Meet Your Maker: Benny Turner from The People Vs.
Born with the desire to make high quality, vintage inspired fashion fundamentals, The People Vs. has come along way since first starting out as a small boutique in the busy alley ways of Bali. Venturing via New York City and now settling on the shores of Sydney, the label continues to blend the worlds of art, music, surf and streets through their innovative cuts and surf-punk nostalgia, and certainly is not stopping any time soon.
We caught up with the team to learn more about the inspiration behind each collection, what tunes get the creative juices flowing, the specific design process behind each product, and ofcourse, the label itself. Introducing Benny Turner, Creative Director at stand-out streetwear label, The People Vs.
Thanks for catching up legend! How’s everything going in your neck of the woods?
Good brother, we’ve been pretty busy at the moment! Obviously coming into the Summer season the pressure has started to ramp up as the weather does.
You guys started with a small space in Bali, where is the TPVS HQ now?
The People Vs. dream was born from a desire to make high quality, vintage-inspired, fashion fundamentals. We began with a small boutique space in the alleys of Bali. 3 years on come Sydney via New York City, our main Head Office is located down in the south of Sydney.
Describe your workspace?
You have relaunched the label with us this season, tell us what makes the new styles so special?
We pride ourselves on providing a product that is different to everyone else in a cluttered marketplace and spend a really long time developing washes, print and dye techniques so that our garments always look & feel distinctly The People Vs. Our tops feature super lightweight fabrics with soft vintage washes, sand-blasted treatments, cracked prints and our signature hem rip detailing. Our bottoms with the 3-stripe pleats, custom rivets and branded leather badging. We have a great set up in Indonesia with direct access to sample rooms that we can develop our new treatments for each season. This is a big focus for us here at the brand.
Which pieces would we see you wearing, any favourites?
I’ve got quite a plain style but in particular I love our Ripped Denim Gussett shorts and our Moth-eaten Basics Collection.
What’s the inspiration behind each collection, travel, lifestyles?
With a collective passion for art, music, surf and the streets we take a not-so-serious approach to garment construction and simply design the threads we simply want to wear. A lot of hours are spent trawling flea markets for silhouettes and experimenting with washing, dying and innovative printing techniques. It’s how we have established our signature detailing and hand-feel.
You said the label was inspired by many years of sifting through op shops and vintage shops, how has this shaped the brand?
Massively! A lot of our garments are inspired by printing techniques of the past we also reference colourways of the 80’s & 90’s and through our unique process called ‘boutique laundering’ we are able to make our threads looks legitimately vintage – just like your favourite beaten in band tee or denim jeans.
If you could have any icon wear the label who would it be?
I’m not that really into new cult icons but Kurt Cobain (R.I.P) would have been unreal!
How does a day in the HQ begin?
A solid does of caffeine injection and let the chaos begin…
Any tunes that get the creative juices flowing and inspire the office?
We have a pretty eclectic bunch working here so the playlists spinning really depend on what day of the week it us. For me I usually work the best when there is early 90’s hard metal playing – Silverchair / Guns N Roses / Nirvana / Soundgarden etc.
Can you give us any insight on what we can expect from the next collection?
For us its back to what we do best making high quality vintage-inspired 90’s grunge fashion fundamentals for the people. We have really expanded our art program being lucky enough to have grown our family of Artists. You’ll see diversity in prints for this season as well as our price point has becoming sharper. We have also expanded our signature Easy Boardie range to include our surf friendly trunks as well as a Fixed Waist option.
Describe The People Vs. team in 3 words?
Love, peace, streets.
Give us a brief history of Ben Turner.
I started my career as a design assistant at Marcs menswear before quickly moving over to Ksubi as their denim designer in the heyday. This immensely helped to shape my skillset around denim + youth fashion as well as working in one hell of a fun environment. After that I did a bunch of freelance projects between Sydney and Bali coming back 5 years later to work in the General Pants Co. Head Office as their house brand designer & buyer before starting The People Vs.
Any work travel coming up?
I’ve just got back from Indonesia where our factories are based and will head back over there again in the next month. I work constantly between the 2 regions and will be venturing into Japan for the next buying trip.
How do you wind down from a big week at work?
Couple of cold of ones off the wood on a Friday night starts it right.
Tell us how you choose certain fabrics, styles and cuts for your garments and what makes them so different to some of the other labels on the market?
We tend not to follow trends but tread our own path. The main way we choose our fabrics is through the washing and dye testing to see how they react with different treatments. From that we choose the cuts and tailor them to suit the specific fabrics. We tend not to recreate the wheel each season, but evolve our garments with our signature detailing setting us apart.
Tell us about the people program?
Our People program reinforces our distinct take on the world. Unlike your typical surf brand with team-riders, we have instead developed a network of globally based modern creative to work alongside. These ambassadors are our family and help to push the boundaries of our brands identity including an array of artists, cinematographers, photographers, directors, bloggers, musicians and DJ’s.
Tell us about the process from first putting pen to paper designing a garment and then eventually seeing the finished product?
Blending contemporary streetwear with retro surf-punk styles and vintage rock band nostalgia, we map out a bunch of references of which we’d like the Collection to look like. From that our Artists will develop the seasonal artwork and we’ll create a colour palette for the season to work with. I then normally trawl the op-shops for fabric references. We then test these colours and new print techniques to articulate them onto finished garments adding new styles for the season.
Next big thing to come out of The People Vs.?
This is a really exciting Summer for us launching our Womens Collection with SurfStitch. We’ve had our Mens selections online for a few years now so will be great to have more of a presence with our fashion forward uni-sex options. In terms of the Menswear, we’re particularly excited about this drop with our graphic acid-washed longsleeve tees, super lightweight printed rayon Stevie Shirts s well as a killer selection of our signature Easy Boardies.