Welcome to CULTED’s deep dive into the rapid rise to notoriety of Denim Tears, our effort to unearth the deeper meaning behind the brand’s collections.
ATLANTA-BORN, NY-RAISED, NOW GLOBAL
Founded in 2020 by Tremaine Emory, the renowned designer who you also might recognise as the current creative director of Supreme, Denim Tears hasn’t been around for very long considering its global status. Emory himself is a man of many homes, born in Atlanta, raised in New York, and spending a portion of his adult life in the UK. However, it’s his American roots that have influenced Denim Tears the most heavily.
Emory first felt his way into fashion through working at Marc Jacobs, but quickly realised he was capable of taking the wheel himself, co-founding No Vacancy Inn in 2015 and then Denim Tears five years later. He’s been a friend and advisor to a ton of names you’d undoubtedly recognise – including Frank Ocean, Virgil Abloh and Tom Sachs among others – but has ultimately utilised his and his brand’s statuses for a greater cause than fame.
A BRAND WITH A POINT
Denim Tears is a fashion brand with a serious message at its heart. Producing garments for a good cause since its birth in 2020, the brand was initially started in an effort to combat racism and oppression in America. Utilising cotton as a primary material in his designs, Emory has disclosed that his conception of Denim Tears was intended to turn America’s age-old perception of the cotton trade – which is rooted in slavery – on its head, by presenting these cotton-based garments in a new light.
Utilising common motifs and symbols throughout his collections, Emory sets out to evoke a message through every product. The motif of a cotton wreath is common throughout Denim Tears’ collections – even seen on the footwear produced in collaboration with Dior – and is intended to symbolise the strife of black people within the cotton trade and in America today.
COLLABS: PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE
Having collaborated with a spectrum of brands over the past couple of years, Denim Tears is known for its ability to merge its ingrained moral message with the aesthetics of other brands and designers, including Converse, Levi’s, and more recently Dior. On the horizon is an apparel collection with Stussy which will undoubtedly convey the same notions of luxury, style, and – most importantly – Denim Tear’s message of equality that we’ve seen consistently hitting the mark since 2020.
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