Droneboy Open Cardiff Store with Tennis-themed Collection

Droneboy-Cardiff-Tennis-Store-1

South Wales’ Droneboy recently opened the doors to their dedicated flagship store in Cardiff’s St Davids Two centre and with it they presented a conceptual, tennis-themed collection incorporating elements of cut & sew, womenswear and kidswear alongside their staple white tees.

Opening in such a major retail space, alongside everything from All Saints to Superdry is a bold move and instantly puts the brand on a platform with some of the world’s biggest clothing brands in the city. The store is fitted out with an impressive build that incorporated fake grass, white picnic benches and branded tennis balls, supporting the running theme nicely timed with the Wimbledon Championships and showing that the brand were fully committed to a project of this scale.

The collection builds on Droneboy’s regular line of printed tees and sweats, introducing a number of new elements such as a 60’s styled tennis dress designed, and produced in the local area. Droneboy have a commitment to sourcing and producing as much of their product in the UK (and even closer to home) as possible, which is definitely something I admire – their Droneboy figures made from locally-sourced coal were always a particular highlight for me.

The move from standard streetwear styles to something altogether quite different with this collection is definitely a surprise, and I’m not too sure how I feel about it yet. Treat it as a one-off concept for the store and it’s an impressive package, but it’ll be interesting to see if this sort of thing has an impact on Droneboy designs moving forward. The inclusion of polo shirts, dresses and even Droneboy branded pants seems to move away from what is traditionally considered streetwear to something different, perhaps even more commercial. That, coupled with the womenswear elements means this is certainly a new direction for the brand, and it’ll be interesting to see where they go from here.

The new collection is currently available exclusively from the brand’s St Davids Two store and will be online at Droneboy in the near future. Take a look inside and at the lookbook for the collection (complete with Bjorn Borg look-a-like) below.

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Adam Scotland

One of the three founding members of THE DAILY STREET, Adam is our Editor at TDS. Adam works in the streetwear industry for Out Of Step Ltd., specialising in both USA and UK brands. He also contributes to The Hundreds website.

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Comments

  • http://anyforty.com Al AnyForty

    Big up’s Dave, another UK independent trying to do big things, people need to realise good things won’t just happen for your brand (unless your one of the lucky few!), you gotta go out and make them happen! Store looks killer. Big up Droneboy. Onwards and upwards.

  • rob

    So strong from Droneboy. Watched this brand grow over the past four years, ever since I ordered my first tee with them. Real talent from David and his crew, very impressive and a timely and well thought out concept. Big!

  • Dan A

    A beautiful combination of blood, sweat and tears.
    All thriller, no filler. Most considered line to date.
    Droneboy running things in Wales!

  • https://soundcloud.com/supremeofthearts Supreme Of The Arts

    Loving this I need to come down from Bristol Im hearing cool stuff from Cardiff

  • Ince

    This man does everything from scratch for the brand, he is Droneboy and THAT is what street wear should be about. Be your brand!

  • Joo Joo.

    working hard and doing everything for your brand is essential when making clothes though,
    and pretty much all walks of life to be honest, but hard work doesn’t really make a difference when the end result doesn’t look good, tired product that looks like merch, lazily applied & not particularly well done graphics & a redundant theme (who the fuck cares about tennis in all honesty?).
    Great seeing people make the effort but this just isn’t good, U.K brands that are making good shit at the minute are people like Grind, Y’OH, Enclave, Palace, Gassius, Goodhood, this stuff does nothing for me.

  • http://Brotherhoodclothing.com DC

    @ Joo Joo

    Your message is so contradictory it seems you splashed it on the page without any foresight or rational thinking. I know for certain Droneboy & Co worked flat out (and are continuing still) on this latest project pop up store. If you don’t like the theme, sure thats your opinion and you’re entitled to it, however I’m pretty sure there are millions of people that care about tennis and thats a pretty big brush you have their to tar everyone with by claiming nobody cares. Unlike the 101 “cool brands” to list that you have at the end of your message Droneboy has stepped out of its comfort zone. Throwing money, time & effort at a project that could have gone wrong in so many ways but didn’t. They took a gamble and now their hard work IS paying off. Your opinion of Droneboy is baselessly attributed on the few images you have seen, on this website which you did not like, claiming it is lazy, whilst also saying its great to see brands working hard? Have you gone into store to see their other designs which aren’t based on tennis? or maybe the cut and sew work on custom made rugby shirts, dresses, a women’s range, Droneboy tennis balls made by the same people as the ones used in wimbledon? or appreciate that as much as possible has been locally/ethically sourced? No, I would bet you have not. Truth is you probably didn’t bother, just saw a few pictures and jumped onto the attack, head down to Cardiff and go into the store, see what they have done for yourself, speak with the guys there, feel the products and ask about how/or where they were made. or carry on brashly giving half baked opinions on brand you know nothing about.

  • joo joo.

    Nothing is contradictory about what I’m saying, as I said it’s great to see brands put the graft in, but it’s also essential to put the graft in, so I don’t really see how writing about their work ethic makes up for the end result being dated & boring, every brand has to work hard & producing garments is never an easy process.

    You had a problem with the “cool brands” I mentioned but is that not what people want to buy into? Well made product that looks good, done by cool heads with relevant interests to yourself, splicing in influences you appreciate from art, music, film etc. I’m assuming by your passionate response that D.B is a mate of yours, but put that aside for a minute & take a good look at the product, tennis balls made by the same people who make the Wimbledon ones, come on, really? Wait for my release of boring tee shirts & soccer balls next year, none of it looks good but I worked super hard, and the same people who make the champions league balls made ours!

  • http://www.brotherhoodclothing.com DC

    Not trying to be a grammar nazi but this is a contradiction:

    “Nothing is contradictory about what I’m saying, as I said it’s great to see brands put the graft in, but it’s also essential to put the graft in”

    A brands ethics are (to me anyway) and important aspect of streetwear and streetwear culture, it separates it from shops like Topshop and other high street retailers. I have no quarrel with the brands you mentioned, I assume they work very hard for their trade, but it is a typical list of brands people spit out to demonstrate how “on point” or “on trend” they want to demonstrate to people they are. In fact Grind London sell incense, or is that cool because they are a currently a popular brand at the moment? Droneboy made Coal figures from actual coal from merthyr, which is a sick artistic concept, and thats another part of streetwear, its an art form. So the tennis balls are a quirky and fun concept which fits perfectly in with there pop up project, unless you look at it negatively of course.

    Droneboy are punching well above their weight for opening a pop up in such a big mall, next to huge retailers, they don’t have the financial clout of Palace or other brands but they are making it work for them. Take Grind again for example, they sourced samples from USA and Japan, which is a great show of the details they strive for. Droneboy tries to source everything locally, fabrics, Manufactures etc so whats the difference? They still work hard for the achievements just in different ways/places. Also you need to look at the demographics that Droneboy and some of the brands you’ve mentioned aim at, Palace sell hoodies for £90 or Enclave sell sweats for £70 so they do aim at a market with more disposable income than Droneboy. You could compare Prada with Droneboy but that wouldn’t be representative or fair.

    Droneboy & Co are friends of mine yes, but i’m still looking at this objectively. Criticisms are a great and constructive way for brands to get feedback and develop, however what made me comment on yours was the fact it smacked off “This brand ain’t cool i’ll list some brands I think are” with no real basis for your conclusions, claiming its great to see brands work hard then mock their designs as lazy or look like “Merch” when the design is distinctive to Droneboy and their heritage, with Droneboy caricatures and a tongue in cheek representation of tennis and other elements. So it fits well for supporters and fans of the brand, so I would say it is you that needs to evaluate your perspective of Droneboy and what they are trying to achieve with this latest move. Its not like they have turned themselves into a tennis brand, its a streetwear artistic licensee to play with such topics as you’ve mentioned like art, music and film I agree with you, but why not sport? (look at what Dope chef are doing at the moment) Droneboy has stuck to its roots with a ‘project tennis’ flair, and like everything else they’ve done they have made it their own, and produced unique little concepts that make people (like me) smile at, tennis balls and all………

  • Joo Joo.

    I respect your argument, but work ethic aside I just think the end result is tired.
    Keep up the hustle regardless Droneboy, just an opinion.

  • Ashley

    Just to be clear on my position, these clothes aren’t for me. But that’s fine, they don’t offend me and I’m sure loads of people will like them. Clothes aside, I can see merit in the concept.

    I don’t think anyone would disagree that there is lot of american influence on the UK streetwear scene. No one seams to bat an eyelid when a UK brand does a contrast colour three-quater length arm, raglan baseball top. In the same way I probably wouldn’t have to search very hard to find a UK brand printing their logo on a baseball bat.

    I may be wrong but I think you could argue that tennis, especially Wimbledon, is an English version of a traditional American game like Baseball. Is Tennis really that bad? Maybe we would think differently if JayZ had box seats or hot dogs replaced strawberries and cream.

    I hate to think that we’re so indoctrinated with American/Western culture that if something doesn’t quite fit, we instantly reject it on the grounds of it not being ‘cool’. Shouldn’t we be smarter than that? My point is; whether you like the clothes or not, I think when a label builds a concept around a reference that’s outside the norm (or dare I say it, from our own heritage) they should be commended for it.

    (I’m fully aware that this might come across as a bit of flag wave, please excuse me if it does)

  • Tim Henman

    This clothes are made my berks to be worn by berks. I know because I’m a berk who loves this clothing line. Do us all a favor and close this shop down and open it up down near Wimbledon or something. Nice one.

  • Joo Joo

    It’s not that Tennis isn’t cool, it’s that nothing about tennis is aesthetically pleasing.
    People don’t utilize inspiration from Baseball & American football because they are cool sports & supported by rappers / celebrities etc, people utilize baseball & american football inspirations because they look fantastic, nothing beats a vintage baseball cap or a varsity jacket, they’re timeless pieces that look great.
    Taking influence is great but at least take it from something that looks good, Tennis has a history of being a poncey sport, frequented by chelsea boys eating powdered strawberries, and the uniform has never been particularly interesting either, generally outfitted by other weak brands like Le Coq & Lacoste, football would have been a good one, a play on classic jerseys & patterns utilized through the golden years, similar to how agi & sam took a bit of inspiration for their latest bits.

  • Alex Synamatix

    Got to disagree with you there I’m afraid Joo Joo. To say that “nothing about tennis is aesthetically pleasing” and “the uniform has never been particularly interesting” and that it’s “generally outfitted by other weak brands like Le Coq & Lacoste” is simply incorrect.

    First point; “nothing about tennis is aesthetically pleasing” and “the uniform has never been particularly interesting”. Thanks to tennis we have the polo shirt as we know it. We also have brands such as Fred Perry and Lacoste – tennis is also responsible for tempting Fila into sportswear and therefore recreating the brand in the ’70s. It has also birthed some of the best footwear in the sneaker game, from the more classic options such as the Nike All Court, Nike Tennis Classic, adidas Rod Laver or the adidas Stan Smith to the more “modern” retro’s such as the Nike Challenge Court or the entire Nike Air Tech Challenge line that was created for Agassi in the very late ’80s and early ’90s (the inspiration for the midsole on the Air Yeezy 2).

    Second point; “generally outfitted by other weak brands like Le Coq & Lacoste”. I’m not really sure how you can class one of the world’s larger fashion brands, Lacoste, as a weak brand. Also, that brand and René Lacoste himself are responsible for some key developments in both sportswear and sport. As for the other “weak brands” who get involved with tennis, I presume you are including the sports main sponsors such as Nike, adidas, Fred Perry (set up by our last great tennis champ) and Ralph Lauren. Correct me if I’m wrong, but taking a look at Wimbledon will show that tennis as a sport attracts some of the largest brands in their markets. Football equipment however has had notably less direct influence on fashion – its largest impact to date has been the style of it’s supporters back in the day (terrace fashion) … who almost religiously wore tennis footwear.

    I don’t usually get involved in these comments debates, but I had to correct those statements as they’re not based on any fact and they’re incorrect.

  • honestly

    Wow these comments are funny…. the last guy sounds like hes been to to many brand development meeting for corporate brands and the ending gambit is the sign of someone who is confident enough to be arrogant but without the style to understand that those kind of statements are made by chumps.

  • selenic

    Advantage synamatix.

  • honestly

    oh and the clothing is alright, but not ground breaking or overly interesting. It seems to be a mixed bag of American style graphics shoe horned in to a slightly British concept. Also I’m not overly sure where the All City part comes in to it, unless they have just thrown in that term to make them sound more ‘street’ which would be a shame. So yeah American style graphics, with a British tennis edge and graffiti undertones and lets not forget to throw in a racketeering reference so that we can hit that gangster edge too. Nice idea but to many cliches on one t shirt.

  • http://www.godspeed-hellfire.com Bossman75

    I wish they would have recreated the classic no knickers photo for the shoot.

  • http://www.droneboylaundry.com DroneBoy

    Love the debate and all opinions are valid, taken the ones we need to on board, disregarded the others.

    We’re not sure whether we’ve got the wrong end of the stick, but we are taking about street-wear? Of course some people in it aspire to climb the ladder and make it to prestige brand status, others are there to develop themselves or the products they aim to make. We’re no different, we have dreams and aspirations to make things that are out of my league at this very moment.

    In the now though, we are a very young street-wear brand. We are developing and learning , but in the most part we are having fun. This collection we decided to take a tongue in cheek look at tennis, due to the fact we we’re opening this pop-up over the Wimbledon period and thought as we are in street-wear we can take the concept and give it a twist, from the pompous stereotypes that some of you have referred too and put some fun back into it McEnroe style. Our neighbours are Nike, Hollister and Superdry (all these shop fits have hundreds of thousands thrown at it) our concept helped peoples first impression, as we are showcasing to people who don’t understand the street-wear and we’re on a very meagre budget. It is really an experiment for us and we have learn’t a lot, as a brand we have moved into new products, had our first dabble with cut & sew. About the graft thing, yeah its standard that starting your own business is about the graft, long hours and risks you take at the start, but I think the comments suggest that we are minimising risks by producing everything ourselves from concept, design, photography, modelling, building the shop and sitting in it, every part is produced in-house (which a lot of brands don’t do).

    As long as we can still build our lives around it and have fun, we will develop.

  • Joo Joo

    Fair dues, keep up the grind.