Introducing Bristol Based Brand Swamp Breed

At Exo we love to champion independent brands. This week we caught up with UK based brand, Swamp Breed.

This brand is delivering styles and concepts expressive to their selfs. We spoke with Joe, the main man behind the brand to discuss what Swamp Breed means to him. 

Q: Tell us about yourself. What sort of background do you come from?
A: I was brought up in a very small town surrounded by forests. I guess that’s where the iconography of 'living in a swamp' comes from. Not just visually but mentally coming from a place that offers little to no creativity is draining. Feeling swamped became a day to day emotion for me and getting out was the best choice I ever made.

Q: What's your personal background in design?
A: I am predominantly an illustrator. However, I have explored a range of creative outlets. Graphic design and photography are my main backgrounds, but I would definitely categorise myself as an illustrator.

Q: Where are you based?
A: Swamp is based in Bristol.

Q: How does this affect your state of mind whilst designing?
A: Living here offers so much creatively. The city has a unique culture and diversity – it's flooded with great music and great artists and I find daily life quite inspiring. Walking past shops and being hit with a range of posters and graffiti. Subconsciously I am inspired every single day.

Q: What influences you when designing?
A: Everything. I can grab inspiration from the smallest of things. Just the other day I was drinking a can of Rio and started studying the colour scheme on the packaging. I do spend a lot of time listening to music and the effect that a certain record can have on my mood. The atmosphere of a room or situation really helps when coming up with ideas or direction towards a design.

Q: What is Swamp Breed's main philosophy when it comes to design?
A: I never release anything for the sake of making money. Swamp has never been about that. My main philosophy for coming up with a design is finding a concept. I often come up with the name of a design and work around that. This can come from daily life or some lyrics in a record I'm listening to because of how it makes me feel.

Q: Do you plan to move into a style closer to that of fashion houses like Gucci or Yves Saint Laurent, or will you continue to create pieces closer to the urban streetwear vibe of Palace and Supreme?
A: Streetwear is a very oversaturated market right now with every brand springing up and labelling themselves 'Streetwear'. When I started Swamp it was never set out to be a streetwear brand, it's an artistic outlet for me. I see it as more of a platform than a clothing brand. Designing and selling clothes is a further way of communicating and spreading a vision and ideas.

Q: I've noticed a hand [painted skateboard on your Instagram, is Swamp Breed mainly focused towards skaters or was that a one off piece?
A: That was a collaboration with my good friend Andy Foster. We both skate so it seemed inevitable to bring out a skateboard. Swamp isn't a skateboarding brand, however, the culture definitely has some influence towards things.

Q: Where would you like to see Swamp Breed grow in the coming years?
A: I'm currently working on a concept capsule, a collaboration project with another brand from Bristol and the first issue of a magazine that's in the works at the moment which will be released later this year. We have started working with a lot more artists and illustrators and we will be stocking selected work in the online store. I would love to open a physical store somewhere. A place where people can come and be creative and free whilst also showcasing some amazing work.

Thanks very much Joe for taking the time to speak to us. 

You can check out Swamp Breed's latest drop here.
We can't wait to see what's in store for the future.