WWIT and Mr Batlow have a 121!

So i've finally got to do a lil interview with Mr Batlow himself, and i'm extra excited to bring you this month's main feature - here at WWIT we gets down, be sure to check out the next one!

Mark B aka Mister Batlow, Bats, B, Marcus B, Raymond Batlow, Ray Bats, Bruce Wayne (of the Game), Louis Vuitton the Don, Ugly Batlow, The Ugliest of all Ugly Kids has been around for a while now, and if you don't know about him then you better ask somebody! Myspace.com/misterbatlow, Myspace.com/uglykidsclub, http://www.tstar.co.uk/, http://www.theuglykidsclub.com/ The stuff he designs are somewhat resemble the likes of Pharell Williams and Nigo, fusing childhood sentiments with luxury create a mouth watering array of juicy coloured hoodies, t-shirts, customized bags and all that good stuff. Mr Batlow takes what his first love (Graffiti) and spits it on his second love (Clothes), the result is a combination of the sickest and flyest t-shirt, hoodies, kicks etc with the illest designs. I think his stuff is so appealing to us guys is probably due to the fact that we never grow up, lol..taking something that we love as children and giving it a grown up twist lets us play and not look stupid - We def love what he does, and so do sooo many other people, here is some of his clientel: Levis Strauss, The Jumpoff, UMFs, Nokia, The Princes Trust, Nike, DKNY, Dont Panic, Urban Nerd, Slammin Kicks, The Dance Off Awards, Philippine Independence Day, Lettice Parties, BiggaFish, SkyFest 07, Year Zero, Yat, J Lloyd Samuel (Villa/Bolton), LCC (London College of Communications), Monkey Business/ ITV2, Cheryl Tweedy - i know what your thinking, big tings are gwan! haha, for more info of course, check this myspace!

So let's get str8 to the interview.

D: Mr Batlow, how does one do?haha - give us the 411, short and sweet.

MB: 22 years young, London Town. Second generation Filipino immigrant Born in Hammersmith. Raised in Brixton and then East Ham for the majority of my life.

D: Why "Batlow" and "Ugly Kids Club", break it down for WWIT and the bloggers.
MB: I took the name when I first started customizing clothes, as I didn't want to walk around the streets of East London with my 'illegal' tag written on both my clothes and walls.
Batlow is in reference to how low my jeans hang; 'Low Batties = Low Bats = Bat Low' which worked quite well at the time since I was customizing denim for Levis and jeans is where I got my first 'fashion stripes'.

Batlow has the obvious reference of Batman and comic books. Of all the comic book storylines the concept of the multi millionaire insomniac businessman that runs business by day and fights crime by night is the most relevant to my lifestyle, except I don't fight crime; I design clothes.
Ugly Kids Club is first and foremost the UK's first customization collective. Utilising all the skills and personalities of the members, the main concept behind it is the idea of collaborating between like minded artists and designers on bigger projects.

The name Ugly Kids Club is a refers to our physical appearances as children. We haven't always been this pretty. We have taken the symbol of the swan as our logo in reference to 'the ugly duckling turning into a beautiful swan' metaphor, since as customisers we regard what we do as 'beautfication' (D: aahhh..turning negative into positive, we all for that aren't we!)

D: Ohhh, always interesting to hear about the history of how it came to be, so when did this all begin then?

MB: I started graffing at 12/13. Doing the normal juvenile activities in East London, it went hand in hand with smoking, 'messing' around in parks, knock down ginger at 2 in the morning etc etc. I first started customsing clothes when I was 16/17.

D: What kicked all this off then? I know there's always a story to how or what became of all this.

MB: When the money started rolling in. The east London hustle runs thrugh my blood, and I would be making moves in whatever I put my mind to, its so happens that customizing and graffiti came along.

D: Ok, ok..so what i really wanna know is what was the first thing you ever ever designed?

MB: It was either a bag for my bredrin at school or a par of jeans for a breakdancer who went to my school. Im not actually sure which one was first. (D: We f**king love that bag, infact that was what caught my attention, so you got me then..)

D: You know we got mad love for what you do, but tell us how much you love what you do!

MB: even if I was doing a completely different unrelated job I would be scribbling, drawin or painting to pass the time away. Im haps that get paid to do what I do. Cos I'd be doing it anyway.

D: The biggest achievement so far, that made you go, "yeahhh, that's me!" haha

MB: I tend forget a lot of what happens in what I do. I don't know what I ate for breakfast or what socks I put on this morning.

In terms of customizing I have done what I can do: Worked for an international company: Levis. Worked for a high fashion label: The Louis Vuitton bags for Year Zero. Opened my own website: http://www.tstar.co.uk/. Seen my stuff on TV. Been on TV. Had Mariah Carey wear my hoodies. Opened and closed a shop: The Workshop, Carnaby Street. Started a customize crew: The Ugly Kids Club. Won an award: UK Urban Fashion Award for Customsier of The Year. I have technically done it all and bit more. There isn't much a Customiser is left to do except start his own company which I have done and am steadily working at.

My biggest achievements to come is probably what I am involved in now: My BA in Surface Design which I finish in May 08 and The Ugly Kids Club.

D: So all the "pretty" things aside, we all get ups and down - you must have had your fair shared, what's the ugly side of what you do?

MB: The same old problems that any freelancer or designer encounters; irregular money and uncertainty but I suppose that's part of the allure and excitement that keeps me doing what I do.

D: Where do you see Mr Batlow in say, 5 years time? Where you taking alll thiss?
MB: I wil be 27/ 28 in five years…(D: hehe, so modest, sighh..)
I intend to be a globe trotting internationally recognized designer/businessman in five years with number of bases in and around the world. That will be standard. (D: Gotta aim high right?)

The Ugly Kids Club will steadily grow into a big problem in five years time. Skys the limit, I do expect it to be a fully blown clothing brand with a number of successful off shoot businesses such as Ugly Skin, Ugly Walls, Ugly Smell, Ugly Cups of Tea etc etc I intend to change the meaning of the word 'Ugly'. (D: Loves it....)

D: So your filipino, and along with all the other filipinos as well as asians in general will pick up on your shine, and haters will hate, so we don't bother with them - i'm more interested about all those little asians kids that look at what you do, and say, "I wanna or could do that". If you had any influence on this, how will you lead them? (D: Here are WWIT, we reach out to broader subjects too!)

MB: Why not? The only oriental looking people I looked up to as a child was Data from the Goonies or maybe Rufio from Hook. (D: It's funny how so many people will know that reference, he's the only chinky guy with the funky hair, or the one with all the litle gadgets from goonies) I believe that everyone should keep it real and just do themselves, carve your own niche in the world.

Im far from being as successful as I intend to be, but if people are looking for someone to set the standard and raise the bar then that's cool. If oriental looking kids are taking inspiration from anything that I do it should be the graft and the grind that I have put in for a good half decade.
I intend to work my way into position where I can give back, that's why I first got into teaching workshops, and I will go back to that when I have more of an influence behind me.

D: Say if "Someone" wants to start out doing what you do, can you show some love?

MB: Get yourself out there. Nothing is gona come to you sitting at home behind facebook, myspace or porn sites. (D: haha, some of you are soooo busted for reals! mm hmm..yeah you!)

I hate saying this buts its true 'its not what you know, its who you know', the more people you know the bigger network you have, and the bigger network you have the more potential customers you have. (D: That's for all you stoosh bitches with the screw faces haha that don't talk to no one for whatever reason)

And I approach every job with the intention of bettering the last, despite how small or big the current or previous job was. (D: Sound advice there..)

D: KOOL! Now where can I and the bloggers cop some of this shitt!?

www.myspace.com/uglykidsclub for our tee shirts
http://www.theuglykidsclub.com/ in april when we open up officially

Our party will be at 93 Feet East in conjunction with Urban Nerd on 18th April

(D: Hold up hold UP! Did you say party? haha you know i'll be down! i will be reporting on what/who went down, and with pictures too! look out for me!)

D: So let's get down to the matters of WWIT, we get personal! So tell us "your" style rules that you live by? Do match? or mismatch? how does it work for Mr Batlow?

MB: Everything in my wardrobe used to match to an embaressing level, my evisu birds used to match my trucker hat which matched the tick on my dunks which matched my belt which matched my wristband and so on and so on but these days since my days differ from being in meetings, to getting grimey painting to photoshoots so my style has changed a bit. (D: Haha, but you look back and laugh at it, that's how you know your style has evolved - it can only get better and more sophisticated)

If im not wearing an Ugly Kids Tee you can never go wrong with a crisp white tee shirt. It works for rappers, James Dean, The Fonz etc

Jeans are an investment. A good pair of jeans will last you a good while, I try not to wash my denim, instead I buy a new pair. (D: Erm, lol well i just try not to wash it for a while - keeps the shape and all that, but boi, when it starts to get abit funky, i'll wash it! Maybe i'll buy new ones when i'm rich)

I rotate trainers daily. I am good to not wear the same trainers twice for a couple of months without breaking a co-ordination sweat.

There are days when I like to look stupidly stupid, and I have learnt that its not what you wear it's the swagger you have when you wear it. I will wear anything and make it look bless. (D: Truedat, truedat - if you feel shit, you will look shit. haha, but if you feel like the baddest boi on the block, well it just don't matter does it...)

D: I hear that, so what the most favourite thing/look you like to rock most?

MB: white tee shirt, dark levis jeans and fresh creps and a brand new leather jacket.

D: Being such a pimp like yourself, haha how does one keep looking on point? We all get bad days, how do you handle buizz?

MB: I suffer from eczema, so I have always creamed myself. Its not about having ashy knees and elbows. (D: Ay, i got exzema too, and i know its a bitch - but thanks for keeping it real with us, We like you even more, and to all those other exzema peoples out there, goes to show how it CAN'T stop you from doing your thing!)

I get my hawk cut every month, and get the sides shaved every two weeks. I use Loreal Indestructible or V05 Extreme Replay wax. Depending on if I want to wake up the next morning and have my hawk looking fresh or if I want the activities of the night before to involve some hair stroking. (D: Kinkyy...)

D: What are you smelling of right now? (Mr Batlow: WTF?!) haha oh my bad, i meant cologne using right now?

MB: Giorgio Armani Black Code (D: ......)

D: WWIT got mad love for you, tell us why you have mad love for us!?

MB: Cos there should be more blogs with this subject matter for straight guys to read and not full of exclusive dunk that you will never buy this and 1 of 2 tee shirts that. (D: Ain't that the truth!)

WWIT Salutes you!

1 comment:

  1. hahhaa wicked interview!
    still love my silver surfer shirt i picked up from UKC