HomeGrown Series Part 1: Bloq

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BLOQ is a clothing and lifestyle brand that is heavily inspired by street and athletic wear. They strive to create a brand that encompass clean design, creativity, innovation and quality. With their trademark monochrome colour palette , they feel they are building an extremely well liked and strong foundation for BLOQ. They want their clothing to be everyday wear, but also has the versatility to be that special piece in your wardrobe. They can be found online and have run pop up stores throughout Dublin city and will do more in the future. Thanks to Simon from Bloq for taking the time to answer these questions and help us to learn more about one of Dublin’s up and coming brands.

Check them out on their:

Website: http://www.bloq.ie/shop/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bloqapparel/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BloqApparel

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bloqdublin/

Q1 Who are you and what is your position in the company?
My name is Simon Bastable and I am Co-founder and creative at BLOQ – a project driven clothing and lifestyle label.

Q2. What motivated you to start a clothing company?
Although we started out releasing apparel (and will continue to do so), the vision for BLOQ has always been more than just clothing. I am working towards creating a community for anyone and everyone who’s in to what we do. The brand was born from a general frustration of what was available to us here in Dublin in terms of good quality, clean designed gear. 
 
Q3. Where did the idea for Bloq come from? What are the inspirations behind it?
 
BLOQ is heavily inspired by street and athletic wear. We are a brand that encompass clean design, creativity, innovation and quality. With our trademark monochrome colour palette, we feel that we are building an extremely well liked and strong foundation for the brand. BLOQ represents a community with a common interest or purpose.
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Q4. In an age where everything is moving solely to digital why did you decide to also open up a bricks and mortar store?
We never actually opened a bricks and mortar store. When we began in late 2014, we rented a small studio space with shop front access in a friends barber shop. We do the majority of our business online at www.bloq.ie. On occasions, you’ll see us doing collaborative pop ups around the city. 
Q5.  With the growth of popularity in businesses using social media to promote their brand how have you been utilising these social networks to further your brand?
 
When we first started, we had no money. So the best way to get our name out there was to have a big presence on social media. Instagram has definitely been our best outlet. Admittedly, I have slowed down on the social media front in the last 4-6 months, but i really dislike just posting content for the sake of it. I am currently working on a project with Dublin based visual artist and stylist which will be released through social media in the next month or so. 
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Q6. Did you find that there was enough support and advice available to you from outside sources about how to start up a company and make it successful?
I got great advice from friends, family and close contacts in terms of starting up and what to expect. In terms of support structures for setting up a clothing label, there isn’t much going on in Dublin. 
Q7. Are there any recent trends in the fashion industry that you have particularly liked/disliked?
I am all for a good and well thought out collaboration, but it seems that everyone and their granny are teaming up these days. Not feeling the Supereme x LV collection at all, at all. 
Q8. What are you trying to show/convey through the native series that you run?
As mentioned before, BLOQ is not just a clothing brand. Natives is a series of intimate parties that we thow every few months featuring friends and home grown Dublin talent playing an array of house and techno tracks. I envisage natives being a big part of BLOQ in 2017. 
Q9.  Will we be seeing more ranges from Bloq in the future?
Absolutely. We had a more structured seasonal approach when we first started, but are evolving into more exclusive project driven releases.
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10. What are some of your current favourite brands at the minute and what are they doing differently to make them stand out to you?
There are too many to list but off the top of my head, Filling Pieces & Aime Leon Dore at the moment. Super clean designs with top quality fabrics. 
11. Lastly, do you have any advice for people who are looking to set up their own business but may be too afraid to do so?
Don’t be afraid to try it and don’t dwell on it to long or you’ll never do it. Simple as. Overthinking will kill it.
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