Tom Weatherilt sits down with Chris Henry, University of Leeds student and founder of fashion brand ‘PAX VICE’. The pair discuss the evolution of Henry’s business, and advice for other budding student entrepreneurs.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What made you start your own fashion brand?
PAX VICE really came about because I had the perfect blend of inspiration, time and boredom. Last summer, I was working an office job that I didn’t really enjoy and was frankly, boring. This boredom manifested into motivation to start my own company. I study Management so business and economics is part of my day to day, and I’ve wanted to own and run a company since I can remember. I’ve always been interested in fashion and in particular streetwear, so when I thought about what would inspire me and interest me, it was a natural decision to create a streetwear brand.
What is the meaning behind the name PAX VICE?
PAX has a literal translation from Latin of ‘peace’ while VICE refers to immoral or wicked behaviour. The two words clash, it’s a complete juxtaposition, how can you be peaceful and wicked? We wanted to bring our brand and designs to people who appreciate them, and if this is disruptive, oh well.
How many people are behind the scenes at PAX VICE as of now?
It’s mainly me and my girlfriend Holly, and we have @wheatleywords contributing to our blog as well now. We’ve got some great friends and supporters who are happy to rep PAX VICE and help us out as well. It’s good to have people behind you. I find time between lectures and assignments to work on it and can use stuff I’ve learnt at uni so far, while Holly has a degree in journalism and works in marketing.
Has your business been affected by COVID-19? If so, how?
We don’t have a shop or staff to pay so our overheads are relatively low and we operate online fully. We’re still accepting and sending out orders – the only problem with that so far is that some orders are taking a while to arrive due to delays in the post. We’d planned to hold stalls around the union as well as wider in Leeds and across the North which obviously aren’t going ahead anymore, and we’d planned to do some more photography of new stock which can’t happen as we’d imagined.
Is there someone who inspires you and why?
There’s so many great designers, cool streetwear enthusiasts and entrepreneurs to look up to, but one that really sticks out is Bobby Hundreds from The Hundreds. After reading his book, his whole brand takes on a different meaning and he’s an inspiration to remain true to ourselves, stick to our guns and keep believing in it.
What is your brands mission or goal?
PAX VICE has the overarching goal to create cool and affordable streetwear. We’ve been gaining some popularity within the skate community but we don’t want to be pigeonholed. If you’re into the designs and you get it, that’s great. Buy it! In the future, we’d like to expand to cut and sew and more embroidery pieces, but all in good time.
What would you say to someone else looking to start their brand?
You’ve gotta love it. Without the drive, motivation, and interest in the brand, you won’t want to work on it. Especially for me at the moment, I’ve been working hard in my second year with various assignments and if I didn’t have the motivation to continue with PAX VICE then we definitely wouldn’t have made it through the first year of the brand. Find something you love, work at it, refine it and go for it.
Find PAX VICE online at paxvice.com or on Instagram @paxviceuk.