Worn by the likes of OG Maco and Lunar C, PALM have been consistent with their message and approach to design since the brands conception in 2016. ‘People Aren’t Like Me’ is a testament to individualism; it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, you can wear these clothes. We sat down with the humble and creative mind behind these designs, Elliot Hennessy.
After talking to Elliot for 2 minutes it becomes clear what he wants PALM to be: “I want my clothes to be worn by anyone, I want them to be incorporated into a punk rockers fit on a Tuesday or be worn as loungewear by a business man on a Sunday”. It’s clear the goal of transcending styles is one taken seriously by the brand, with glossy bomber jackets and snow camouflage hoodies both featuring in their most recent drop. The PALM community consist of a wide range of individuals rocking the clothes; from Fifa youtuber ‘Burnt Chip’ who regularly wears them in his youtube videos, to British grime artist Kamakaze, who Elliot credits as the person who gave the brand their first big break. If that wasn’t enough Elliot recounts seeing his clothes in a range of different environments, from a Derby County supporters pub, pre game, to the red camp at Leeds fest 2016. It’s clear that this goal, in part, plays into why Elliot sees a collaboration with Nike as a benchmark of success: “Nike’s so versatile man, anyone can wear it, I find that so sick”. It’s clear that monetary success has never been the goal for PALM, the first hats manufactured when he started the brand back in 2016 never got released. “I was so gassed to get these hats, I was in London so I got my brother to pick them up. He rang me up and was saying they look sick, as soon as he sent the photos I knew this wasn’t what i wanted my brand to be” It has never been and never will be about the money or about the amount of clothes sold, PALM has a vision which they have stuck to from the very start and don’t plan on changing it any time soon.
We asked about the personal touch PALM has. A quick look at their Instagram page shows the life of a creative who wants to keep things casual. Posting stories in a way you’d expect someone to do on their personal account to friends. “There isn’t really any brand where you know the people running it, their mindset and where they wanna take it. My captions are me talking, it means you can see the brands progression when you scroll through the palm feed. With palm, if you followed today you would know who I am and would know the direction I wanna take the brand in with a quick flick through”. He’s right, the personal touch brings something to PALM that other brands simply fail to do, even smaller brands are quick to keep everything uber professional. Its nice to have a relationship with a brand that goes further than a simple transaction of money and goods, its different.
We got on to the topic of influencers expecting the obvious, Palace, Nigo, Supreme etc etc. We were wrong. Rather than hearing clothing brands or designers, Elliot listed only American hip hop artists “Mac Miller, Kid Cudi, Kanye West 100% – Kanye west in every stage, from late registration to yeezus” I suspect that rather than being materially influenced by these individuals, Elliot borrows from their individualistic approach. Throughout all three vast discography’s there remains a constant; all three artists promote the message of being who you want to be.
The individualist approach favoured by these artists runs deep throughout PALM. “it doesn’t matter what other people think of your garms, be yourself. My whole ethos is that you’re not strange, everyone’s a fucking weirdo, because we are all weird in our own way we are all the same.” This militant view on the entitlement to self expression doesn’t come with it a view that others aren’t allowed to question your style. Elliot is a firm believer that everyone is entitled to critique a style, or a piece of clothing. If you take that to heart its a problem for you to deal with. In fact, Elliot welcomes the criticism “disagreeing is actually a good thing, if you think my clothes are shit and i think yours are too, than perfect, we are going to have a good conversation about it”. You’d be forgiven for thinking this is just talk, but this mentality clearly plays out in his relationship with his dad. Later, we asked Elliot if his parents understood what he was doing and if they liked the brand, Elliot replied with a fond look on his face: “My dad hates the clothes I wear. He still has absolutely no idea why anyone would buy the clothes I make, it’s funny, I like going downstairs ready to go to the football and hearing him say ‘i’m not going anywhere with you looking like that’ I do the exact same to him, that’s the whole point of PALM, be who you want to be and if someone doesn’t rate it than that’s absolutely fine, I’d be far more concerned if my dad liked the clothes I wore and made to be honest”.
Designing clothes isn’t an easy task, especially when refusing to follow paths already laid for you. Inspiration for Elliot comes from all sources, most of which are subtle. Whether it’s the problems in the natural world; culminating in his desire to create a “stop PALM oil” hoodie, or simply wanting to show support for small businesses who have helped Elliot mould PALM into the brand it is today, the outcome is always the same – a versatile, clean garment. Having sole creative control allows his mind to run away with what he feels is right, designs are never fixed until they’re made. A complete remodelling may occur in the early hours of the morning. Elliot is not afraid to criticise his own work and make changes, anything less than perfect will not be accepted.
Keep your eyes peeled for the PALM S/S 19 drop, featured in photos, coming June 2019.