Meet Daniel and Sam Gabriel. They are two young creative men who have a heart for the younger generation and fashion. I have the honour of being a part of their photography session and helping them out. I decided to find out more about them and their new clothing line which is releasing early 2017.
The whole thing came about when I (Dan) was working in a fast food restaurant. I had some burger wraps sitting on the bench and the words “With Love” came to my mind that I wanted to translate the phrase into different languages. As I wrote them down on paper in Japanese, French and Greek I wondered what it would look like on a t-shirt and it all kind of snowballed from there. I went home that night and spent hours drawing different variations of the translated phrase onto T-shirt templates and I guess that’s when I decided I wanted to start up a clothing label and produce what was in my mind. I must say it was one of the most creatively raw moments I’ve had in my life so far and it’s stuck with me ever since. The next day I brought all the ideas I had to my younger brother Sam and since then we’ve never looked back, he partnered with me in creating numerous designs and concepts for the brand (more than we can count) and out of that place we’ve birthed Next Generation.
The Name “Next Generation” was really something planted in our hearts by the hand of God. The whole brand is about future thinking, building a legacy rather than an empire. We have a heart for the future generation of youth that will grace the earth and we want to do whatever we can do now in this industry to make an impression on the generations to come. The back bone of our brand name is Psalm 78:4 which is found in the bible, if you take the time to read it you’ll no doubt find out what we mean and more importantly what we’re about.
Next Generation has been in planning for about 2 years. It’s been a long and challenging process but we finally feel like we’re in the right time and season to bring our debut release to life which is what we’re planning for in early 2017.
Essentially the vision of next Generation is to see people influenced for the better, to see perspectives shift positively and to see this influence transcend generations beyond our own, it may sound like a big vision but we’re both big believers in the fact that with God anything is possible and we are really believing for this vision. The mission for us is mobilizing the vision, displaying the reality of God through clothing is what we’re setting out to do and its coming together well. We’re not out to religiously smother people, you can tell from our clothing that we are not about that but what we are about is relating with youth through clothing and fashion while at the same time incorporating the encouraging truths, statements and principles that are ultimately derived by God. We try to be more relatable than religious because that’s where you win, you win by forming a good relationship with your audience and I think if we can get that right then we are half way there in getting our vision across to people in a deeper way. If all they ever see us for is the fashion and the clothing that’s completely fine because we’re not out here to force feed anything to anyone, but again we just want to relate with people while incorporating our beliefs into it.
A massive draw card for us is that the fashion, clothing and design industry is so progressively creative. We’re both extremely creative individuals who constantly want to grow and to learn more about how we can better what we do and so this industry is the right place for it. I’ve personally found that there is no right or wrong way to design things as such. Everyone is born with their own fire and this industry is a great way to express and grows yourself. There is so much inspiration around as well, it’s quite infectious when you think about it, sure you won’t agree with everything or everyone that is doing something but that’s just life in general. We have even seen that we have something of substance to add to this industry which is why we are pursuing this avenue, we believe we can positively contribute something that will last and carry on into the next generation. It’s been an underlying interest for myself (Dan) but for Sam he’s always had that evident take towards both design and fashion. The birth of the brand has fueled and grown the passion for creative industries that we have now.
This industry inspired myself (Sam) because I just genuinely enjoy, seeing how it all works and learning more about the industry opened my eyes to how much fun it could be designing and creating a line of clothing that is completely unprecedented. For Dan and myself we see where we can make our mark on the industry and that’s what inspires us too, the sheer opportunity to do something new and pour what’s in our heads out into the world is a driving factor behind why we do what we do. Above it all its a call of God on our lives. We genuinely believe that this is what we are called to do as a creative career venture and we want to do it to the best of our ability through creative ability and Christian principle. Again, it’s something that we feel is completely unprecedented and we really want to share it with the world.
For me (Sam) people like Craig Green, Stephan Ashpoole & Christophe Lemaire inspire me (Sam) and for me (Dan) it’s people like Yohji Yamamoto, Chris Stamp, Jerry Lorenzo (real awesome one) and Steve Savocca just to name a few. They’re all pretty inspiring to say the least
Sam most definitely does a lot of graphic design and creative groundwork as well as financial projections, whereas I deal more with the business and relations side of the brand along with general planning. We complement each other in the sense that we don’t particularly operate separately but instead we aid one another in every process making it a combined effort. A lot of the time we’ll have a look at each other’s designs and add what we think may be missing, or remind one another of upcoming deadlines or schedule planning. While we have our unofficial separate roles, we work in cohesion.
Our focus is that the message we’re trying to convey in a designed piece is translated in a visually appealing manner. Our design spectrum is quite wide spanning anywhere from free hand artistry to linear and cleanly calculated prints, so when we’re designing first comes a concept that we want and the creative process that follows that is quite wonderful because it’s almost always different every time which I think is important where being creative is involved. Conceptually we really want to influence young people in the way they think and the perception have they have on what’s socially or culturally appropriate and acceptable. Getting that across is done through the designs and clothing we create which is something that resonates with a younger generation that takes to how they look and what they wear. By having (Godly) truth on display through fashion and design items we essentially have people wearing our message and wearing our concepts and something like that has the potential to spread like wildfire and when it does, so does the influence. We want to reach out and positively influence people through the vehicle of creative industries, we want people to go against the grain and think with more purpose, to believe more in themselves and what they’re capable of because God has great plans for people, all they need is the truth about it.
ENCOURAGEMENT FROM DAN AND SAM
JUST GO FOR IT. I know it sounds pretty standard and maybe even a little cliché, but it’s honestly the best way to go about it. Just have a go. Find what you want to do specifically (a niche is super important) and then find out what it is you need to do to accomplish the overall goal. Start by doing all the small (and sometimes seemingly tedious) tasks because it’s those small things that ultimately make up the progression towards the dream. Stay focused and stay hungry but also have fun, I’ve found the hardest times to design have been when there isn’t a lot of joy in my system, so don’t be afraid to take your time with things and allow these small frustrations you may face to grow you. Have a crack at it and remember that it’s progress before perfection.
I hope you enjoyed and been inspired by reading Dan's and Sam's story behind The Next Generation Label . Be sure to check them out on Instagram and be a part of movement.