An Archbold statement: student launches Gemini Apparel


Hayden Archbold

Hayden Archbold in her Gemini Apparel

Senior Hayden Archbold recently launched her clothing company Gemini Apparel.

“It’s going pretty well,” she said. “Right now I’m sending stuff out to promoters and sponsors and just trying to get some hype going online and so far it’s been received pretty well.”

After working on designing and making clothing for the past four years Archbold was able to officially open her shop in September.

“I started my sophomore year and it wasn’t really anything too serious. Looking back on it now it was quite terrible, actually, but it’s where I got started,” said Archbold.

Now that her business has launched, Archbold already has some sales in the works that she is hoping will put her clothing on the map.

“I’ve been [making clothes] for about four years now. I was really poor and I couldn’t afford anything for myself. All I had was the clothes I’d been wearing for the past four years so I was forced to make new stuff for myself.”

All of the clothes are handmade by Archbold, with original designs. Archbold uses a heat press to put her original designs onto her shirts, pants and hats.

“Prices range anywhere from $15 beanies to $45 handmade, custom leather joggers, with shirts having various prices in between,” said Archbold.

She said that as a college student she understands if a customer is struggling with money.

“I like to work with my customers if they don’t have a lot of money,” Archbold said. “So if anyone is ever a couple dollars short, I try to cut them a break.”

She said, “I find inspiration from the music I listen to. I’m really influenced by Kanye West and ASAP Rocky, fashion-wise. I try to go for thing that you normally wouldn’t see around here. I like to wear and design things that I find aesthetically pleasing.”
She also cited designers like LA Tokyo, Black Paper Apparel and ninefivetribe as inspirations for her clothing designs.

Archbold also seeks out models who embody her unique asthetic, often seeking out models online.She searches for individuals who share her style. They often respond enthusiastically.

“I find rappers or artists or models that I find interesting,” she said, “or that I think are really talented and I’ll message them and most of the time they’ll message me back, so things have been going really well in that sense.”

Like many new business owners, Archbold has embraced the internet as the resource that it is. She explains that the internet is a huge part of starting a business and can help with networking and promoting.

“The internet is key nowadays when starting a business. Whether you are a rapper or a clothing company, you need the internet to network and create relationships with people who may have never known you existed without it. It is essential in creating opportunity for people like myself.”

She has collaborated on a shirt design with clothing company The Regalia Syndicate.

Most of Archbold’s clothing is unusual, particularly for Vermont. She describes her style as “urban” and “modern.”

“Lots of black, lots of greys,” she said. “I like neutral colors with crazy designs and crazy shapes. I’ve gotten a pretty wide reaction [on campus]. With people my own age, it is generally very well received. Even if they don’t like it personally, they are usually impressed that I made it entirely myself.”

While the reaction on campus has been positive overall, Archbold has had a few people criticize her clothing.

“There are a lot of rude people that like to give me their opinion without me asking for it,” she said. “A few people have even tried to tell me I’m wearing something wrong because they haven’t seen anything like it before. I try to have a good sense of humor about it.”

Urban fashion originated among black youth in American cities like New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles. It emerged in the 1970s, and began to appear in the mainstream clothing market after companies like Adidas latched on to the unique style.

Urban fashion evolved with the surrounding cultural climate. For example, as Black Nationalism grew in the 1980s, urban fashion embraced natural hairstyles and the Black Nationalist colors of red, green and black.

Throughout the 2000s, vivid colors and loud designs were an important part of the fashion, and in recent years Snapbacks have made their way onto the head of many influential icons in the urban fashion world.

Urban fashion is – and always has been – about making a statement and allowing style to reflect the political and cultural zeitgeist.

The process of making clothing is different now that Archbold can use more than her own old clothing as a starting point for each garment.

Archold explained after designing something new on the computer she will sketch it out, buy the fabric, then use a sewing machine and a heat press to bring her idea to fruition.

“I will either order the fabric online or I will go to the fabric store in Burlington to pick out what I want to work with,” she said. “Then I have to measure everything and cut it all out and put it together.”

The time spent on each individual article of clothing depends on the size and complexity, but Archbold said that it usually ranges between an hour-and-a-half to six hours.

She often creates garments by piecing together parts of others. For example, some of her shirts are half one color and half another. The simplest things, like these shirts, don’t take more than two hours.

Archbold said that often her pants take the longest to make because they can have so many different elements to them that make them much more difficult to create.

“There are things that have extra detailing like zippers or cuts in the material that are different colors that end up taking a lot longer,” said Archbold.

Archbold says that she has been getting a lot of support lately that has helped her to embrace her style and has made her feel much more confident.

“I’ve gotten so much support recently,” she said. “It’s wonderful. I used to not tell people about my clothing because I was worried what they would think, but the positive reaction from all the people I have encountered has really been wonderful motivation.”

When asked if she had any advice for other people working to start their own businesses, Archbold said, “Don’t let people make you doubt yourself. If you have a dream that you are passionate about, go for it. Life is too short to be stuck doing something that doesn’t make you happy. It is better to try to start a business and fail, then to never even try in the first place.”

Archbold’s clothing can be found online at her Instagram betageminorum. Anyone interested in ordering custom-made clothing can contact her by messaging her on Instagram.

Gemini Apparel
Gemini Apparel
Archbold Apparel
Hayden Archbold
Archbold Apparel