This week, on behalf of Flavour Magazine, I caught up with young entrepreneur Cleo Forstater, the founder of urban clothing brand Clee Clothing, ahead of the relaunch of the brand at ‘The Rebirth’ event. I found out all about the brand, the woman behind the brand and what The Rebirth is all about.
I started it in around September 2009, when I was 16. It originally wasn’t about anything, it started almost by accident. I started making tshirts for myself, people started requesting them so I started selling them, eventually my friend convinced me to make it something more, so we came up with the name, he made a logo & facebook group, and it just continued on from there.
Why do you use the symbol of a Phoenix?
I’d love to say it always meant something, but it didn’t. The friend that convinced/encouraged me to start the clothing line properly, made the logo for me. I tried a few times to make it mean something but it always felt forced, (probably because it was). It is perfect now though, as the rebirth/relaunch of Clee Clothing came about because (to cut a long story short) I felt the brand had died. The feelings of disappointment and confusion that came with this led me to write out all that I felt about it, which went on to become the foundation of the Rebirth. The Phoenix is a mythological firebird that is reborn out of it’s own ashes. I feel like this is exactly what happened with Clee Clothing.
Tell me exactly what The Rebirth is about, and what makes it different to what Clee Clothing used to be?
The Rebirth is about Clee Clothing finding a new life. It will be like a very honest, open and personal documentation of my journey with Clee Clothing, shown through the designs and blog posts.
The difference is that it is now about something; it used to just be a few loosely connected items of clothing, but now it will have a real meaning and purpose, in a sense. Before, I released some items that weren’t of my preference, just because other people liked them. Now, I will use the clothing line as a form of expression, as some artists do with their music.
Tell me about the new collection.
It will be in 3 stages. Each stage is a feeling, and the designs will be based on those feelings. The feelings are progressive, and they go from where I was, to where I am, to where I wish to be. Stage 1 is the feeling of being lost. Stage 2 is me letting my guard down, and letting people in a bit. Stage 3 is wearing my heart on my sleeve, and going 100% with everything I do.
Who will be at the event?
Oo, there will be a few photographers, like SK-D, some videographers like Link Up TV, clothing lines like Dat Tag. There will be a listening area with artists like Franklyn and Pepstar. Then for the performances we’ll have Jamie Howard, George The Poet, Shakka and more. And then there’s me, I’ll be there. And my mum. And hopefully more than a few guests!
Sounds great! How can I get tickets?
Advanced tickets are £3 and can be bought at http://therebirth.bigcartel.com. Or you can pay on the door, £5 before 9pm, £10 after.
Where can I find out more about Clee Clothing?
You can read the text that is the foundation of the rebirth, showing my journey thus far (that I mentioned earlier) at http://cleeclothing.tumblr.com/post/14619096322/the-rebirth
The new website will be launched on the night of The Rebirth (Monday 6th Feb) – www.cleeclothing.com
Take a look at some of the new collection below:
Make sure you head down the event, show some support and enjoy!