We explore the energy behind London-based fashion label Tourne de Transmission in a chat with its creator. Literally translated to mean “rotating transmission,” the brand’s signature aesthetic combines words with images to update the traditional slogan tee with a modern twist of media saturation.
Can you introduce yourself and your role at TDT?
My name is Graeme Gaughan. I am a Communications Director at London fashion agency IPR and the Creative Director of TDT. The TDT team is pretty small and my role entails overseeing the creative themes for each season’s collection as well as curating the imagery we translate into prints for the garments.
How would you define the direction of the brand?
Quality printed basics have always been at the core of my vision for TDT… The original prints were based on vintage newspaper layouts, so the dark monochromatic vibe has sort of stuck. The prints may change direction each season and we may introduce more color, but this darker print vibe is a mainstay. The concept of combining words with images that have no seeming connection to create a statement has also been a core theme which we maintain in each collection.
How did you become interested in footwear?
I have been a footwear obsessive for years… dating back to the time I was booted out of class at school for wearing DMs instead of boring standard shoes. I didn’t want to wear what everyone else had on at the time, which were either brogues or Nike Airs (the first time around)–it’s funny how trends flip. Also, skating from my early teens sparked a real love of the cupsole style of sneaker… This is still and will remain one of my main influences for TDT footwear each season.
Product-wise, we introduced footwear for SS13 in collaboration with Swear and the Six London guys which got a great reaction. We are going to build on this with more options and colorways. For AW13 we are going to be bringing in leather goods–jackets, printed leather accessories and bags, etc. These three avenues are where I am seeing growth right now.
What sets TDT apart from other brands out there?
Probably my lack of design training… I am approaching this from a different angle. I didn’t study fashion but I have good friends and colleagues who are great designers. This has helped with sourcing and in general, but the label’s overall aesthetic has not come from a design school background so perhaps this puts a different spin on it. Technically, it’s also the way we work on prints and how we create the all-over print without cutting corners that gives us distinction. Getting this right is really hard and a lot of brands don’t worry much about the hems matching and the rib being printed so that it fits seamlessly. This type of care obviously makes the garments more expensive but it’s a detail I consider important.
What are your plans for expansion in design and business?
I have already introduced more products lines than I’d thought I would, so who knows? I would like to collaborate with a few brands in areas that I can’t excel in–such as denim, tailored outerwear and technology accessories. The business is still in its very early stages but the right people are picking up on it so it just needs to filter through… that said, I am in no rush.
Check out the latest from Toure de Transmission at our online store.