As proof of Chicago’s ever-growing Fashion industry, CFM discovered yet another label spawned from this windy city. Founded by the award-winning graphic designer Tim Scott Kump, AKA Bullet, House of Bullet Couture Sportswear™ is the latest addition to our street scene. It brings the simplicity of sportswear to a whole new level. From hot boy-shorts to T-shirt with audacious phrases, this sweltering, new line speaks for itself, or at least Bullet did as he spoke with CFM.
CFM: So originally, you are a graphics company, what made you want to do sportswear?
HOB: I've always been interested in many different art forms including fine art, graphic design, music, architecture, and fashion design. Over the past 20 years, I have designed promotional t-shirts for my graphic design firm, Bullet Communications, Inc. One of my early t-shirts was included in a T-shirt exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Another early T-shirt design received an award from the American Institute of Graphic Arts and was featured in their design annual. (My graphic design work has received over 40 awards for excellence and has been published in over 70 international design books and magazines)
I have also created T-shirt lines for corporations.
Recently, I decided to create some new promotional apparel for my design business. My initial
objective was to produce apparel printed with my award-winning Bullet logo to send to clients.
I really liked how my logo looked on my hip, form-fitting Ts, hoodies, shorts, and other items. So my original objective of making promotional t-shirts for my graphic design business quickly changed to creating a branded sportswear line that I could market to the general public. The Bullet logo is the cornerstone of the brand.
CFM: What are your influences?
HOB: When I embarked on a path into the fashion industry, I read the biographies and autobiographies of all the fashion designers I respected. I read about the House of Gucci, Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, Joe Boxer, and Ralph Lauren to name a few. I was influenced by something different from each of the designers. I was impressed with Gucci's passion for quality; Klein's simple, yet sophisticated design style, and Cole and Boxer's marketing innovations.
Ralph Lauren showed me that if you have a passion to design, you don't have to be a trained designer and know everything about the fashion industry to get started. He showed me that mistakes would be made...that learning a new industry is challenging. I also learned about the importance of creating a brand image through photography, as Bruce Weber successfully did for him, and more recently for Abercrombie. That influenced me in how I photographed my models to create a sexy, confident image for my brand. Other influences include a variety of artists in different disciplines that have served as inspirations.
CFM: How did you get started, what is your background?
HOB: I am originally from the Chicago area and have always been interested in art. I graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York City with a BFA degree in Communication Design. Following graduation, I worked in the prestigious Mergenthaler typeface design studio in Manhattan. From there I went to work as a designer at Connoisseur Magazine. After freelancing around New York a few more years, I decided to move back to Chicago. In Chicago, I started Bullet Communications. I operated Bullet in Chicago for ten years before moving outside the city.
CFM: Where do you see you line being sold here in Chicago or will it be exclusive to
HOB: House of Bullet Couture Sportswear is sold exclusively through the HouseofBullet.com web site at this time.
CFM: What trends do you see in sportswear this summer?
HOB: I don't pay much attention to trends in my graphic design business or in my fashion pursuits. My design philosophy has always been to focus on the message/image and the simplest, most direct way to communicate it. It's a philosophy that has benefited me well over the years. That said, my apparel messages are topical and reflect the tone of the contemporary culture.
CFM: When will your new collection come out?
HOB: My apparel line will evolve on an ongoing basis and not be grouped into seasonal collections.
Tell me about the Bullet woman, who do you target too?
HOB: House of Bullet targets edgy, creative types (young men and women, 16-40) who set their own rules and are driven to "Make an Impact". HOB fashionistas, "Bullet Babes" and "Bullet Boys," dare to be bold, stylish and original...thus the brand slogan "Dare to Be You."
The House of Bullet line includes tight-fitting t-shirts, halter tops, shorts, hoodies, accessories, and more, each branded with the stylish Bullet logo. The line's image projects a sexy personality and through clever imprinted messages, the wearer makes a bold fashion statement.
A portion of the profits is donated to law enforcement agencies to help them purchase "The Fashion Accessory That Saves Lives." bulletproof vests.
CFM: Do you plan on expanding into menswear?
HOB: Men's t-shirts are currently offered, as well as men's wristwatches and caps.
The men's line will be expanding as well.
This dare-to-be different designer offer his multi seasonal collection at www.houseofbullet.com