Words: Nina Zietman
Oh, the 80s – famed for all manner of slope style disasters from bouffant fros to neon onesies. Here at Whitelines, we are not such great fans of the Springsteen-era comeback – there’s always the risk of looking like a sexy Ned Flanders. You only need to check Fashion Police posts over the past few years to see why. But sometimes we can make an exception, in this case for Dos Clothing.
Two students from Newcastle University were bored of doodling for their architecture degrees. They wanted a more substantial pastime than chugging the famous triple-shot drinks those Northerners love to serve. So, Miles Freeman and Jake Cooper set up Dos Clothing, a retro sportswear brand with the aim of bringing rad jumpers back to the slopes.
We got the chance to catch up with co-founder Miles how the rookie entrepreneur turned his brand into a big hit.
You guys are pretty young to be setting up a fashion brand. How did you go about it?
We never planned on setting up a company. Our first designs were printed on jumpers by a local budget printer. Even though the quality wasn’t up to par, we received loads of interest. It was exciting that people liked my designs, so I took a week off uni and sat in my bed to come up with as many prototypes as possible.
What about the money side of things?
We literally scraped together cash for our first order, even begging parents and family members. We didn’t really think about it properly until several huge boxes arrived in our tiny student rooms. Promoting by day and packaging by night is how we got to where we are today.
The graphics are really awesome. Who designs them?
Jake and I work together on several rounds of sketches and mood boards. We were first inspired by the outlandish colours used on vintage snowsports jumpers.
You mentioned it all started from your vintage jumper collection. What is the best jumper you’ve collected?
An aged 10-11 grey and turquoise jumper with a skiers and boarders on the front, done in puffed inks, which give it a 3D quality. It has no branding or any labels on it. To this day, it sits in my cupboard and I look at it longingly, wishing it fitted me.
Are there only a limited number of each pattern?
Our rule is: once a jumper is out of stock, that’s the end of the design. We want people to feel they’ve got a unique item of clothing. We only constantly restock our favourite design – the Off Piste Club.
You only started in 2011 – what’s been the key to Dos Clothing’s success?
Definitely the colours we use. We’ve also spent a lot of time spreading the word through university channels, sponsoring Oxford Brookes Snowsports club and through national university tabloid The Tab.
How far has the brand spread in the past year?
We’ve seen orders going out to all corners of the UK. Funnily enough, we received our first order out to the USA yesterday, we’re stoked Dos has spread that far!
You’ve got some nice little Instagram shots from your team trip to Val d’Isère last month. Highlight of the trip?
An excellent bail while our friend Shrimpy was filming a selfie on the Go Pro. It was a tiny little drop-off and he still managed to balls it up. Watching the footage back with him curled up in a ball, uttering various expletives and “really need to delete that when I get home so the guys don’t see that” was pretty funny.
Alpe D’Huez. I have vivid memories taken down a black called Le Tunnel at a pretty young age. It involved going through a super narrow tunnel with a sheer drop at the end. In recent years though, Val d’Isère is a personal fave. The apres is as good as the slopes!
Plans for the future?
We’re working on jackets and trousers for the slopes – and we’ve got some beanies and slope accessories in the works. Next season we’re hoping to do a European tour, bringing the brand directly to boarders – a perfect excuse to get out on the powder.
Dos Clothing has a super rad Soundcloud profile that’s definitely worth a listen. Miles recommended this mix from Flume as the best to ride to: