Made in Manneh
Drama Call. A Mancunian streetwear brand founded in 2017 by Charlie Bows. The name came about from Charlie's heavy inspiration from Hollywood movies, filmography and American culture. This inspiration and his history of working at call centres formed the name; Drama Call.
Drama Call is a brand for the people and made itself a household name in the UK streetwear scene. Not only does it have a name in fashion but you can also go on to say its made its name in rap music culture overall . On a day out in Manchester you're guaranteed to see the words “drama” on someone's outfit.
It's clear to see Charlie isn't afraid to show his roots and make his home city, Manchester, a consistent motif across his brand. Through the dialect, collabs, designs and marketing, Charlie remains humble and shows loyalty to Manchester.
Designs & Marketing
Their signature product would be their "Trackeh" collection. Dubbed the “heaviest in the game” by Charlie, their designated oval logo engulfs the bold words “drama” across the chest and right thigh of their tracksuits. The logos are embroidered while the tracksuit comes in a relaxed fit with cuffing around the ankles sitting at 1kg in weight for the total tracksuit. Their tracksuits have come in a collection of colours including Navy Blue, Red, Grey, green, white, yellow, black, blue, brown, pink, and grey. The heavyweight tracksuits stand at 500 - 570 GSM and with the price for a full tracksuit being over 200 pounds or 300 dollars, there's no doubt the product is packed with quality, comfort and warmth. With the tracksuits always selling out , whenever they drop, it shows it is a much beloved piece in high demand by thousands in the streetwear scene.
Further designs include your standard t-shirt as well as beanies, shorts and caps usually designed around one colour palette and sometimes a specific subject.
If we had to sum up their instagram in a few words, it’d be Manchester, Logos, Films, America and Skaters.
A glance at their Instagram page will show you that while Manchester is still deep rooted in the brand, Charlie has much love for logos, film and America. With constant reiterations of globally known logos, references to American culture and film inspired photography, it's clear to see Charlie isn't one to shy away from his true inspirations. These motifs coupled with various other content across their instagram page also gives off a strong skater aesthetic which is synonymous with streetwear as a whole and I think Drama Call fits in well in the streetwear/skating category through their online personality.
They also have an instagram page dedicated to just leaks and previews of potential designs, updates and passwords.
Running this platform has allowed me to see a rise in Streetwear brands steering away from traditional forms of design, marketing and presentation. Their use of organic marketing methods can be broken down into 2 main marketing methods being content marketing and Guerilla Marketing. Some of their more notable marketing campaigns would include their collaborations, billboards and captivating content that their audience would naturally share and engage with. As a result, their brand gains publicity through word of mouth.
During the BLM protests in June 2020, Drama Call decided to take action and launch Silence Kills T shirts as a donation to selected charities. They sold over 1200 t-shirts raising over £26,000 which amounts to about 32k dollars. All profits went to protest bail funds and black owned businesses that were damaged and looted during riots.
Charlie was quoted saying
“I think everyone should feel a responsibility or at least have an urge to make a positive difference in this world. We are only a small brand but we will still push and do our part for the culture that most of us were brought up on. If you don't, you're not using your platform correctly.”
Drama Call would again drop another donation piece, a few months later when the issue between Palestine and Israel arose. They raised over £5000, with all the profits going towards Human Aid Uk for humanitarian relief to help those across Gaza needing critical support.
Drama Call stated
“As A Brand That Is Constantly Offering A Representation And Spreading Awareness Of The “DRAMA '' We Deal With In Today's Society. We Have Never And Will Never Stay Silent Towards Subject Matters That Are Affecting People's Basic Human Rights. We Will Speak Up And Take Action On Any Injustice And Will Do Forever.”
While Drama Call generally stays out of the spotlight when it comes to interviews and media coverage, they have enjoyed their fair share of moments that are worth noting.
Drama Call took to the streets of manny with their “Everybody Eats” campaign in which their advertisements can be seen on billboards across Manchester. This campaign was for their signature tracksuits in which they dropped their biggest collection of tracksuits ever in a myriad of colours. They essentially dropped every colour they ever released in one collection with some additional colours.
Drama Call would then take to the streets of Manny again with another pop up where he and his team handed out ten pound t-shirts and further pieces. 100s of customers took to the streets for a chance to grab a bargain from Drama Call.
Drama Call has also collaborated with Mancunian rapper, Aitch a couple times. As they are both from Manchester, it was only natural for both to show appreciation for each other with Aitch starting off the relationship by being spotted in Drama Call a couple times. Their first collaboration came in March of 2022 where they teamed up on a capsule collection for Aitch's latest single at the time named “Baby”. The collection included 4 shirts in black, white and baby blue colourways. Two black and white t-shirts see Drama Call repurpose the iconic “Love Heart” Sweet mixed with Aitch’s “Smiley” graphic displayed on the front of the T. The other two shirts see a black and baby blue coloured T with the words Drama / Baby printed on the front in rhinestone.
They then went on to collaborate again, this time in August of 2022. Dubbed the “Smiley Trackeh” , the tracksuits comes in a red on black colourway in which the traditional “drama’ logo comes in a red outline accompanied with Aitch's smiley graphic and a heart on top. Like usual, you see this across the chest region and right thigh of the tracksuit. This piece was for Aitch's debut album that dropped later the same month.
It's also worth noting the brands cosign from Jack Harlow at Leeds Festival 2021 and actor Michael Rainey Jr who plays Tariq from popular TV show Power. He was conveniently seen wearing a Drama Call T, in a picture with the goat, 50 Cent.
From Manchester to Harlem, Charlie is seen multiple times in America through his social media pages. In July of 2021, he even collaborated with a Cap store from Harlem in which they had a pop up party in Manchester and dropped an exclusive T. A look through Charlie's personal instagram shows his frequent trips to America having visited New York, New Jersey and LA.
Another dramatic moment is when the Drama Call Instagram was taken down. This was due to copyright issue with Rockstar games. Drama Calls logo at the time resembled theirs, nonetheless, people noticed, showcasing Drama Calls presence in the UK streetwear scene.
What we can Learn
1. Don't Neglect the roots
We've seen countless brands unafraid to show where they came from by representing their city, country, town or just the start of their whole brand journey. This shows authenticity and humility, both qualities that audiences instinctively respect. You want to Grow Local and Think Global.
2. Traditional marketing, designs and presentation of your brand isn't needed.
If you're tapped in with the underground streetwear space, this has always been the case. You can even argue underground streetwear brands are the rebels of the fashion industry. I'm not saying you don't need the ad campaigns or influencer marketing etc, but what I'm saying is, they're not a must if it doesn't feel right for your brand.
3. Show your inspirations
Be You. Anything that inspired you to start your brand or inspired designs. Show that off. People love that. It feeds on their own inspirations and so it continues the cycle down the road for the next wave of streetwear brands. The underground scene should be constantly filled with inspiration and a community feel. So you may as well do your part.
That's it for the article today. I hope you enjoyed it. Where do you think Drama Call is heading next, are you a fan of their pieces? Let us know in the comments.
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