Every week, we at Highsnobiety take some time to highlight one of our favorite brands through our BOTW (Brand of the Week) series. Last week, we featured Kiko Kostadinov’s London-based label AFFIX WORKS. This week, we’ve decided to shine a light on Tourne De Transmission.
Graeme Gaughan, the man behind Tourne de Transmission, isn’t your regular fashion school graduate-turned designer. In fact, he originally moved to London not to study fashion, but sonic art & production. At the time, sonic art was still a very conceptual arena, and Gaughan soon decided to start producing music and beats, too.
For a few years, he made beats for various people, while also working with XL Recordings and Dizzee Rascal and helping with developing acts. But, with many record labels cutting back on expenses, the business wasn’t all that lucrative for him. Super fun though it may have been, rent had to be paid, and Gaughan was sitting on a unique London set up — a room in a big house with its own studio in the garage. Feeling the need to protect this London rarity, he started working part-time at a couple of clothing stores.
“And that’s when I started interacting with fashion and brands and making connections,” says Gaughan. “Some brands wanted to gift stuff to artists and musicians, which opened up a line of communication with them. That became my circle, and I started working with designers such as Damir Doma, Christopher Shannon, and Bianca Saunders, helping them with PR.”
Having created T-shirts for bands and musicians in the past, it was only natural for Gaughan to begin designing T-shirts under his own moniker. Tourne De Transmission became his creative outlet once he stopped working with music full-time. The French name is a mere Google translation of “transmission turn”.
“It’s because I wanted the T-shirts and whatever else to really deliver a message each time, and always use a new concept,” explains Gaughan. “You can say a lot through a T-shirt, and make it quite literal and visual to the person interacting with it. Of course, as time goes on, you start to develop more pieces and before you know it, you’ve got Fashion Week shows, which was all really new to us.”
That is why Gaughan decided to divide the brand into two separate lines — one that’s very conceptual with a higher price point, and one that’s much more democratic, affordable, and branding-led — going back to his music production roots. The latter currently features pieces with text elements from Edward Bernays’ 1928 book Propaganda.
“The book was a really big part of our research when putting together our SS18 line,” says Gaughan “especially because of what was going on politically in the UK — from the lack of transparency, to how certain tools such as social media were being used to manipulate people at mass.
I had already read the book twice, and I re-read it again. It’s from the 1920s, but the parallels and similarities with what’s going on today are quite frightening, in my opinion. That’s why I wanted to apply passages onto pieces such as socks and tees — because they’re accessible to everyone. I remember being under 30 and not being able to afford certain things. You definitely cannot afford a lot of things when you’re in your early 20s — you’re just entering the working world and figuring life out — but you can afford t-shirts and Dickies. I didn’t want people to be excluded.”
The line also happened to catch the eye of Highsnobiety Curator Rhianna Matthews, who was drawn to the brand’s thought-out use of shapes, structure, and form. “I like the way the color palette has been kept simple, too, with black, orange and yellow hints,” says Rhianna. “This keeps the clothing wearable, while also adding some drip. The accessories are some of the best pieces I’ve seen around, both in terms of price and practicality.”
Below, we’ve picked some of the best pieces available from Tourne de Transmission, all of which are available from its web store right now. In the selection, you’ll find a number of dope accessories such as socks, belt bags, a backpack, and a belt — most of which feature passages from Propaganda — as well as a tactical vest, a coach jacket, hoodie, and tee. With price points as low as $25, Gaughan is a man of his word when it comes to affordability.
Take a closer look at our picks here, and let us know if you’ll be rocking Tourne de Transmission this Fall.