Merging fashion with art is Founder of the urban T-shirt brand Tribe All, Angela Thouless. As part of Fashion Crossover London’s series of exclusive interviews with our most promising designers, we have had the opportunity to pick the brain of the Scottish designer voted Top Emerging Designer of the Year 2019 and Diverse Company of the year 2020 at the International Runway Achievers & Recognition Awards. Angela proves there is no age limit when it comes to fashion and celebrates inclusivity with her tribal-inspired T-shirts that merges her love for art with fashion.
In 2018 you were asked to create a piece of art that would be auctioned during Aberdeen Fashion Week, the proceeds of which were donated to the GACH orphanage in Kenya, how did this event lead to the creation of your brand as well as your strong brand image?
The past years I have mainly been focusing on street art, both practising as well as teaching the subject. When I was approached to create an art piece for the GACH orphanage, I looked at the Kenyan flag for inspiration. From there I delved deeper into other tribes and tribal gods. I came across ritual masks, the non-naturalistic yet highly stylised form really embodied powerful and highly expressive imagery. I decided to paint these masks on empty spray cans, referencing my own background while fusing my signature style with cultural inspiration. Encouraged by other designers, I moved my prints on to garments and Tribe All was born.
"I decided to paint these masks on empty spray cans, referencing my own background while fusing my signature style with cultural inspiration"
Fashion Crossover London puts inclusivity at the forefront of everything we do, similarly, your label sets out to celebrate all tribes, how do you communicate this message with your designs?
That’s why Fashion Crossover is the perfect platform for me and my designs, from selling my collection through your online store to having my pieces in your London showroom, everything has been great and I’m excited to see what we can achieve together. The aim of Tribe All is to spread a message that speaks to all tribes - regardless of age, gender, size and cultures; celebrating and promoting the diverse tribal cultures of the world. Tribe All represents a sense of togetherness. That’s why I started drawing inspiration from all corners of the world. During my research, I discovered that a lot of people felt they could only get T-shirts in generalized sizes, in line with our values, Tribe All offers up to 4XL. I want Tribe All to be a refreshing mix that looks towards the reality of multiculturalism that every country faces today.
What’s the story behind the brand name and the design of your logo?
Originally, I was going to call it Tribal, but I wanted the message of togetherness to really come to the forefront, therefore, Tribe All, as in we are all one! This message is reflected in the logo, the spear references both the tribal symbolism and inspiration, yet takes the shape of a paintbrush, alluding to my artistic background. Lastly, Tribe All is also a play on my initials, AT, but in reverse. The logo ties both myself, my inspiration as well as my mission together.
"The spear references both the tribal symbolism and inspiration, yet takes the shape of a paintbrush, alluding to my artistic background."
What other plans do you have on the horizon for yourself and your label?
In November Tribe All will be featured at the National Social Media Awards in London, and for the future, I would love for Tribe All to become a globally recognised brand, spreading the message of inclusivity through culturally inspired art in the form of T-shirts and other styles of clothing!
"I would love for Tribe All to become a globally recognised brand, spreading the message of inclusivity through culturally inspired art in the form of T-shirts and other styles of clothing"