2021 was a big one, seeing fashion’s return to the limelight both on and off the catwalk. It’s clear that the year brought successes for many, with emerging designers exploding onto the scene, as well as creators finding new ways to showcase their fits throughout the seemingly endless lockdowns.
As we reflect on the year, we’re also reflecting on some of our most viewed articles, the ones CULTED readers kept coming back to. From the meteoric rise of Corteiz, to a deep dive on the history of Stone Island, we’ve compiled a selection of your favourite pieces of the year. Whatever you’re looking forward to this year, stay up to date with our round-up of 2021 on CULTED.
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN: THE METEORIC RISE OF CORTEIZ
Back in summer, hundreds of people raced through the streets of Soho trying to get their hands on the newest pieces from Corteiz, a name accelerating up the ranks of the London streetwear scene faster than anyone can keep up with. Clint, the brand’s founder and illustrious mastermind, started Corteiz from his bedroom in 2017 with screen-printed crewnecks and t-shirts. They featured the now recognisable Alcatraz logo, which represents the core message behind the brand – breaking free from the norm and ruling your own world.
The only form of advertising used by the brand was social media, relying solely on the quality of products and word of mouth to attract a following to, what was for a long time, a private Instagram page. In August 2019, Corteiz propelled its steady and organic growth through the first public t-shirt giveaway which resulted in a 50-man strong race through the streets of Soho. And they never slowed down from there. Click here to read more.
NO TOMMY, YOU DIDN’T INVENT STREETWEAR
Following his bestowment of the Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2021 Fashion Awards, Hypebeast published an exclusive interview with renowned fashion changemaker Tommy Hilfiger. It was an apt article discussing Hilfiger’s place as a foundational figure in fashion. However, amidst the conversation Hilfiger was quoted as saying, “I think I was the first designer to ever do streetwear.” Immediately, this statement sparked outrage amongst Hypebeast’s followers and other streetwear aficionados.
Filling the comment sections under its accompanying posts on social media and the piece itself, as well as flooding Hilfiger hashtags on Twitter, people have been trying to set the designer straight by bringing into the light the true origins of streetwear. Because, unfortunately this is yet again an example of a caucasian, white-collar man taking the credit for something that originated in Black communities, and contributing to the erasure of Black history. Click here to explore further.
LIFE IN THE BALANCE – THE BEST NEW BALANCE COLLABORATIONS OF 2021 (SO FAR)
It is no secret to the diehard sneakerheads amongst us; New Balance is quickly becoming one of the must-have sneaker brands around today. However, this success isn’t by fluke, with the creatives behind New Balance knowing precisely what they are doing with the infamous dad shoe.
New Balance’s Senior Manager of Global Collaborations, Joe Grondin, has rustled up the perfect recipe for what we collectors want to see from sneaker collabs. A unique blend of fashions finest linking with NB has left the people clamouring for more with each release that passes. I deep dive into my favourite collaborative efforts from New Balance so far this year, with some honourable mentions at the end that just missed the list. Click here for the list.
THE RISE OF STONE ISLAND: FROM HOOLIGAN TO HIGH FASHION
Stone Island is a brand steeped in culture, history and undeniably brilliant design. Not only is it now world renowned for its experimentation with materials, it is also at the beating heart of authentic UK subculture and street style.
Founded in 1982 in the northern Italian town of Ravarino, Stone Island is the brainchild of Massimo Osti, a revolutionary fashion designer and garment engineer from Bologna. Named after the nautical novels of Joseph Conrad, it was conceived with a deep philosophy of research, experimentation and function. Osti didn’t simply design fashion, he engineered it. He developed thousands of new fabrics, treatments and dyeing processes, and created new possibilities of what clothes could be. The brand released thermo-sensitive sweaters that change colour with the temperature and a “liquid reflective jacket” which reflects light off tiny glass microspheres that are painted onto its surface by hand, then dried out in an oven. Click here to see how the brand developed.
MEET MAGDA KACZMARSKA, THE CONTENT CREATOR CHAMPIONING ‘DIY EDITORIAL’
Magda Kaczmarska (@_magda__) is the Instagram influencer showcasing your favourite fits, in a unique and striking way. Having started in styling and production, Magda has crafted a distinctive aesthetic that has created a cult-following from fashion fans and designers alike.
Her images and styling showcase the works of both established and emerging design talent, whilst she also creates exciting content in collaboration with brands and designers for her feed. We caught up with her to discuss her work, inspiration and dream collaborations. Click here for the interview.