Its Not Me Its You, London

Little Bit Stressed. Not Depressed. In My Pyjamas I Am Dressed.

Happy New Year....to this blog. Wow, our last post goes back to December (that time that Huffington Post tried to ruin our Christmas, good times!). It seems like a lifetime ago.

Right, right, right. What has been happening since we last heard from each other? Well, Princess Kate has had another baby (scoop!) and London Fashion Week came and went, twice. But you know how we feel about LFW. And, as you have guessed, we have been busy. Hence the lack of posts on here.

So the news, shall we do it in pointers? Ah, go on then!

  • First and foremost, what concerns you guys. We have changed our shipping prices.
    We have implemented a £2 shipping charge to the UK. The EU, which was at £8, will also have a £2 shipping price. The Rest of the World will drop from £10 to £6.
  • The website is going to be back to 'full throttle'.
    Yes, we have been busy but we now have a new member to the team who is dedicated to the website. Basically, we will be going back to how it was. New stuff made, new stuff on the site. So stay tuned as slogans and colours will be constantly updated.
  • We are coming up to our 3rd birthday (practically potty-trained).
    Keep an eye on here as we will be doing something special.

That is all for now. Ah, crap, loads of new slogans on their way too. There was one that I liked that didn't pass the 'Jems/Kitty Test' which....well, I'll let you decide. How about a coinpurse with 'Don't pee on my tent and tell me it's raining!'?

Let us know.

INMIY.x. 

An Open Letter to the Huffington Post

Here is our response to an article about one of our bags that appeared on the e-paper on Christmas Eve. They said they will get back to us on Monday.

Hi, my name is Billi and I design accessories. Actually I run, along with Kitty and Jems, a small independent label called ‘It’s not me, it’s you’. We started a couple of years ago with a pretty basic philosophy: handmade by us, leather, slogans that may bring a smile to our customers’ faces and all made in London. That way, as a designer, I can oversee production and, why not, keep our carbon footprint to a minimum. All was hunky-dory until Kitty sent me an email from Topshop. We have a small concession with them.

Here I want to make it very clear that I speak on behalf of my label and not for Topshop. The email was requesting that we pull one of our bestselling slogans – Stressed. Depressed. But well dressed. A writer had published an article on the Huffington Post making quite a big claim. It would seem that we were, via aforementioned slogan, using mental health issues in order to flog a bag. And you know what happened when I read it? Get this, it made me depressed, in the real sense of the word. That is ‘sad’, ‘unhappy’, ‘dejected’. You see, I can be depressed (‘dispirited’ or ‘discouraged’, if you like) and not ‘suffer from depression’, which is how some articulate the mental health issue in question. But was I sad because someone didn’t like our stuff? No. You can’t please everyone, different folks different strokes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that jazz. I was depressed for journalism. Or rather, that this DailyMailesque trolling was masquerading itself as journalism. You see, they ran with the headline “Topshop’s ‘Depression’ bag….”. Right there, two mistakes. It is not Topshop’s bag and depressed is very different from depression. Words are a journalist’s only tool and a good journalist uses them well. Here they were being used incorrectly. ‘Depressed’ is an adjective that describes an emotional state, like ‘happy’, ‘confused’, ‘cheerful’ and can fluctuate throughout the day. ‘Depression’ is a state of mind that is not easily broken. But then again, who would have read an article with the headline “Small independent handbag label uses the word ‘depressed’ within a slogan on a handbag”? That wouldn’t get a retweet, now would it?

But the headline was just a preview for the complete lack of real journalism that was to follow. Lucy, whose tweet was the source of the piece and works for the paper, was awaiting a response from the brand – as stated in the article – yet no-one had been in touch with us. Was this an attempt to make us look as if we were cowering from the claim that was being made? We had to request an audience. Had Lucy simply turned the offending purse around she would have seen our brand’s name embossed across it. When we did contact Lucy and Brogan, the former’s response was ‘Ah, apologies. I was unaware you were the manufacturer..’ So, absolutely no research had gone into typing up an article that was making quite a massive, and very erroneous, claim. Zero. Research. But enough about the incompetence of the piece, let’s move on.

The article is not the first in a line of stories attacking the high street in recent months. The shops down Oxford Street seem to have become somewhat of an easy target for the more “controversial” in Twitterlandia, and subsequently for journalists who use the social network as if it were the voice of the nation. From our perspective, a small British label, Topshop has been nothing but supportive of us. They took the risk of taking on an unknown brand because we are made in London and they believed in our vision. They have also given us a level of freedom to create pieces for our customers and now they are bearing the brunt of a decision we made. It is a bit unfair. Also, had Lucy done some research she might have stumbled across the long list of ethics that the store hands out to each concessionary. No matter.

In any case, the article seems to be a miscued attack at Topshop, a big name on the high street, so who cares if they pull one of their items? Yeah, we took on the big name and we won for the people. Maybe big brands can take a hit like having a bestselling item being pulled, I’m sure they are used to this game, but can we say the same? Time will tell. Again, all is fair game if we were actually crude enough to use something like a serious mental condition to sell a fashion accessory. This brings me back to the philosophy we started out with, that is, our choice of slogans is done consciously and with the aim of speaking for the carrier and not to them. The hope being that it may be a point of conversation for the bearer. That is, we started with the intention of actually making the world even a teeny-weeny bit more cheerful for our customer. A bit more light-hearted. Not depressing. Yet, we are now being accused of trivializing mental health issues. It really is a strange, old world.

The second question I asked myself was why Lucy picked up on that slogan. If she was in the mood to completely misinterpret the phrases we use, I guarantee that she would have had an easier job with the likes of ‘You can’t sit with us’, ‘Too many freaks not enough circuses’, ‘When you grow up your heart dies’, ‘Normal people scare me’, ‘You can’t airbrush personality’, ‘Part unicorn’, ‘I am the designer of my own catastrophe’….the list goes on.

Finally, let us pretend that everyone did interpret the slogan as Lucy did – that we are trivializing a mental health issue – then here is a real journalistic question she could have tackled. Why is something trivializing depression a best seller? Now, that is an article I would like to read – obviously if some real insightful research was carried out before writing.

Just for the record, my favourite slogan that we use is ‘Don’t believe everything you think’.

We wish you all the best for 2015 and we would like to thank everyone, many who have felt the effects of clinical depression from close-up, who showed their support in this non-story.

Billi, Kitty and Jems a.k.a. Its Not Me Its You. 

p.s. The offending slogan is still available on our website.

There are two 'i's in 'imitate'.

First and foremost, how are you all doing? Second and fivemost, it has been a little while since I have been able to sit down and string a few words together. It is October. Again. Already. Time flies, Jems doesn’t. She is scared of flying. But, yes, October and particularly the 27th is a bit of an occasion for us. Our little bag-gig we have going on from our Eastend factory will be two years old. I will get around to blogging about that but today I want to write about something else.

About a week ago I was out, like out out, in London with a friend (no, not Jems or Kitty). This friend is someone I know from my days working on the high street. As an accessories’ designer. We were out and we were having some drinks. And we were talking about bags. He decided to show me an image that one of the high street stores had sent him. It was of a bag. And the instructions were to design something similar for their in-house range. The image was an INMIY bag.

This is nothing new in the industry, even though I have my views on the matter. There is pressure on high street designers, like buyers, to hit targets. This creates a wide variety of labels and ranges of, well, sameness. If something is selling, it will be copied. Fair enough, not much you can do about it. The problem is that these big boys are more front of mind than us littluns, so they will generally wipe up the market until there is nothing left for their "greed-filled bellies and consciences (if they had one) swamped in the sweat of little child-labourers" to lick up.

So instead of being shocked at my friend’s revelation – I wasn’t shocked because this kind of thing happens a lot more than you would think – I asked him why they had chosen an INMIY bag for him to ‘draw inspiration’ from. He was simply told that the concept was strong. And in that moment I really wasn’t bothered. You know why? Because when they do rip something off – these big boys are in for making a quick quid from the latest trend – they do it so badly. It has happened that a very big online label called us in for a meeting and to show our wares only to politely decline a collaboration and then launch their own stuff in PVC. They were the ones that approached us. It was for us to decline. No?

We started with the intention to create Italian leather goods in London that are affordable and may even inspire the owner via the slogans we choose. You see, we listed down what we stood for (manufacturing in the UK, affordable, quality materials, uniqueness) and what we wanted to do (produce here so we have complete control on every step of the process, find slogans that resonate with us and girls who think like us).

So, there is a little insight I just wanted to get off my chest. The high street labels a lot of the time are not trail-blazing but simply ‘finding their inspiration’ from fringe trends. By all means, let’s inspire each other but an INMIY is an INMIY because of what we stand for and for the reasons we chose to stay in London to make our stuff, that is something the high street won’t imitate because they can save a lot of moolah by manufacturing in Asia.

And, it is not only the high street. Do you remember Jeremy Scott’s A/W 2013? Jim Phillips certainly did.

 

INMIY.x.

A real Jem.

A strange one this but it was Jems who requested that I write something. I did blog once about who Jems, Kitty and I are. And I did mention about my unnaturally weak wrists and Jems' rather strong hands. That is why she heads the production side of things, leather can be a real bruiser. But I am here now to give you a little more information on our Jems. You see, she is the model you see on our website. And she pointed out something when she saw this week's photo-shoot for new stuff for the website. "Billi, I make some of the bags look smaller than they are!". Jems is 5'9" and has incredibly long hands. They are as long as they are strong. I think they are quiet elegant, except when she flips me the bird. I have never seen a middle-finger stretch so far. And there you have it, Jems, our very competent model, does have freakishly long hands. In any case, all measurements are in the blurbs of each product, so you can work out how long her hands are if you have nothing better to do.

 

Right, so I have been a girl of my word and blogged this for Jems. Oh, yeah, I have added loads of stuff to the site. And, in other INMIY news, you remember the slogan tees we were planning, well, production has started. Stay tuned!

INMIY.x.

Flash.

What comes to mind when you hear that word? Flash. For Jems - who is bouncing about at Glastonbury - it would probably bring 'flood' to mind. It would seem that there may be a massive downpour tomorrow at the festival. Kitty has just shouted 'Gordon' when I asked her. I shouted 'Gophor' in reply. She quickly quipped back with 'Drinks'. Yes, that is how we pass the time here in the factory. A laugh a minute since the radio broke. Seriously, though, need to get the radio fixed. 

But 'flash' can also bring 'sale' to mind. And today I will be putting up a few things online at half price, si si? Just a mini sale of some bits that we have here. So stay tuned! Ja?

 

INMIY. x.

Gla-stock-bury

HELLO INMIYers! GOOD TO BE HERE! Ok, I'll get off the stage* and put down the mic** and get on with this first blogpost since early May.(*chair, **broom).

Yes, it has been a few weeks. Busy, we've been busy but that is no excuse not to write, right? Anyway, we are all set for Glastonbury, or rather State of Disarray - our latest stockist - will be showcasing some of our stuff. I won't be able to make it down but Jems is ready with her bike in case more stock is needed. It will be good to see how Glasto reacts to our wares. 

We held the BILLIs on the 23rd of May in Pearl's Court (she's our old lady neighbour with a terrace out the back). I won 'Best Designer' again. Although I was hoping to get 'Best Personality' but that went to Kitty. Jems got 'Best Dance Moves' and celebrated by, no not dancing, but necking her G&T on the "stage" and throwing the glass into a nearby bush. Love winning, and who would've thought all you need to do is make up an awards ceremony!

So, I just wanted to see how you are all doing. I am updating the website today so be sure to have a browse and I will be in touch soon!

INMIY.x.

Glitchy and Scratchy

Hey, did you know that we only use Italian leather? Hey, did you know that we make all our stuff in London? Hey, did you know that when we come up with a new idea we can make it straight away, yep, because we have a factory in London - I have already mentioned that - and we actually are the ones that make it? Hey, did you know that we come up with new slogans and designs regularly and put them online pretty sharpish? Hey, did you know that I read a book on marketing and it said that I should always focus on the positive aspects of the brand?

But you can't have positives without negatives, then everything would just be, I don't know, neutral. We had a little negative issue in the last few days and I am here to report that all has been resolved. Those of you that have followed the blog for a bit know we like transparency. And some of you had problems trying to make an order through our site last weekend (if using card, PayPal was fine). We were able to pinpoint the issue on Bank Holiday Monday. It was to do with a reconfiguration done by the bank, and guess what banks do on a Bank Holiday? Basically, if you made an order - by card - our system could not redirect the payment as our code in the bank had gone AWOL. Therefore, if you were concerned that your ID had been robbed or other horrible things, do not worry! Your payment failed, and your details are safe. Si si? It was a redirection issue so it was bouncing back to you via a screen saying "Error" or something.

Yeah, so it was a bit crap for you, for the fact that it happened on a Bank Holiday, and for us as we like glitch-free online services, alas we had our first glitch. It won't happen again - at least, not an issue with the bank. Oh, yeah, we will be hosting the second edition of the super BILLI awards soon. So stay tuned as we may be adding categories!

As for books on marketing, well, I think people are finally waking up and actually making their own choices (yes, I still have loads of faith in the human race!).

That is all.

INMIY.x.

 

P.S. Crap, almost forgot, yeah we have loads of new slogans coming out really soon and we are ready for Glastonbury. Bacio!

Catastrophic

I shall be brief*.

INMIY.x.

 

*Ah, I thought I had you. Right, just a quick update on all things in INMIY-landia. We are gearing up for the summer which will arrive any year now here in London, so I am told. We have some new slogans out soon. All correct, spelling-wise. Yeah, we had our first spelling glitch which was spotted by Gillian (a FB follower) before it left the factory. Catastrophy or catastrophe? Yep, it is catastrophe like apostrophe and not like geography, philosophy, biography, calligraphy, stereophotography, crystallography, macrophotography, photofluorography, rechromatography and xeroradiography. It could have been catastrophic. Well, not really that bad as we were caught at the early stages and we do a lot of slogans, but yeah, some leather was lost. Needless to say we have amended this error and all steam ahead. 

Kitty saw Kate Moss this week at the launch of her Topshop gig - by accident, Kitty was there to restock. Crap, sorry, I am here to write about news. Um, we got Cosmopolitan UK's "most liked on Instagram" this month and they printed it in their mag, that was nice. I like printed press. Nowadays everything is on a screen. So, yay! And a new piece has been added to the site. So, all thumbs up! I will be back with some more big news soon, basically it's a work in progress and I have promised to keep my mouth shut! Damn! And soon we will have the second edition of the BILLIs, so stay tuned!

 

Special guest.

I shall be brief. Tomorrow itsnotmeitsyoulondon.com turns one. There is a small giveaway. I will let our special guest explain.

 


INMIY.x.

Tee is for timing.

Rolling. In my 5 point Oh. This is, like, my third post in as many weeks. Wow! Am I morphing into one of them blogging creatures? Scary! I am sure Kitty and Jems won't let that happen. And it is kind of hard to write when they have me shackled to the drawing-board. I am sure there is some law against that, too.

As usual I am here to give you some news, yes INMIY-centric but news nonetheless. If you want non-news, well, just read the Daily Mail or something, I dunno - speaking of which, how is Kardashian doing, by the way? (I don't call her 'Kim' because that brings to mind North Korean dictators with dodgy haircuts - crap, I am not allowed say that!) Is she still keeping up? Anyways, on the subject of non-news, Kate Moss launched a new range for a high street store. The new range is her 'wardrobe autobiography' (it isn't really as there are no Playboy bunny ears in it!). Having seen it I reckon she was part of one of the fifty Red Indian tribes in a past life as she is all about Navajo patterns and the fringe leather jackets (the fringes were added to keep the flies away, she does know that, right?). After seeing her clothing range we, too, decided we wanted to do a 'wardrobe autobiography', fuck it! We hit a wall straight away. Jems only wears turquoise. How crap would a one-coloured range be? Next is Kitty. She stopped in Hackney, in 2009. She found her look then and, well, each to their own. But I wish that she would put a pair of socks on when wearing those brogues with her skinnies! And no, she doesn't really need glasses. Her eyesight is fine. Which leaves me for the 'wardrobe autobiography'. But I have not changed my clothes in two weeks seeing that I am shackled to this desk. So, it was decided to do some tees with some slogans. That is what INMIY is about, right? So far we are in the early stages. The whole prototyping.

 

The idea is there, right? Technique will come as it did for our bags (man, if I think back at our first ever bags and how far our process has come!). But, yeah, we are putting together an autobiographical range of clothing, which basically means we will be putting some rather nice slogans on some very nice tees and vests.

That is all. And remember, love your Mum and don't do drugs! Ha!

INMIY.x.

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Welcome

Its Not Me Its You is a brand of leather stuff to carry other stuff, made and printed by hand in East London. Each piece comes with a slogan. Set up in late 2012 we pride ourselves on the quality of the leather, the craftsmanship and the foil-embossed slogans. Your bag is a statement, we believe, and with a 'Its Not Me Its You' bag you will be making that very clear for all to see. You can find us here and in Topshop (London).