Meet Tom Fox, the young entrepreneur from London who wants you to connect with your spiritual self – and look great while doing it too! Tom is a strong advocate of meditation, as well as being the owner of YKSI London, a hot new label which officially launched on YEAY in October. The brand was born through meditation, and offers clean, thought-provoking clothing and lifestyle products that use ethically sourced, organic fabrics to evoke a spirit of oneness. Alongside this, he is also an established DJ and lifestyle blogger.
We caught up with Tom to discuss his personal philosophy, inspirations and how to get started in the world of fashion. As someone who has achieved so much in such a short amount of time, he is clearly an excellent ambassador of the benefits of living a more thoughtful and meditative life. So sit back, clear your mind, and enjoy the ride.
Interview by Jayne Phillips
Hi Tom! First, the burning question: ‘Who is Tom Fox?’
Ha – I need someone to answer that for me! ‘Who is Tom Fox?’ came about when I was doing a lot of different things and trying to figure out who I was, only to realise I had no idea. So, my name poses as a question not only to whoever might see it, but to myself too.
We’re excited that you’re launching your YKSI brand on YEAY. Can you tell us more about how you got started with this project?
I’m so excited too – YEAY is such a cool app! YKSI as a concept began at the end of 2014. Some may remember me trying my hand at acting and I was about to enroll in drama school, but something didn’t feel quite right, and around that time that I really got into spirituality and meditation. Now, this may sound a little strange but I needed some direction in life, so I took a moment to step back, clear my mind and ask for some guidance.
Before I knew it, through meditating all the answers came and from from then on my creativity was lit and inspiration just kept coming to me. That’s how YKSI was born and we are only just at the beginning of our journey.
What does YKSI mean to you?
Well first off, my family is part Finnish and YKSI in Finland is the word for ‘ONE’. YKSI as a brand is all about unity and togetherness so I thought, what better way to represent oneness than with the word One – with a little bit of my heritage thrown in there too.
What attracted you to using videos to promote your brand?
I saw that some great brands were using YEAY – like my good friend Larry Tee whose ridiculously cool brand TZUJI on there. Using videos really helps bring a brand to life. Photos are great but with a video you’re going to really see how a piece of clothing looks, fits and how it falls on you. It also gives us opportunity to add some life to our clothing and show people a side of us that they may not get to see from our social media pages.
What was it like making your YEAY videos, got any tips to share?
I really enjoyed it! We filmed during my shoot for YKSI’s first collection which was such a crazy day. Tips? I would say, spend a good amount of time editing your videos. Focus in on the details, when filming, get someone to help. Oh, and angle your camera to vertical – that way they look best on YEAY.
Your brand ethos is ‘Unity and Not Conformity,’ which is fantastic – especially for people living in a multicultural city like London.
Can you explain this idea in more detail and tell us how people can promote and embody this ethos?
Well, there’s so much division in our world today and our ethos is all about being united as one while not conforming, but remaining unique and celebrating your individuality. Our clothes are designed to be clean and minimal to give way for you to shine through. By being mindful and realising that deep down we are all one, you embody the spirit of YKSI.
You say YKSI is a brand born of meditation – do you meditate often? What do you find are the benefits of this?
The benefits are priceless. There’s so much inside ‘noise’ that we deal with and by that I mean, our thoughts, our beliefs and things that we say to ourselves. On top of that there’s all the outside ‘noise’ – traffic, conversations, media, etc. I found that it was all too overwhelming. Daily meditation allows me to take a step back from all of that – even if it’s for five minutes in a day to reconnect with who I truly am.
Which celebrity or role model would you say embodies the YKSI message the most?
There are so many celebrities who practice meditation in their daily life, but it’s not always going to be the most obvious thing you know about them. Lady Gaga, Madonna, Jayden Smith, Russell Brand and of course Ru Paul all talk openly about the benefits of living a spiritual life. They for sure embody the message of YKSI. They’re all unique, march to their own drum and understand our Human / Spiritual connection.
Apart from having your own fashion label, what other things do you get up to?
I’ve been DJing since I was 17 years old and I’m still going strong 12 years later. I do a bit of modelling but I’m only 5’7 so don’t expect to see me in VOGUE next to Cara Delevingne… My main focus right now is on YKSI, My Fashion & Lifestyle blog, Making music and of course taking time out for the love of my life, my puppy London.
Finally, what’s on the horizon for you and YKSI?
We’re just at the beginning of our journey with YKSI and the future is looking very bright. Our T-shirts are now available to by on YEAY and online (yksilondon.com) and moving forward we are gearing up to release more and more products very soon. We have a couple of great jackets coming out, some very cool caps, our first YKSI Candle and to top it all off, we are about to launch the ‘WE ARE YKSI’ social media campaign, so watch out for that all over Instagram soon!
Aside from YKSI – I’m looking forward to launching my ‘Who Is Tom Fox?’ fashion & Lifestyle blog next month. ( whoistomfox.com ) and making my way into television presenting – Hello, MTV News! Can you hear me?!