Streetwear brand ilabb are celebrating a decade in business. Image supplied.
A lot can happen in a decade and streetwear brand illab are celebrating the fact that they’ve survived ten years and have gone from strength to strength. For a brand that was founded right before the recession and were still finding their feet as things were rough going globally, illab founders Matt Saunders and Seadon Baker are grateful taking the risk on their business and all their hard work paid off. Going into their tenth year the brand are in their strongest position yet.
“We’ve had some gnarly years and learning curves but we are in good stead for the next decade,” says co-founder and creative director Matt Saunders. “We’re steadily expanding into Australia, have just opened a new store in Queenstown and have a strong family of world-class athletes representing the brand – we feel like we’ve hit our stride and will make some big gains in this next chapter.”
The brand was originally conceived as a motorbike decal business before developing into action sports-inspired streetwear and accessories. Currently ilabb has three retail stores and 90 stockists throughout New Zealand and Australia as well as customers around the world via their online store. Brand ambassadors from drifting, freestyle skiing, motocross and mountain biking have also helped to further ilabb’s profile.
Many of those sportspeople are at the top of their game like drifter Mad Mike who ilabb are excited to work with. Partnering with action sports heroes has opened up some great collaborative opportunities. “It was pretty surreal to sign some of the heroes that we looked up to when we were young – and who we still look up to now,” says Saunders. “We’re still blown away by the talent we’re lucky enough to partner with.”
As is ilabb’s style, the team recently celebrated their decade in business with an epic party. The brand also have limited edition t-shirts for sale that commemorate their first 10 years and feature reprints of their most popular graphics.
“We’re really excited with what we have achieved over the years, even though at times it hasn’t felt like we’ve been making much progress at all!” adds Saunders. For us, our biggest achievement is the family of people that we work with: our ilabb team, fans and customers, suppliers and collab partners. It’s wicked that we’ve found people who “get” what we do and are willing to get on board with it. Our mantra has always been “We’re in this together” and that will never change.”