Everyone’s creative journey begins somewhere. From humble beginnings, individuals go on to achieve momentous things. In our latest video piece working with Puma we explored Melbourne label PAI’s origins. We caught up with Adrian, one half of the PAI team, to talk about the practicalities of starting a label and what 2016 will have in store.
ACCLAIM: How close are you to finishing the next drop?
Adrian: We’re just finishing off a few garments by hand. That one jumper we have 60 to do, and do about two or three day. It’s a small collection but we don’t want to flood the market.
How many different styles are there in your next collection?
In the collection we have one jumper in two different colourways, one mesh long sleeve top in two colourways, and a short-sleeve dress.
Do you have specific genders in mind when you design garments?
We don’t really like to define garments’ gender. Obviously we have a dress now, but we still think that’s catering for both. We’re not to say only girls can wear that dress. Once we finished the design I tried it on, I’ve never worn a dress before, but I looked at it and thought it was worth trying.
You’re last release was only one shirt, how much more work has it been including more garments in this drop?
It’s crazy. At the start of developing new processes it’s easy to make a one-off piece but translating that into a commercial product is like learning a different language. You’ve got to explain to a manufacturer to try and do something they might not have ever done before. It’s a tough gig but once you see that end product, it’s worthwhile.
PAI designs are very unique, does that make them hard to produce?
You can work on an idea and refine it to exactly how you want it, but whether that idea translates to a commercial item is a different story. There are a lot of times that we create one-off garments and then try to create en masse but we can’t. Or the other side is we produce a garment that we don’t think we can produce on a mass scale but then we end up finding different ways that we can get around that.
How hard is it to find a balance between quality and price?
It’s something that we’re still struggling with. Especially for a new label, it’s tough. I think that’s why we’ve opted to only sell through our online store because we can’t afford to add in the middleman that will affect price. We want to offer the best possible price so the label’s accessible but still maintain a high quality.
You guys have got a big year coming up, you’re showing at the Melbourne Fashion Festival right?
It’s really exciting; we’re showing in the i-D show, which is the Discovery Runway. It’s the first time that we’ve done runway. It’s weird how it all works, in the beginning we didn’t really see PAI clothing on a runway. It’s not that we didn’t want to—we just couldn’t see it. Then things change and grow, plus the Discovery Runway seems right. It’s exciting for us because it’s such a big platform.
Are you designing anything especially for the runway?
It’ll be the collection that we’re about to put out and we’re also putting together a couple of one-off pieces. Mostly just to add some variety. Creating one-off garments is exciting because we get to do things that we might not be able to do for commercial production. We can explore different processes and be more about creating.