Along with being one of the creative minds responsible for the conception of Primus 7, sitting at the helm of the series' merchandising campaign is Noir Caesar's own Creative Director, Vaughn Alexander Lockhart.
Combining street fashion with elements of anime, Lockhart sits down to explain his creative process on designing the newest apparel line for a revolutionary production unlike anything the world has seen:
Where did the original inspiration for the Primus 7 merchandise come from?
Vaughn: Well honestly the inspiration came from just myself and Johnny talking about how cosplay was such a huge influence on the culture at present. I had been seeing a lot of people really getting into character with their favorite anime, cartoon and manga personalities; my question was what haven’t we seen? I hadn’t really ever seen a real street contribution, so with my ingenuity I decided to bring an entirely new representation to cosplay. Allow you to feel our characters but cop it just because it’s fly too.
Did you have a very specific vision in mind when putting together the overall concept for the apparel line?
Lockhart: Yeah, I did actually. I wanted to create a look that mirrored what would’ve been cool for me and people my age to wear when they went to school. To be able to come to school, or even as an adult, go out and be sporty, fashionable and most importantly comfortable. I’m a sweats / joggers, and a hoodie or a flannel and jeans kind of guy. I travel a lot so comfort is definitely a huge emphasis. I can’t fade being suited and booted everywhere I go.
How would you describe the apparel line? Urban? Street? Mainstream?
Lockhart: I think it incorporates a little of all of those elements honestly. Urban in it’s influences from what’s present as far as functionality, whether it be the cut or color scheme. Street definitely, with the colors and the design. Even the look book has a huge street environmental presentation.
There’s been a recent spike in “Crossover Cosplay”; wherein there’s gear inspired by the in-story characters’ apparel that almost mirrors cosplay, but not quite. Can this be expected of the Primus 7 merchandise line?
Lockhart: Yeah that’s the plan, JO (Johnny O'Bryant) and I decided we’ll vary the outfits as the seasons develop and allow the fans to vote on which outfits were the most desired and would they like to see produced and i’ll release them that way.
What types of apparel are you releasing (ie, hoodies, hats, jackets, swimsuits, sweats, underwear, etc)?
Lockhart: Honestly you never really know, right now I’m just creating but for right now it’s traditional shirts, jackets etc. But you never know it could happen sooner than you’d think for a swimsuit design for the summer.
Will the brandline be Unisex, or will you be making gear specifically tailored to the general, “societal” spectrum of gender?
Lockhart: I may be a bit biased, however, my clothes will be unisex in regards to design. Outside of what's specifically in men sizes, I’d prefer to work with womenswear. I have some pretty fire ideas that incorporate something specifically for women.
How much did the current trends inspire the Primus 7 line?
Lockhart: In some ways it did and didn’t. I think the fit of everything comparative to things being sized larger. That could also be because there isn’t a lot to accommodate for taller people. I’m 6’5 and have long legs and arms and couldn’t find anything to fit in my measurements.
Will you be release a Primus 7 “Virgin Killer” sweater? (Silly question, but please say yes!)
Lockhart: Yeah, I actually have a design for Novah with a new design for that too. Novah is actually one of my favorite character designs.
Do you foresee the Primus 7 Merchandise line expanding beyond just clothing (ie; backpacks, purses, messenger bags, mugs, shoes, etc etc)?
Lockhart: Definitely included in some of the character designs, and those will be produced too.
If you do intend to release apparel outside of clothing, will those too be unisex or conform to a gender standard? (for example, shoes; will there be sneakers for men and pumps/heels for women, or will it be interchangeable?)
Lockhart: Yeah, shoes are something I’m venturing off into but as far as what kinds I’m undecided. It’ll come to me when it’s right. Shoes are important you know; like spaghetti sauce. They make the dish a success.
Who will your target demographic be regarding ages? Will you be marketing to all ages, or, due to the mature content of Primus 7, will the merchandise be specifically for adults?
Lockhart: We wanted all ages to be able to take something from this, so it’s very broad. With the maturity of the content that is at kids disposal now days, it’s hard to shield them from what’s out there. I don’t want to hide what the truth is from the youth. Let the inquisitive be guided by what’s real.
How do you intend to market the Primus 7 merchandise brand? Will there be an online catalog?
As with any type of fashion, inclusion of various body types is always a concern. Will there be all sizes available, and if so, for plus-sizes, will there be an influx on the price due to the extra cost of material? If those concerns arise will potential buyers and fans, how do you intend on addressing those aforementioned concerns?
Lockhart: As far as plus sizes, it shouldn’t be hard to accommodate but I considered the way I had the garments constructed so that they’ll be able to fit. When you view the sizing chart, it’ll answers those questions accordingly.
How will pricing on the overall apparel brand be decided? How do you intend to make it affordable as well as profitable?
Lockhart: This is really aboutbringing the fans something memorable so it will vary in pricing, but these items are commemorative and in limited quantity so you’re really taking a monumental part of something historic. From the clothing, to an autographed copy of the look book, posters, all the way down to the actual comics and graphic novels. There’s something everyone can walk away with from this.
Will the Primus 7 merchandise line be available exclusively for NSZR, or do you intend on expanding beyond the company itself?
Lockhart: It depends honestly, right now we are content doing everything ourselves but if an opportunity to partner with someone sounded enticing enough for all parties involved than that’s always an option of course.
When and where will the merchandise be available?
Lockhart: The clothing will be available via whichever crowd funding platform we decide to use, and there will be rewards packages contingent upon what you contribute to the Primus 7 movie. None of the items in this campaign will be re-released so take advantage.
Do you have anything else you’d like to include in this interview, or something you’d like everyone to know?
Lockhart: My next move is to release my current Autumn / Winter collection and I have a few more projects I’m working on, so really just keep tuned in to my social media platforms. I engage a lot with my supporters through Twitter and Instagram platforms.