Fashion is inspired by various themes from nature to abstract art to even movie characters. But movie characters would often be a photo developed off the Internet. T-shirts with movie characters designed with a little bit of detail would definitely be something ‘cool’ and unique.
This is exactly what ‘Faniacs’ is all about. ‘Faniacs’ a concept initiated by five friends, Moiz Mustafa, Taher Sajjad Hussain, Huzefa Murtaza, Burhanuddin Shakir and Murtaza Mustafa is the latest addition to casual wear in Colombo. Operating as an online store, ‘Faniacs’ is moving forward to become an exclusive T shirt brand with one-of-a-kind designs.
Speaking to Life Online, two of the team members, Moiz and Taher shared how they started this concept, the progress of their designs and future plans.
Give us a little introduction about how ‘Faniacs’ began.
Moiz: There are five of us who are involved with the initiation of ‘Faniacs’. We are from the same community and we all know each other. We all are geeks of different movie characters. So I had a small idea and when I spoke to the rest of the crew they all were interested in it. We had certain criteria such as make our products exclusive and limited so that not everybody would wear the same T shirts.
Taher: We first got the idea at an exhibition which we went to. There, someone has put up a stall with illustrations taken straight off the web. I thought we could do something better with our own creativity.
What was your first appearance in public?
Moiz: We participated at Lanka Comic Con and we got the sales moving. We created the illustrations and to our surprise, all our sketchbooks and posters sold out. That was the only stock we had. We are mainly online-based and we want to be an exclusive brand who introduces new creations such as concept art to the people. Our slogan reads ‘Fans turned maniacs’.
How is ‘Faniacs’ different from the rest of the T-shirt concepts?
Taher: For example if there’s a cricket match, our Sri Lankan cricket fans would wear T shirts that would support our country. So we are trying to be the comic equivalent of it. Therefore whenever there is a movie we have the T shirts to support it. Our aim is to design T shirts with movie characters to keep up with the hype and as such our T shirts will show their passion for the movie. We don’t want to be restricted to characters but we want to produce exclusive designs. We have sizes ranging from XS to XXL and we want to keep our bulk as limited as possible.
What are your inspirations for these designs?
Moiz: Passion is characters and inspiration is exclusive art. Currently we are in a stage where we are looking at global art. We follow the movies that will be released soon, we checkout for new trends, what is popular and try to create our designs with those concepts. Comic Con took place when Suicide Squad was released and we made a ‘Joker’ poster which got sold out in an instant. T-shirts are an extension of what we do.
Who are the designers?
Taher: I do most of the designing work but we are looking at getting more people on board. We are trying to mix Sri Lankan culture, the pop culture and do something new. Our target audience is the youth but if even an elderly person is a fan of Iron Man then he is more than welcome to buy our products.
How do you plan to improve this concept?
Moiz: We are going to launch our website www.faniacs.lk and it will be our official online store. At the moment we are communicating with our customers through Facebook and Instagram. Next we are looking at a permanent delivery method and also we are planning to release our exclusive characters and designs range. We look at making designs with our logo. Our logo is a smiley which we have developed to represent the five of us involved in this venture.
So far, how is the feedback from customers?
Moiz: Customers have different tastes. We haven’t received any complaints but a few suggestions for example some ask us to add more colours to the T-shirts while a few others have asked us to introduce collared T-shirts. So we are working on it. After all it is a learning process.
What are your future plans?
Taher: We are trying to create our own artwork and sketchbooks and create our own geek niche. The comic character concept will remain. There are many movies yet to be released next year and we are working on producing new T-shirts for them.
Moiz: Our families are very supportive. We want to give shout out to Samanalie Jayasinghe who is a developer and Taher’s brother, Shabbir. In addition to that we also want to thank all our geeks and fans for supporting us in every possible way. They are the reason why we are doing this.
By Kamanthi Wickramasinghe
Pics by Damith Wickramasinghe
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