Last night, the London-based artist best known for his “fassion is my pashion” tags Navinder Nangla held his pop-up exhibition with Converse as an All Stars Creative. Part of the pop-up, Navinder released a line of Converse City Tees with his signature graffiti style and the intentionally misspelt “con-vs”.
Converse gave Navinder creative freedom to deface a Soho store front with his signature style of squiggly graffiti, Converse’s star and arrow logo and other written phrases like “Dish is not a windough”. While the event took place on the streets, the store location featured the City Tees displayed through luminescent tunnels, in a black and a white iteration.
“I deconstructed the word Converse and misspelt it in my dyslexic way” explains Navinder, “I champion it as my superpower”. The event itself saw the artist customising the attendees’ t-shirts, inviting the community to be a part of the night. “Without the people there is nothing” he emphasises, “the community keeps this shit alive, man”.
This isn’t the first time Converse and Navinder have worked together though, having previously partnered on the Create Now, Create Next campaign and bringing on the artist to be an All Stars Creative. “It’s a blessing, man” being able to connect with “like-minded people and just get to know [Converse’s] community”.
While Navinder is now working with some of the biggest forces in fashion, his compulsion to create started from a young age. “I was working in my nan’s garage” before it got taken over by random belongings while in the process of moving houses. While working as a styling assistant, Navinder started tagging up fashion spots during his pick ups, and then he thought “fuck it, Fashion Week”.
The “fassion is my pashion” graffiti was impossible to miss in the streets of London, though the artist has taken a rest from his defacement mission because “the council seen me recording me do it and been like ‘on your way now’”. His ethos is still alive though, as he says “I’m doing my shit to make it more fun”, considering the fashion industry can, at times, take itself too seriously.
“It’s not for the higher up people” he states on a deeper note, “it’s more for the people who [share] my background”. Fashion has always been a cut-throat and exclusive industry, but Navinder has managed to carve himself an entryway and is paving the way for others like him, “making it feel like anyone’s welcome”.
Essentially, Navinder is deconstructing an entire system built upon the rejection of outsiders. “Don’t follow the system, you can make it work on your own”, he advises. This disruptive mindset is tied to nothing but the love of art that transpires into everything Navinder does. “My brain works a million miles per hour” which makes his art a culmination of “a lot of different things”, to then “mismatch it and connect the dots in an easy way to make this organised chaos really”.
Converse has been able to highlight Navinder’s tumultuous mind by letting him do his own thing, with his next thing in mind being “a shoe man, that’s the goal”. For now though, the Converse x Navinder Nangla t-shirt is available to everyone online, created with Navinder’s very own mindset of “Fuck the rules, bend them, and basicaly do what the fuck you want”.
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