This is D3 The Concrete, bringing you fashion from the street!

For the last couple of weeks or so, I have been interviewing people from within the brands that I have met, while I was at ComplexCon 2017. This particular interview is special, because it is not just one brand or store that I am interview, it is actually an umbrella, a coalition of brands, if you will, that is being interviewed here.

So, check this interview out with the people at 1 – 800 PARADISE and tell us what you think in the comments below!

 

BOLD: D3 The Concrete // Italics: Maurice of 1 – 800 PARADISE // All Photos courtesy of 1 -800 PARADISE

 

Tell us who you are and where you are from?

My name is Maurice Maghnagi, I was born in London to Libyan/Italian Jewish parents, and moved to Hong Kong at the age of 6. Been here since.

How did 1 800 – PARADISE come into fruition?

I came up with 1800 soon after launching Made In Paradise in 2014. My intention was to create a platform that would plug gaps both in terms of product offering and cultural education, where MIP stopped short. At the time, MIP was limited to streetwear inspired swimwear, and we needed more to be able to effectively promote our message. At the same time, we wanted to also utilize our experience in wholesale, and take on additional lines that complemented our in house brands, to again fill voids in the market, wherever possible. Thus, we started working with designers and brands inclusive of Porn Hoodies (Writer’s Note: We interviewed the owner/founder of Porn Hoodies, Malcolm XXX, on this link here), N8NE, Shark Week, 40’s & Shorties (who is doing a fun party at Warehouse Live in Houston on 12/2/17), Good Worth & Co, and several others in handling their sales in select markets. Since then, our portfolio has grown exponentially, and our awareness increased.

 

From looking at the website, it appears that it is a site composed of an interesting set of curated brands. Please delve into the process of how these brands were chosen?

Many of the brands listed on the website, we are either handling sales for as reps, or are strongly affiliated with them, in one capacity or another. We try and focus on finding brands that are unique in nature, and that have ownership of specific categories. For example, 40’s & Shorties (socks), Good Worth (lighter cases, keys, and other metal accessories), Porn Hoodies (hoodies with Porn on them, haha), Mister Green (weed), Hanging with the Homies (air fresheners) etc. It is our goal to continually add to the mix, and show to the world the different layers of culture driven streetwear and art, and how there is depth to everything we do.

I notice that many of these brands also had their own booths at COMPLEXCON 2017. Was that a calculated move to have everyone in separate booths, or was it something that was going to happen anyway, because each brand has their own autonomy?

Yes, many brands inclusive of 40’s & Shorties, Paperwork NYC, Pleasures, Stugazi, etc, all had their own booths are Complex Con this year, since they are based in the US, and handle all US sales themselves. Our involvement with them is limited to being one of their accounts, or a sales rep for the HK market, therefore wouldn’t make sense to do CC on their behalves, since as you put it, each brand prefers to have their own autonomy.

I noticed that you all shared a space with a couple of other brands. Would you care to tell us about those brands and what was the purpose of linking up with them?

Yes, the brands we incorporated into our booth this year includes Cold World Frozen Goods, N8NE, and Porn Hoodies. Cold World is owned by one of dearest friends and incumbent designer, RHEK. He just launched the line earlier this year, and figured it would be a good opportunity to showcase the offering and see how people responded to it, which was indeed very favourable. N8NE is owned by one of our guest designers and close affiliate, Freaky P, and again, his core line I felt would bring a lot of value to do the booth, and show another side of the 1800 experience, which is most certainly did. Porn Hoodies, simply put, it needed doing, and because we handle their sales globally, it made sense for us to bring them on and start promoting their range.

What can we expect in the future from 1 800 – PARADISE?

More collaborations, and to continually branch out into additional product categories. Don’t want to bust prematurely and divulge too much, but I can confidently say 2018 is going to be a game changer year for us. We’ve made the mistakes and paid the costs, and now it’s time to reap the rewards and then some.

What’s some advice that you can share to a person who aspires to have a strong online retail presence?

We’ve never been online specialists, more wholesale traders, so it’s hard to give advice in an area we’re not that familiar with still. But for anyone starting a brand or doing a project of a similar nature, all we can say is strap in and get comfortable, since this journey is not an overnight thing, without sounding too much like a cliché. Everything takes time.

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