This time around I’m pleased to bring you an interview with Stefan Brandow of Lumen Brand. I’m not exactly sure how long I’ve known Stefan? Quite awhile. Well over a decade. I used to skate with Stefan and have watched his growth as an artist and an athlete over the years. Stefan launched Lumen a couple of years back and has managed to keep it fresh the whole time, not only producing great collections with strong design sensibility, but also promoting culture as a whole through artist interviews on their site. Hope you enjoy this look into his work, and be sure to check out their site when you’re done… -B
1.) NAME, AGE, LOCATION, ETC.
Stefan Brandow, 25, Pittsburgh PA, Lumen Brand.
2.) SO, TELL US ABOUT LUMEN. HOW’D IT START AND WHY?
My dream since I was 12 was always to own my own clothing company. After years of designing various tee shirts for other skate and streetwear brands I got really tired of not being able to design things my way, and felt I could do something better on my own. Lumen and everything about it took me about 2 years to think of and perfect. I wanted to do it correctly from the start, and I couldn’t have started it at a more perfect time. I was at a really miserable point with everything going on in my life, and I needed a big change. I left the job I was at, left the city I was in, and started Lumen. As far as the brand itself and everything behind it, I wanted everything we make to be something that looks as great years down the road as it does now. I’m a big fan of clean, classic typography and anything vintage, so I wanted the brand to have that vibe.
3.) HOW HAS YOUR OWN BACKGROUND AND EXPERIENCE HELPED MAKE LUMEN WHAT IT IS?
I’ve been playing around with t-shirt designs since middle school. Art was always something I liked, but I was never very good at drawing or painting. But when I figured out how to start making things on a computer I loved it. Once I got into college, I started doing more and more shirt designs either for skate brands I was involved with or friends who had companies. Working for other people before starting my own brand helped immensely, because I feel like knowing what you DON’T want to do is sometimes more important than what you want to do.
4.) THE LATEST LINE IS AWESOME; CAN YOU TELL US HOW IT CAME ABOUT?
Thank you! Obviously for the Summer line we wanted to do seasonal items like tank tops and a floral print for the 5 panel. The full line is smaller than originally planned, but it’s allowed for more time to design and focus on the Fall line.
5.) WHAT’S BEEN THE MOST SATISFYING PART OF THE LUMEN JOURNEY SO FAR?
Doing everything by myself. I’ve had no investors, no partners, nothing. No one tells me what I have to design or sell, and because of all that it makes it SO much more gratifying when our fans tell us how much they love the brand as a whole or even just one t-shirt. I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to do and I’ve done it all by myself.
6.) WHERE IS LUMEN HEADED?
For our next line (Fall 2013) we’re working on a bit of a small re-branding. I always wanted Lumen to have a bit of a vintage and classic look, and I feel like we’ve lost that direction. We’ll be doing more unique items, more hands-on stuff, more things like button ups and custom cut-and-sew.
7.) ANY PARTING WORDS?
I want to just thank all of our fans and supporters, especially the ones who have been there since the inception of the idea. It means the world to me.
MORE: WWW.LUMEN-BRAND.COM, New Fall Line Drops Soon!