In the midst of my all black wardrobe full of fishnet, sheer, and studs were two ill-fitted and garishly bright anime tees–one Pokemon and one Dragonball Z. There were simply no other choices. Not to age myself, but my grade school years were a time when nerds were seen as just nerds, not a special type of creative cool kids. That said, there was no need for cool anime threads–everyone assumed anime fans were just schlubby couch potatoes who spent their weekends watching Sailor Moon marathons in their mom’s basements.
Thankfully times have changed and Anime Trash Swag are a grand example of this. The brand combines spikes, mesh, and some major bling along with anime images that will appeal to fans both young and old to create pieces that are dark, fun, and a bit subversive. I recently got a chance to chat with the A.T.S. creative team and gain some insights on their origins, inspirations, and what anime character they’d most like to see donning their threads.
When did you first launch your brand?
We officially launched on January 17, 2015, so a little more than a year ago!! We had some of our stuff making the rounds online starting around November 2014, but we opened our Storenvy & announced the brand in January.
What was your initial vision when you started Anime Trash Swag? Has your vision since changed at all?
From the very beginning when we first starting talking about doing a line, our priority was to make cool anime clothing. We love fashion, so we would look around at other brands & inspirations while shopping & think, “This would look good! ……..with anime on it”
Who are the creative forces behind the brand?
ATS is exactly one half Skye (TATTO / @tattobot) & one half Jenni (mostflogged / @mostflogged)! The both of us combined handle literally EVERYTHING: art, design, manufacturing (gluing, sewing, laser cutting, hardware, etc), buying, social media, convention sales, packing, shipping…….. We also have small business contacts for our t-shirt printing & some of our bigger embroidery projects, but EVERYTHING is handled & touched by our own hands!
What are some of your biggest inspirations (besides anime, of course)?
Anime definitely fuels our passion, but we love PUNK GRUNGY TRASH & street fashion just as much!! Blood & leather straps are good but so are hearts & huge pink fluffy coats. We thrive in juxtaposition & contrast, layers upon layers of transparent & torn pieces & a whole bucket of hair dye. Spikes, flowers, t-shirts, vinyl, black, pastel: a lot is up for grabs as far as aesthetics go, the only thing we hate is BEING WEAK.
Speaking of anime, what’s your favorite movie or series?
Neon Genesis Evangelion, Eureka seveN, Gunbuster, Diebuster, FLCL, & Gurren Lagann are just a few of our top faves! Satoshi Kon’s films are probably our favorite cinematic pieces.
In your opinion, who’s the most fashionable anime character?
Bayonetta and BLAST (Nana’s band) from Nana. We love those girls.
Can you think of any anime character that would be most likely to shop your brand? If not, which character would you most like to see wearing your brand?
Probably Nana!!! She’s super cool & PUNK ROCK, we think she’d probably rock some of our stuff. Also Syoko Hoshi from Idolm@ster: Cinderella Girls, who’s metal and j-rock as HELL. Some of our looks definitely look like hardcore versions of Nana and Syoko!
What’s your best selling product?
Usually our headgear sells the best! Lately our headgear & our t-shirts have been pretty equal in terms of sales. Our most envied product on storenvy is our Oyasumi Punpun Eyepatch hat!
Which piece is your favorite and why?
We both are IN LOVE with our Sad Girl Asuka tops and our brand new Candy Squids tops!! The art, composition & shirt quality are on point on both of those products, so we’re super proud of them. (Also: we LOVE Asuka and Splatoon)
Do you have any new pieces or projects on the horizon that readers can look forward to?
We’re currently getting prepared for some custom modded leather jackets & some heavy metal anime monster inspired tees!!
To find out more about Anime Trash Swag and check out their latest collections, head over to animetrashswag.com