Fashion | Brand Focus: No Mind Collective
In this month’s brand focus, No Mind Collective founder Ali T talks us through combining culture and creativity, a flamboyant eye for design and the importance of freedom
Since his teens, Alexander Turner aka Ali T, a graphic designer from “Scouseland”, has been collecting and studying music-related artwork and memorabilia. From ‘90s rave flyers and psychedelic posters made in the ‘60s, to hip-hop inspired streetwear and band merch, Turner has found inspiration at every corner. “Ever since I owned my first tee with a wacky graphic I knew I wanted to make clothing,” he tells DJ Mag, “I wanted the freedom to create whatever I wanted, using all my own influences to create a unique style.”
Fast forward a decade or so, and Turner now runs his own brand: Liverpool-based clothing collective No Mind, which sells graphic-focused clothing, accessories and artwork. It’s a true reflection of Turner’s magpie-esque approach to plucking inspiration, with nods to the heyday of UK rave and ‘90s culture. “At its core, No Mind brings together culture and creativity from across the decades,” Turner says. “The brand was developed to inspire creativity, and to be used as a form of expression. We want people to look at No Mind as a piece of art, to share stories and memories, and to give our audience the sense of individualism and freedom.”
In the brand’s beginnings, Turner was mainly focused on logistics. Completely new to the concept of running a brand, armed with only his knowledge of design, he was focused on establishing No Mind’s skeleton frame. He needed the brand to encompass his vision of myriad influences, while remaining practical, and it took time to get that right. “It’s definitely come into its own,” Turner says, “At first, I was experimenting and seeing what worked in regards to designs, working out stock, learning to curate the Instagram account and market the brand.”
“We’ve got our own unique style that can be recognised now,” he continues. “From the designs to the website to the social media curation, No Mind definitely has a flamboyant and weird style that stands out.”
That creativity and flamboyance bleeds into No Mind’s lookbooks, too. Each photoshoot is inspired by the designs on the clothing, with an attention to detail that pushes the theme of the collection to the next level. One of their most recent capsules, Unconditional Love, featured friends on the beach in matching tracksuits, with images for the Purple Haze co-ord set against fields of dinosaurs and planets.
“It’s not just a clothing brand,” Turner says, speaking about the importance of the aesthetics and art direction of No Mind. “It’s an expression of passion, culture and experiences that have influenced me as a designer. We work with a number of local up and coming photographers, models and musicians from the North-West too, keeping that fun and creative flare evolving.” Another recent capsule, Motto Estate Of No Mind, saw the collective team up with Manchester-based rap collective Motto Estate, and the brand has also worked alongside rising Liverpool hip-hop collective, Nu Tribe.
Sustainability is something Turner has in mind as No Mind continues to expand, too. As a fairly new, independent brand, he admits that it’s a case of learning as they nurture and grow. “We’re looking at eco-friendly blanks for some of our designs in future, and also looking at working with a brand who are members of the fair wear foundation for organic materials,” he explains. “Our packaging is now recyclable too, and all of our clothing is produced in Liverpool and across the UK.”
In the future, Turner wants to expand No Mind into a brand that offers outerwear, homeware and more accessories inspired by the subcultures he loves. Alongside a drop of new garms this year, No Mind will host two pop-up stores at Liverpool’s brand of Urban Outfitters in July, and also at the city’s own footwear festival, Laces Out, in August. “We want stock in more stores, to host our own events, with more exhibitions and pop-ups at the forefront of our mission,” Turner affirms. “We plan to take over the world.”
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