Party Chat’s latest releases sees the brand hacking Grand Theft Auto
Working alongside Kia Tasbihgou and Alfatih, Party Chat dressed characters of the game in its latest collection, and then played it to create OTT promo films.
- Ruby Boddington
- 18 February 2020
When old school mates Jamie Mcintyre and James Sutherland reconnected in London after a five-year hiatus, they “bonded over the idea of dance music culture and clothing.” Having come from an art direction and creative marketing/music background respectively, it seemed there was an opportunity to fuse their strengths and kick-start a project.
The result is Party Chat, a unisex clothing brand with “no real agenda other than to champion dance music, its wider subcultures and communities.” It's an emotive brand, “and although we poke fun in our own wee Glasgow way, we take it seriously too,” Jamie adds. With Jamie currently based in Amsterdam, Party Chat’s “bustling HQ and procurement facilities” (AKA James’ bedroom) are in Glasgow.
Initially, the pair had just wanted to make some custom one-off bomber jackets for their mates, but Party Chat soon became a much bigger project with much bigger ambitions. “What definitely spurred us on was seeing the relentless repurposing of rave flyers, psychedelic visuals or ‘ACID’ and ‘TECHNO’ graphics being totally rinsed by endless clothing brands,” James says. “We were bored of seeing people try to fast track themselves into a culture they weren’t even living.”
To date, the brand has released several pieces, including a T-shirt and hoodie sporting Margaret Calvert and John Kinneir’s famous Glasgow Airport logo – one which looks more than a little bit like the Off-White logo. It has also collaborated with a number of creatives including Nejc Prah and Builders Club and Party Chat’s latest release sees this idea of collaboration amped up.
Titled the Work Force collection, it aims to give people “a fun glimpse into the world of Party Chat and our daft wee vision of the future. Who we are and what we are about,” says Jamie. Produced in collaboration with Kia Tasbihgou, it puts forward an eight-point manifesto for the brand in a simple and playful way.
To accompany the launch, the trio wanted to create corporate promo films; “the kind of films that would be burnt onto cheap CDs and distributed to new employees at PC Corp to watch on their first day,” James tells us. “We wanted to do silly corporate things in the films. Fly big helicopters, cash big cheques and sit in fancy board rooms – SpaceX style.”
While on the hunt for an artist who could build this corporate world, but who also understood the irony of it all, Jamie and James met Alfatih, who had been experimenting with modding GTA while he studied at ECAL “and he soon came on board to fulfil our wildest fantasies.” Although Grand Theft Auto seemingly provided the perfect setting from which they could create their outlandish promo films, the team wanted to take the project a step further yet. So they hacked the game and dressed characters in the collection, then played the game. “We cast our own character, wrote a script, set the lighting, backdrops, styling and incorporated our own AI VO and music,” Jamie adds.
In turn, the launch of Work Force perfectly encapsulates Party Chat and its ethos. It’s tongue-in-cheek and silly, yes, but it’s also entirely self-aware and accompanied by a really interesting collaboration and visual output.
Looking ahead, Jamie and James are prototyping making their own clothing. “We are also kicking off designer residencies, Party Chat playlists and we are hosting an after party for Bicep Live in Glasgow in April with some of our favourites, Optimo,” James concludes. You know where to be if you’re in the Glasgow area!
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor.