Interview w/ Raised By Thieves Founder and CEO Scott Neils
We recently had a chance to talk to Scott Neils, Founder and CEO of up and coming street wear brand Raised By Thieves. For those of you that are unfamiliar to the RBTHVS movement, just know that the Portland, Oregon based brand is here to stay with the focus being on making quality products for quality consumers where the mantra is “Live like thieves, Die like kings”.
First of all, give us a brief overview of what Raised By Thieves is about?
Raised By Thieves is a lifestyle. It’s that simple. We dig deep into religion, conspiracy, life, death, government, good, evil, balance, you get the picture.
How did you get started in the clothing industry?
The clothing industry has always been something that I was interested in. I wouldn’t even call myself a fashionable person. Fashion is something that everyone enjoys. Every one wants to look good. I have a very ‘street like’ style if you will. Hence the reason I branched out to start a streetwear brand. My style is simple. I’ve always believed that a simple fit is the best fit. Wearing something different doesn’t mean you have to wear Jeremy Scott poodle shoes on your feet to stand out. I took my own style, creativity and reflected it on pieces of clothing.
This day and age everyone has a clothing line, but very few have longevity. What is your formula for long-term success?
A lot of brands don’t have a mission. A lot of people think if they start making tee shirts, the money will start coming in. In the end, how hard is it? Right.. Design a tee shirt, get it printed, sell it. It takes a lot more. It takes a sharp approach, it takes a strategy. It’s on yourself to want your brand to strive. It’s the struggle that makes the success.
Has your opinion of the clothing industry changed since launching your brand or has it remained the same?
The clothing industry is forever changing. You never know when polka dots might be “in style” .. You have to adapt to what’s around you. The hard part is taking your style that is true to you, and being able to adapt to the trends. To answer the question, I don’t really have a solid opinion about the industry. I think it’s great to see young minds express their creativity. It’s always nice seeing new fresh brands come out.
A lot of street wear brands are influenced by the skateboarding culture, would you include RBTHVS in that category as well?
No. Like I have said before. We are a streetwear brand. Yeah, it’s vague. Although that’s the category I would place us into. We don’t belong to any group.
One of the pieces that stand out to us is the Thievenchy print, is that your way of mocking overly priced gear from luxury brands or is there a deeper meaning?
Exactly. No deeper meaning.
Celebrities have become very influential in a brand’s success, who would be your ideal celebrity co-sign?
I have worked with a few artists, and it’s always a pleasure having them support the brand like they do. Never would I have thought that I would be dealing with some of the people I am dealing with today. To be honest, it doesn’t matter to me who wears the brand.
What brands does RBTHVS like these days?
A lot of people base their style around the price tag. Just because it’s expensive, doesn’t mean you look good. I support underground brands, Wearing underground brands is just as exclusive as buying a tee shirt from Comme Des Garcons that was limited to 60 pieces in the world. If you like it, buy it. A lot of people beg to differ. If I like something, I will buy it. I do not mind the name and the street cred I get while wearing expensive brands. Quality will forever remain quality. The price tag doesn’t reflect quality all the time.
Can we expect any collabos with other brands in the future?
We will have to wait and see won’t we? We have a few things in the mix with some well known brands, although it’s set for way down the road.
Often times venues such as the S.L.A.T.E./ Magic tradeshow have been great opportunities for brands to branch out and build relationships with retailers. Can we expect Raised By Thieves at S.L.A.T.E. in the near future?
Yes. Unsure of which we will be showcasing at. Although we will be attending this next coming Magic Tradeshow.
Alright Scott we appreciate you doing this interview with us and you definitely have the support of me as well as Fre$hFlyFuture. Any last words?
Thanks for reaching out to us. We appreciate your time, and it’s always a blessing being recognized.
Check out what Raised By Thieves has to offer after the jump.
Purchase at the RBTHVS online shop.