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  • Tom Andrews

Time Capsule Blog Entry 001 - Throwback To The TfL T-shirt We Printed in 2013

Updated: Jul 4

It seems like it was only a few years ago, but over a decade has passed since we launched one of the first TfL T-shirt collections that would become legendary, to those who knew about it. There were a few ingredients that set the setting and made this drop memorable.

In December 2012 we found ourselves in a tricky predicament, notice had been given on the studio we occupied in Fish Island, Hackney Wick. The good times seemed to be coming to an end, unless a new space could be found. With a stroke of luck and a dash of serendipity, a conversation was had with a good friend at a New Years rave. The friend in question was Adam Hylu, the man behind the Unit 137 Soundsystem and record label. The building he ran his recording studio from had spare units big enough to house all of our clobber. I didn't sit around for very long and booked a viewing. The location was Hither Green near Lewisham. It was a dark, grey, wet January afternoon and I was met by the building manager, Chris, who showed me the unit. It was a 925 square foot room with no windows and a massive 4m wide, 2m high mirror on one of the walls. The previous tenant ran dance classes there.

I mulled it over for a few days before deciding to go for it. We were in by March with the basics set up. This was to be our home for the next 11 years!!

The 2nd ingredient was the 4 new TfL designs that Will (Founder of Done London) wanted to print to celebrate the 150 year anniversary of the Tube network in London. These were the first shirts Will and I printed, photographed, promoted and sold together, and these were the first shirts we printed in the new studio. It was the beginning of what was to come.

The 3rd ingredient was the photoshoot Matt Benson (BNTL & The Lurkers Founder) shot for us. The shoot was a lot of fun, we all linked up at a pub in Brixton and hopped onto the Victoria line, tinnies in hand, and made our way around the network finding spots to shoot. Matt did his thing effortlessly along with the two models, Tim and Vadina. The images Matt captured that evening became the content that enabled the capsule to stand out amongst the selfies and filtered photos that filled Instagram feeds at the time. The images were raw, gritty, unpolished gems which suited the job perfectly. At the time, we didn't share all the photo's from Matt's final cut. But you can now see them below, in all their glory.

You may be asking yourself "was that it? And what exactly was the 1st ingredient?". Well no, there was one final ingredient that helped this idea get wings and fly a little further, and perhaps more than we'd have liked it to, at the time.

Remember the story about moving into the new studio? Well, the 1st and 4th ingredients are synonymous in this tale. Another good friend of mine, Robert Brooks aka Brooksy, got in touch with me one sunny Friday afternoon in May 2013. I was at a pub with a few pals near Kings Cross. Rob calls me up and asks if I was free the following day as he was showing around two gents from across the pond in New York City. They were in London on a filming mission to gather content for a series of short videos for a Youtube channel called Animal New York. Rob was like "they're here to do London and you're Done London" so it makes sense to come see you guys in the new studio. We jumped on it and were planning to print some stickers the next day anyway, so it all tied in perfectly. We all linked up on the Saturday afternoon and the following video was the end result of that chance meeting.

The rest, as they say, is history.....

Stay tuned for more time capsule posts. We have 10+ years worth of photos and videos that are worth archiving on these blog pages.

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