Celebrating its 10th anniversary this past year, Copy is a streetwear label that’s been on Format’s radar for quite some time. Murphy Martines, owner and lead designer of the line is a thinker who draws on various inspirations from early 90s sportswear to contemporary art. With an optimistic outlook on life and a bright future, Martines takes a more time-honored approach creating a solid collection for SS09.

“I took inspiration from early 90’s sportswear and edgy abstract contemporary art.”

Format: Please tell us who are you and your role at Copy?
Murphy Martines: I am the owner/designer. I been designing and doing art for most of my life. Copy is my latest creation and outlet.

Format: How has the brand grown since its inception in 1998?
Murphy Martines: It’s grown into an actual brand and business with seasonal deliveries, marketing and national distribution.

Format: Who is the Copy buying demographic?
Murphy Martines: Fixed gear bike crowd, DJs, musicians, artists, designers, progressive independent thinkers who appreciate art, fashion, culture and music.

Format: Will you be releasing a video look book for SS09? Tell us about the collection.
Murphy Martines: We are planning on doing something more abstract and conceptual with the video. The collection, I took inspiration from early 90’s sportswear and edgy, abstract, contemporary art.

Format: You’ve noted details, thought, expression and execution as the differentiating factors of Copy to other fashion labels. Tell us about your process.
Murphy Martines: Everyday I collect ideas for the line; I continuously research through travel, shopping, books and the Internet. I put everything in my sketchbook and basically use my book as my idea guide. I build a line plan and design into the plan. I have a rack of clothes that I reference and make sure I execute the ideas I have collected; I try not to miss anything. I do the color story first, fabrics, then sketches. After I design the whole range on Illustrator, I put the color cads on the wall and review the line with my wife and we make changes. After a couple rounds of that I go and make the tech packs. Then the packages go out to the factory.

Format: You have a soccer aesthetic. Agree or disagree?
Murphy Martines: I played soccer since I was five through college so I agree. Funny you noticed.

Format: You’ve said you make really expensive t-shirts. Why so pricey?
Murphy Martines: The tees are cut and sew like any other garment, each shirt is unique in it own way. Plus I don’t make that many so I guess they are “limited edition.” Basic tees are cool too I just wanted to do something different.

Format: Where is Streewear headed?
Murphy Martines: It’s becoming more diverse in product mix and brands are becoming more sophisticated. It will soon be taking real estate in major department stores and merging into boutiques in the contemporary markets to the urban markets. I hear it from retailers everyday.  It is the modern day version of casual sportswear. 

Format: Copy is distributed in Cali, NY, Berlin and Australia. Have you approached the Asian market?
Murphy Martines: We have distributed in Japan and other Asian markets in the past.  Now we are looking to work with one major distributor that can help with marketing and be a brand manager in those countries. We need someone who understands our global marketing and distribution strategy and can execute it for us.

Format: Do you have any collaborations in the works?
Murphy Martines: Nothing solid right now but we have some really exciting projects in the works. I just can really talk about them until they are done deals.

Format: Where will Copy be in five years?
Murphy Martines: A global fashion brand.

Jules C

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