Wrath Arcane was started on January 3rd, 2006 when Brian O'Neill and Sean Bilovecky joined forces on a creative mission. Wrath Arcane is a clothing label with a message. “We’re tired of “BIG LABELS” (clothing companies, oil companies, governments, etc.) having so much influence on the ways that people live their lives. WRATH ARCANE taken literally means “secret anger”, or “forgotten rage”. To us it means that people seem to have forgotten the fact that changing their environment for the better will change their lives for the better. We design clothes that both embody this idea and also demonstrate our minimalist approach to contemporary streetwear. We want our customers to feel that they are buying more than just a trendy piece of sportswear.” I recently spoke with Bilovecky about his biggest influences as well as the meaning behind the term Wrath Arcane. (YB)
Tell us, what was your original mission when you formed Wrath Arcane?
WRATH ARCANE began as a "single boutique" collection for Brian's store (BRIGADE) in Cleveland. The "mission" evolved as we continued to grow as a brand. We realized that the apparel production industry in the US was a mess. We wanted to do our part in helping to turn things around. It's really important to us to have everything made in the US.
What sets Wrath Arcane apart from other menswear designers?
I think that WRATH ARCANE might be a little more "aggressive" than some of the other menswear lines out there. We're not just about trends. We're not about "being sexy at the clubs". We're trying to create collections that we believe in while at the same time, trying to bring awareness to the production side of consumerism.
What can we expect from your next collection?
Buyers have already seen SPRING 09. We focused on expanding the line to include a lot more wovens, and a lot more color. The response was amazing. We've been fortunate to see growth with every season... Right now we're in the middle of patterns/sourcing for FALL 09. We are really excited about how things are shaping up. Not only is the cut and sew line expanding, but we are also going to offer full fashion knits, boots, and hats... all made in the US!
Any collaborations in the works?
Actually, we are talking to a major shoe brand right now about a collaboration that might see it's first season in SPRING 10. It's still in the early stages, so we'll see what happens. I think an ideal collaboration for us would be not just about the design of a product. We would love to take another brand that has historically made things over seas and be able to run the collaboration production through our factories here in the US. I think it would be good for everyone.
How would you each define your personal style?
I'm not very fashionable. It's funny to see everyone from WRATH ARCANE at a trade show or something... Everyone looks good but me... I'm like the hillbilly cousin. Above all, I like to be comfortable. I think this translates into how the fit of WRATH ARCANE has developed. We have skinny jeans, but average guys can wear them. Our jackets are slim, but you can still move your arms without having your sleeves jump up to your elbows. It's a good thing that i get WRATH ARCANE samples for free, or else my wife probably wouldn't let me leave the house.
What is one item from the Wrath Arcane collection that you think ever man should have in their closet?
Well, for FALL 08 it has to be the WRECKOVER HOODY. It's a double breasted button up hoody. We are completely sold out. We've been getting so many emails that we're going to offer a re-cut in late November.
What do you consider your biggest influences?
I think that inspiration can come from anywhere, but our number one inspiration is WRATH ARCANE. We try to push the line and it's details further and further every season. We don't really pay attention to trends or who is wearing what. We just continue to develop the line from within.
What is the meaning behind the name Wrath Arcane?
Literally it means "secret anger", or "forgotten rage". It's about being a consumer. If people knew the truth about the products they buy, or the images that go along with those products, I think they would be pissed. There is nothing romantic about buying a fake image made by a ten year old in a terrible factory.
What is the message you are trying to convey by having models wear masks in your lookbooks?
It's a statement on the relationship between what really goes into a brand and the brands public image. Crap brands with crap products can pay a sexy model to make a sexy pose and push a fake image onto the public. Like when you see a denim add that is 95% of a shirtless model and all you see of the jeans is the waistband and a belt loop. I don't think a brand should be able to buy their way out of crap labor conditions. The faces and eyes of the models are covered to remove the part of the model that is typically used to trick people.