It would be less about differentiating and more about working together as creative people to evolve the country’s reputation for fashion across the globe.
Tell us a bit about Daniel Bradley- owner of BLOOM. I’m from Cape Town, born and raised. I was a skater and graffiti kid in High School and fit in to the punk rock sort of group which was big in 2006. After finishing High School, I worked at Astore on Kloof where I immersed myself into the world of men’s clothing and sneakers. Here I learnt a lot about obscure brands and fell in love with clothing. They sold great coffee table books about sub-cultures, sneakers, fashion etc that I read when the store was quiet.
I decided this was something I could try to do for a living so the following year I studied Fashion Design at DAF (Design Academy of Fashion). While studying I threw a series of parties and created a small graphic t-shirt brand called Prae. I graduated in 2012 and got my first job as a Design Assistant in Menswear at Woolworths. I worked my way up into different departments and ended up being the designer for Edition, their contemporary men’s brand. I had some amazing mentors there and was lucky enough to travel the world as part of the job.
After 4 years at Woolworths, things were getting a bit stale and I was helping out an old friend from the graffiti days who owns Shelflife. He ended up offering me a part time job as the Design Consultant for Shelflife designing all of their clothing and accessories as well as their collaboration ranges. I always had the dream of starting my own label and after leaving Woolworths in early 2017 I now had the time to do it. I spent the year working on Bloom while doing a part time business course called Business Acumen for Artists at UCT which was incredible. This has lead me to the launch of the brand at OSCS.
What triggered the idea that you are going to head up your own brand? It was unusual being a guy studying fashion in 2010. There were only two other guys at my college so most of the course work was based around womenswear. When there was a project to make a skirt I would do a pair of pants and try to push the the boundaries with menswear. As I learnt and developed so did the dream of one day having my own label. This was always the plan, it was still in the back of my mind whilst doing interviews for Woolworths, working there was to get the tools and knowledge I needed to be able do it on my own.
Have you hit any road blocks before launching your brand? If yes, how did you overcome these roadblocks. Everyone who works in clothing knows making garments locally is a labor of love. It’s very expensive and building a good relationship with your suppliers and CMT’s is so important. They become your partners in the brand and you end up supporting each other in many ways. At a large retailer like Woolworths briefing something is a simple four step process whereas when you’re on your own it becomes about 10 steps per garment.
What does the brand name BLOOM mean/ mean to you? The brand is inspired by and pays homage to my grandfather, Robert Bloomfield. He was a British gentleman who took pride in his appearance and embraced and stayed true to his passion, which was photography. The brand’s aesthetics aren’t necessarily based on his style but more on the effort he took in his everyday appearance and grooming.
What is your vision and mission behind BLOOM? I want to elevate the quality and craftsmanship of products made in South Africa and show how true design, quality and fine fabric can sit comfortably on an international level.
Deciding where to stock your brand is not an easy choice, what made you decide to go with OSCS? Cape Town is small, living here you know everybody. Matt and Mel are friends and they have done a great job at opening an upmarket streetwear meets luxury store. The guidelines of the Bloom brand book matched that of OSCS and it’s worked out perfectly.
What difference do you intend to make on the local market? The local market is so small and needs as many local brands as possible that we can be proud of. It would be less about differentiating and more about working together as creative people to evolve the country’s reputation for fashion across the globe.
Where can customers go to purchase BLOOM? Right now all of my stock is at OSCS (Orphan Street Clothing Shop) – 7 Orphan Street, Cape Town.