Cooler Than You
This month we chat to Mars, a revolutionary designer and mastermind behind Artist Anon, Brighton’s own clothing brand. You can find his boutique at Kings Road Arches, next to the Brighton i360.
Tell us how your brand came into being?
It is all about Brighton clothing for Brighton people. I was out shopping with my son back in 2012 when he was young and wanted to buy him some new T-shirts, but all that was available was American influenced branding in every shop on our high streets. I questioned what country I was in. It was mind blowing to me when I realised that everything for his age was branded New York or Chicago or Orlando or Michigan. I explored all the shops in Brighton to find anything home branded and couldn’t. It was a real eye opener. I felt disappointed but also inspired to create something unique and home grown to Brighton.
Who are your style influences?
My biggest influences date back to the 80’s. I was brought up in the early years of hip hop. Shopping in places like Flip. I was heavily influenced by the music and people of that time like the Chrome Angelz, Brim and Non-Stop. Real heroes of the late 80’s and early 90’s graffiti scene. I used to think of myself as a graffiti artist, but I wasn’t. I would doodle graffiti in books but that was about as far as it would get.
Who buys your clothes?
Everyone from very young to old comes into the shop and we cater for all shapes and sizes. Our clothes captures the imagination of so many different people. Brighton is full of unique and interesting people who are capable of thinking for themselves rather than following the crowd.
Tell us your top three places in the city?
I must give credit to my location on the seafront and the iconic West Pier as it plays a part in so many of our unique multi layered designs, as does The Pavilion, The Helter Skelter and of course the seagulls! If you look closely at our designs, you will see all the small elements of the design are part of Brighton and its history, architecture and culture. That is why they are collected all over the world. Our skull t-shirts have been huge, and we add a new design to the collection every year we are currently on our 12th.
What do you love about living in Brighton?
It’s diversity of people who can still come together with pride in each other’s differences to unite as one Brighton. It is in my opinion truly unique because of this.