Learn About Independent Brands Cardboard Robot and Cobra Lord

December 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

CBR_412Cardboard Robot’s Popular Deer Hunter Hoodie

What was Cardboard Robot? What things did you consider when designing clothing / what drove your designs?

Cardboard Robot (CBR) actually started as a short film by my good friend Mason Brown in the late 90’s. Its purpose was to inspire people to question their environments and reflect on the mark they are leaving on a rapidly growing world.  Later Cardboard Robot branched out and became a clothing brand.

Mason gave me complete freedom and encouraged me to create whatever came to mind. My desire to make people laugh and occasionally use their brain was what drove my work then.

When did it start?

Cardboard Robot had already existed almost a decade when I started working there in 2006. I was going to school at the time and I showed Mason an art book I had made by hand. He really liked my work and style; he told me that day he wanted to hire me. I was pretty stoked because I was only 22 and I managed somehow to get a job doing art and screwing around all day.

What did you do to get the word out? How long did it take for CBR to really gain popularity?

Cardboard Robot was very grass roots as they say. There was a lot of support for the brand and our fan base was constantly growing. The most effective thing we did in terms of marketing was giving product to
celebrities who  supported the brand and wanted to wear the clothes. Companies spend a lot of money for placement, but CBR resonated with a lot of people and they just wanted to wear it. It started to get really popular when the Deer Hunter hoodie came out. It was selling out in the first major accounts and we were running ads in Juxtapoz and Vice regularly. The exposure of the brand through celebs combined with the ads caused Cardboard Robot to really take off…

What did you do right with Cardboard Robot? What did you do wrong? Did you have any missteps? What are some things you wish you had done differently?

Cardboard Robot collectively did a lot of things right. We created what we were inspired to create, achieved a lot of goals, had a good amount of success, and had fun doing it.
The mis-steps were all legal tie ups and personal strife. It was very unfortunate, but I don’t have any regrets about what I did there.

5791208184_85775d7bb4_bThe Universe is One Tee by Cobra Lord

You have started a new project, “Cobra Lord”. Tell us about that. Why are you starting another brand? How is it different from Cardboard Robot? Do you think the same people will like it or it is more aimed at a different group?

Cobra Lord is a brand for people that want to break out of the confines society imposes on us. I know it might sound like rhetoric, but I feel even with the shit that’s going on across the world people still walk around in their own bubble. People just accept everything they’re fed without saying anything or even realizing. One of the main themes of the brand has always been Revolution. I’m not talking about anything too crazy, just people realizing they have the ability to affect the world around them not conforming to its every whim. I think this theme has become increasingly relevant around the world over the last couple of years.

I started a new brand because I love to create, I like to push people’s buttons, and I’m inspired when people can relate to what we’re doing and want to be a part of it.

Cobra Lord is similar and dissimilar from Cardboard Robot in many ways. I brought CBR founder Mason Brown on board Cobra Lord this year as my business partner. I’m sure our dynamic will bring some hints of the old
days, but the world is a different place now and I’m not holding any punches.

I think a lot of CBR fans will like Cobra Lord because it’s provoking and engaging. No one here wants to do something that’s just an ordinary run of the mill. We want this to be something great. I sure as F do.

What is your favorite aspect of running a brand?

I love creatively directing a brand. A Brand as its own artistic medium allows you to convey much more to the world than a single piece of artwork. People have the ability to
buy into what you’re doing and become a part of it. I don’t mean just a clothing line either. I mean everything that it’s about; its style, quality, principals, mantra, and supporters all become a single entity that can be recognized by a symbol. I’m still fascinated by that.

What is the hardest part of running a brand?

I would say multi-tasking. Personally, I don’t think any one part of running a brand is too hard on its own. But constantly shifting attention from creative mode, to crunching numbers, running production, working on a website, collecting payment, etc… can be challenging.

5790694765_9f2be277c7_bLow Lifes Tee by Cobra Lord

What do you think is the most common mistake people make when running a brand? How can they avoid this mistake or fix it?

There’s a million mistakes that can be made, and even if you don’t make mistakes that doesn’t guarantee you anything. My advice is to keep your overhead costs as low as possible, be creative and resourceful, and never give up.

Any events or releases coming up?

Check out the recently launched website featuring the newest line. We previously sold out before we could put anything online. Also, we have a new jacket and bag that are going to be available. So definitely check out thedopeshit.cobralord.com.

Lastly, what is a great song you think everyone should listen to?

I’ve had “Memory Loss” by Deltron 3030 in my head since this morning.

Connect with Cobra Lord:

Website: http://cobralord.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cobralordbrand

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/cobralord

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cobralord/

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