Fashion | Brand Focus: Wavey Garms
After hosting a pop-up at the end of last year alongside Sportsbanger, Fabric and FOLD, we speak to vintage streetwear experts, Wavey Garms, about the brand’s journey from exclusive Facebook group to one of the UK’s biggest vintage retailers
In 2013, Andres Branco launched a Facebook group for friends to sell vintage designer streetwear. More curated and personal than eBay or Depop, he named the group Wavey Garms, and sellers were soon meeting up to exchange the items in their local areas, while avoiding fees and the hassle of using a third party auction site.
Three months after the launch, things began to take off. “Thousands of people began joining the group every week,” Branco explains, “and I thought ‘Fuck this, this might be a proper job rather than me just flogging my old Stone Island jackets’. I have quite a strong opinion on fashion, even though I’m not from a fashion background, and I think that really shaped Wavey Garms.”
“Most people who use Wavey are generally pretty similar; they love lairy designer garms, fast dance music and having fun,” he continues. “I’ve heard many meet-ups for clothes have ended up in a mad night out, and even relationships, which is pretty cool.”
Fast forward almost a decade, and Wavey Garms now holds temporary residence in Peckham’s Holdrons Arcade, next to Balamii Radio and Yam Records. It’s only the beginning of their plans though, and after working on creative direction with Nike, New York brand Coach, alongside graffiti artist Oker, WG are seeking out a spot in central London for the store.
Branco also sees the clothes he sells as a uniform for ravers. In 2015, WG hosted a stage at Found’s Born & Bred Festival. It was a jungle and garage showcase, with huge names like DJ Luck & MC Neat, Artful Dodger, Jumpin’ Jack Frost, and Bryan Gee. Music has always been an integral part of the brand — they regularly put on raves, at venues like London’s The Cause and Five Miles — and their most recent project, the XXXmas Pop-Up, was no different.
The Christmas pop-up saw WG team up with two of the city’s favourite clubs, Fabric and FOLD, as well as bootleg champions, Sportsbanger, and Deptford’s Discworld record shop, for a fortnight-long takeover at Walkers Court in Soho. Brainstorming closely alongside his friends Frazer and Miguel during lockdown, they decided to use the XXXmas pop-up as a way to support the WG community, as well as those behind the scenes.
“It was an opportunity for our selling community to make some cash, too,” Branco says. “And to get our favourite DJs down to bang some tunes and represent the culture that shaped Wavey Garms. Doing this off our own backs, without big brands, gives us the opportunity to do it as we wish.” Other highlights of the XXXmas pop-up included other independent streetwear retailers, a DJ hotline — allowing DJs in the area to call up and book a set to play — and art exhibitions from the likes of Corbin Shaw, Chris Stead, and Ryan Hawaii.
The recent pop-up, and the events, are all part of the brand’s bigger picture. After lockdown presented the pop-up opportunity for WG, Frazer and Miguel, Branco says that as these kind of projects develop, so does the team. “We know our audience and the community,” he affirms. “And we feel that we can bring them together better than anyone.”