TALK BRANDS #10: EDUCATE & ELEVATE
It's the last week, and we've had such a good run! No doubt we're ending the Talk Brands collective on a high, and I am so proud of what the UK has to offer in regards to home grown brands. I'm definitely all about supporting your locals! But this isn't reeeally the end for this collective, but you'll have to wait a bit longer to find out about that...
On that note, I'd like to introduce Suzan Selcuk, 24, of Educate & Elevate based in Manchester. Educate & Elevate are a brand I have been following for a while and I love their vibrant 90's vibe, so I'm not going to waste anymore time, here goes...
Where did Educate & Elevate all begin and what made you want to run your own brand?
E&E began when me & my boyfriend decided we wanted to launch our own line selling 90's vintage and streetwear. I'd studied fashion design & styling at uni, and after graduating and whilst looking for jobs I couldn't think of one brand that was really "me" so we put all our influences together, from TLC (I'm a TLC fanatic) to Kid & Play, The New Jack Swing era, and the biggest inspiration, our favourite movie, Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing". This movie had inspired us so much in life and was really the driving force behind the ethos of the brand, we wanted to bring it's positive message to fashion. Even before we had the brand name, we knew what we wanted for our logo, using the idea of Radio Raheem's Love Hate rings in the movie! As my background is fashion & my boyfriend's is business, we were then on the lookout for a designer to help with the website and logo design. We were introduced to our designer through a family friend and loved the way she brought ideas to life. The rest is history!
How would you describe Educate & Elevate?
A streetwear label with a positive message. Our ethos:
“EDUCATE THE MIND, ELEVATE THE GRIND.”
Which basically means, the more you educate yourself about the world and your surroundings, the higher chance you have of moving up in the world and being sucessful. Not just successful in terms of money,but being the best version of YOU you can possible be.
& let’s be honest, lot’s of people these days DON’T know much about the world we live in. Most don’t even know much about what’s goin on out of their own town, let alone half way across the world! We’re not just preaching about world issues and politics, (though it’s cool if you care about that!) We’re talking CULTURE. Learning about other cultures & embracing our differences will influence and inspire you. You can’t educate the majority with the mind of the minority!!! We’re a street wear brand with a difference, a positive message, and we believe that we can educate & elevate through fashion.
Noun: The arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.
CULTURE can educate & elevate all of us in some way or another. It brings people together, it breaks boundaries, it makes life more interesting.
What is your favourite piece from your collection?
My favourite is also our best seller, the flygirl tee. The idea behind this tee came from when I was watching 90's TV show In Living Color on Youtube for styling inspiration. In the show there are a group of girls who were the in house dance troupe, aka the flygirls!
If you could sum up your brand in words, what would they be?
Fresh, fun, colourful!
What for you has been the highlight of running Educate & Elevate to date?
When T-Boz (from TLC) tweeted that she liked our lookbook!
What do you do outside Educate & Elevate?
My 9-5 is as brand manager for a brand called La Moda (very different from E&E!) I also do freelance styling / creative direction.
What is your favourite clothing brand, other than your own?
I don't really spend much money on clothes because I love vintage & charity shops but one brand I'm happy to splurge on is Lazy Oaf!
Favourite brand of footwear?
Who would you most like to do a collaboration with and why?
My dream collab would be Spike Lee or Vashtie, both idols of mine!
What can we expect to see from Educate & Elevate in the future?
We're hoping to expand our product line in a big way in the next 6 months.
What, in your opinion, is the best thing about running your own brand?
The best thing is having complete control over the image of the brand and seeing people wear your ideas!
What advice would you give to someone who may want to start their own brand?
The biggest piece of advice I have is not to under estimate the time and effort you have to put in, it involves a LOT of late nights and no social life! You really have to make it your life, not your hobby if you want to make it work. I live & breathe EE, it's my baby!
Anything else you'd like to add?
Thank you to every single person who has supported us from day one!
Make sure you head over to the EducateElevate website and pick up something! I reckon I'm gonna be getting the Basketball Jersey at some point, it's rad! Again, if you haven't already head over and like E&E's Facebook page as well as ours when you get the chance!
Keep your eyes peeled for more collectives in the future, and if you're a brand owner or in fact anyone with a brand idea, and you want to be involved please don't hesitate to contact me. If you need a platform to get your brand out there, this is it.