Founded by a young Bahraini entrepreneur, Free Minds is a clothing brand that focuses on delivering expressive and loud designs that manifest from Arabian culture. They promote an open-minded Arabian movement, shaped by the new generation, one that is determined to express individuality and original ideas.
The founder Abdulla gives us an insight to more about this clothing line.
Tell me about how you got into designing, when did you start and what has led you to where you are now?
Starting a clothing brand was never something I had always dreamed of doing. At the time, I did not have a passion for fashion or clothing, but I had a strong passion for business. For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a businessman and have my own company. It is something I not only love, but dream and constantly think about day and night. I always knew that I would end up starting my business at an early age, but I had no idea it would be an arabian streetwear brand.
I believe in taking advantage of opportunities, and that is how Free Minds Clothing started. I was always fond of how artists were blending arabian culture with westernised cultures, and that is what led me to start my clothing brand. I knew that it would be something that north american consumers will be curious to see, and that arabian consumers would be excited to see, and thats when the work started.
Long story short, I started the brand halfway through my university studies in Montreal, Canada. I would wake up earlier than usual, work in the morning, go to class, work between classes, work after class and continue working home right before bed. That was basically the last half of my university life, and I put in all my effort. Today Free Minds Clothing is not only an online store, but is also sold in different retailers from several countries in the GCC and North America.
What has been the hardest part in your journey when creating your clothing line?
I had no experience using any softwares for designing, no experience building an online store, track and restock of inventory, or even the opportunity to dedicate all my time to it (because of uni). I spent countless of hours figuring out how to use photoshop and other softwares to design my products, figure out how to find the right manufacturer which can be a stressful and costly process, and finally committed to a strict schedule on how to manage my time with work, uni, and my social life.
Your work stems a lot from culture, why is culture such an integral part to your brand? How has the audience and customers reacted to it?
The whole idea of Free Minds Clothing started on my interest in the mixture of cultures. I think what is interesting with using culture in an urban and creative way is the reactions of the audience. You will always see a “half smirk” on the consumers face when they realise that the product they are looking at actually hits closer to home than the millions of other products out there. That and the chance to define “arabian streetwear” to the world is what keeps Free Minds Clothing running.
How do you define Arabian Street wear and why do you think it’s so important in the fashion business?
In my opinion, streetwear is more than just the clothing you see, but it is the culture and lifestyle that surrounds that piece of clothing or accessory. So when it comes to Free Minds Clothing, arabian streetwear is what the urban/hiphop and westernised culture would look like, if it was heavily influenced by our Arabian culture in terms of clothing and lifestyle.
What’s your favourite piece in the collection and why?
I would probably say the Black Khaleeji snapback. When i first started the designs, I focused on using the Black Khaleeji snapback as the first design prototype when looking for manufacturers, so I really feel like I have been through a lot with that product given the countless prototypes, samples, and errors, not only is it the first product, but also the most selling.
Back in the day, clothing brands had to get their collections in boutiques or own a shop, now the internet has opened endless opportunities, especially instagram where we see 100’s of accounts selling products. How has the internet had an impact on your clothing line?
The internet is what started my brand, without it I would have no idea how to design, produce, or run a business. Obviously social media is a huge plus with my clothing brand, given that I can engage or reach an audience within seconds, Instagram and Facebook have helped us actually understand our target audience and how they think, we took that information and created a whole new targeting campaign, which thankfully was a positive return!
What’s next for Free Minds Clothing?
Keep expanding our consumer reach on our online store and increase our focus on entering different international markets through retail boutiques. As for the brand and its lifestyle, Free Minds Clothing will continue to provide exceptional products and experience in different ways that reflect how arabian cultures would be if it was influence by westernised cultures. Free Minds will evolve into a lifestyle and not only a brand, with our eyes on events/music/influencers/popshops and many more, this is only the beginning for freexminds.
Find them here: https://www.freexminds.com