MEET THE COLLECTIVE: SKEV

Ten of Clubs Collective: Skev

Sup! We're an independent design collective of alternative music fans, making sweet threads for alt rockers and metalheads since 2021.

Here's where we introduce you to our brilliant team: the TEN OF CLUBS COLLECTIVE.

It's time to meet our founder, head designer, model, musician and modern day Le Pétomane, Skev. For hazardous hitchhiking, near-death experiences, unpronounceable place names and short-lived goldfish, read on!

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Please introduce yourself.

Skev  Hi, I’m Skev. I’m 26. I’m the founder, creative director and co-owner of TEN OF CLUBS. I'm also one of the designers, a model and photographer. No two days are the same. 

One day you're writing a business plan and the next you're designing new threads, or packing orders, or stocktaking, or whatever. It's the way it has to be.  

Skev in his Bare Knuckle Long Sleeve

What did you do before TEN OF CLUBS?

I’m a freelance graphic designer and photographer. I've worked for multiple clients over the years. 

I’ve done a lot of product photography in previous roles, especially jewellery. We're actually looking at making and selling our own rings. We’ve got some really cool designs, so watch this space.

Who came up with the name TEN OF CLUBS?

I did. It was my grandad's favourite card; a kind of good luck charm for him. He would always point it out when we were playing cards, so it just became a family thing.

We never considered any other name. I think my grandad, Ernie, would be proud of what we’re doing.

Each card in a deck has meaning. The Ten of Clubs means luck and good fortune. As well as the personal connection, the name seemed a good fit for what we wanted to do.

Which is your favourite TOC item? 

My favourite's probably our Runes Cap Black. I wear mine almost constantly. It’s suitably dogeared now, but that just makes me like it more.

Skev in his Runes Cap Black

What’s the best item of clothing you own, not including TOC garms?

I’ve got a beaten-up leather jacket which has been all over the world with me. Its scars tell the tales of many drunken adventures in unfamiliar countries; most notably, the time I went over the handlebars on a rusty bike in Amsterdam and smashed my face in.

It was a mate's bike, or so I thought. When challenged, it turned out he was less than clear on how he actually came to be in possession of it. Karma's a bitch, even when it's karma by proxy!

Gunslinger Black Tee 100% cotton graphic t-shirt

What movie title best sums up your life?

The Hangover. Not because I've woken up newly married to a prostitute, but just because I seem to have a lot of hangovers.

Tell us three interesting facts about yourself.

I can do a Rubik’s cube one-handed.

I play guitar and have done since I was seven. I've been in several alt rock and grunge bands over the years.

And, I can say the really long name of that train station in Wales: Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch.

Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch

Impressive! Do you have any odd habits?

I bite my fingernails and use the clippings to floss between my teeth. Is that odd?

Yep. And gross. What’s something you’ve been meaning to do, but just haven’t got round to?

Learn to drive. I had a couple of lessons years ago. I was doing okay and quite enjoying it. I think I just got short of money, so took a break. Turns out it was a long break.

What would you rate 10 out of 10?

First poo of the day!

Skev chilling in his Wave Tee

How do you relax after a busy day at the TOC coalface?

I make some nice food, play guitar for a bit, then play video games till the wee small hours. I’m playing a lot of Hitman 3 and Red Dead Redemption 2 at the moment.

And what would be your ideal way to spend the weekend?

A piss-up in a new city with a group of mates. Somewhere like Edinburgh. That’s an awesome city. 

What pets do you have?

None now, but I’ve had four goldfish, all called Jake. They didn't last long, sadly. It was just easier to give them all the same name.

Jaws Tee 100% cotton graphic t-shirt

What is the luckiest thing that has happened to you?

I was once lost in a blizzard on a snowy mountain in Bulgaria, on my own with a messed-up knee. I was skiing and got separated from everyone else. I was completely lost. Night was drawing in. I was sure I was toast!

Then, luckily, I crossed paths with some mountain rescue people on a snowmobile. I struggled to make myself understood, with lots of pointing at my busted knee, and they gave me a lift down the mountain.

No long-term damage done. I lay in bed for a day and was back in the bar for the rest of the holiday.

What irrational fears or phobias do you have?

I guess it’s not strictly a phobia, just something I hate, but I can’t stand noisy eaters. If I heard you chewing, I’d have to leave.

Who’s your go-to band or artist when you can’t decide what to listen to

Either Soundgarden or Audio Slave. Chris Cornell is my boy! I was crushed when he died.

Skev in his Wave Tee in a pub

What’s your favourite smell?

Old pub. You know, the smell of an open fire, stale booze, a hint a cigarette smoke. Perfect! I guess I just like pubs. I’ve done a fair bit of bar work over the years.

What's the dumbest thing you've ever done?

When I was 18, I went with a group of friends to Dimensions Festival in Croatia. A mate and I thought we’d save money by getting a cheap flight to someplace, to then hitchhike the rest of the way.

We flew to Nice in France. I don’t know why we thought this would be a good idea; it’s like 800 miles from where we needed to be! On the first day we walked from Nice to Monaco, which is about 10 miles or so, and slept under a flight of stairs in a train station.

We tried hitchhiking but got zero lifts from anyone! We took trains in the end. We slept on the streets for 10 nights as we crossed Europe.

When we eventually got to Croatia, we surprised our mates at their hotel by pretending to be room service. We crashed on their floor for the next 2 nights, before finally getting to the festival. Great festival!

Spike Hoodie Black graphic hooded sweatshirt

What’s your proudest achievement?

Easy – TEN OF CLUBS!

The interrogation is over. Is there anything you’d like to add?

Yeah, I’d like to thank everyone that has bought from us, joined our mailing list, followed us on social media, liked or shared a post, or just told someone about us. You're all now part of the TOC Collective!

Starting a business is bloody satisfying and bloody hard work. I know we all get a boost from the idea that people like what we’re doing, so big thanks to everyone who's supported us. Stay cool. Spread the word.

January 2022

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