Get your hands on handmade South fashion


Above junior Des LaFave and senior George Muller of 612 Inc pose with their shirts. “I don’t know about other schools but maybe the artistic culture at South makes it [easier]…people are excited to buy things that their classmates make,” said LaFave on the clothing scene at South. Photo Credit: Zoë Chinander-McFaul

Zoë Chinander-McFaul, Staff Writer

Social media is full of personal clothing sales, from links to a Depop account to snapchat stories of clothes someone is getting rid of. If you’re looking for your clothing fix from a student at South High, you’re covered. But how many of these offers are just trying to make a quick buck and how many of them are serious businesses?

Junior Des LaFave and senior George Muller are proprietors of 612 Inc, a locally based clothing line. Starting around December of 2015, Muller and LaFave have been in the game for awhile. “[Muller] wanted to make fake Patagonia shirts…he wanted to sell them…but that’s not really right so we decided to create our own,” said LaFave. “Then George created the design of the Minnesota bike and that was our first one.”

The 612 Inc design method is a process. Muller designs the graphic on the computer and then prints it onto a special paper. “Basically [Muller] puts the design onto transfer paper then puts it on the screen with something called photo emulsion and [shines] a bright light onto it. [That] burns the design onto the screen,” said LaFave.

After the emulsion process, you place the t-shirt under the screen, place ink on the edge of the screen and spread the the ink over the screen with a tool called a squeegee. The ink only soaks through the part of the screen that has the image and then you have the design left behind.

Although it’s a well-known brand around South, LaFave considers 612 Inc to be more of a fun project. “We don’t [screen print] that often because we’re both busy so it’s not a real source of money. It’s just more fun to do with him and then we also end up making [a little] money doing what we like to do.”

LaFave also feels that South is an agreeable environment for independent student clothing lines. “I don’t know about other schools but maybe the artistic culture at South makes it [easier]…people are excited to buy things that their classmates make.”

On the other side of things, junior Greta Lahm is selling her old clothes independently for a few other reasons: “Partly to make some extra money and also because I don’t want to just donate the clothes because I know that donating clothes to thrift stores isn’t always the best situation,” said Lahm. “I know what they don’t sell can end up in a landfill and I want to keep clothes out of the landfill.”

Lahm’s instagram account @_2manyclothes is an online shop where her outgrown clothes are on sale for negotiable prices. However, right now Lahm is not interested in making it a business. “[I’m mostly] trying to get rid of stuff but I know there’s some people who actually can turn that into a business,” said Lahm. “So maybe in the future…but right now it’s not really a business.”

Lahm also appreciates the fashion culture at South: “I think it’s really cool, I’ve bought clothes from other people selling their clothes here and it’s just a good way to do it,” explained Lahm. “You don’t have to buy from a fast fashion place, you don’t have to pay shipping…it’s a lot cheaper and you can find some really good things.”  

More recently a student clothing line named Oct19 has come to the forefront. The designers, Eoin Irmiter and Ben Tennant, were inspired by their drawings and other designers they have seen around school or the internet. “Me and my friend [Tennant] both have an interest in fashion and we always talk about it and follow other fashion brands,” said Irmiter. “One day we just decided we should just do it ourselves and thought that we could make a really cool brand.”

Irmiter believes that South is a good place to sell student-designed clothing: “I think the fashion at South is pretty good… a lot of people are into it so it’s cool that there’s different stuff related to fashion.”

Oct19 wants people to understand that the “designs are hand drawn and [the brand is] all local and working with local people,” as Irmiter said. “So far all of the designs that you see on the shirts have all been made by Ben…he hand draws them on paper at his house and then inputs them into Adobe Illustrator and edits it and cleans it up. Then we just send the file to a guy who does screen printing. He then formats that on the shirt and does the printing for us.”

Differing from both 612 Inc and Lahm’s Instagram account, Oct19 is looking to expand their brand past high school and state lines if their business allows it. “It depends how it goes but ideally we can do it out of high school….if we’re able to keep expanding that would be cool,” said Irmiter.

However, Irmiter explained the difficulty in reaching people out of state. “The hardest thing is just getting exposure right away. It’s been going pretty smoothly for us but it’s hard to keep the growth high. We got a lot of followers right away from people in school but it’s harder to expand past that and try to get our brand out to people in other states.”

Furthermore, Irmiter has expressed interest in collaborating in the future with 612 Inc. “I’m friends with Des and George, both super cool guys and I really like their brand, we’re gonna try and actually maybe work with them in the future.”

At South it seems there’s something for everybody in terms of fashion, from the probable future collaboration between 612 Inc and Oct19 to the green, reusable style of Lahm’s @_2manyclothes. Many believe the culture of fashion at South is strong and should remain that way. “I think it’s good that people have a place to sell things they like to make at South,” said LaFave.