Tien jaren vliegen voorbij, reden voor een boek. Een boek dat meer dan 400 tee-designs laat zien en enige schijnbare oppervlakkigheid afwimpelt door inhoudelijke bijdragen van Threadless zelf en bekenden als Scott Belsky, John Maeda en Seth Godin. Voor Fontanel reden om Ross Zietz, art director van Threadless, eens wat vragen te stellen.
You chose a Dutch publisher for the European market, why is that?
We have been planning to do a book for a while now. We weren’t actively looking for publishers so when they came to us it just seemed like a good fit. Also the timing was perfect for it since it was our 10 year anniversary this year. It’s nice when things work out like this.
Apart from some exceptions, you guys stuck to the original Threadless concept..any different future endeavors we can expect?
T-Shirts will be our number one priority. They’ve gotten us to where we are today. We do love the idea of pushing the threadless business model and community into other other adventures. Weather it be new products like vinyl wall stickers , iPhone cases, and Flip Flops to new interesting and creativity inducing loves challenges. So basically we’re always open to trying new things but tees will stay our number one.
What makes working in this whole tee-business interesting?
And especially after ten years, what keeps it interesting?
There are a bunch of cool things about working in a business that produces tees.Tee’s shirts always seem to be in style. Their comfort and laid back vibe has a lot to do with this. For the most part they’re inexpensive to make and to buy, so costumers can buy a bunch of them. What’s great about our tee’s is how varied and unique they are.
The thing is, Threadless is kind of an accidental business to start with. Our founder had fun winning a tiny little tee contest in a web forum he frequented, so he decide to throw some more “open calls for tee submissions”. This just snowballed into the flourishing crowdsourcing art community based around buying, designing, and talking tees that threadless is today. When we started out there was nothing like us that I know of.
What’s your favorite tea flavour?
Anything in the shade of green. Green with a little mint and honey is tops.
Where do you see yourself in five days?
I think I’ll be on a little one day trip back to my home state of Louisiana. I get to go out into the gulf and check out the oil spill situation. We’re also donating $100,000.00 to healthygulf.org which was raised with this shirt. I’m pretty excited for this.
What do you like to do apart from Threadless?
Lay on the beach!.. but that’s a bit tough to do while living in Chicago. I just love doing anything outdoors and hanging with my dog and friends. That’s a lame but true answer… Oooh! I also like cooking and eating!
At the Creative Company Conference, you told us that sport-tees don’t seem to sell. What’s your philosophy on why these sport-tshirts aren’t working?
Ha! I think sports and tees go hand in hand but I think a lot of the people that shop at threadless are trying to get away from your typical sports tees… Like the ones that are for specific teams. To directly contradict what I said at the conference and hopefully prove it wrong I just designed this little ditty as a type tee (above) that will be released soon. It’s like an anti-sports sports tee. We’ll see how it does.
272 pagina’s, full color, hardcover