Photo by Kevin Morgans

A cup of tea and a sit down. That’s what was necessary to calm my excitement when I got my first sneak peek of the Stolen Goat AW21 collection. Just when I think our Senior Creative, Trevor, along with Mark, Senior Product Developer, can’t top the epic ranges we’ve already got. They go all “hold my beer” and truly outdo themselves.

With our AW21 launch right around the corner (sign up to our newsletter to make sure you’re first in line!) I thought it was about time we gave you a little insight into how the iconic Stolen Goat designs come to life.

From where he finds his inspiration, to why you’ve kind of got Motörhead to thank for some of your most-loved Stolen Goat designs – read on to learn more about Trevor.

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“You should love what you do. If you don’t, you’re in the wrong job.”

My name is Trevor and I’m the Senior Creative at Stolen Goat. My prime responsibility is to design each season’s collection to the best of my ability, and give each design a bit of Stolen Goat personality. I know that some of them are a bit adventurous – but that’s what we’re all about. At SG, I’m supported to design freely and that brings out the best of me. You should love what you do. If you don’t, you’re in the wrong job.

Making marks: from Drummer to Designer

My mother always tells me I was born with a pencil in one hand and paper in the other. I think I’ve always been good at making marks and I still absolutely enjoy drawing things by hand, and not always on the Mac. At school, I always enjoyed art but hated the way it was taught. To this day I still hate my last art teacher: all he ever said to me was that I wasn’t good enough. Yet, I passed my art exam with flying colours.

I don’t think I always wanted to be a designer – I went out and got the qualifications, but then I wasn’t sure it was the right career path for me. I got involved with a couple of local music collectives and I played the drums in various bands for a fair time. Then I had to go and get a “proper job”.

My first big, serious design position didn’t really happen until my wife and I made the decision to move to Amsterdam with her job. It was a bit daunting at first, but I ended up working for the same company and landed a decent position. A few years later, I became the brand’s Art Director.

“You have to be passionate about what you do… Finding inspiration for me, is easy.”

I’ve always said you have to enjoy what you do. You have to be passionate about it and you have to care. Part of that caring, for me, is to do good research and to be given the time to pull all of that together before you even begin creating.

Finding inspiration for me is easy. I like to look at patterns in nature: birds, molluscs, weird sea creatures. Sometimes I’ll look to architecture – the design of the Blip men’s Orkaan jersey and matching arm warmers was based on the pattern of a block of flats near to the Tyne bridge. I also draw inspiration from music sub-cultures, Japan, Yokai and street art. Contemporary art glass sculptures, traditional weavers of Mexico, vintage American quilt patterns. Inspiration is everywhere. I have a huge collection of reference books which are obviously very useful and can often be found spread out all over the floor at the start of, and during, the core design period.

But of course, my biggest source of inspiration comes from my wife, Claire, my son, George, and my mum.

It’s hard to pinpoint a favourite design or project that we’ve done. I’ve enjoyed everything! There are a few great projects in the pipeline which are really cool – they should be available to see soon. We’ve also got archives upon archives of jersey designs that either didn’t make it into the final range or we’ve decided to hold onto for future use.

I’d say the Hanzo jersey is a nice one to talk about. It took weeks to draw out by hand, and then colour up. When it went on sale, the numbers were insane. But the Ronny jersey is about as bold a statement as you can get, and the man himself is pretty special. We are lucky to have such an iconic logo – many other brands don’t.

Chicken dinner: the magic design moments

My favourite part of the design process is that little magic moment where something happens unexpectedly and you know that’s the one. I’ll always send Tim a screenshot straightaway with the subject line “chicken dinner”. This happens a lot! It’s also a great feeling when we make the final selections for the range and view it all as a whole. And of course seeing The Herd wearing the designs and posting their pictures.

The most challenging part of the design process is making the artwork for production. I don’t design straight onto a production template, as I find that too mechanical. The hard part is deconstructing the design idea, and then constructing it again in all of its pattern pieces. It can be quite time consuming!

Many, many adventures… and the freedom to run a colourful riot

There have been many, many big adventures for me… too many to mention! The biggest one is personal, and ongoing – becoming a father 10 years ago.

But in terms of other “life” adventures? Living in New York in the mid 90’s for a while… moving from the UK to live in Amsterdam for five years, and then moving on from there to live in Madrid for 15 years… then moving back home. They’re all right up there. Driving across the United States from San Francisco to Los Angeles – via Yosemite National Park (in the dark!), Death Valley, Las Vegas – and back again was pretty cool, too.

I’ve been extremely lucky in my career to have also worked with some of the world’s very top photographers. I used to work in the jeans industry, so I’ve travelled extensively through that.

Coming in to work for Stolen Goat is a big adventure. It makes me so happy. Unlike any other job, I’m free to run a colourful riot. I can listen to loud music all day long and that’s my happy place: in my studio, surrounded by my stuff. Listening to Motörhead always brings out the best in me. If I’m ever lost for an idea, I stick those bad boys on and usually good things come.

Life away from the designs

When I’m not working, you can usually find me doing something with the family. That might be getting out on the bikes, or heading for a swim. Walking in the forests or on our local coastal paths. At times, we’re out on the bikes pretty much every day. I’m also quite partial to a frosty beer… in fact, the top to bottom fade on the Beefeater Bend design jerseys was actually inspired by the way the light was interacting with the bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale I was drinking at the time!

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So there we have it – a little bit of insight into the process behind the Stolen Goat designs. Of course, I couldn’t let Trevor go without asking the most important question: “If you were a goat, what kind of goat would you be?”. His answer – a Welsh Mufasa Snowdonian mountain goat. Kind of a badass, with the freedom to roam? Yep, I’d say that sounds about right, Trevor!

There’s only a few days left until our AW21 collection launches and I can promise, it will be well worth the wait.