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Fashion | Brand Focus: Handy Supply Co

In the most recent Brand Focus, DJ Mag catches up with the Handy Supply Co that sells streetwear inspired by an ‘80s and ‘90s aesthetic

Four years ago, South Wales-born illustrator James Lacey, aka Pointless Illustrations, wanted a new outlet for his designs. Predominantly working on record sleeves, club flyers, stickers and merch, he decided to incorporate his love of design, and passion for skateboarding, fashion and streetwear, into a new project: Handy Supply Co.

It’s now 2021, and HSco is an established brand and arts collective, selling streetwear-inspired garments, emblazoned with the bright, signature colours of Lacey’s designs — which have also lent themselves to the likes of  Comme des Garcons and Patta NL. He recently relocated to Amsterdam, a city he says has given him a new creative push, and is constantly developing HSco. “I’m building it into a more contemporary design aesthetic now,” Lacey says. “I like the simplicity — the ‘80s and ‘90s — and our custom fits are now based on styles from those decades.”

It’s not been an easy ride, though. Since launching HSco, Lacey says it’s been an “uphill battle”, but working with artists and promoters on capsules and rebrands has ensured HSco keeps up momentum. His first merch collaborations were alongside the likes of Wolf Music and beloved festival Field Maneuvers, and he has designed tour posters for the likes of DJ Boring, Eclair Fifi, Jasper James, Ross From Friends, and Paul Woolford. With more merch launches planned alongside key players in the electronic underground, Lacey feels the brand is moving forward at a steady pace. 

“It’s all come together in the last year or so, strangely enough,” he explains. “Working with artists directly has been a dream come true, and being able to work with musicians that I listen to daily and have respected for their work is really a blessing.” In 2020, HSco collaborated with Irish DJ and producer Sally C on a collection, and labels like Dansu Discs and Lobster Theremin, and in the coming months is set to launch capsules with HAAi, DJ Moxie and Bristol imprint, Shall Not Fade.

During the early stages of the pandemic last year, Lacey used the downtime to assess Handy Supply Co as a brand, and look at making positive, meaningful change within all aspects of the design process. “We’ve been concentrating on making the brand more sustainable,” he says. “We now use carbon neutral delivery from our suppliers and makers, and our fabrics are sourced from long-since-abandoned rolls from the ‘80s and ‘90s, which we’re giving a new lease of life as bespoke pieces. We want to innovate our style, while tying back into our vintage aesthetic.”

With those new, bespoke pieces in mind, Lacey and HSco are focusing more on original garments, and collaborations, moving into 2021 and beyond. “We’ve got a slew of collaborations coming up that we’re really excited to announce throughout the year. As well as the one-off pieces, we have some really interesting conceptual clothing — along with some not so obvious products — to come.” 

Not just content with being a clothing label, or frequenting the radio airwaves, HSco are set to further embed themselves in underground electronic music, after launching as an imprint this year with Rollo — Lacey’s best friend of 10 years — serving as the first release on Handy under his moniker Maroki. “I rescued him from five years of chasing a Michelin Star, and put him back on music, which I’m pretty sure is his passion,” he says. The EP, which is out now via Handy, also features remixes from 1-800 Girls and Jensen Interceptor, and the imprint has six more artists confirmed for releases this year.

You can shop Handy Supply Co’s garments and records via www.handysupplyco.com

Amy Fielding is DJ Mag's fashion editor and digital staff writer. Follow her on Twitter here @amebbbb.

Check out some of our previous Brand Focus features with Scottish streetwear brand Mara and Xander Ghost's London-based label A Better Feeling