Providing all your quirky, one of a kind drag needs, Offend My Eyes have become a drag staple in wardrobes across the community. A fantastic brand who pride themselves on being genderless and body positive as well as inclusive sizes! Their latest pieces feature some much loved UK queens and supporting local talent across the UK. Appearing at Dragworld UK for their second year, we grabbed a chat to discuss small beginnings, popular garments and why you should stop by at their booth this year!
DA:Who is behind Offend My Eyes? Can you tell us a little bit about your team?
Offend My Eyes is an LGBTQ run, independent brand who specialise in colourful, creative clothing that can be worn by everybody, regardless of size, shape or gender. We feature hand-drawn artwork printed in vivid, bright inks and we custom make all of our clothing to make it really stand out!
Offend My Eyes is run by just two people: Jack and Nick. Jack is a 32 year old artist from Doncaster and hand-draws all of our artwork which is inspired by his life as a transgender man. Nick, his partner, handles the more serious side of things like stock taking, postage and preparing for events. Every summer we bot take our pop up shop to festivals and events around the country and work on the stall together!
We both believe that everybody should have the right to be who they are and express themselves through the creative use of clothing. Offend My Eyes is our passion, and as tough as it gets sometimes we love every moment of it.
DA: What was the inspiration to start the brand and what has been your favorite moment of its journey so far? Any particular moments you like to look back upon even if they were crazy and unexpected?
We have always loved things that are a bit weird and we always used to seek out clothing that was colourful and unique, but it’s not something that’s very accessible to adults and most of the high street shops didn’t stock anything that we felt comfortable wearing. We were always interested in doing something creative as a job and Jack was already an artist, so we started making clothing for ourselves that we thought was cool and just hoped that other people might love it as much as we did! We started screen printing a simple, one-colour design onto pre-made Tshirts and now 5 years later we’ve grown into an established company well known for sublimating vivid inks and custom making clothing to fit all genders. We now have over 40 designs across 25 different garments!
There have been so many incredible moments that we will never forget, but the moment that stands out most to Jack is selling to Chrissey Hynde. Jack’s a huge rock fan and to not only meet such an iconic woman but for her to buy an outfit from us to wear on stage was incredibly exciting!
Nick’s most memorable moment is when we went on holiday to Australia and saw someone in the street wearing one of our vests. It doesn’t seem like much, but we’d gone all the way around the world and saw someone we’d never met wearing a design we’d worked really hard on and it just hit home about what we’d achieved. It was a great moment for us and we made sure we accosted them for photos!
DA: If we had to describe the brand, we would definitely say that it is incredibly vibrant, inspiring and loud (in the best way possible!). How would you introduce Offend My Eyes to people who have never heard about you?
Aww thanks! We always describe ourselves with three C’s: colourful, creative and crazy! We try to cater for a wide audience while still staying true to our brand ethos, so if you love things that are quirky and fun, and you’re not scared of standing out in a crowd, then you’re probably our perfect customer!
DA: How do you come up with your designs? How long does it take to go from the first concept to a finished product and do you have a favourite part of the process?
We both have ideas for new designs that seem to pop into our heads at all sorts of times. We chat about what we want a design to achieve and whether we have a message that we want to convey. Jack uses Photoshop to digitally paint the artwork which he works on over several days and weeks, sometimes even months if it’s a complicated piece. If you add up all the hours, each design takes around 10 hours drawing time on average.
After the artwork is finalised, we place them onto templates and send them to our printer who sublimates the templates onto the material. The material is then cut to shape and sewn together based on our sample design. We don’t buy pre-made garments anymore as we now carefully plan each item to fit all bodies comfortably regardless of the customer’s size or gender which is something you can’t get with mass produced clothing. Custom making each piece in this way is a lot more expensive for us, but we get a better quality product at the end which we know is going to last a lifetime. We even advertise that you can wash our tees over a hundred times without fading!
From initial sketch to final product it takes around 4 months to produce so we have to plan our summer releases in winter and vice versa.
DA: Is there a top three of products that people buy? Do you have personal favorites? Is there something you still absolutely want to create but haven’t gotten around to yet?
Our best sellers are definitely our “BE WHO YOU ARE ON THE INSIDE” t-shirt and our “IT TAKES GUTS TO BE” me t-shirt. We think that the messages are wholesome and apply to everybody while still being colourful and fun designs, and even though Jack used the phrases because he is transgender, everybody should be comfortable in their skin whether they are trans or not. Plus they’re just really fun to wear! We each have our own favourites as our styles are quite different; Nick loves the rainbow skull tracksuit because she wears the hoody and joggers together to really make an impact whereas Jack loves the banana tee, because even though it’s a bit rude its a really good conversation starter at festivals and events and everybody comments on it!
We have so many ideas that we would love to release, but we finance the company ourselves so we’re limited on how many we can release at once. If we won the lottery we’d definitely invest in the company and make them all, but until then we’ll have to work on each design at a time.
DA:We love seeing so many great collaborations with UK queens – what led to including drag queens within the brand? Who would be the ultimate dream collaboration for you all?
Our drag designs were so much fun to do! We wanted to do something drag inspired because we’re big fans of drag and think it’s a great way to explore the way we see fashion and how it’s linked to gender. We approached some of our favourite drag queens and asked them if we could draw them and put them on the tee and we’re so thrilled that they agreed! We also opened it up to the public, because we wanted to support local and upcoming drag acts and not just the RuPaul Queens, so we released a competition and the winners were drag artists from all over the world. We sold out of the design at DragWorld last year so we’re making sure we take more stock this time!
There are a few Queens who we would die to include on a design one day, including Charity Kase or Eureka – that would be a dream come true!
DA: You attended last years Dragworld UK, how was the experience for you and was there a particular highlight of the weekend?
We did, and we had such a magical time that we can’t wait to come back. The atmosphere is great, everyone is really friendly and supporting of each other, the public who attended were really fun to chat to and we loved talking to them about our favourite Queens and finding out about some new acts we’d not heard of before. Our customers are one of the reasons we keep doing the events ourselves and don’t hire staff to do it for us – we get to hear direct feedback about our products and our customers are always really cool to talk to.
Dragworld UK was super well organised with plenty to see and do, so the only downside was that we had to work as we’d have loved to have done a meet and greet with some of the queens! Our highlight was when Alaska did a secret impromptu performance on the stage right in front of us, the room went crazy and everybody ran to watch which put the crowd in a great mood and we must admit we had a little boogie in the stall. Nick is a massive fan of Courtney Act so when she walked past us to go to her booth in the morning it made nick’s year and she has been happy ever since!
DA: We‘re looking forward to seeing you at this years convention – what can we expect from your booth this year? And do you have any tips for first time attendees you’d like to share?
If it’s your first time at the event, our biggest piece of advice is to have fun, relax and be confident in yourself. Everybody is super friendly and nobody judges you – so you can wear your best drag or just turn up in a relaxed outfit and still have fun. It’s quite nerve-racking to be in drag in front of so many people, but there was a really diverse selection of drag so there’s something to suit everybody and despite the big number of attendees there was no bad vibes at all. There’s plenty to see and do so its a good idea to plan the most important things in advance, especially if you’re meeting some of the Queens there so give yourself plenty of time to queue and still explore everything. We totally recommend getting there early to make the most of it!
We think we have improved our brand a lot since last year’s event, so we’re really excited to bring more designs in a bigger choice of garments this time. We now make clothing up to size 8XL to cater for the demand we had from bigger sized people and we started offering products from £1 to appeal to people on a budget as well.
The most exciting thing though is that we’ve got some really cool surprises up our sleeves. We can’t reveal too much, but we can tell you that we’ll be really embracing drag this year, and giving away lots of great freebies and gifts so make sure you stop by early and grab a few before they all run out!
And just between us and your readers… if you’re a drag artist who is looking to expand their resume and get more involved with fashion, come and have a word with us and we might just give you a little something special we’ve prepared!
*Lucky readers get to use code DRAGADVENTURES at checkout, and you’ll get a free drag themed accessory with any order! Get ordering now!*
Follow the guys over on their social media’s below:
Instagram: @ offendmyeyes
Facebook: @ OffendMyEyes