Behind the Scenes: Clinton Hughes
Next time you're at the Fremont Sunday Market, keep an eye out for locally made street wear that feels both modern and timeless.
Meet Clinton Hughes, the designer behind Oddinary, an underground, up-and-coming local menswear brand influenced by American and Japanese menswear and workwear.
With an eye for basics that're really good at being basic, dependable, and stylish too, Hughes’ designs—jackets, coats, the iconic white T-shirt— are all about fit and function, and that classic, vaguely rough-hewn aesthetic that feels totally modern. But above all, “it has to be comfortable because it’s not functional if it’s not comfortable,” he says.
An integral aspect to Hughes’ vision is his dedication to locally sourced materials. “My brand is trying to make a statement ethically through domestic production and sourcing domestic materials. I don't support the fast fashion movement even though it’s a big part of our society in America today.”
Where is your studio located?
My studio is currently located in my mom’s garage in Bothell. But all my clothes before this have been made in the East Wing at Love City Love on Capitol Hill.
What’s your earliest memory of designing?
I remember, towards the end of elementary, really being into customizing cars. Doodling automobiles and bicycles and motorcycles. Eventually, that led into me drawing sneakers. That’s probably my first memory of actually designing stuff, putting the pencil to the paper. I wanted to design Nikes, basically, and then that turned into clothing.
What do you do to get yourself in a productive headspace when you're feeling stuck?
I need to be inspired, first and foremost. Doing research, going throughout history and looking at things that inspire me from different time periods. A big one now is Instagram and how accessible all the information is. I have this book; it’s a Heller’s Café book, King of Vintage, which I draw a lot of inspiration from.
Five things you can’t work without:
- A sharp pair of cutting sheers. Nothing’s worse than a dull pair of sheers, not to mention your hand takes the strain.
- A flat working surface.
- Good lighting. A dim workspace can be super unmotivated and hard on your eyes.
- A good cup of coffee to clear my brain of haze.
- And, most importantly, music. Sometimes silence has its place, but to me, music is one of the most inspiring art forms. Not only inspiring, but it gives me energy to keep the work flow pushing. If I'm ever stuck in a rut, sometimes I turn to music production as a form of reinvigoration.
What's the best thing about your workspace?
My stuff was first showcased at Closed Circuit at Love City Love and that was really the first retail store that had me. Not only was it a nonprofit organization, it was kind of like an art collective as well. The whole Love City Love team has been helping me just as far as critique.
Where can we find your work?