Attitude tees from Luncchb0xx
Tommy Roche is the man behind this line of stand-out t-shirts, featuring a great deal of tie-dye and quirky statements. Having studied architecture at The Catholic University of America in Washington, the 23-year-old then moved on to making statement tops, originally for fun, in February 2012. The title “Luncchb0xx” was created in August of that year, and things took off on Etsy.com later on in November.
Have you created all the designs from the current collection yourself? Do any designs come from outside of the brand?
Tommy Roche: All designs are mine, but you can obviously see pop culture influences throughout my work.
I decided to focus on printing and tie-dye because it gave me a lot of freedom to design with graphics and the different dye techniques that I use. I’ve always been interested in graphic t-shirts, my closet at home is full of them! I just decided to make my own as a hobby, then it became a full-time job, and now I couldn’t be happier with how everything turned out.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Definitely turning my hobby into a full-time career and being able to walk away from a tiring job.
Which of your current designs is your favourite and why?
My favourite design right now has got to be Skinny & Pretty! I love the saying! It’s ridiculous and aggressive.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I would love to collaborate with UNIF. They are my favourite designers and they have a great inspirational story.
I stay away from elementary looking fonts. I also stay away from the cartoon aesthetic, it can be done well if it’s with purpose, or ironically, but as a whole cartoon graphics as a design choice narrows down the target audience in my opinion. On a more positive note, it’s very pretty when dying a shirt and the two colours bleed together to create a new colour, giving the shirt a new feel. For me, everything is calculated, controlled and balanced, but I definitely appreciate a little random dye luck!
What are your favourite things about your job? Any negatives?
I love my job, and my favourite part has got to be the hand-dying. I love mixing the colours and patterns together into different styles! The only downside is the shipping, they always dread seeing me walk in at my local Post Office because I usually have a trillion packages for them.
Would you say your work is directed at a particular trend or group of people?
I think so. I started designing with what I personally liked, but now I’m trying to get my shop to speak to a broader audience. In my shop you can see how it’s this new trend called “soft/pastel grunge” with changed-up graphics and font choices for everyone.
Do you have a team working with you to help manage the brand?
This company is my baby, so it’s hard to let others help! I’ve had my siblings help me with shipping or supply runs, and my parents help with the business side of things, but I definitely make every single shirt myself. I also have awesome friends that help me focus on the big picture, not just current orders and new ideas. They’re all critics, but I don’t mind.
Have you any plans for the future? When can we expect your next collection and where do you hope to be in five years?
There are big plans for the future! Luncchb0xx is growing bigger and more successful, and hopefully maturing to reach a broader audience. I love designing for everyone, and I am always thinking of new ideas. I’m working on a new collection for the fall, and I can tell you that it will be darker but with pops of colour, and, of course, pop culture references! While it will be a bit more mature than my current shop, Luncchb0xx won’t lose the playful edge of the current products.
My current collection mostly just comes from all of the random thoughts in my head. I guess in a way it can be described as an extreme version of myself: it’s very loud, bright, slightly offensive and playful. I try to keep everything consistent with graphics, dyes and text. I frequent use the melting lettered font, so if I create something with a different typography it has to be done right. As for my techniques, I’m afraid my dye processes are a Luncchb0xx secret. When I first started making shirts, I hand-painted every graphic with fabric paint and a brush, it took forever! I still do every shirt by hand, but now I have silk screens for almost every design.
We love your Mean Girls collection. Please can you talk us through the inspiration for it?
Thank you! Mean Girls is one of my favourite movies! I could quote the whole movie, and that’s actually how my brand started. “You could try Sears” was my favourite thing to say at the time, so when my friends and I would go shopping together and a store didn’t have their size, I would say that to them. Sometimes it was funny, others not so much, but I decided to put it on a sweatshirt anyway! It was hand-painted, then dip-dyed pink and baby blue. After that it took off and I just started painting all of my favourite quotes on shirts.
Photos: Courtesy of Tommy Roche
For further information on the collections, visit Tommy’s Etsy store here.