time we began speaking until the conversation ended, the confidence that Melchico had for the brand was palpable. And for good reason, over the past few months the brands following on Instagram has doubled and they have begun to grow rapidly around the world, especially stateside. They sit alongside Kollar as one of the best up and coming streetwear brands in the world.
Take a look at some of the Q&A from the interview and stay tuned for more Nous x OTB work in the future.
How did you get your start?
For people who are not aware of who I am, my scale and background in terms of social media really started about two years ago. Looking back at it I new it was something that I wanted to pursue and do, I was looking to find my way and do it off of my own merit.
I had just movd to Manchester and found a small community of people like me. A couple years ago Manchester did not have the streetwear culture that it does now. I aspired to inspire other people in Manchester to pick up a love of streetwear.
I left my job in finance and went to retail. I needed to do it full time and eventually got an opportunity to work for selfridges, I was there for over a year and then I got the opportunity to be creative director at Only the blind.
As a creative director, where do you draw inspiration
It comes from anywhere and everywhere, we do a variety of research using WGSN for example. But I also do my own research where I can. I love wearing brands like Fear of God, OFF-WHITE, Balenciaga and St. Laurent, so I look at these aesthetics that I am comfortable with and can appreciate the aesthetic in terms of material and design. I We are not a trend setting brand and don’t want to be, so I design with the future of the brand in mind.
This isn’t short term vision, I foresee the brand to be here for a very long time.
What are some of the challenges with continued growth in the industry?
It is really about pushing the envelope as much as possible. People are pushing the boundaries with how they cut and sew and making things from scratch while we are sending them to traditional factories.
Obviously, we live in a time where the oversized aesthetic is very popular but artists are taking this to new places every day.
I have a good friend who is going to SF to work with a big brand but he can build his own aesthetic through cut and sew, so he is more of an artist than traditional designer. I really fuck with what he’s doing but we appeal to more people and can’t do that. So, making a design that pushes the boundaries that I fuck with but also appeals to the masses is very difficult.
For people who have never heard of Only the Blind, what should they know about you and your brand?
I think when people get a feel for the brand they should know the story behind Only the Blind. Everything I design has a message behind it.
I am Only the Blind, you have to understand me before you understand Only the Blind.
You must understand my journey through the fashion world and how I came to be. I don’t come from fashion school or have a fashion background so I worked my ass off to get where I need to be. I’m working and living a dream and that shows what hard work can do for you. For those who are already aware of Only the Blind, they will be aware of who I am first.
Watching John and Only the Blind grow will be an amazing thing to watch. His knowledge of the industry and passion for fashion will set this brand apart from its competitors. Check out their second collection soon on their site, or see some previews on their Instagram page.