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by Jenny
Kenzo©

After just 6 months at the helm of Maison Kenzo, Artistic Director & all-around high fashion hero Nigo has already left an indelible imprint on the brand’s eccentric ethos. In the months following his debutant departure for Paris Fashion Week and the unveiling of his first runway show as Artistic Director, fans have looked longingly at the Kenzo calendar in anticipation of a Spring/Summer collection arriving at a moment’s notice. Well, that moment is now.

This Saturday (5th March), Kenzo will be dropping a series of limited-edition capsule collections of its SS22 line across selected stores and on the Kenzo website. Nigo’s playful and often tongue-in-cheek twists on iconic cuts and colourways stand at the centre of his SS22 collection, adapting archetypal Kenzo iconography in out-of-the-box and abstract ways to both tickle and tempt his audience. 

Kenzo©

With 2022 appropriately being the Year of The Tiger in the Chinese calendar, Kenzo’s classic big cat mascot can be spotted across a number of more minimalistic and timeless designs, adding a cartoonish charisma to an overall more whimsical wardrobe.  This is perhaps most evident on both the black oversized hoodie and dark green drawstring cargos, both central pieces to the general aesthetic of the collection.  However, it is the charmingly creative additions of embroidered tiger tail motifs on numerous t-shirts and sweatshirts that give the most Nigo-Esque nod to the brand’s iconic logo, demonstrating a shrewd and subtle approach to uniting the brand’s heritage with the forward-thinking and visionary design style of its new AD. 

Kenzo©

Given Kenzo’s historic ability to traverse the worlds of high fashion and street style often with equal ease, it seems that phase two of Nigo’s reign will aim to frame the brand as an aspirational yet still accessible one that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It is these two worlds that Nigo has so masterfully danced between throughout his career. Additionally, his natural inclination to infuse bold hilarity and playful designs that reflect and guide the direction of contemporary culture, make him the perfect captain to lead the brand into the post-Takada era.  


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See also: WHY NIGO’S APPOINTMENT AT KENZO MAKES PERFECT SENSE

See also: DIOR AW22 SHOWS MASTERY OF ELEVATED ELEGANCE AND SET DESIGN

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@laviena.echev ©

Whilst the sneaker space used to exclusively revolve around Nike and adidas, recent years have seen new frontrunners enter that space – one of which being Reebok. Down to a slew of well-placed collaborations as well as an affinity for normcore, one of the footwear brand’s most iconic and long lasting styles are the Club C’s – seen on everyone from your mate at school to A$AP Rocky.

Originally produced in 1985, little has changed in their central design, although their original purpose as tennis shoes has been somewhat transformed into a streetwear staple, thanks to its futuristic aesthetic and ability to be styled with pretty much anything. Now though, Reebok and Brain Dead are continuing their ongoing relationship by collabing on a limited run of Club C’s – with this specific style dubbed ‘Revenge’.

@laviena.echev ©

LA-based streetwear brand Brain Dead have leaned back into the shoe’s tennis origins, by manipulating material in order to replicate the classic tennis ball fuzz. Adding new dimensions of texture, the kicks come in a dark and light colourway, updating a classic with a modern edge. The shoes even feature ‘Brain Dead furry laces’, for that extra tactile experience.

Reworking a classic design to blend seamlessly into the Brain Dead ecosystem, the brand reshaped some lines with a playful texture to create a softness and imperfectness to the sleek design that as they describe, “makes them feel alive”. The updated classics are said to be inspired by nature, the great beyond, and anything else- out there. Check them out on either brand’s website from today.

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See also: A TRIBUTE TO THE KING OF PLEATS, ISSEY MIYAKE

See also: REIMAGINING EVISU

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@bridgittelacombe ©

This morning, it was announced that legendary Japanese designer, Issey Miyake, has passed away at the age of 84 after a battle with cancer. One of the biggest names in fashion, the designer was at the forefront of bringing Japanese fashion and design to the masses, alongside the likes of Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto, to name just a couple. Spanning two centuries, Miyake’s design legacy lives on in his multiple brands, extensive fashion and design research, as well through his dedication to clothes that perform elevated functionality.

The designer survived the atomic bomb in Hiroshima at seven years old, but was determined to not make that a defining feature of his career and life’s work. Instead, Miyake focused on honing his artistic skills and studied graphic design in Tokyo, before heading to Paris to learn about clothing design. Originally wanting to become a dancer, Miyake’s sister’s fashion magazines are said to have inspired him to go into fashion and focus on the art of movement more specifically.

@1stdibs ©

In Paris, he worked with Hubert de Givenchy who taught him the fundamentals of luxury fashion, before returning to Tokyo in 1970 and founding the Miyake design studio – the rest is history. You cannot think of Issey Miyake without thinking of pleats – a signature that the designer first developed in the late 1980s, which continues to inform his brand image and collections.

The famous pleats were created with a new technique, which as Reuters reports, consisted of ‘wrapping fabrics between layers of paper and putting them into a heat press, with the garments holding their pleated shape. Tested for their freedom of movement on dancers, this led to the development of his signature “Pleats, Please” line’.

Eventually he developed more than a dozen fashion lines. One of these is HOMME PLISSÉ ISSEY MIYAKE – who’s recent show in Paris saw pleats-clad dancers appear making their way down scaffolding, climbing on each other’s shoulders to walk the runway – in three-man-tall structures. What followed was a dance performance which saw Issey’s models run, leap and fall across the space in varying degrees of intensity.

With any of Issey Miyake’s lines, you know you’re going to get a solid and successful collection of the iconic pleats. But his emphasis on freedom of movement, functionality and comfort was never minimised: pushing beyond the parameters of traditional fashion, Issey Miyake’s genius was in his ability to produce and demonstrate the garments as they were intended: in movement, fluid, and to be celebrated. Rest in Peace.

Irving Penn ©

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See also: FORGET HOT GIRL SUMMER, IT’S A THERMAL SPRING

See also: THE DISTRESSION OBSESSION

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HOMER ©

It’s that time of the year again, when most people you know are in holiday mode, 25 degrees no longer warrants obligatory day drinking and no one really knows what day it is. Ahh August. Whilst the fashion world is largely laying low in preparation for the major events which kick off in September, there are still quite a few drops and happenings that you should keep your eye on this week. Let’s get into it.

DAILY PAPER DROPS ITS BEST JACKET YET?

DAILY PAPER ©

Daily Paper has been bringing the heat consistently for many seasons now, but this week sees them drop a jacket which sees us looking forward to the colder months ahead, almost. The leather varsity Nevin jacket presents a symbolic logo with an eagle, lion and leopard as an ode to the founders’ Somalian Moroccan and Ghanaian heritage. 

MORE PLEATS PLEASE

ISSEY MIYAKE PLEATS PLEASE ©

If there’s one thing Issey Miyake does best, it’s pleats. The offshoot brand PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE is bringing out a series of bold bags this summer, which can be stretched and moulded into crazy shapes as well as being compacted down for ease. We’ll take one in every colour, please.

COUCOU CHLOE DROPS ‘WIZZ’

TYLER JORDAN ©

Dark glamour and twisted romance, high fashion and emotional voyeurism – welcome to the glittering, ever surprising world of COUCOU CHLOE. This week sees the second single from her remixed EP drop, entitled ‘WIZZ’. Taking the original’s heady vocals and twisting them into a pounding club anthem, featuring COBRAH’s infectious vocals. Perfect listening for this week.

STÜSSY & NIKE AIR MAX ARE BACK AND READY TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN

STÜSSY ©

After a successful link up months earlier, the two brands seem to know a good thing when they see it, and are continuing their collaboration for another collection. This one places a heavy emphasis on footwear, remixing the Air Max 2013, and we also see jackets, trackies and jumpers, too.

GETS COLD UP NORTH PACK YOUR HAT & TRACKEH

DRAMACALL ©

Speaking of trackies, Aitch has finally made his fling with streetwear brand Drama Call official, by releasing a second collab with them. The ‘Smiley Trackeh’, coming in a black/red colourway, is available now to get you warmed up (literally) for the rapper’s album, coming out next week.

HOMER DROP A 25K 🍆 RING

HOMER ©

It’s been a year since Frank Ocean launched Homer – his luxury jewellery and goods company. And what better way to mark the momentous occasion than with a collection of 🍆 rings? Well, we can tell you: marking the date with a luxury cock ring, worth $25,000. Makes sense.

TOURIST SOUVENIRS LAUNCH ONLINE SHOP

TOURIST SOUVENIRS ©

You’ve probably been following Tourist Souvenirs on Instagram for a while now – a curation of iconic fashion moments, pieces and designers. Now though, founder Yeva Kouzouian is flipping the social account into an online store – allowing followers to discover and shop emerging designers to their heart’s content.

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See also: SOCIAL MEDIA & SEX WORK: THE GEN Z ICONS SHATTERING GLASS CEILINGS

See also: FASHION’S SWEATIEST CAMPAIGNS, HEATWAVE OR NOT

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CULTED SOUNDS: MEET TEMZ, THE ARTIST MAKING ‘STYLISH DRILL’

CULTED SOUNDS: MEET TEMZ, THE ARTIST MAKING ‘STYLISH DRILL’

by Stella Hughes

Temz is an emcee with a difference – on the scene since 2016, Temz lives and works in Leeds, joining the growing roster of UK talent pushing back against the London-centrism of the music industry. Having a heavy hitting lineup of features, singles and projects under his belt, this year sees the artist release Rise & Grind – a track and visualiser that has made its debut on GRM Daily.

A key figure in sample-led drill making waves across the UK, TEMZ has collected well over 3.3M streams and 132K dedicated monthly listeners since exploding on the scene – rapidly amassing a cult following as backing from his city spread across the UK and into a busy London atmosphere. We caught up with him to talk all things Leeds, the importance of grinding and what he calls ‘stylish drill’.

Temz ©

Yes Temz. Talk to us about the come up – how did you get into music?
I’ve always loved listening and writing music but I never really pursued it until some of the guys from my area started dropping freestyles on a Leeds based YouTube channel called FirstMedia TV after school and were getting a bit of traction in the city. One day I decided to go with them and sprayed a quick 16 of my own and I ain’t looked back since! 

How has Leeds shaped the way you work and operate?
Leeds is mainly a working class city so we have always been brought up with hard work instilled in our values and way of life. This has allowed me to never be too comfortable or complacent regardless of my situation and always have that drive within me to push for more.

Who are some of the rising Leeds talent we should keep on our radar?
FlyStr8Kiz & Mg10jibz are 2 artists who are part of my Noisy Neighbours record label and are going to rip up the drill scene mark my words! There is also a collective called OTG (Boogie, Lavz, Drippah, Jr Milli) who are currently perfecting their music and getting ready to take up the scene by storm.

Congrats on Rise & Grind – what was your favourite part of making this project?
Probably shooting the music video, it was more of a role play based video this time round which is something I haven’t done before but I enjoyed the process of putting it together, I was really pleased with the end result! 

What’s your favourite lyric you’ve ever written?
“Saucy Ni*** flow like river that’s why they call me Temz” 

What advice would you give to up-and-coming emcees, young people trying to make it?
Don’t give up! The music game isn’t easy especially for those of us miles away from the music hub that is London! Keep releasing consistently, perfect your sound and you’ll see the results eventually.

 

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What about the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t rush the art, fall in love with it. Work at your own pace with tunnel vision and you’ll see a more efficient rate of progress.

If you had to describe your sound in your own words, how would you do so?
I call it stylish drill, it’s got drill elements due to the instrumentals etc however the contents of my lyrics are based around the finer things in life.

What’s next for Temz?
I’m currently working on my debut mixtape Superstar Symptoms so you will definitely be seeing singles from there dropping over the next few months. I’ve also been working on a few features that nobody would expect.

 

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Lastly, name 5 tracks you’re loving right now and why.
Burna Boy – Last Last
Undisputed Summer anthem of 2022 and despite it being a song about heart break the vibes are unmatched.

Lil Durk – Headtaps
The Voice for a reason! This song is Lil Durk talking about the trials and tribulations he has faced on his rise to the top and gives me lyrics I can relate to the whole way through.

Nemzz – DL4V
He’s one of my guys from the north who is currently ripping it up with his own sound and this song delivers a simple message I think everyone should follow.

Clavish – Sold Out Dates
Clavish is a rapper I’ve been following for many years now and this song is Clavish at his peak, crazy one liners and a catchy hook to top it off.

Mitch – Jack Sparrow
Mitch is one of the best rappers to come out of our country in my opinion. This track is a perfect example of him flowing like a tap for almost 3 mins straight.

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RICO ©

Freddie Peacock has been active this last year. From his loved-by-JME paintings to his ever-expanding line of apparel, the artist is no stranger to dipping into various pools of creativity. Also known as RICO, the creative oscillates between various mediums but all remain tied by his visual exploration of who his subjects are, intertwined with an introspective questioning of his own self. It’s this combination of self and how he relates to his creative collaborators which RICO has managed to craft into excellence, and which forms the basis of his latest project: WHO IS SAINTE?

First brought together by CULTED’s own James Loach for one of his passion projects, James cites the environment of mutual love for creativity over anything else as an integral part of why the two get on so well. “From general love shared between everyone there to becoming something so pure goes to show that (Sainte and RICO’s) relationship cuts through the bullshit” James commented when introducing RICO to me. “It really is art meets art, creativity meets creativity”.

It’s clear that whoever RICO works with is hand-selected, and for a reason – which translates into the authentic and provoking pieces which come as a result. We caught up with him to dive deeper into his work, motivations, and working relationships to answer the burning question – WHO (actually) IS RICO?

RICO ©

Last time we spoke it was about the WHO IS VIRGIL piece with the guys over at 4BYSIX. How did the launch and exhibition end up going for you?!
Oh it was really really good. That’s where I properly met James (Loach), and it was a big opportunity. It was my most thought-out, meaningful and close to home project to this day I’d say, but yeah – went really well.

Glad to hear! That was more of an immersive installation, right? I know you move across mediums – how do you decide which one to tackle for each project?
I’m quite a calculated, methodical person, but to be honest I think most artists are happiest when they’re just doing what they want. So although my work is thought-out, I’d say I just do whatever feels right and whatever’s organic. For my latest project, it felt right to do T-shirts, even though I’d already done tracksuits previously which seems the wrong way round. But just talking to Sainte and going back and forth, we landed on tees.

RICO ©

Let’s talk about WHO IS SAINTE, your latest work.
I wanted to keep the title under the umbrella of ‘WHO IS RICO’, my brand, which is all about the mystery of who the second half of my paintings is. Each project is about a different person, looking at their life and career and why we’ve chosen to work together. The second half is where my mind is, how I’m feeling and how I translate that visually. Calling them ‘who is…’ is taking a part of them, and exploring who they are, but also tied into exploring who I am, under the umbrella of WHO IS RICO.

It felt right that we did apparel, homeware and bags – all tied together in a physical pop up. I knew that S (Sainte) was going to be 100% behind that due to the nature of our relationship. It just felt right to lay it out in as big and crazy form as I could – hence all the different elements to this project.

So guided by intuition as well as relationships, then.
Yeah for sure. You get so caught up in people telling you to do this or that, to maintain a consistent style or image, that yeah I’m always working but if I’m going to build this consistency I also need to be getting better at it. When we speak about instinctive or intuitive design, whilst I maintain a certain style, I’m also developing things and remembering what’s important: which is maintaining your craft. So yeah, it’s instinctive for me.

RICO ©

How did your relationship with Sainte start?
So…the majority of people I work with are friends and people I already have a real relationship with, apart from opportunity-based projects such as the Central Cee painting. That was a really cool project for his album booklet. But generally, I’d much rather paint people that I’ve connected with or have supported me.

With Sainte though, it was the first time that someone has shared a mutual interest in the culture, for creating and for each other’s fields. I don’t even really follow his music, and I think he loves that. Equally, he doesn’t know the ins and outs of what I do, but I think it’s so great and speaks to how organic our relationship is. He’s super humble and down for creativity, and doesn’t let things get in the way of that – which I really identify with too.We have a genuine friendship, born out of a joint love and passion for the arts – it’s an understanding, I’d say.

I love that sentiment of it being an understanding without having to speak it.
100%. That’s how you breed the best projects in my opinion. When you genuinely connect with someone and share a love and passion for something, not only will you have more ideas, but they’ll be better ideas too. Everything gets done quicker, people are happier and it’s all good!

Saying that, did this project feel different to you then?
In a way, yeah. I started this painting like a year ago and it’s undergone loads of changes, because I was really wanting to get this one right. It all stems from our relationship – all the changes and wanting to experiment. 

Can you break down some of the artistic references and processes for this project?
For this piece, I steered away from his biographical references, but wanted to push my craft further. For example – the colours were mixed and remixed, placed and replaced hundreds of times in some areas. Unlike the Virgil piece, I took the emphasis out of breaking down our careers this time because we’re at the start of them. It’s about art, sharing art and enjoying it too.

RICO ©

It’s funny that you mentioned you’re at the start of your career as you’ve been banging out the projects quite consistently already, like your recent Forever Good pop-up. How did this fit into your trajectory, and what’s next for you?
Yeah. The Forever Good pop up was good cos it pushed me out of my comfort zone. On a conversational level it was a challenge, which I enjoyed. Also on a physical level – setting it up and making my stuff fit in the space was challenging. It was me with 2 tees, a rug and a few paintings – so making this atmospheric and an experience which blended art and fashion in a way that didn’t read as just a money grab was interesting.

In terms of upcoming things, I’m sat on a bunch of work which I need to work out when the best time is to release according to loads of different components. I’m also constantly creating – I’m actually in what my Dad would call a stolen dining room but I call my office – working on a bigger scale, multi canvas project right now. An exhibition is in my sights, for sure.

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See also: SWIM, SURF & CREATIVITY WITH DANI & YANN

See also: IT DOESN’T GET MORE SCI-FI THAN IRIS VAN HERPEN & RICK OWENS

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@travisinih©

This latest instalment of Cultural Connections unpacks the undeniable and sometimes underground connection between The Emerald Isle and Great Britain. Ireland and the UK have a bona fide shared history that runs deeper than any sort of creative affiliation and although not all relations between the two countries are wanted, their shared proximity separated by the Irish and Celtic seas is a physical cesspool of latent potential between both countries’ capital cities. The title ‘Dublin born but London based’ follows after the introduction of many Irish artists. The evident lack of bonhomie when discussing the Irish and British past is transcended by the current breed of creatives shared by both cities and their bright artistic future ahead.

MUSIC 
Upcoming pop singer-songwriter Soulé,has firmed her roots in Dublin’s creative greenery. Born in London the singer with numerous albums and EP’s under her belt and a potent irish fanbase , she could almost be described as a gift from London. Denise Chaila is Dublin’s gift to London, with the Irish artist featuring on Ed Sheeran’s remix of 2Step and following the Galway Girl singer on his Irish tour around several cities. 

As well as this a handful of upcoming Irish rappers have taken some inspiration from the UK drill scene. With their sound reminiscent of the hard-hitting beats and 808’s, rappers such as TraviS are bringing this hybrid sound to various Irish festivals this Summer.

The disconnect lies with London’s lack of lamentation when it comes to their nightlife. Dublin’s nightlife is on the brink of death with having over 80% of their clubs liquidated since before and during the pandemic. However, one shared feature that has become apparent in recent years is  the underground music scene. Both cities seem to possess passion and grit in keeping the rebellious underground scene afloat (Dublin youth more desperate than London’s of course) but one such Irish collective doing so is The Midnight Disco. Known for their seasonal but highly anticipated parties that introduce distinct and sometimes unseasoned DJ’s to new stages, and now even recently near veterans, when Venetta ‘Queen of Radio Silence’ made her Dublin debut with the collective. 

Dublin’s at times desolate cobblestone streets and stringent and unnecessary licensing laws has left room for an even stronger community of underground techno music and new creative ventures. The Midnight Disco x The Big Romance, their latest project sees Irish DJ’s, creatives and partygoers sailing down the River Thames in order to bring some of the unrelenting Dublin party spirit to London.Their lineup of DJs features Ricky Chong, Efa O’Neill, Mercorn, Sugitbak and this partnership also including Dancing for Money the London based initiative focused on parties and cultural exchanges between both cities.

FASHION 
The linkage between Dublin and London’s fashion scenes have been evident since the 1980’s when Irish-American designer Paul Costello was appointed as the beloved Princess Diana’s personal designer and subsequently showed at London Fashion Week. This collaboration between Dublin and London was only solidified when Isabella Blow, legendary fashion editor and talent scout took it upon herself to mentor Philip Treacy OBE the Irish haute couture Milliner and Lee Alexander McQueen simultaneously, giving rise to both talents from both countries.

@simonerocha_©

The London Fashion Week calendar has for many years served  as proof of this unofficial contract between Dublin and London. This unspoken rule almost always guarantees that at least a handful of Irish designers will be scheduled on the line-up, with this year being no different. Simone Rocha, Richard Malone, and Rixo, all with designers hailing from Dublin yet based in London. This makes London the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow (or runway) for Irish designers, who mostly emigrate straight to London in the hopes of showcasing their collections to grander audiences.

CULTURAL 
Another attempt at keeping the flame burning between Dublin and London is the newly established yet well-endowed talent agency “The Millar Agency“. With their aim to host a variety of British and Irish talent it’s no wonder that their impressive lineup of talent includes comedian and content creator Fatstimbo, broadcaster and DJ Tara Kumar and Gary Thompson AKA “The Plastic Boy”. 

@tarakumardj©

Of course this wouldn’t be a Dublin X London cultural connection without mentioning comedy chat show extraordinaire Mr. Graham Norton. Wildly claimed by both cities but has spread his Irish Charm internationally with his critically acclaimed talk show “The Graham Norton Show”.

A key feature of this transactional relationship is Dublin’s creative servitude and outpouring into the London scene. Dublin and London’s connection is one of hope, discovery and budding artistic talent. With the majority of Irish youth emigrating to London in what can be described as Dublin’s unofficial creative brain drain epidemic. Dublin’s restless and creatively hungry youth see London as the artistic Garden of Eden in which all of their dreams will come true as they transform from big fishes in our green waters to fledgling artists with potential to garner attention on London’s scene which draws international attention. 

Dublin youth have an undiscovered rawness about their endeavours, and as a result the UK  has Irish talent to thank for their unrelenting contributions to the London scene. It cannot be denied that London and Dublin will forever be linked with their creative symbiosis honing talent together for the world to enjoy. 

More on CULTED

See also: CULTURAL CONNECTIONS: AMSTERDAM X LONDON

See also: NOTHING MATTERS ANYWAY: WHY THIS SUMMER IS FOR THE LOST GENERATION 2.0

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EVISU ©

Founded in 1991 in Osaka, Japan, Evisu is one of the most recognised and well-respected Japanese brands of today’s age. What initially started as a small line of denim jeans, with only 14 produced a day with hand-painted detailing, the brand became a global household name for its enduring denim, quality and fit, and adoption into various fashion subcultures. 

From esteemed denim collectors, to streetwear fanatics looking for the brand’s iconic ‘seagull’ logo on vintage pieces, Evisu’s quiet confidence has meant it has remained respected, but perhaps fallen into slightly forgotten territory in the last few years. Flanked by recent denim revivals such as True Religion, and with the seemingly endless rollout of new collections from luxury brands, it’s high time that Evisu was restored to all its glory. We’re taking a look at the brand in all its intricacies, and playing creative director for the day to suggest how we would revive it – à la Maximilian’s appointment at Ferragamo – the first show of which is set to take place in Milan next month.

ROBYN:

I’d revive Evisu by taking the brand back to its roots in Japanese culture. Originally founded in Osaka, Japan by Hidehiko Yamane and named after the God of prosperity “Ebisu”, Evisu is a brand grounded in spirituality and careful hand-craftsmanship. However, nowadays few people know what their iconic logo is meant to represent (a seagull), let alone the meaning or work that’s gone into the brand. This is why I’d utilise a video campaign that follows the delicate process of hand-painting Evisu’s iconic logo onto their jeans, as originally was done in 1990 Osaka. This would help to remind people of the brand’s authenticity. Plus, showing how time-consuming the hand-crafting of Evisu’s jeans is will help highlight the brand’s integrated sustainability. Basically, I’d revive Evisu by reminding people of why they like it in the first place, taking the iconic brand back to basics.

DEVINA:

Palace ©

Collaborations are all the hype these days, and in some instances, they can assist smaller brands in increasing their platform – take a look at ERL and Dior, for example. Although EVISU has already collaborated with Palace, Cactus Jack, and Billionaire Boys Club, it would be interesting to see EVISU team up with Nike for a sneaker collab. Given the eclectic sneakers that just came fresh off the Menswear SS23 runway, EVISU could combine secondhand or surplus denim together with their trademark seagull emblem for a pair of sneakers. Possibly even reintroducing a historic Nike model such as the Air Trainer. This not only ensures market attention, but also commemorates cultural history, which is an important aspect of both brands’ identities.

SAM:

Evisu are Japanese denim legends that have supplied top-tier streetwear for around three decades – it just needs a breath of fresh air to reignite the nostalgia. If I was creative director for the day, I’d certainly orchestrate a relevant celebrity orientated campaign around a new collection, to be released on major platforms. Living in such a media driven society, it’s more important than ever for brands to take advantage of these rapidly growing platforms. In addition, I’d appoint relevant brand ambassadors, having a ‘face’ to the brand is equally as important. Then, frankly, I’d have some fun. Sticking to its roots, the collection would be heavily comprised of elevated denim adorned with the classic ‘seagull motif, but i’d also develop the brand to wedge it further into the streetwear space. It has all the ingredients to make a solid comeback –  after all, EVISU means ’God of Prosperity -, and with my help, prosper it shall.

STELLA:

Evisu ©

As well as its elevated Japanese denim, I love Evisu’s big old logo – sometimes wrongly referred to as an ‘M’ (and as McDonalds have tried to rip off on their uniform trousers, it seems), but actually meant to represent a seagull. Splashed on the back of oversized jeans, faded or bright, the logo is an instantly recognisable brand motif, and something I would push further if I were to be creative director for the day. This could involve workshops where you painted your own logo on to the back of jeans (Evisu or not), as well as new collections which play with the logo to create monograms, new patterns and new ways of showcasing the seagull – giving it new wings, if you will.

More on CULTED

See also: SHOPPING SMALL BIZ’S WITH MIRA AL-MOMANI

See also: IT DOESN’T GET MORE SCI-FI THAN IRIS VAN HERPEN & RICK OWENS

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SHOPPING SMALL BIZ’S WITH MIRA AL-MOMANI

SHOPPING SMALL BIZ’S WITH MIRA AL-MOMANI

by Stella Hughes

Shopping small is a major concern nowadays, for those who want to shop sustainably, ethically, and are tuned in to the wonders that small businesses can offer. In fashion, this is becoming more and more evident – with luxury brands often looking to independent designers for inspiration (warranted or not) as well as tapping them for major collaborations. 

Someone who knows this all too well is CULTED favourite, Mira Al-Momani. Focusing on sustainability, small businesses and quirky luxury fashion, Mira’s keen eye for styling and content creation has earnt her a loyal following and widely appreciated voice in the fashion industry – as well as just being a great person all round. We caught up with her to get her top picks from small businesses at the moment – scroll to find out a bit more about her, and cop her selects before they blow up.

Hey Mira! So how did you get into styling and content creation?
I’ll be honest it was more of a trip than a walk into the content creation world for me. The pandemic changed things for a lot of us. I’d just graduated from Leeds and moved back home, working part time at Anissa Kermiche. It was the perfect combination – just enough cash to buy nice clothes and absolutely nowhere to wear them. So I started taking pictures of myself!  

You focus on sustainability and small businesses – how did you arrive at this niche, and why is it so important?
I’m gonna hold my hands up here and say it’s not something i’ve always focused on! The pandemic put things into perspective for me. I started to build connections with emerging designers and it really got me thinking about how my clothes were being made and where I was choosing to spend my money. It’s a lot of hard work, making clothes! If a top’s on sale for 1p, someones not getting paid… 

What’s your favourite outfit you’ve worn in the last 2 weeks?
Definitely my outfit for Gareth Pugh’s ‘This Bright Land’ at Somerset House! Denim skirt, a black tank and JOOTS (jean boots). Comfy cool, my favourite kinda outfit. My huge Bottega sunnies definitely added a lil wackiness to the look. 

Give us your top 3 styling tips.

  1. Wear what you want 
  2. Don’t take yourself too seriously
  3. YES crocs are hot

What’s something that you wish you knew when starting out?
BALANCE. Don’t let social media take over your life! Yeah it’s fun, but so are so many other things (like Rowan’s on a saturday night).

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COWBOYS OF HABIT MESH TOP – £150 / US $183

Cowboys of Habit ©

SBA SPARKLE TULLE WRAP SKIRT – £260 / US $317

SBA LABEL ©

T-LABEL RIA PAPER WHITE DRESS – £395 / US $481

T-LABEL ©

KRADEAU NO BRA NO TRACA DRESS – £180 / US $219

KRADEAU ©

EMRLD FANTASY BUTTERFLY TOP – £43 / US $52

EMRLD ©

KAT ROSE LOVES YOU CUSTOM DRESS – £65-£95 / US $79 – $117

KAT ROSE LOVES YOU ©

ANYOTHERKINGDOM FUSILIS RECYCLED NECKLACE – £126 / US $153

ANYOTHERKINGDOM ©

HADES EXALTATION SKIRT – £260 / US $316

HADES ©

OGBFF SIGN FROM GOD BABY TEE – £39 / US $47

OGBFF ©

THORA STEFFANSDOTTIR BODY BURN SKIRT – £160 / US $195

THORA STEFFANSDOTTIR ©

CAMILLA BLOOM PIXEL BABY BAG – £98 / US $119

CAMILLA BLOOM ©

TABITHA RINGWOOD SANDALS – £325 / US $396

TABITHA RINGWOOD ©
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BAPE ©

You would be hard-pressed to find a brand quite as influential as Bape. A Bathing Ape, or Bape, has had its grasp on the streetwear game for generations, dating back to the early 90s. Rappers like Kanye West and Pharell have been rocking the label since before most of us reading this were even born. 

Founded in 1993 by Tomoaki Nagao, or Nigo, Bape was the brainchild devised by Nigo while working alongside another Japanese design legend. In 1993, Nigo and Jun Takahashi opened a streetwear store called “Unknown.” While Takahashi was working on Undercover, Nigo began pensively designing Bape’s ethos.

Nigo went with the eventual brand name because of a Japanese phrase that, when translated to English, means “A bathing ape in lukewarm water.” The phrase is used to describe people who are complacently indulgent and opt to bask in opulence lazily. In Japan, people often bathe in water that exceeds 40 degrees celsius. So allowing the water to become lukewarm, means that they’ve overstayed their welcome. He found humour in this, as his customer base was typically made up of those who enjoy overindulging in hobbies like fashion or toy collection. However, today’s Bape customers range from old hands recalling the good ol’ days, to young kids who are looking to get into the streetwear world. For the latter, we’ve drawn up a list of six introductory items to help you further understand just how important Bape is to fashion, and get you in the loop. 

Shark Hoodie
BAPE ©

Initially released in 2004, the Shark Hoodie is one of the most popular Bape items to date. The hoodie can be seen evolving over the years, beginning with simple colour blocking, and eventually turning into statement pieces. The hoodie features a full-length zip, which, when closed all the way, covers the wearer’s face entirely and essentially turns them into a shark. Nigo has attempted to show the hoodie in a different light with each passing season. Some hoodies are one solid colour with the shark details exposed on the hood. While others feature their famous ape camouflage covering the hoodie in its entirety.

Bape X Kaws 1st Camo “XX” Trucker Hat
BAPE ©

In Spring/Summer 2005, Kaws and Bape decided to drop the most fire accessory of the year, combining the two brands’ most infamous design cues. First and foremost, the Bape trucker hats were created, designed and manufactured for those who are hat lovers. The quality of the pieces has always been top-notch, and the designs which have been added on are on-brand, unique, and for a lack of better words, don’t miss. For this piece, Kaws added their famous XX logo, which can be seen in the eyes of all of his dolls, drawings and collaborative designs.

This cap features an olive green mesh backing which is stitched onto an ape head camouflage upper, finished off with the Bendy character from Kaws and the XXs on the panels. 

College Dropout Bapesta 
BAPE ©

There is so much to unpack with this sneaker, I don’t even know where to start. The silhouette itself is called the Bapesta. If you think it looks awfully close to a Nike Air Force 1, then don’t stress yourself out. They’re practically identical. Except for a few key differences. Released in the early 2000s, Bapesta’s stirred up loads of controversy as they were near one-to-one replicas of Nike’s golden child. However, the Bapesta received a Bape branded makeover, with one essential addition, which sent the Bapesta over the top.

The sneaker was often released in a patent leather upper, a material never before seen on the Air Force 1. Now, add Nigo’s insane colour blocking choices, and you have one of the dopest, easiest-to-wear sneakers ever to exist. The College Dropout Bapesta is influential as it was the first sneaker designed by Kanye West that people could buy in-store. It featured the bear from Ye’s College Dropout album, painted alongside an animalistic brown and creme combo. Unfortunately, the College Dropout Bapesta is more than just hard to come by. The sneakers resell for a few months of rent in a Central London flat. Never mind the fact that the 15-year-old sneaker is nearly impossible to find in good condition. 

Ape Head T-shirt
BAPE ©

The Bape head is easily the most recognisable logo from Bape’s journey. The ape head pays homage to the brand name and is meant to mimic the aesthetic of those who purchase from the label. 

Bape T-shirts have seen countless iterations, but the most intriguing has been the Bape head T’s. Printed on a solid T-shirt is Bape’s ape head logo, which is usually tinkered with to do something unique on each and every piece. Some feature the head straight up, with others designed with Bape’s legendary ape camouflage wrapped inside of the head outline. I’ve had my eyes on 3m Bape heads, multi-colour camouflage Bape heads and even collaborative designs.

The brand has done releases with brands like Marvel, Kaws and Mastermind, with each adding their personal touch to the infamous logo. Bape head T-shirts are a great entry point to the brand, as basic designs are incredibly attainable. However, the game can get addictive, and the cost can add up fast. Start looking at pieces from the early 2000s, and you’ll see what I mean. 

Supreme Box Logo T-shirt
Supreme ©

Yes, you read that right. In 2000, New York-based fashion brand Supreme did a collaboration with a young and flourishing Bape. Supreme releases box logo apparel in most of their drops. However, the pieces quickly became hot commodities, selling out almost instantly with each coming release. This Bogo is like many others. The plain white T-shirt is spiced up with a box logo in the middle of the chest. The white font reads Supreme, while Bape’s infamous ape camouflage floats between and around the letters. Sitting on the left sleeve is the ape head tag which can be found on the majority of Bape garments. 

This shirt represents the coming together of two major players in the streetwear industry. Supreme and Bape have been pitted against each other since they both entered the fashion spotlight. And although their popularity has fluctuated, both brands have maintained a vital role in the game. 

Casio G-shock Collaboration 
Casio ©

Bape was truly a pioneer in this collaboration. Casio’s G-shock has been making waves in the watch game since its conception in 1981. Casio engineer Kikuo Ibe came up with the G-shock when he dropped a pocket watch which was gifted to him by his father. The watch inevitably broke, sending Ibe into an experiment frenzy until he created the perfect watch. After some trials and tribulations, the G-shock was released, rated for “triple 10” resistance. This meant the watch had a 10-year battery life and could be submerged in up to 10 bar, or 334 feet, of water. Most importantly, it could withstand a drop from 10 feet.

So in 1998, the imaginative Nigo and Bape put its branding on a black G-shock. The watch features the G-shock logo painted in the staple rainbow colour scheme, which has grown to become synonymous with Bape. As well, the watch has small design cues removed and replaced by Bape brand phrases or logos. Since their collaboration, brands have been itching to collaborate with the invincible watch. Some have done it, but not to the same level of spectacularity as Bape.

More on CULTED

See also: SWIM, SURF & CREATIVITY WITH DANI & YANN

See also: IT DOESN’T GET MORE SCI-FI THAN IRIS VAN HERPEN & RICK OWENS

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SWIM, SURF & CREATIVITY WITH DANI & YANN

SWIM, SURF & CREATIVITY WITH DANI & YANN

by Stella Hughes

Personal values have changed a lot over the last few years – and one of which is how we live. Bringing the world to a standstill forced a lot of realisations with how we choose to spend our work and leisure time, along with new considerations about where we choose to reside, thanks to the surge in remote working. For those that haven’t fled the city just yet, there was a new-found emphasis on London’s plentiful green spaces. From trips around the Heath, where you’re as likely to bump into Harry Styles as you are most of the teenagers in North London, to the pockets of green that populate the inner city, London actually has enough trees in it to be considered a forest: far from the concrete jungle that many of us seem to experience it as.

Coupled with the intense rise in temperatures that is only set to continue in future summers, a lot of these urban oases have places to swim, luckily. Whether that’s the ponds in the Heath, the specified section of the Serpentine, or one of the city’s sun-soaked lidos, there are places of inner-city refuge for those who thrive beside water. One of these is in Richmond Park, in which its multiple lakes and ponds and vast expanses of green space provide a place to reflect, escape and muse on the city it flanks.

We caught up with two of our community members and creatives, Dani and Yann, in Richmond Park to talk through their multifaceted relationship with the city and with water, as well as Nike Swim’s new collection. 

So firstly, how are you guys?
D:I’m doing great, taking it easy.

Y: Yeah I’m good thanks!

Introduce yourselves to our readers.
D: I’m Dani, someone who enjoys taking photos of people and gets to call it her job.

Y: I’m Yann, I was born and raised in Guadeloupe, an island in the Caribbean. I do many things, but am mainly a model. I started modelling when I moved to Paris and I was scouted there, and have met a lot of talented people through it. It also helped me understand the fashion industry – from consulting, helping with artistic direction or even sourcing.

Take us through the shoot – was it fun?
D: I really enjoyed the NIKE swim shoot, mostly because of my journey there. It’s really important for me to bond with nature, so cycling to Richmond Park at 5:30 in the morning was my favourite part.

Y: I actually loved standing on a tree trunk in the lake, just cause it was fun.

How do you define creativity?
D: Creativity = FUN.

Y: Creativity is everything! I think it is one of the most important parts of anyone’s journey. Everything around us is based on creativity. Design, music, architecture.

How has London as a city shaped you?
D: It allowed me to be myself without having to try too hard to stand out. There’s a lot of demand, and a lot of people providing. Everyone is killing it and there’s opportunity for all.

Y:I’m not from London so I couldn’t say that it shaped me yet. Maybe it will after a few years, but at the moment I just appreciate living in this city.

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DANI

So Dani – what do you do for fun?
I love cycling and playing video games. Occasionally I enjoy building furniture and coming up with random projects to distract myself from everything that’s going on. Living in a city is very overwhelming.

For sure. Where are your favourite places to escape the noise?
I love my studio. It’s the place I go to when I don’t want to be around anyone and can focus on what my brain is cooking up next.

What does your personal map of London look like?
I love Little Portugal – I go there almost everyday for food, snacks, or even just cycling past to see familiar faces and hear the language. I love south and spend most of my time here, between Bermondsey and Brixton Hill. 

City or green space?
GREEN SPACE!!!!

On to the swimming – what’s your earliest memory of being in the water?
My mom took me swimming everyday from when I was maybe 3 or 4. I definitely remember her letting go of me in a pool without the floaty armbands and I thought I backflipped. All my life I’ve been telling everyone the story of how I actually backflipped 4 times the first time I went swimming but I can now say it’s actually not true…

What about your favourite memory of being in the water, and why?
Swimming in Santa Cruz where I grew up. I spent every day or every Summer in the water. It got to the point where my blonde highlights turned green. It was the best time of my life.

What does your day-to-day look like now, in London?
So I wake up, have cereal or a smoked salmon bagel, shower and start cycling to my studio across South London where I’ll catch up with work I have to do. Hopefully some of my friends will be out and I’ll cycle over to them, which is usually somewhere in East London. If I’m in the mood I’ll do pilates when I get home. And I’m drinking 1.5L of water through it all, of course.

What do you look for when choosing stuff to wear in the water?
I think it can be quite tricky when you’re someone who’s not very confident with their body to find something that you feel comfortable with but also looks cute. It’s definitely something that as a teen, me and a lot of girls struggled with. It takes a little bit of time until you discover what you feel is your best and safest, but when you do, it’s the best feeling.

What do you like about this Nike Swim collection?
I love the black top with the lacing in the back. It’s actually cute, made me feel safe and is very comfortable to wear.

Nice. Would you recommend this range to friends or fellow water babies then? 
Sure! It’s got very different pieces that work for every occasion, and everything is super practical.

How would you style these pieces in your everyday life?
I love how I styled them at the shoot- with baggy pants or shorts. On a hot day where you just wanna swim, you can’t go wrong with this look.

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YANN

Hey Yann. What do you get up to for fun?
100% Surf. I skate if I’m in a city with no waves, like Paris or London.

Where do you go for an urban escape in London?
Canary Wharf by the Thames, it’s really calm there.

Interesting, so where do you spend the most time in the city?
When I’m in London I spend most of my time at Mile end or Southbank, because I skate and chill there with my friends. But if I’m in the mood to shop I like to hang around Soho.

City or green space?
Green space, or Blue space (the ocean), ideally.

What’s your earliest memory of being in the water?
I’ve always lived by the sea, and remember being 3 or 4 years old enjoying the sea with my mum watching over me.

What about your favourite memory of being in the water?
When I was 6 my mum finally started to let me bodyboard and surf. This is the best memory I have. I don’t even know why I’ve always wanted to surf, as I’m the only one to do it in my family.

Take us through a typical day in the life for you.
I travel a lot so it really depends where I am. If I’m by the ocean and waves are good, I will definitely be surfing. Wake up, surf and then chill. But unfortunately I’m not always by the sea, so on a regular day in Paris, I wake up, check my emails and talk to different agencies in Milan, Paris and London about upcoming shoots and travel, and then I skate or hang out with my friends and girlfriend. I also spend a lot of time with Allan Arma, talking about our upcoming projects.

On to surfing – what’s the secret to catching waves?
There is no secret, just practice . The first 2- 3 hours will be awful if you are a beginner, but if you have a good teacher you start catching waves by yourself after a couple days of surfing. The only good advice I can give is that the position on your board while paddling is really important.

What’s the craziest surf story you’ve experienced?
Surfing in my secret spot. It’s really remote, and I went by myself during the covid lockdowns with only one friend. Police pulled up in a helicopter, and started circling above us telling us to get out of the sea and leave. We didn’t.

Where’s your favourite place to surf and why?
I think it’s probably on my island in Guadeloupe, just because I’m a local there so I know all the best spots. My favourite waves there is called Razor, it’s a perfect long stretch and not many people surf there because it’s quite tricky to get in the water with the reef and that.

So what do you look for when choosing swimwear – how important is the blend between form and function for you?
I look for how stretchy it is, and also how fast it dries. Other than that, the shape is important for me. I think it’s 50/50 with form and function – if I don’t like the shape of a short I won’t geet it, even for surfing, because to me surfing is also about the aesthetic. If the shorts are ugly it will mess up the whole aesthetic haha.

Do you have a favourite piece from the Nike Swim collection?
I did really like the shorts, they had a nice silhouette and were super comfy too.

Would you recommend this range to your fellow surfers?
Yes, just cause the whole collection was modern, and the material used for the shorts seemed really good to be honest.

How would you style these pieces?
I would probably just wear it with a white tank top, a trucker hat, white socks and my pair of Nike Cortez Comptons.

Where’s your favourite place to surf and why?
I think it’s probably on my island in Guadeloupe, just because I’m a local there so I know all the best spots. My favourite waves there is called Razor, it’s a perfect long stretch and not many people surf there because it’s quite tricky to get in the water with the reef and that.

So what do you look for when choosing swimwear – how important is the blend between form and function for you?
I look for how stretchy it is, and also how fast it dries. Other than that, the shape is important for me. I think it’s 50/50 with form and function – if I don’t like the shape of a short I won’t geet it, even for surfing, because to me surfing is also about the aesthetic. If the shorts are ugly it will mess up the whole aesthetic haha.

Do you have a favourite piece from the Nike Swim collection?
I did really like the shorts, they had a nice silhouette and were super comfy too.

Would you recommend this range to your fellow surfers?
Yes, just cause the whole collection was modern, and the material used for the shorts seemed really good to be honest.

How would you style these pieces?
I would probably just wear it with a white tank top, a trucker hat, white socks and my pair of Nike Cortez Comptons.

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