Meet Dafydd Upsdell – One of The Fableists

Dafydd Upsdell, One of The Fableists

Dafydd Upsdell, One of The Fableists

My name is Daf and it’s my turn to say hello and tell you a little bit about myself.

I began my career in the media industry way back in 2000 when I started working as a runner at The Mill post production house in London. Since then, I’ve worked for numerous companies and, over time, have made amazing contacts and lifelong friendships and to this day still can’t believe some of the things I have been lucky enough to be a part of and somehow still call work.

My involvement with The Fableists began down the pub whilst enjoying a pint – on this occasion with the one and only Matt Cooper. I can honestly say the job I had at the time was not very fulfilling and I was just going through the motions of getting up and going to work and not really thinking about what I really wanted to to do with my life going forward. I had always dived in and out of setting up small companies in an effort to make some money on the side but nothing really had ever taken off and (once again) I found myself sitting in the sunshine with Matt introducing him to yet another one of my “Derrick Trotter” business-type ideas. When I had finished (and after the signature Matt Cooper laugh), he took a deep breath, bought me another pint and said he wanted to tell me about something he had been putting together with Sarah, his wife – something they both thought was really going to make a difference.

Over the course of the next 30 minutes, Matt explained to me his ideas, the concept of The Fableists, the clothes they had designed and, more importantly, what he wanted the company to represent. As I listened to Matt (and got two more pints) I was blown away by how much work and time he had put into the idea and I couldn’t help but get caught up in his excitement and it was there and then I pretty much said that I wanted to be a part of The Fableists and get involved in the story.

So, as the months passed and as the Fableists grew, the more I personally got to understand the importance of what it meant to be an ethical and sustainable business and how important it was for us to position ourselves in this way. On a personal leveI I learnt about what it was to try and live within the sustainable boundaries of buying items such as clothes and food and as time has gone on I’ve realised it’s a very simple and fulfilling process to go through. Yes, I was fortunate to have Matt and Sarah point me in the right direction of where to buy clothes, for example, and why some companies were better than others but now I feel that if someone were to ask me how they would go about being sustainable, I think I am in a pretty good position to help them out through what I have learnt.

You see, that’s why I became a Fableist! If I can help someone understand and embrace sustainability in their life and they, in turn, pass this information onto others, then think of the potential as the story grows from person to person.

The simple truth of the matter is that we, The Fableists, are a company who strive to make amazing kids clothes that are bought because people think our clothes are cool, look amazing and built to last. The fact that we are embracing sustainability at the same time is our way of showing that all of this can be done whilst maintaing the highest possible environmental, social and ethical standards.

I love being a Fableist and I think you will too.

Daf

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Trying to Sum Up What We’re All About

Copy of FABLEISTS_Logo_Reversed_monoEvery company needs a short text that sums up what they are all about. It needs to convey all the passion they feel for their product without losing the interest of the public! The clever and creative folks at Brothers and Sisters, London, who are our advertising agency partners have been working on this. We’d love to hear what you think:

When we first put one tiny foot in front of the other, there wasn’t a word to describe us.

So we made one up.

Fableist (fay-buh-list) noun:

A group of people making the coolest clothing for little punks! Garments that are not only designed well, but are also completely sustainable.

Origin:
2012-13; [ fable + activitist ]

Fable; a short story with a moral
Activist; Someone with a rebellious spirit who makes positive change happen

We’re going all the way and we want to take you with us.

Between us, we can break the cycle of kids making clothes for kids.

And we’re going to do it by turning our young ‘uns into the hippest kids on the block.

Our look is based heavily on old school utilitarian work-wear and classic vintage clothing. Timeless, hard-wearing clobber that will look just as cool in 10 years time on the mean streets on New York, London, Paris or Tokyo.

And our threads aren’t about seasons. They’re designed to be worn all year round by both boys and girls.

We are properly sustainable every little step of the way. And we respect every person along the way who makes our clothing happen.

The Fableists. Play hard, live forever.

Become a Fableist. Join the revolution!

Slow Fashion is…well…slow!

Those of you who have been following our story will know that we had originally planned to launch The Fableists in June. Looking at my calendar this morning, I can’t help notice that June has come. And gone.

We just want to make sure we do this right. We want to make sure the clothes we launch with are perfect, that everything is made sustainably. We want to double check everything so that when you order a t-shirt from us, the process goes smoothly and your item is delivered to you properly, from the time we launch our web site. All of this takes time, and we don’t want to rush because that’s when corners get cut and someone along the line gets the short end of the stick.

We will have our first t-shirts in a few weeks and once we know that they are perfect, we will put them up on our site and we hope that you will love them as much as we do! The images that accompany this post are some of the designs that will be included in our first offering of limited edition, artist-designed t-shirts for kids. They won’t last forever, so choose your favourites now and be ready. They will be available in sizes 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 and 9-10.

Thank you for your patience, and your support.

The Fableists

The Fableists Talk at McCann Health Creative Lunch Sessions in Cannes

Jeremy Perrot - Global Creative Director at McCann Health with Matt Cooper of The Fableists and John Cahill - Global CEO at McCann Health

Jeremy Perrot – Global Creative Director at McCann Health with Matt Cooper of The Fableists and John Cahill – Global CEO at McCann Health

Matt was honoured to be asked to speak at an event in Cannes that was hosted over four days during The Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.

McCann Health, the most awarded healthcare advertising agency in the world, partnered with production company Great Guns and Massive Music for the event. They were gearing up for the launch of Lions Health in 2014 by hosting meetings with dignitaries from the U.N. Secretary General’s Every Woman Every Child effort and top global creative leaders last week at the Festival. The goal: to highlight the importance of bringing creative ideas and solutions to improve the health and wellbeing of millions of women and children across the developing world.

The speakers were very impressive and we were incredibly humbled to be amongst them. There were some incredibly bright world changers there including UN Comms Director Stephen Sobhani, H.E. Dr. Christine Kaseba – the First Lady of Zambia, H.E. Dr Coumba Toure – Maritage Chair & Head of Advanced Development of Africa, and Klaus Thymann – Director of Project Pressure and Award-winning Photographer & Filmmaker, to name drop a few. Pretty heavy hitters and while we are passionate about what we are doing with The Fableists, we didn’t know how our business would be received by this illustrious crowd.

Jeremy Perrot - Global Creative Director at McCann Health with H.E. Dr Coumba Toure - Maritage Chair & Head of Advanced Development of Africa, Toyin Saraki - Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa  and John Cahill - Global CEO at McCann Health

Jeremy Perrot – Global Creative Director at McCann Health with H.E. Dr Coumba Toure – Maritage Chair & Head of Advanced Development of Africa, Toyin Saraki – Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa and John Cahill – Global CEO at McCann Health

The reception surprised us but at the same time, it was the same as it always is – very positive. We are really coming to realise that when you are working towards a goal that is positive, you can only find supporters and make friends. The Fableists seems to be taking on a life of its own and other people just want to get involved and offer their help. Matt totally enjoyed the session (and the amazing lunch!) and came back buzzing about what McCann Heath are doing.

Our movement is picking up steam and it won’t be long now before we have the first of our t-shirts, followed by our first line of clothing. The more we speak at engagements such as McCann Health’s, or any other opportunity and the more people hear about what we are planning, the more people want to get involved. That is pretty exciting.

Presenting Steve Scott, Whose Designs will Feature on The Fableists’ T-Shirts

Illustrator Steve Scott

Illustrator Steve Scott

Steve Scott is pixel pusher with a Wacom tablet and a master at mixing up fresh, contemporary image making with a nod to the retro. He is famous for his stylised characters of all shapes and forms, gaining a reputable clientele including Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Volvo, Led Zeppelin, Channel 4 and Wired Magazine. Get this – he has featured in the New York Guggenheim Museum and the Pictoplasma Festival in Berlin. Often abstract and stylised he can create a character or a scene which lingers in an inspiring way. Steve Scott is represented by Jelly London.

The Fableists > Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got in to illustration

Steve > I lived in Australia for half my life and moved away at 16. I landed in illustration by accident. I started doing music videos and it led on from there. I was in a band and did my own music video, quit my job to do it and this is how it all started happening. Because I had an illustrative style, a lot of people liked it. I started a studio in Australia and that is kind of how I got a career going.

The Fableists > Was that studio for commercials?

Steve > Mainly music videos for bands; low budget stuff. It was a different style from what I do now. I think of animation as different from illustration. With illustration I try to keep a style and keep it quite tight. With animation, it is more about what the job needs and I try to adapt styles. We did a lot of animation that is really psychedelic – some that is rotoscoping. I did this band in 2003 – they were the biggest grunge band in Australia at the time: Silver Chair. The money was terrible, and that is when I thought, this is the height of what I am going to get here and that was when I went into illustration.

The Fableists > Where does most your work end up? Is it mostly moving pictures?

Steve > A lot of drawing and 70% animation. But hard to say. If I’m not animating I am usually drawing!

The Fabeists > What inspires your day to day work?

Steve > You are constantly having to re-inspire yourself. I give myself little projects, for example last year I spent a lot of time in Soho (London). There are cool buildings and I gave myself a project of drawing these buildings and then I wanted to add magic things to them. Soho, to me, is quite mysterious and has a history, so I started drawing these buildings and putting in weird parades and then buildings with people in the windows and strange bird creatures. I mainly focus on characters and creatures, odd and weird people.

Matt > What were the inspirations behind the pictures you did for us?

Steve > I wasn’t sure what the brief was, but I knew it was about attitude and so I went round and came out with loads of ideas and wasn’t sure what worked. I also have two budgies, and they fly around and make a lot of noise. I love them if you walk past my lounge you can hear them outside on the street.

Matt > Your work has a certain look…

Steve > I guess what I really wanted was strong colour and pop colours. I always really liked 50s and 60s stuff, so I tend to kind of go that way. My influences are old cartoons – I grew up on comics. I have this great collection from Italy of old Mickey Mouse comics in the 30s and 40s style. I have been doing a lot of things like this recently. I did this whole thing of sketches of hillbillies with big baggy pants and guitars – I have this thing about guitars, I don’t even play guitar. The hillbilly with his banjo, but with a really heavy metal part to it also.

Matt > What do you feel about what we are doing, our message?

Steve > Especially now-a-days, there is so much that is overproduced. In terms of living in a sustainable way, that is really important for us now and for the planet. You can see in the last 4-5 years, people have started questioning this rampant consumption. The idea of maximizing profit is unhealthy.

Matt > If you could change one thing about the world what would it be?

Steve > So many things, aren’t there? I guess I would get rid of a few dictators, probably.

Some of Steve Scott's Work for The Fableists

Some of Steve Scott’s Work for The Fableists

Meet Creative Director Andy Fowler of Brothers and Sisters

Andy Fowler from Brothers and Sisters. A Fableist

Andy Fowler from Brothers and Sisters. A Fableist

My name is Andy Fowler.
I am founder and Creative Director of Brothers and Sisters.
We are a bunch of 55 creative boys and girls in Clerkenwell, London.
As well as doing advertising for brands, we also like to create our own brands, platforms and products.
In many ways this is what inspires us and gives us the freedom we crave.

We love working with clever, inspiring people with great ideas.

Recently we launched My London Story – a beautifully emotional, location based storytelling app, with our friend Greg Williams the Executive Editor of Wired magazine.

I first met Matt from The Fableists about 9 months ago.
I love people who are full of spirit, ideas and belief.
Matt has truck loads of all three.
We got on like a house on fire – both entrepreneurial, creative people more interested in making a difference and doing interesting creative things than making money at any cost.

I have three kids: Missy 7, Sonny 4 and Goldie 9 months – and I share Matt’s frustration in the difficulty of finding clothes for them that are individual, beautifully designed and ethically produced in equal measures.
It’s either high street tat which I would never dress myself in, so I’m damned if I’m going to dress my kids in it.
Or, more likely, vintage from eBay or boutiques or small designer kids brands.

There’s no-one on any sort of scale proving it’s possible to marry the cool factor with the sustainable factor – until now.

Matt didn’t have all the answers when we first met but I could see in his eyes that he believed.
Belief is everything.
When I first met my Malian friend Ballo and he told me he believed he could make a difference to the quality of teaching in Bamako, the capital of Mali, by launching an independent teacher training academy – I saw the belief in his eyes.
So, Brothers and Sisters raised funds, made some flying visits and started a love affair with North Africa that will never die.

I hope our commitment to The Fableists is just as everlasting.
This is something to believe in, to get behind, to throw ourselves into.

We are going to throw all our creative skills at this – by telling the fables behind the brand – in films, in look books, in whatever media the stories are best told.

It’s going to be a hell of an adventure.
We want you to come with us.
Together we can make the first truly cool and sustainable clothing brand for the next generation.
For the future of the planet, for the future of the little people.

Some More Kit from The Fableists

chorecoatteesnew

And we love them!

These are pictures of some more of The Fableists first line of clothes. Amelie absolutely adores the clothes and can’t wait until they all come in. What you will love is that these clothes are made to look as good on boys as on girls (watch this space for a preview). Kids just feel natural in them.

The first image is of our ‘French Chore Coat’ with ‘Classic Cut Straight Jean’. The ‘chore’ coat is Matt’s (The Fableists’ founder) favourite piece. He bought something similar from a vintage shop a few years back. It was from the 1920’s and they have since sprung up all over Soho (London). Seeing something this basic and rugged on a kid just looks so right to us. You can wear it anywhere, as Matt does. It is paired with the straight cut jeans that are simply rolled with a back fat turn up. Dark, heavy denim, with no daft wear marks. Your kids can put those in themselves – they don’t need to be faked. These lovelies will age beautifully, ready for the next kid who wears them. Too cool and all made with certified organic cotton in ethical factories. We are loving this look, hope you do too.

Image two shows the same jeans with one of our tees so that you can get an idea of The Fableists’ uniform. Amélie was thrilled with the look. She loves dresses and girlie stuff too but is very excited about her clean, Fableists look.

We are so pleased with these and they will be available to purchase via our web site very soon.

Ta Dah! Some more of our First Artist-Designed T-Shirts – Available Soon!

"This is a Flag" by Gregori Saavedra

“This is a Flag” by Gregori Saavedra

These were the very first designs we fell in love with. We had to have them! They are designed by Barcelona native Gregori Saavedra. He is represented by Jelly London for his work. We have featured an interview with Gregori, which you can read here.

"You are What you Wear" by Gregori Saavedra

“You are What you Wear” by Gregori Saavedra

Follow our blog to get an update whenever we post. We’ll keep the word count low here, and just allow you to enjoy the fine, fine artwork. These t-shirts will be available soon at http://www.TheFableists.com.

"Brain" by Gregori Saavedra

“Brain” by Gregori Saavedra

"I Don't Want to Be Like You" by Gregori Saavedra

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” by Gregori Saavedra

Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself…

Sarah Cooper of the Fableists (she's the one in the middle!)

Sarah Cooper of the Fableists (she’s the one in the middle!)

Before we take this relationship any further, I thought I’d better let you know who the gal behind the blog is. I’m Sarah Cooper and I’m a Canadian living in the United Kingdom. I am here legally! I’ve got a British husband and children and a hard earned British citizenship, too. My husband, Matt, and I are launching The Fableists together. We have both worked in and around the advertising and film production/post industries for many years and really wanted to create a company that we could feel passionate about and that would inspire us every day. We want to set an example for our (four) children and build something that they are proud of and that we can all learn from.

We have the brood to clothe and we are fussy about what we buy them. Do the clothes make the kid? Well, they certainly can get in the way of making the kid! We want ours to look super sharp but also like kids. It’s important that they are free to move and can put their own stamp on their look. We want them to be strong, independent, confident characters who use their amazing minds and question anything they think isn’t right. We hope they will be responsible and aware by the time they leave our nest.

We are not perfect. But we are making changes to the way we consume. It really is crunch time, now people. Sustainability is a bandwagon that we all have to get on.

Join us on the journey.

Sarah