Fashion | Brand Focus: In The Music
DJ Mag's Amy Fielding speaks to Dave Mills and Matthew Miles about In The Music - their clothing line that pays tribute to house anthems
After two decades spent DJing at, and promoting, the award-winning Cool House events in Cardiff, Dave Mills decided to pay tribute to his love for music away from the club. With the twenty years spent working alongside his now business partner and friend Matthew Miles, an illustrator and designer, the pair decided to launch their brand: In The Music. “The last couple of years provided a chance for introspection and time to think about your life and what’s important,” Miles says. “What do you miss doing? What do you need more of in your life? What are your best memories? The answer was usually music-related, and so we tapped into that sentiment.”
ITM recently celebrated its first birthday, with the last 12 months spent releasing garments inspired by “decades of the club music you know and love”. Each design is a “nostalgic nod”, intended to transport consumers back to dancefloor moments and club experiences. The designs reference iconic dance tracks like Kings Of Tomorrow’s ‘Finally’ and Ibiza anthem ‘Where Love Lives’, alongside pointers to Pete Heller’s ‘Big Love’ and vocalist Crystal Waters. “We’ve also had some dance music legends wear our kit,” Miles says. “Sam Divine, Yousef, Darren Emerson, Mark Wilkinson, Graeme Park, Rowetta… it really has been humbling to see people we admire getting behind what we do.”
Constantly sending each other tracks and albums from the present and the past, and reminding each other of moments shared at gigs and festivals, the ideas for designs flow to Mills and Miles in a way they describe as “organic”. “There’s always a level of excitement thinking about where we can take our ideas next,” Miles says. “As we’ve grown, we’ve been engaging with our community and listening to what people want, so hopefully they’ll feel they’ve been a part of the process.”
For Mills, the Where Love Lives t-shirt is especially important: “What took the design to the next level was getting sent a personal message from Roger Sanchez wearing the t-shirt,” he says. For Miles, its the Yeke Yeke emblazoned garments. “Most people will ask ‘what does that mean?’,” he says, “but those that are in the know understand the reference and it almost feels like you’re in a secret club, especially when you get a distinct smile or nod from a passer-by.”
While the garments nod to the past, ITM are keeping an eye on the future. The brand sources environmentally friendly materials that are 100% sustainable, and every garment is screen-printed by hand using water-based inks on organic cotton. ITM also works with local businesses to support its sustainability mission, and as it continues to develop, the brand are hoping to move into bigger premises while maintaining their message: putting others first. “Its our biggest driver,” Miles says. “Everything we do has a personal touch, from the note included inside the packaging to the surprise t-shirts we send as a way of a thank you to those that have supported us.
“We’ve produced thirteen designs so far and want to double that next year,” he continues. “We want to collaborate with established names in the industry — especially people who are advocates for charities. We’d like to produce a series of clothing designs that resonate with people, while raising money for some good causes. Conversations are already taking place — watch this space.”
Looking even further forward, the brand hope to bring together its community at ITM events and develop their website’s chat series, which is set to feature Ministry Of Sound resident Mark Wilkinson on the next instalment. “It would also be good to do some pop-up shops,” Miles adds, “and most importantly, continue to share music with everyone.”
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