E L S E VV H E R E
Is a 10 year design experiment.
Established mid 2013.
Observation: It is time for change.
We want to create something better. Built for individuals who strive to be unique through a collection of items and stories that thrive on the uncertain. Is there a place in the world to create a design experiment that resembles a brand while at the same time breaks the norms that have existed? Can a brand have a plan to care for people and places while still creating new ideas? One gives back, or makes an item a certain way because it's the right thing to do - or even chooses not to engage in profit at all on a project? We want our concept to share our unique experiences with community through thoughtful design, education and compassion. We believe our brand can have an open, ongoing conversation with the world rather than dictate to our community. We know it's time for a brand that acts kind, curious and is open to mistakes for the sake of learning. We see evidence to support these questions and observations, although very limited at this time.
Our Research: 20 Years and counting.
Design isn't new to us. We've advised brands for the last 20 years and passed our unique knowledge to help assort, design and market their designs. Our past experience has allowed us to be fortunate enough to work with companies such as Levi Strauss, Nike, Burton Snowboards, Pendleton Woolen Mills, High Snobiety, Gucci, Urban Outfitters,... and more. That list of clients took us all over the world for work. All of the inspiration we have from our past clients and our global travels left us confident we could launch an experiment in design such as E L S E VV H E R E.
Our Hypotheses: Strong Feels.
We trust our gut. We believe that we build a brand that designs a singular item in small batches multiple times per year rather than making full seasonal collections. We believe we can do it through conscious production means. We also theorize that our random non-linear output of designs will be cause for our customers and community to collectively stay interested versus becoming too predictable. In fact we feel they can help fuel a community of forward thinkers. We hope we can eventually build a large enough community to support this brand financially - not for massive commercial gains, but in a sustainable manner. In the end, the brand may not be what lasts due to its items, rather its existence may drive ideas for the future. And regardless of how successful this project becomes, it will end after 10 years in 2023.
Our Prediction: We must respect the crazy.
Yes, we are crazy. We know it's not easy to make a change in consumer behavior. We know it could be impossible to make this 'brand' a long term success if it does not resonate with more people every year. For this reason we will have to monitor and pivot toward where we see success without letting it deeply influence our design. We believe a reduction of waste, up-cycled materials, sustainable practices and reusable packaging is imperative for our future success and to make a healthier planet. Thinking we can make a conscious, non-linear brand is a crazy concept, but we remain dedicated to this experiment with a 10 year lifespan while managing to be financially sustainable.
Our Experiment: Test. Monitor. Adjust. Repeat.
We test our hypotheses every day. Every time we post to the site, add content to our social channels, seek inspiration for a new design, educate ourselves and others, or research new activities we are testing our theorem. We are learning daily that it is possible foster positive change by speaking out and welcoming communication in response. We continue to adapt our Editions to lean more deeply into a circular economy that is more manageable and feasible for the ever-changing needs of today's society.
Conclusion: We're kinda crazy.
Thus far the cash investment outweighs the result, but is that what this is really all about? No! We thrive and sharing and helping others. That's success to us. To that end we are successful in building strong momentum for the brand direction. This honestly was probably not what you expected to see - simply telling you that we possibly failed before we even reach the end, but it's our reality. All the decisions we make on what to design is linked directly to our personal lifestyle choices and influenced by our travels, photography, our latest learnings, and our vast list of past work with clients. In doing so, we've created some great fans of the brand concept. We have noticed strong support with the introduction of vintage goods we curate on our site that sit aside our designs (All of which originally served as inspiration and are now available for purchase). Additionally we are pleased to have discovered a bi-product of our brand concept : speaking, trend forecasting, content creation and consulting. Everyday we learn, grow, test and adjust. Every ending shows us a new path. We're always questioning the norm, testing new ideas and bringing a unique viewpoint to a new consumer paradigm.
This is why we refer to E L S E VV H E R E as an experiment.
We constantly remind ourselves that normality is our foe. Consider us the antithesis of commercial and corporate. Our output is random, as is its velocity. We strive to be impossible to categorize. E L S E VV H E R E was launched in 2015 by Creative Director & Founder Jasen Allyn Bowes , his partner Allison Bowes and daughter Austen Bowes (*with occasional help from their dog Oliver and rabbit Rupert) as well as a growing list of global friends who often play a role as collaborators, facilitators or even just as a friend calling bullshit on us and our ideas (project dependent).
We welcome you along for the ride. We hope you can find us before we're gone.
This is E L S E VV H E R E.