After the release of a heat reactive t-shirt, Waiura Takarangi talks to VYB3 about how the Australian streetwear brand, EFFN clothing, came to be the sell-out brand it is today.

From the other side of the world, Takarangi tells us how back in 2017, his artistic outlet turned into one of today’s coolest brands. The 90s inspired streetwear that EFFN produces is heavily focused on pop culture and music icons. 

Image courtesy of Wairua Takarangi
Image courtesy of Wairua Takarangi

 

All the designs are created by Takarangi himself and the inclusion of music icons comes from his own interests. “I only really design things of artists or people I have a genuine interest or personal attachment to,” he shares.

The brand has a separate website called EFFN rewind which is a collection of past designs that were once released on the main website. “Our brand EFFN rewind is printed to order so we only print what sells,” Takarangi explains when discussing how they produce limited qualities of clothing to reduce waste.

During the creative process of each new design Takarangi describes how he incorporates the artists personality into each piece; “The most effective way for me to be inspired when creating a t-shirt around an artist, is to fully immerse myself in interviews or listen to their music and get an idea of who the artist truly is.”

Influenced by the style of the streets and youth, the designer behind EFFN clothing says he doesn’t want EFFN to be another brand sprung into popularity through social media. 

As a brand EFFN demands longevity. “I would like for my brand to represent an era of streetwear that will one day be remembered as a fond memory,” says Takarangi.

EFFN is part of a whole cultural and social movement. Throwing parties to celebrate their consumers and local DJs. “We threw our recent ‘Float Party’ in our home base, Sydney to just have a good time!” Takarangi tells us, “It was great to be able to involve DJs that were close friends to us and were solid supporters of the brand when we hadn’t broken into the Sydney [apparel] scene.”

Image courtesy of Wairua Takarangi

 

When asked why these events are important to the brand Takarangi said “We want to be able to hold events to offer our supporters something more than just a post on social media.”

He explained how he has seen the company as an ‘instagram brand’ for the last few years. “As well as that worked out for us, we see the value in a tangible experience that the new and OG supporters can attach themselves to, in order to strengthen our brand.”

This appreciation for consumer experience seems to follow into their product. In conversation with the brand owner, he referenced the constant cycle of brands churning out new clothes, at low quality. “It’s a shame because that represents the lifespan of the brand itself. Whereas, we started our brand inspired by the 90s quality of clothing that is still good enough to wear in today’s ages!” 

Image courtesy of Wairua Takarangi

 

It seems to be the reinvention of vintage streetwear. The majority of clothing produced in the last five years won’t survive the next decade. With industry statistics suggesting modern clothing only has a lifespan of two to ten years. With T-shirts lasting just one to two years. But brands like EFFN are taking an active approach to create exclusive pieces that can pass from our generation to the next. As all tees sold by EFFN are made from heavyweight cotton.

Most modern streetwear brands are claiming back the authenticity of streetwear as a movement. Stepping away from almost replica style streetwear readily accessible on fast fashion websites such as Boohoo and Missguided. And instead working to create quality pieces often using the ‘drops’ model.

Releasing items as drops has proved an effective way to keep hype around brands and their clothing. Historically consumers flood to be the first to get their hands on the latest drops.

This has proved a successful marketing strategy for the Australian streetwear brand. As the recent launch – of their heat reactive t-shirt in late March – sold out in just 2 minutes.

@wxirua Reply to @handoverur.toes I’m claiming best in the world lowkey. #streetwear #effnclothing #frankocean ♬ original sound – Wairua Takarangi

The concept of this shirt generated a great response with a styling video posted by Jazmine Agacaoili (@jazymadeit) on TikTok receiving 1.2 million views. Takarangi revealed to us that this shirt was an idea he sat on for over a year. And one he almost scrapped!

“It was inspired by the a 90s t-shirt design of Dennis Rodman,” he starts, “It is made of a special water-based screenprinting ink that changes colour with heat.” The tee features a print of American singer and rapper, Frank Ocean. The singers hair is printed in both pink and green which are the elements with colour reactive ink.

The reference to Dennis Rodman explains why the top features, Frank Ocean. Since 2014, singer songwriter Frank Ocean has been noticed for his ever changing hair colours. This is something the former basketball player Rodman was also known for.

Image from @dennisrodman on Instagram

When we posted the t-shirt to VYB3‘s Instagram story our followers loved it. Joel Evetts, 21, said “They’ve smashed it with that,” another comment came from Chanti Lee, 31, saying she “Bloody loves it.”

After the first success, EFFN released more of these tshirts later on in April, for an hour only and sold out within two minutes again. 

Here at VYB3 we spoke to Claire Keophonexay, who has modelled for the streetwear brand. With little prior experience she said she’d be open to more modelling opportunities after feeling the shoot with EFFN eased her anxieties. “I was worried because I barely had any experience, but they didn’t even care about that and always made sure I was comfortable and having fun,” the model described. 

Image courtesy of Wairua Takarangi

 

 

Keophonexay also expressed how she will continue to support the brand because she loves what they stand for.  “Another thing [that made me work with EFFN] was what it meant to me as a person of colour – and a young woman who has struggled with personal image – to see the diversity that EFFN incorporate into their brand,” she shares.

Before the brand came into fruition, EFFN started in – what Takarangi describes as – a small granny flat of Blacktown, Western Sydney. In 2022 the 5 year old brand has already outgrown two locations. From 2021 EFFN had only consisted of Takarangi and his partner, Mia Paranihi, but he tells VYB3 that, “Entering 2022 we have made moves that have allowed us to recruit a videographer who will help us with content and behind the scenes of the brand.”

EFFN clothing ships worldwide, to see their exclusive behind the scenes check out their Instagram and TikTok.

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