!Note updated 7/27 due to drafting errors!
Anthony reached out to us back in December of 2020 and now he is in the midst of the launch of his second collection: “pure sonics.”
Though some say forms of media like Instagram are dead, the continual use of such platforms has signaled a rise in small, youth-owned businesses. Whether that is Forex “teachers” (ick!), curated vintage and deadstock shops, dropshippers (can y’all be creative for once?), or hand crafted jewelry shops on Depop.
me @ dropshippers
And these microbrands manifest in a variety of different ways. I’ve been observant of brands that are merely a phase for the founder, something they either fastened to as a trend or something they embraced too quickly. Others often emerge without a clear voice or have some claim to success either from going viral or from having a popular face despite being surface level. And very few blossom with a clear sense of self and direction. Anthem represents the latter, with a leader who invests in all areas of business and creativity.
O: Who are you? And what is anthem?
A: My name is Anthony, I’m 19 and currently live in Ohio. Anthem is my brand I started around 2 years ago but has only been public for a little over a year.
O: Some brands focus on specific items or cultivate certain themes within a wide cast of pieces. For Anthem’s latest release was there a certain item that came into focus and how have overarching brand visions, for lack of better words, been explored with this latest collection?
A: For sure the e30 m3. Genuinely one of my favorite things ever designed. I have had a poster of one on my wall since I was like 14, so getting to use it for the lookbook was crazy. I also knew going into it how much that specific car has been used for a ton of similar media. So I really wanted to reference it in subtle ways on the clothing but still pay homage beyond just the lookbook. I feel like anthem lives perfectly in that space in between, very reference heavy and narrative driven but it’s not always obvious unless you put things together. It made me discover I really enjoy making things that are objectively cool but are still a loaded image. Even if you don’t read into the overarching narrative it still just looks tight.
O: 80s-90s auto racing was a big source of inspiration. I’ll admit I’m not a car buff, but when I hear those words my mind drifts to early Fast & Furious films and fixations on BMW’s E30 as seen in pop culture by the likes of Frank Ocean and Tyler the Creator. Why the 80/90s auto racing?
A: The look and aesthetic of it all has just consistently been my favorite for a while. I have always been really into cars, but that specific period in time is where I enjoy things visually the most. Especially a lot of the typefaces and color schemes on the liveries from that era.
O: Tell us more about yourself. Anthem is more or less an extension of you, but what else fuels you? Family, friends, school, work, etc.?
A: My biggest motivation is just being a good person at the end of the day. I feel like when I’m at peace with myself on a personal level I create my best stuff, so it all just kinda goes hand and hand. I also have a really great family, super super blessed.
O: I know ethical manufacturing and pursuing organic connections are of importance to you. There has obviously been more spotlight on ethical fashion, how does Anthem fit into that? As for the matter of authenticity, how have you and or how are you navigating the path towards creating a more honest relationship with your consumers and building relationships amongst your general audience?
A: I just try to be as real as possible. I don’t necessarily want anthem to be marketed as an “ethical brand” because I don’t love the idea of using that practice as a sales pitch. I feel like brands and people should just make that effort out of pure motivation and to progress the industry in a positive direction. I do the best I can with my available resources to make as ethical clothing as possible for me and my footprint. That’s all I can do and I hope people see that.
pure sonics 2021
O: If you wouldn’t mind shedding light on the production process. From gathering ideas to shipping out orders.
A: I try to find inspiration in everything genuinely. I like museums a lot and just walking around new spaces in general. I get a lot of my ideas when I’m not actively thinking about clothes. As far as shipping and production, I do it all in house. I process all orders and intern at the place where I get everything printed. It’s a really great opportunity and I’m pretty stoked to be able to oversee everything to that degree.
O: Covid has had an impact on businesses across the board. How has the pandemic negatively or positively impacted your business?
A: I think in a very positive way it raised a lot more interest in the industry as a whole. For me personally it didn’t really affect anything because my brand has only existed during the pandemic which is kind of weird ahaha.
O: Is there any way that your life as a student and or young adult informed the way that you operate?
A: I just try and always make sure I’m doing things for the right reasons. I personally didn’t really love school because the work never felt fulfilling. It never felt like I was doing anything with the right intentions. So I look at anthem with a way different frame. If I ever feel like I’m doing this for monetary reasons and not passion then I’ll just stop doing it.
O: This, of course, is your second release, congratulations again. What would you say to other young designers looking to build a brand?
A: Thank you so much! I would say just try and never get too high or too low on your work, just enjoy the process and what you’re doing in the current time. Everything happens for a reason!
O: Why have you invested so much energy into Anthem, where does the importance lie? Perhaps a particular end goal? As the director and editor in chief of Operation Four, there are moments of intense doubt where I have to emerge days or even weeks later to reckon with my love for our mission. Have you encountered similar situations or emotions?
A: My motivation derives from just genuine enthusiasm for the craft itself. My only goal is to be able to continue doing this my entire life. And yes I did a ton on this last collection! I feel like that’s the condition of every beginning artist for a while unfortunately.
O: With an endless amount of resources at your disposal, how would you funnel it into Anthem?
A: Build a giant artist campus in Utah and make cool stuff with my friends.
O: You actually reached out to us, why Operation Four?
A: The magazine is sick and you seem like you all really genuinely care about it!!
O: This is your space to say anything to our audience:
A: Hope you’re having a good day, I’m a very boring person. I’m sorry.
Anthony certainly is not boring and neither is Anthem. If anything you should sit with what it means create. To centralize one’s own enthusiasm under the prospect of a lifetime of creation. As Hallmark-y as this may sound, Anthem tells a story of finding inspiration, peace, and passion.
Shop Anthem’s new collection until August 1st at: https://www.anthem-forever.com/
And follow us & Anthem on Instagram for updates at: