Today is the launch of “Hawaii Designs” Series One featuring Throwback League. I found Throwback League thru my Instagram account @streetzpix. I noticed that they did an excellent job of promoting themselves thru the Instagram medium, their colors were always nice and vibrant and they have a great Hawaiian Vibe. Thus, here is our first installment of Streetzblog.com’s “Hawaii Designs”-Series One. One of Five before December 31, 2012. I hope you enjoy the interview with Owner and Designer-Royce Kaleo Machado, make sure you check them out on their website , Facebook, or Instagram account. Have a Great Day!
Tell Us a bit about Throwback League?
Our company is called Throwback League
Throwback: A reversion to an earlier ancestral characteristic
League: A collection of people, countries, or groups that combine for a particular purpose.Basically people coming together to remember the past, our ancestors, true Hawaii. Hawaiians of blood and at heart.One of our first designs was our King Kamehameha foil statue designs. Our goal was to make art from the “throwback” art, people, way of life, and make it modern for people to wear.
What was your inspiration to do a clothing line?
Other than me loving art and graphic designing. I started this clothing line because I was tired of walking into clubs or venues rocking a new shirt I just bought and as soon as I got in, A bunch of people were wearing the same thing! That’s the reason why we only print 50-75 shirts per design/colorway so that people know that they’re 1 of 50/75 that own that shirt.
How Long have you been around?
We’ve had designs ready to go since the end of 2008.But we actually started the clothing line in March 2009 with a simple cracked logo tee that we were selling for just $10.Not to make any profit, but just to get the name out there.Actually.. no one wanted to buy it. Just family and friends at first. Kind of discouraging for it being our first t-shirt.But after all that mess and support from my girlfriend, my family, and friends. I think we’re doing just fine.
What are your future goals with the clothing line?
The goal is to open up a small shop somewhere. On-Line is doing great. But you still have some people who are new to the clothing line who want to actually see, touch, and feel our product to make sure we’re legit. I didn’t start the clothing line to become rich. But it would be nice to be able to support my family, pay bills, and put food on the table doing something I love. The bigger pay off is walking down the street, at the malls, and seeing people wearing Throwback League Designs.
Here’s one of the shirts I see a lot on Instagram in various colorways:
I notice that you do a really good job marketing your clothing line on Instagram, Can you give our readers a few tips on using Instagram? Is Instagram your primary marketing tool or just the one I notice the most?
All the social media’s have made it really great to get the clothing line out there. Facebook and Instagram have been HUGE on getting the clothing line out there. At first we were just using Facebook which was a big help, but Instagram really allowed different people from all over the world to be able to see our clothing line. Instead of having to add us as friends like on Facebook. They simply follow or see us through hashtags. Big marketing tool that. I don’t think a lot of people would know about Throwback League if it wasn’t for these two tools.
Do you use any other forms of advertising and marketing? Traditional? Social?
Another way I advertise is by doing big craft fairs at the Blaisdell. We actually have one coming up for Thanksgiving Weekend. That allows us to hit the local market and have all types of age groups who don’t normally use or have Instagram or Facebook to see our products. I also design and print for a couple of high schools that also allow me to put my logo on their shirts.. that’s big for us.
Who are the bands and other celebrities that Throwback League sponsors? How do you see this translating to sales? Who do you see as a new upcoming Hawaiian artist or sports figure?
I’ve sponsored family and friends in the beginning. But I’ve recently picked up a local pro surfer and an MMA fighter out in California. Just a couple weeks ago I picked up an up and coming hip hop group called Common Difference. You can see their music videos on YouTube. I think they’re pretty good and really love what they’re doing. I see the same determination in them that I have. Their music videos really caught my attention as well. Sponsoring their ladies and gentlemen may or may not generate sales. But as far as eyes being able to see it.. that’s all i can ask for.
I thought it was so awesome that you made special One of Kind combo packs, How did that idea come around? Did you sell them all out? and how long did it take?
Those type of ideas fly off the top from however I’m feeling at the time. haha..
That’s the type of decisions that you can make having your own business. If you wanna do something.. do it!No one to ask or answer to. Didn’t take too long. I believe most people like to match their hats and their t-shirts all the time. Why not make it easier for them and match it yourself? Hats have become a part of the clothing you wear, they’re not just an accessory anymore.
I personally like the Blue and Orange color scheme on your clothing? what are your favorite colors? What are your customers favorite colors? And which is your top selling shirt/hat?
As far as the snapbacks.. Black dome/White brim colorway has been the top-selling hat. Design doesn’t matter. People just love that colorway.
The King Kam Aloha (UH) tanks and tees have been the best-selling items by far.
My favorite colorway is probably Gold and Black. Not sure why.. but the Gold just pops on black material. You never know what the customers want.. you just keep putting out new stuff all the time and people will keep coming.
Do most of your customers live in Hawaii?
Most of my customers do live in Hawaii, but I’ve had a lot of sales in California and Las Vegas.
Do you have customers from other parts of the world and if so from where?
Other than the US. I’ve had sales in Canada, Australia, and England.
Why did you take your clothing line out of traditional brick and mortar stores and just go with the internet site? tell us where we can get your clothing?
I took my clothing out of all the stores because as far as the business aspect.. it doesn’t really generate income. It’s more of an advertisement. You have to think.. they need to get paid too. So you lose out on your end.
Until we open our own shop.. the only way to pick up our clothing line is at big Blaisdell craft fairs like the one on Thanksgiving weekend, and through our website.
What are your favorite brands/designers?
I haven’t really shopped for t-shirts in a while.. but I still love HIC, T&C, and some of the local brands.I also like the designing and styles of Silver Star and Xtreme couture
Where do you see Fashion and Fashion trends in 5 years from today? What types of vehicles do you see yourself using for advertising and marketing in a day, year or 5 years from now? I know yeah..it moves so quick it could be just a day.
haha.. Fashion and Fashion trends move so quick. You just have to be able to adapt and adapt quick before you get eaten alive.
Stay true to YOUR style but also be able to tweak some things here and there to make sure you’re on top of things.
Weird thing is.. when I walk through the malls or anywhere there are a lot of people. I’m staring at people shirts all the time. Checking out the designs, what color people are wearing, the style of t-shirts, etc. I have my own clothing line.. but I’m still a student continuously learning.
What can we look forward to? Or is that a secret until its released on Instagram?
Just look forward to seeing more Throwback League out there. Usually when I see one TL shirt at an event or the mall, It’s the only one I see. haha.. Good for the person wearing it because no one else has it. Bad for me because no one else has it. haha..
But I definitely like to come out with new things every week.
Here’s streetzblog’s favorite Throwback League Item, nice Street Style-The Throwback League Hoody:
Let us know your thoughts on Throwback League in the comments section. Check them out at the upcoming 26th Annual Islandwide Christmas Crafts and Food Expo November 23-25 at the Blaisdell, Follow them on Instagram, Facebook or check out their website to get your own gear. Some Gear from them and a pack of Lion Coffee is a perfect gift for your friends that don’t live in Hawaii. Easy to get the Gear and Coffee and mail it in one of those flat rate boxes and you have no “Holiday” stress this year! Special Mahalo to Royce Kaleo Machado for taking time out of his busy day to be the first featured designer on the streetzblog.com’s “Hawaii Designs” Series One-#1of5-2012. Have a Great Week!